5 Stars, Bey Deckard, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published, Transgender Romance

Review: The Complications of T by Bey Deckard

Small Gems

Title: The Complications of T

Author: Bey Deckard

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 15800 Words

At a Glance: The Complications of T is a timely story that had me cheering because Stuart Leandro, our narrator, raises the questions so many of us have contemplated but are, perhaps, afraid to ask.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: A bite-sized trans* love story:

Stuart Leandro knows he’s washed up, both on the big screen, and in his marriage. Then, when things take an even bigger turn for the worse one night, he winds up blind drunk and lost in a foreign city.

Thankfully, someone’s there to rescue him before his face ends up plastered all over the tabloids.

Wary of the motives of the reclusive stranger who brings the fading star into the quiet shelter of a hip but isolated loft, Stuart nonetheless can’t deny his curiosity… Or his attraction. Tim is unlike anyone the actor has ever met, but underneath the mystery and quiet attempts at invisibility, Stuart discovers someone whose life has been intertwined with his own for years.

Neither could have predicted that Tim’s act of kindness would lead to one of the most intense encounters of their lives—but, are they willing to weather the media storm their extraordinary relationship will cause?

Dividers

Review: It’s no great secret by now that I’m a fan of Bey Deckard’s work, not for the least of the reasons that his characters are always compelling, whether they be pirates or soldiers. This novelette, however, is yet another departure for the author, not a story set in a past or future alternate universe but a very real, compelling, and timely story that had me cheering because Stuart Leandro, our narrator, raises the questions so many of us have contemplated but are, perhaps, afraid to ask.

Beginning with the title, which has a meaning significant to the plot in a dual way, this story presents what, on the surface, seems as though it’s going to be a simple tale of a man and woman meeting and falling into a whirlwind love affair. It’s not until Stuart, who is not only going through the breakup of his marriage but is publicly very drunk, is taken home by his rescuer—someone he believes to be a woman who’s just saved him from the paparazzi, not to mention a sure social media and PR nightmare—and we are presented with an altogether different complication.

Tim White, movie critic and Stuart’s would-be nemesis, is a trans* man and a fantastically sympathetic character—not because we feel a sense of pity or despair for him but because we admire him for his courage and the strength to live life on his terms and to be the man he was born to be. Tim’s forthright answers to Stuart’s question about his biological anatomy and sexual preferences are not only questions I’ve had myself, but are also questions my kids have asked as well, sparked by Caitlin Jenner’s forthright and public transition. The end result of those discussions boils down to sexuality not being something that can be analyzed and deconstructed and then tucked into neat little boxes of conformity. Human sexuality is simply something we accept in others, and that’s the result of Stuart’s relationship with Tim. It’s not about being gay, bi, male, female and all the various permutations, but Stuart simply accepts Tim for who he is and embraces his feelings so honestly to the point that Tim has to play the voice of reason, and does so in a way that prevents this story from falling into the predictable.

I loved The Complications of T, beginning to end. Its characters are relevant, the topic important, and I would recommend it wholeheartedly as a story whose time has come.

TNA_Signature_Lisa

 

 

 

You can buy The Complications of T here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

Standard
K. Lynn, Less Than Three Press

Guest Post and Excerpt: Coffee Date by K. Lynn

banner

This year, a number of my releases are focusing on transgender characters, including Coffee Date. What if society has deemed you to be one gender when you are actually another? And how might these perceptions affect you as you work towards being the person you were always meant to be?

Dividers

CoffeeDateBlurb: Alice is finally happy with her body and her life—except for the part where revealing she’s trans winds up leaving her hurt and abandoned over and over again. She’s decided she’s done making herself miserable by looking for love.

Love finds her anyway, in the form of Hank, the new guy at her local coffee shop. He’s sweet, friendly, charming… and will probably turn out like all the rest. Determined not to shatter the fantasy and lose him before she has to, Alice holds fast to her secrets.

But if the truth doesn’t ruin everything, the lies will, and it seems no matter which choice she makes Alice is set for just one more heartache.

Dividers

Alice’s journey is not an easy one. She’s been hurt numerous times when she’s sought to share her true self with others, so much so that she’s started to put up a wall against the world. And she continues to strive to reach milestones that are not necessarily her own. Alice is constantly trying to match up to what she thinks she should be, what society has taught her she should be, while making herself miserable because she hasn’t reached that constructed reality. When love enters into the mix, it gets messy. She has to let someone into her heart, behind her wall, and trust that this time will not end in disaster. Is taking the chance worth it?

Dividers

Excerpt: Alice danced around in front of the mirror, trying to reach back far enough to pull up the zipper on her dress. She didn’t know why she kept the damn thing, considering it was always a hassle to get it on. Finally, she managed to snag the metal tag and bring it up. Tugging on the material bunched at her sides, she took a look at herself in the mirror. Her hair had suffered for her acrobatics, so she ran her fingers through it to put the escaped strands back in place, but otherwise she was fine. And she was running twenty minutes ahead of schedule. Maybe she would actually make it to work on time for once.

