You know that feeling you get when the blurb for a book sounds almost too perfect to trust? That is precisely how I felt when Dena Hankins first pitchYou know that feeling you get when the blurb for a book sounds almost too perfect to trust? That is precisely how I felt when Dena Hankins first pitched Lysistrata Cove to me. I mean, a mysterious uncharted island; a superstar with an illicit plan for restoring creative freedoms; a transmasculine gender explorer (and BDSM bottom); and not one, not two, but three kinds of cops. I was hooked, and I was excited, but I was also afraid there was no way it could deliver on the promise inside my head . . . except it totally did.
Honestly, this is one of the most remarkable erotic romances I have had the luxury to enjoy in quite some time. There is a lot going on, both on an emotional and an intellectual level, but it all meshes together in a queer, kinky, seamless fashion.
Jack is a wonderful character, a transmasculine sailor who has chosen to transition in his own way, and at his own pace. He's bold, confident, and refreshingly comfortable in his desire to bottom for beautiful women. There's a tenderness to him, a softness that completes him, but it's that of a happy submissive rather than any lingering influence of femininity. Eve, meanwhile, is even more bold, more confident, and deliciously comfortable in her desire to top beautiful boys and girls. A woman who knows precisely what she wants, she makes a perfect lover and a perfect dominant. Sparks fly from the moment they meet, but it is the erotic dance, the verbal sparring, and the slow seduction that makes their relationship so compelling.
As for the consummation of that relationship . . . whew, it is smoking hot. The erotic scenes here are absolutely sumptuous, with a level of detail that takes your breath away. Seriously, even the act of BDSM negotiations, which most authors gloss over as a tedious necessity, is imbued with sensuous potential. I will leave you to discover most of the fun for yourself, but when Jack comes away from an extended bout of oral pleasure with sore, swollen lips . . . well, you can guess at the erotic intensity involved. As for his favorite granite dildo (no base, with a twist chiseled into it), watching Eve use that on him - in public, no less - is a scene that demands a breather when it is done.
I have to admit, I did not get the full import of what Eve was trying to accomplish on the island at first, and felt it was an unnecessary justification for the tension with Jack. As it begins to drive a wedge between Eve and Harmonie in the second half of the book, however, leading to the troubles with the law, I finally understood - and appreciated it. Yes, there is an element of revenge involved (with a tragic backstory), but what Eve is after is a really fascinating idea, and one that is sure to make readers think about creative freedoms, copyright laws, and piracy.
Succeeding as both an erotic romance and a romantic thriller, Lysistrata Cove is a story that does not rest on the backs of its characters, but which uses them to enhance it. I loved the transgender element here, with Jack being one of my favorite FTM characters ever, and the BDSM element was even stronger. Honestly, there is so much here to love, I cannot recommend it enough.
While I am sure The Bambi Effect might be a nightmare for some people - men and women alike - I cannot think of a happier, sexier, world ending catastWhile I am sure The Bambi Effect might be a nightmare for some people - men and women alike - I cannot think of a happier, sexier, world ending catastrophe than the one dreamed up by Lyka Bloom here.
It all starts when a young man by the name of Ben gets in over his head with a loan shark, and reluctantly agrees to steal a rare book to wipe his slate clean. It is a daring theft, stealing the book right from under a mysterious group of cultists engaged in a night-time ritual, and the opening heist sequence is some of the most exciting stuff Bloom has ever written.
Of course, nothing ever goes precisely according to plan, and Ben gets splashed by the weird pink substance at the center of the ritual. It is while Ben is hiding in an alley, desperately trying to figure out how to evade the pursuing police cars, that the magical transformation begins. As always, Bloom does a wonderful job of detailing the physical transformation from skinny stud to voluptuous bimbo, and it does not take long for Bambi to seduce her first lucky man - transforming him in the process as well.
The second half of the story does a lovely job of exploring the situation, revealing the truth behind the book (and the ritual), and setting up the threat of allowing Bambi to continue her bimbo crusade. It manages to be sexy and scary at the same time, with some sumptuous sex scenes, a great thread of uncontrollable lust and mind control, a lovely bit of shopping, and the final twist/tease of that happy, sexy, world ending catastrophe.
An interesting story, with a wonderful depth of diversity in terms of sex, gender, race, and culture, it sometimes suffers under its own weight. ThereAn interesting story, with a wonderful depth of diversity in terms of sex, gender, race, and culture, it sometimes suffers under its own weight. There are so many characters, and so much originality to the setting/concept, that it often becomes hard to follow. I liked the characters, especially she ship-fueled man/transman romance, but no character really had room to grow....more
Temptations of Desire was an almost perfect romance, complete with two of the sweetest, sexiest men ever to fall in love between the pages of a book.Temptations of Desire was an almost perfect romance, complete with two of the sweetest, sexiest men ever to fall in love between the pages of a book. I will get to that almost in a minute, but first let me gush about what I loved.
