Ghost ( Executioners 1) by J.M.Dabney

Title: Ghost                                     Word Count:157 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Biker Gay Romance

Blurb:Gideon Jane earned the name Ghost for his reclusive nature when he joined a group of guys in Powers, Georgia in a band called Executioners. It had been his way of settling into small town life after living in New York for the past twenty years. He loved the band and his small organic farm. What he didn’t love was being single, but it appeared it was his new reality. He didn’t want his ex back, although he did want something. What that was eluded him until the evening he walked into Nightingale’s Books.

Small town girl Harper Sage knew pain, and she’d lived with it—she had the scars both mental and physical to prove it. It would’ve been easier to hop in her car to find safety and anonymity, but Harper stayed to prove she was stronger than hurled fists and bruising prejudice. She found herself within the safety of a close-knit group of rough bikers and bar bouncers. That didn’t mean it was all perfect.

What’s a girl to do when she craves normalcy and acceptance: she just smiles. Choices are made, some with dire consequences and others that bring her closer to her dream. Will she make the right decision or finally discover escape is her best option?

Author Note: This book contains scenes of violence and descriptions of self-harm.

My Review: We have been introduced to Harper through the Twirled and Brawlers Crew. They have all tried to take her into the fold, because she is one of the sweetest, most kindest people they know. There is just one problem, Harper doesn’t see her own self worth. Harper is transgender and from a very early age there has always been a miscommunication between her sense of self and who she wants to be. Harper has a very low self-esteem and she has only ever found release from her depression through self harm. After her last suicide attempt her best friend Kyle inviegled her promise not to ever self harm again.

Harper has found another way to feel pain, his name is Bill. Bill is a homophobic bully who likes to take out his anger on Harper and uses her in despicable ways. He is not above using and abusing her body and pysche. Harper wants to get out , but there is a tiny little part of her that wants to die. She bears many scars on her body and soul from Bill. When Harper meets Gideon otherwise known as ‘Ghost’ by the Executioners and Brawlers Crew, she feels a tingle and yearns to be normal.

Ghost thinks Harper is one of the most beautiful women he’s ever met. He tries to get Joker, Harper’s self professed protector to open up about her. Ghost is warned and definitely chastised about hurting Harper. Ghost gets to know Harper slowly. For Harper, this is a new and scary experience as her relationships with men usually equate to pain. It is Twitch, the well loved twink of the Brawlers Crew that encourages her to take a chance on Ghost.

Inadvertently, that chance comes when Bill hurts Harper so badly she ends up in the hospital with bruises and knife wounds. Ghost goes into protective mode and takes her to his farm. Harper spends weeks with Ghost healing and slowly getting acclimated to what a healthy relationship could look like. Ghost pampers her as much as she allows and he sees a new spunky side of Harper unfolding when he coddles her too much. Watching the banter between these two is fun. Their sexual heat slowly simmers but is well worth the wait. Under that gentlemanly exterior lives a passionate Ghost. He gently unleashes his passion on Harper who combusts at the slightest touch.

For the first time, a man’s touch allows Harper to feel beautiful and embrace her true self and identity. It is through Gideon’s passion that Harper truly embraces her transgender body in all its glory. Gideon knows the time for subtlety has passed the morning after their glorious night together. He expresses his true feelings to Harper and she is still in awe that a man like Gideon would want a relationship with her. Before she can allow her newfound feelings to settle in , Bill attacks again. He uses a rifle this time and Joker gets hurt. Luckily, its just a flesh wound and Joker will be on the mend soon. Once again , Bill is in the wind.

Harper’s life starts crumbling and she feels guilty for bringing Gideon into her mess of a life. The Brawlers Crew let her know how much she means to them by opening their home to her for a respite. Gideon continues to shower her with love and it overwhelms her a little, but it is just what she needs to feel secure. His unwavering support in the face of danger gives her the strength to carry on. Harper does all the ‘couply’ things with Gideon.

