QUILTBAG Content: This was a bit odd, especially at first, but I really like that Cecil Wilde didn’t settle for comfortably pinning characters to one part of the rainbow. Instead, Tom is bisexual and gender-queer, while Cin is bisexual and transgender. It’s perhaps a little too convenient, allowing a man-on-boy crush to develop into such a diverse sort of relationship, but I cannot deny the joy it brought me. Just to add to the confusion, Tom’s sister is transsexual, and the fact that he doesn’t feel that uncomfortable in his own skin makes him feel as if his gender issues aren’t worth discussing. Again, it’s probably a little too convenient, a little too much, but it really brings the story together.
Fetish Content: When you’re dealing with bisexual lovers who are between and beyond genders, there’s guaranteed to be some fetish fun in the mix. Here we get a lot of anal rimming and pegging for both Tom and Cin. There’s even a bit of a tease/denial/chastity fetish here as well, when you consider the fact that Cin’s vagina is off-limits (but her clitoris is fair game), and that Tom’s penis is off-limits as well (hence the pegging for both lovers). It may come across as odd to some readers, but it’s sincere and very, very sensual.
Literary Quality: Okay, the good stuff first. This a very well-written story, with some realistic dialogue, wonderful scenes, intriguing characters, and some decent pacing. That said, it’s also a story that wavers between clinical and erotic, as if it’s trying too hard to educate some readers while entertaining others. Also, as much as I can appreciate a romance that crosses ages as well as genders, Tom is just far too innocent and naïve for a man of his age, especially one who has dealt with and supported a transsexual sister.
Spank Bank Rating: This is more romance than erotica, with most of the explicit details left off the page, but there are still some very sensual scenes that linger in your imagination between chapters. So long as you’re comfortable moving the scene to your own head, it is a very arousing tale.
Overall: Despite the few flaws or weaknesses I mentioned above, I really did enjoy this. It’s an unusual romance, but all the more enjoyable for being so diverse. Tom is a character with whom I could identify, and Cin is a character with whom I would very much enjoy being in a relationship. Some readers may find the ending a little too perfect for reality, but it’s perfectly appropriate for the romance here.