Lexie and Dal are the perfect couple. They are both sweet, funny, and romantic, coming across more as two lovestruck teens than grown men with careers. Seriously, your heart would have to be pretty cold (and your phobia pretty deep) not to love these two. Dal is a big, burly, motorcycle riding cop, but that is where the stereotype ends. He is a tender and compassionate man who acts like the suitor in a fairy tale romance. As for Alex, he is a very feminine young man, openly gender-fluid, who is haunted (but not defined) by his painful past.
As for their romance, it is so sweet, so passionate, it just makes your heart soar. I kept waiting for Tempeste O'Riley to throw a wrench into the works - and she does, but nothing she does can keep them apart. There are at least a half dozen points in the story where a less confident author would allow the conflict to boil over, artificially sundering the lovers, just to come up with a big, sexy reunion later on. Not here.
The cast of supporting characters are fantastic as well, especially Chase and Rhys (you can pick up Desires' Guardian for their backstory). An equally believable, equally lovable gay couple, they really serve to help drive the story along. Kai, Lexie's best friend and brother-by-choice, is one character I would love to know more about, and Mr. Harrison, his wealthy employer, is the kind of man we all could use in our lives.
As for that almost, there is a murder mystery slipped into the story that just did not work for me. Maybe you have to have read the previous book to appreciate it, but it feels very hesitant, and does not mess with the rest of the story. There are points I actually thought it forgotten, only for it to reappear, and the resolution is probably my biggest issue with the tale. No spoilers, but the big, final confrontation happens entirely outside the story, with us only getting a recap after-the-fact.
That almost concern aside, Lexie and Dal are the sweetest couple ever, and Temptations of Desire is just a gorgeous romance that does something wonderful with gender, without making a big deal about it. Of course, if (like me) you are desperate to explore that angle a little deeper, the short story Truth in Lace provides us with crossdressing backstory.
Mix a desperate grad student, a lonely professor, a greedy med student, and an untested surgical process, and you get Gender Proof. This was a bit of Mix a desperate grad student, a lonely professor, a greedy med student, and an untested surgical process, and you get Gender Proof. This was a bit of an odd story, in that it could have either been a lot darker or a lot more technical, but Jessie Ash strikes a comfortable balance between mad science and wish fulfillment in what ends up being a surprisingly romantic tale.
Kevin is a smart guy, finishing up his degree in behavioral psychology, but he tends to play it too safe . . . too serious. When his professor rejects his final research study on tadpoles, he has no choice but to go with his roommate's suggestion of exploring reverse sexism with the help of a temporary, completely reversible sex change called Gendora Tempora.
As a woman, Kevin has to learn how to walk, talk, and act in keeping with his new body. He has to deal with flattery, seduction, and even some borderline harassment, but he also finds romance, discovering a lot about himself. There is some nice drama to the tale, and even some real danger in the closing chapters. I would have loved to see Jessie take things a bit further, and explore more of his struggles, but that is testament to how much I enjoyed the story.
While not one of her best tales, Bottle Blonde was still a fun tale, with Lyka Bloom putting a transgender twist on the old genie in the lamp.
What youWhile not one of her best tales, Bottle Blonde was still a fun tale, with Lyka Bloom putting a transgender twist on the old genie in the lamp.
What you have here is the standard cautionary tale of being careful what you wish for. Genies are clever, capricious beings, and they are always looking to twist our words around in an effort to set themselves free. It might seem like a safe wish to become the kind of person your crush could love, but if she turns out to be a lesbian . . . well, things can get complicated. Similarly, wishing for the confidence to enjoy your new body seems like a smart move, but . . . well, you get the idea.
The first wish is the best part of the story, as Brian and his genie get to know one another, and they set the ground rules for wishing. There is a lot of detail here that brings the story to life, but the potential romance is sets up is something we never get to explore. The second wish is a hot and quick one, exploring that question of confidence, but it really did leave me wishing (no pun intended) for a continuation of the first. The final wish, however, wraps things up nicely, ending on quite an emotional jolt.
As a final note, it may be a formatting issue, or it may be a matter of misplaced preview text, but the opening of the story is rather confusing. My advice is to read the Prologue, skip over the Third Wish section that immediately follows, and go right to the First Wish.
