Exception to the Rule 2: His Fair Lady by Kimberly Gardner

Title : His Fair Lady                 Word Count :53,059

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Mark Talleo is something of a dog with the ladies. Any girl, anytime, anywhere is his motto until he meets Josie Frazier. The long lean redhead not only shares his love of musical theatre, but her smoky sexy voice and infectious laugh drive Mark wild and haunt his every step. Equally fascinating is his sense that she has a secret, one he is determined to uncover on his way to becoming her leading man.

Josie does have a secret, one she guards with her whole self. Although she has always known she was female, her name used to be Joey and she’s still biologically male. As much as she yearns for love and acceptance, her fear of rejection is just as strong.

Mark’s need to know the truth is matched only by Josie’s need to hide it. But when malicious gossip reveals her deepest secret the price of honesty may turn out to be too high to pay. But if each can accept that the woman he wants is the woman she is then at last Mark may find His Fair Lady.

My Review : From the moment that Josie is introduced,  she pulled at my heartstrings.  I was instantly in love with this character.  She seemed sweet , innocent and she was like a breath of fresh air. Mark was instantly attracted to Josie when he noticed her bright red hair, green eyes and luminous pale skin. Josie shut him down at first , but Mark’s charming personality won her over. Josie really likes Mark but she is hesitant,  because she knows a guy like Mark would never truly want her if she exposed herself to him.  

Josie is feminine in every way, except for the most important way; she is anatomically male. As much as she would like Mark to accept her for who she is , deep down inside she is ultimately scared of rejection.  She is not an out and proud transgirl. Mark and Josie get hot and heavy pretty fast through phone sex and hot make out sessions above the waist, well for her anyways. Josie is a virgin, but she loves to explore and she gives Mark anything any red-blooded college guy wants. Mark loves this side of Josie, but he is eager to touch her and give her all the pleasure she deserves. However, Josie’s secret has her constantly pulling back, because she is hyperaware  of her  unchanged male body.

It is very evident that her secret is going to end up biting her in the ass. It is like an uncoming train wreck you see about to happen, but there is nothing to be done about it, it’s inevitable. One day while Josie is in the bathroom,  another student accidentally walks in on her. Josie thinks nothing of it, thinking that there is no way the other student saw her partially exposed body. She is soooo wrong! Being as busy as she is with school work and the play she is casted as the lead for,  she puts the whole bathroom mishap out of her mind. 

Mark’s vindictive ex girlfriend starts spreading rumours around campus that Josie is a guy. Mark is a staunch defender of Josie’s until certain doubts start surfacing.  Mark realized that he’s never seen Josie fully naked in all the time that they have fooled around. As predicted,  it all blows up in Josie’s face when Mark confronts her about what he has heard. As soon as Mark sees  Josie’s reaction, he knows the rumours are true. Mark is devastated and he feels betrayed by Josie’s ommission. Harsh words are exchanged between the two and they storm off their separate ways. 

Josie starts getting harassed with  anonymous transphobic notes. She tries not to take it too seriously, until she is physically hurt and left unconcious by one of her cast members . Mark bumps into Kyle DiStefano,  Josie’s best friend at the hospital.  Kyle gives Mark some insight into what Josie’s life has been like since she was a kid. Mark is upset that Josie has been targetted because she is trans. He hasn’t ever been upset at her for being trans , but for the fact that she didn’t trust him enough to tell him.

They try to work things out when they realize that they still want to be with each other. Makeup sex is the absolute best and their first time together was extremely explosive.  They were both vulnerable in the moment, because it was something new for both of them . This heightened the sensuality rather than detracting from it. It was a truly beautiful moment between the two. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 

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