After the Executioners finish their band practice one night, Bill strikes again. It is Gideon who gets hurt this time. Joker tousles with Bill for his gun and Bill will definitely not be coming back this time. The bane of Harper’s existence is finally dead. However, this act of violence has put Joker in a catatonic state and forces him to flee his ‘brothers’. They are all worried about Joker, but they know that in time he will recover.

Harper and Gideon are able to proceed with their relationship without a cloud hanging over their head. Harper relishes her newfound self confidence and enjoys the love that continues to blossom fruitfully with her sexy ‘bear’. At long last, Harper gets her happily ever after when Ghost proposes. I really enjoyed the first in the Executioners series, I can’t wait to read about Joker. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

 

Advertisements

Filth by M. King

Title :  Filth                       Word Count :77,030

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Does gender really matter?

Kel and Toni are damaged people trying to find answers. While Kel pins his hopes on support groups to keep him on the straight and narrow, Toni looks for absolution in a bottle of Mexican hormone pills.

Kel loves Toni obsessively, and though he supports them on the money he makes turning tricks with strangers and regular clients, he struggles with the reality of Toni’s transition and her motives for doing it.

While Kel grapples with his worries and the attentions of regular client Michael—otherwise known as the Sherbet Pervert—Toni faces different problems. Danielle, a transgender woman, best friend and role model to Toni, thinks Kel is a bad influence and pushes Toni to leave him. But Toni holds off because deep down, she knows she’s not like Danielle.

Kel and Toni’s desperate attempts to build a life together make them realize their survival is precarious. And then two unrelated events show them how easily their harsh little world can crumble, bringing them to confront some difficult truths.

My Review :  From the first moment we are introduced to  Kel and Toni , it’s obvious that they are involved in a very toxic relationship that is barely hanging by a thread. Toni has a lot of internal demons that she is battling and Kel really doesn’t understand. It is hard for Kel since he met and fell in love with Toni when he was just a guy. Toni is in the process of transitioning to become a trans woman. Toni is using a lot of online knockoff  hormone treatments that elevates her fragile emotional state. Kel is worried and misses the boy he once knew. A bone of contention between the two lovers is that Kel is unequivocally gay and there  is no place in their relationship for a girl. Toni knows this, and this definitely contributes to her being a weepy mess when she thinks about losing Kel.

It soon becomes clear that things were not always so turbulent and volatile in their relationship. There are glimpses of a connection so deep  between the two that their love should have been invincible. The cracks does not stem from the foundation of their relationship,  but rather from their self identities and how their true selves have evolved.  Kel identifies as totally gay and he doesn’t believe that Toni identifying as Trans is truly  authentic.  He believes that Toni is confused and he believes that there is some form of gender dysphoria within Toni, but he doesn’t believe that Toni’s identity is Trans. Kel is honest enough to acknowledge that he is not sure if he could be attracted to a more feminine body. Regardless of how Kel feels,  I really respect him and applaud his efforts in helping Toni realize and achieve her dreams by prostituting himself in order to get her the money for the expensive procedures. This is a selfless act of love if I ever saw one. 

There are a lot of outside influences that contribute to the breakdown of their relationship. Like many relationships, we allow our friends to insert their opinions on our lifestyles.  Toni’s friend  Danielle is very supportive,  and very opinionated especially when it comes to Kel and all the things he is doing wrong. Danielle is not keen on the idea of Kel and how he supports Toni on her journey into transitioning.  Kel has hidden depths and when Toni finds out that Kel has been buying all sorts of books on transitioning from the bookstore she works at, she realizes it’s not that Kel doesn’t care, he is just processing in his own way.