She was so close to being out the door, her hand was on the door handle and everything, when the phone rang. Alice briefly considered not answering it. No one needed her at eight o’clock in the morning; it was probably a telemarketer or something. Seriously, she should just leave. But what if something was wrong? And if she ignored it, the worry would just haunt her all day long. Giving a sigh, she snagged the portable phone off the side table and answered.

“Oh, good, you’re home,” Mary said, not bothering with a proper greeting. “I thought you might have left already.”

“I was just heading out and…”

“This’ll be quick, I promise.”

Which meant it would take a while. Alice had learned to decipher Mary’s promises long ago. She sat down on the couch and waited for her best friend to continue.

“Did you get an invitation in the mail yesterday?”

Alice thought about the stack of envelopes that were still sitting on her kitchen table. She’d thrown everything down last night, too tired from work stress to deal with a bunch of bills, figuring she’d just go through it later.

“What kind of invitation?” she asked, already heading to the kitchen. “I haven’t checked.”

“Well, do it. You’ll know it when you see it.”

“Why don’t you just tell me what I’m looking for? I don’t have time for this.”

She broke off her words when she saw the cream-colored envelope with a return address of her alma mater, which she and Mary had graduated from five years ago. Running her fingers under the seal, she opened it up and saw the stylized card inviting her to attend a reunion of her class. And it was signed with a familiar name.

“Winston Carver requests the honor of our presence,” Mary said when Alice remained silent.

“I’d rather give him the honor of a foot up his ass,” Alice said, tossing the invitation in the trash in disgust.

Mary busted out a laugh at that. “I think we should go just to fuck with him. Give him a little payback for the misery he caused us.”

“Mostly to me,” Alice said, remembering all the torture Winston had put her through during junior year. She’d started transitioning from Al to Alice and didn’t have an easy time as her features started changing and her emotions ran the gambit from anger to tears. Mary had been her rock, standing beside her and supporting her, but Winston couldn’t get past the freak aspect of what Al was becoming. He took particular delight in calling her every derogatory name he could think of, goading others to take part in the taunts as well.

“I bet he’s still a screw-up,” Mary said. “Probably running his daddy’s car dealership and hitting on anything that moves.”

“Well, I don’t care to find out. I had enough of him and his buddies at the time. I don’t need a repeat.”

“Still, it might be fun.”

“Yeah, well, not for me.” Alice glanced over at the microwave clock and her eyes widened as saw that it read eight forty. “Damn it, how’d it get so late? I’ve got to get to work.”

“Think about it.”

“Fine, whatever,” Alice said, gathering up her lunch one-handed. She stuffed it into her purse and headed back to the living room. “I’ll see you tonight?”

“Reservations are at seven. Talk to you then.”

“Later.” Alice thumbed the off button and replaced the receiver on its dock. Having left no time for breakfast, she hoped the line at Cafe Connection wasn’t too long as she headed out.

As luck would have it, there were only two people in front of her when she stopped at the coffee shop. When the place opened just a block from her building last year, she was wary of its sustainability. The small shops often started off with high hopes, but soon collapsed under the economic pressures of having to compete against the larger chains. Cafe Connection, however, had stayed put and even started gaining customers from its larger competitors when word got out about how wonderful their products were. Alice had to admit she had fallen hard for the place and was now known as a regular, stopping in for a cup of coffee on her way to work every morning. Well, when she could spare the time, at least.

The line to the counter started moving again and she dug into her purse for her wallet. Hopefully she had enough cash for an item from the bakery to go along with her drink. The phone call with Mary had put her behind and she didn’t know if she could survive the morning with no food. Plus, it was Tuesday, which meant there were fresh-baked apple cinnamon muffins available. She could already smell them, and her stomach grumbled at the temptation.

“The usual,” Alice said, not looking up. Instead, she continued counting through her change, trying to scrape up enough for her muffin. She really should have gone to the bank yesterday, but she forgot. Her debit card had met with an unfortunate accident in the dryer last week, so she was left to nickel and dime her way through her morning routine.

“I don’t know what the usual is,” a male voice said, causing her to glance up.

She knew everyone that worked here, at least by sight, and the man in front of her was definitely not someone she recognized. He was tall, but built solid with muscle, and would have looked more at home in a gym than behind the counter of a coffee shop.

“Who are you?” she asked, still jarred by the change in her routine. She shook her head once she realized what she’d said. “I’m sorry, that was rude.”

Dividers

About the Book: Coffee Date is a 12,000 word contemporary transgender novella that explores Alice’s struggle to find acceptance, and possibly love, in a world that has not been kind to her on either front.

Release Date: July 1, 2015

Pre-Order Now At: Less Than Three Press

Dividers

writerklynnAbout the Author: K. Lynn has been an avid reader and writer since childhood. While in college, K. Lynn increased her involvement in LGBT issues and writing within the LGBT fiction genre. She has become a long-time fan of the authors that seek to explore the commonality that exists within all sexualities and genders. Most of K. Lynn’s work features LGBT characters, many of whom are in established relationships and show how love perseveres through every trial and tribulation that life holds. She also has a particular interest in seeing transgender characters gain a larger foothold within the LGBT fiction genre, hoping that the market for these works expand in the future.

Contact K. Lynn at writerklynn@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter @WriterKLynn

Standard