This was such a marvelous read, distinguished by some absolutely lovely characters and a unique relationship. An utterly captivating heroic fantasy stThis was such a marvelous read, distinguished by some absolutely lovely characters and a unique relationship. An utterly captivating heroic fantasy story on its own, with some real drama and tension in the plotting, populated by bisexual lovers, eunuchs, and a gender-swapped heroine. Some stories you breeze through to get to the end, and some you linger with, reluctant to say goodbye. This was definitely one of the latter....more
Of all the stories I have read from Courtney Captisa and Claire Bear, I do have to say that Son to Daughter: A Mother's Day Special Gift is their oddeOf all the stories I have read from Courtney Captisa and Claire Bear, I do have to say that Son to Daughter: A Mother's Day Special Gift is their oddest yet.
The story opens innocently enough (and on a rather sweet note) with a mother's discovery of her 19 year-old son's crossdressing. While shocked and initially confused, she does some research before confronting him about it, and ends up taking a very supportive role in helping him to express that side of himself. It makes for a lovely few chapters, a dream that I am sure many of us have had, culminating in Connor going all out to provide a special mother-daughter Mother's Day adventure.
All is good and sweet up to that point, but then it gets odd. As the cover blurb promises, mom decides that she really likes the idea, and starts pushing Connor (now Caitlyn) into some rather extreme age play - right from diapered infant girl to sweet sixteen princess. The story actually goes even farther to solidify that mother-daughter bond, but the ending is something you must grow into yourselves.
Like I said, it is an odd story, but never icky or creepy. Despite the age play and some public humiliations, Courtney and Claire maintain the sweet-and-innocent feel, and do a lovely job of portraying the mother we have all dreamed of.
Okay, let me begin by admitting to the fact that I am a total cosplay voyeur. I love the effort that goes into it, the talent that it requires, and thOkay, let me begin by admitting to the fact that I am a total cosplay voyeur. I love the effort that goes into it, the talent that it requires, and the total dedication the best cosplayers demonstrate to their characters. Normally, I am not a people watcher, and I am not comfortable in a crowd, but give me a safe corner at a convention and I can devour cosplayers with my eyes all day long.
That brings us to The Cosplay Connection by Sakura von Sternberg, which combines three of my favorite things - transgender characters, erotic encounters, and extreme cosplay. It is a story of a young couple who have settled into something of a rut in their relationship, with their very different interests at an anime convention adding further strain to their relationship. While Marcus heads off for a little tabletop gaming, Lisa ends up stalking the stunningly gorgeous cosplayer dressed as her own character's arch nemesis.
The chase is half of the story here, and I loved the gamut of emotions that Lisa went through in her pursuit. I could so identify with her shy reluctance to introduce herself, and the desperate attempts she made to justify her missed opportunities. The rude 'gender' confrontation between the two vendors seemed out of place but, sadly rings all-too true. Fortunately, Lisa's carefully considered response to the revelation is perfectly sublime:
"I was still attracted to her. Not as a sexual novelty. Not as a scientific specimen to be poked and prodded by some curious cis girl. But as a woman: a dazzling, seductive, self-confident woman."
Perhaps the best part of the story, however, is the way Lisa and Gretchen - or, rather Damiana Valentine and Miyuki Sagawa - remain in character throughout the chase, the seduction, and their eventual erotic encounter. It makes for such a fun story, adding a level of fantasy that really accentuates the tale.
I cannot remember the last time a story made me feel so good, so happy, and so blissfully content.
QUILTBAG Content: Well, the entire story is built around the idea of 'coerced' bisexuality, which escalates into some sissy crossdressing by the end.
FQUILTBAG Content: Well, the entire story is built around the idea of 'coerced' bisexuality, which escalates into some sissy crossdressing by the end.
Fetish Content: This is a future in which submissive white hubbies gleefully embrace their lives as bisexual sissy-wives, and in which their wives enjoy them more as lesbian lovers than as once-men. We get extreme feminization (cosmetic and surgical), public exposure, extremely high heels, pegging/plugging, dildo-play, oral servicing, and a loving sort of domination.
Literary Quality: While I haven't read all the books in the Chastity Cuckold Tales, this 12th volume is the strongest I've read yet. It's a complete story, with a nice introduction that establishes the how/why of a black-owned future, some exciting dialogue, and well-detailed scenes of eroticism. The sissy-hubby mindset is particularly vibrant, and what makes it such a fun read.
Spank Bank Rating: I'd call this a long, slow, satisfying spank, a story with plenty of build-up to tease and excite, with sexually charged moments on every page, and a climax that delivers.
Overall: With a title like Black Daddy - white sissy, you know exactly what you're getting (especially if you're at all familiar with Constance Pennington Smythe). It's her strongest tale yet, and I really hope she decides to revisit her future again. If you're into heavy-duty feminization, but don't like it tainted by extreme humiliation, then this is a perfect read.