A near brush with death helps to put things in perspective for these two lovers who desperately need each other. Toni had to  reevaluate her thoughts and feelings and came to the understanding that maybe Kel is right and that she needs to slow down and get some counseling  on her Trans identity.  Toni recognises that she has been rushing her hormone treatments and thinking about sexual reassignment surgery , when that is possibly not what will make her happy. She knows that once these procedures get to a certain point they are irrevocable and could potentially push her into a very unhappy place if it’s not what she truly wants. Kel acknowledges that he  loves his honey and will do anything to keep her safe and happy and that  means accepting her Trans identity wholeheartedly, irrespective of his reservations .  I loved this pair because they were very real with very real problems. Despite all their issues there was no doubt about their sexual chemistry. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 

Favorite Quotes : 1. It is true. Words are just words, but the meanings they carry, the way the world bends around them, that’s what’s complicated. It doesn’t mean a woman can’t have a dick, though. Sex and gender aren’t the same thing, and there’s no black-and-white binary line, no rule that says he has to pick a side because the other one doesn’t want him. It’s a long, complicated road, but it’s easier to walk down without all the labels. ( This is so true, I think at times we get so caught up in putting labels on everything , rather than just Being.)

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. 

Born This Way by Francis Gideon

Title: Born This Way        Word Count: 42,871                    Genre: Transgender Romance

Blurb:

Jacob Matthews has gotten really sick of confessing his autobiography every time he meets someone new. Ever since coming out as a gay transgender man, Jacob feels as if no one really cares about who he is right now. Instead, they would much rather have access to his past and create another Lifetime movie out of it. The typical transgender narrative, Jacob notes, always ends in surgery or tragedy. It’s been two years since Jacob’s crossed the final marker to become who he is, and he’s running out of options of what to do next.

The only way that Jacob can overcome his own backstory is by blending in. Every Tuesday Night, he heads out to the local gay club called Boy Division and watches gay men from the sidelines. But when Jacob hooks up with a stranger who understands him with just a simple look, Jacob soon realizes that blending into the walls no longer satisfies him.

Jacob soon runs into his old friends at the LGBT community center, where he is forced to reconsider his life beyond rainbow colors and poppy disco beats. In group therapy, Jacob is confronted by the harsh realities of being transgender, hate crime violence, and the dwindling offers for his future. Just before Jacob leaves, his favorite doctor makes him a bet: if Jacob can find someone to connect to, then she will renew his testosterone prescription without question or qualm. She urges him to find some type of community, even if it’s not in the community center’s brightly painted walls.

Jacob takes the bet, figuring he has nothing to lose but his happy ending that may — or may not — really exist. He becomes determined to find the mystery man from the club again, even if it means blowing his cover.

My Review: This one was a slow start for me. It started picking up about halfway through the book.It was a slow boil, but then it got hot like lava. This was my third time reading a transgender romance and I must say they are becoming my new thing. I find that this book was really informative for those who know nothing about the transgender community. This book let me see that there are different types of sexuality in being transgender. Jacob was a female to male transman and this was a very different type than what i was used to reading.The sex was hotttt and I was a little skeptical at first because there is a vagina in the mix. I like reading gay romance for the hot man on man action, but I must say that I wasn’t disappointed. Jacob was definitely hot, manly and virile even though he hadn’t done bottom surgery. He was able to satisfy Benjamin through the use of dildos , vibrators and his mouth. This book made me realize that sex has a lot to do with your mind , because Jacob felt like a man and the dildo became an extension of himself. For him it felt it like a real penis.OK, enough about penises and vaginas :). I was deeply immersed in the life of a transman and the author did that for me. Very well written. It was hard to watch the struggles that Jacob had to go through in order to become the man that he knew he was meant to be. Jacob is hesitant in his actions with Benjamin because of all the hurt , pain and rejection that he has faced on a everyday basis being transgender. Jacob is tired of having to explain his life story to everyone when he decides to take his clothes off to shag. Benjamin was the first exception in his sexual history. Benjamin takes the time to know Jacob as a man and shows him how beautiful he is in his transitioned body. Benjamin doesn’t make a big deal about Jacob’s body , he just loves it the way it is, vagina and all ;). Another happily ever after, that leads me to my ratings of 4- Lose the Underwear.