The Return: A TG Romance, Josh Randell switches things up once again, demonstrating the depth and the diversity of his characters and his storytelling themes.
Here we are introduced to a young man named Mark who, years later, is still pining for his lost love, Melody. It is a familiar story, with the demands of family, school, and careers pulling them in different directions, and neither feeling it would be fair to hold the other back for their own sake. As the story begins, Mark is (reluctantly) attending a party, where it turns out Melody is in attendance.
A little more than half the story is all anticipation, coupled with reflection and self-doubt. Mark does everything he can to delay the inevitable, going back over his memories in the process. There is an element of mystery there, and some anticipation for the reader as well, since we know this is a transgender romance . . . but nothing has been said (or even hinted at) to suggest that Melody is in fact transgender.
Was she transgender all that time, and Mark was unaware? Did their relationship never progress to that level of physical intimacy? Is she merely a red herring, a tease dangled before the reader before Mark meets a new lover, who is transgender? I liked not knowing, and felt all those questions really added something special to the story. As for the answers, those you will have read The Return to discover for yourself, but Randell once again delivers on both the romance and the eroticism, bringing together two lovely people who you instantly want to see happy.