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A Boy Called Cin

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On the search for a cup of coffee before the guest lecture he's giving, Tom spies a tired, half-frozen young man who looks even more need of coffee than him. On impulse, he buys the man a cup—but an attempt to strike up conversation ends in the young man walking off, seemingly put off by Tom Walford—the tabloids’ favourite billionaire—buying him coffee. But when he reappears in Tom's lecture, all Tom knows is that he doesn't want the man slipping away a second time.

Agreeing to dinner with a man he only knows from internet gossip columns isn't the wisest decision Cin's ever made, but he wants to like the infamous Tom Walford and he can't do that if he doesn't give the man a fair chance to be likeable. Which he is, almost frustratingly so, to the point Cin wishes maybe he hadn't been so fair because he never had any intention of getting attached to Tom, who seems to come from a world far too different from his own for anything between them to last. Little does Cin know, they’ve got a lot more in common than he imagines—including their shared discomfort with their assigned genders, and all the complications that go with it.

169 pages, ebook

First published July 8, 2015

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About the author

Cecil Wilde

16 books65 followers
Cecil Wilde resides in Australia, accompanied by a cat who takes up most of the bed, a family of possums in the roof space, and more spiders than they’re entirely comfortable with. They write altogether cuter queer romance than their image as a grumpy cynic might suggest.

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5 stars
102 (27%)
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152 (40%)
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83 (22%)
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26 (6%)
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14 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 112 reviews
Profile Image for Alison Evans.
Author 11 books185 followers
August 27, 2019
I think this book is important because it's not written for cis people. If you are cis, I recommend this to you. In books by cis people, trans people are defined by discomfort, pain, gender dysphoria and this book directly addresses this issue. This isn't the trans narrative that cis people are used to.

TLDR; trans books written by trans people are very important.
Profile Image for Xan.
619 reviews274 followers
June 25, 2020
This is a seriously beautiful, radical, trans and non-binary centered romance that blows me away. Cis gaze is only in the book as far as the non-binary character has internalized it, and that's gently and firmly challenged by the trans love interest.

I just finished rereading this book for the third time, about 18 months after my first read. I picked it up at the end of a really rough gender day, and have been slowly sipping it over the course of several days, as a way of holding it close as a comfort read. I mentioned picking it up again, and a trans friend called it "the ultimate trans comfort read." I think he's right, at least for me. I needed this book this week, and I'm glad to have been able to hold it close. 

I fell so hard for A Boy Called Cin because it felt like it held my experience more closely than any other trans romance I’d read, that it was written for me as a non-binary trans reader. Part of that was because there wasn’t a cis love interest. It shaped the book, on a really deep level. 

I was breathless and verklempt reading A Boy Called Cin. It hits so many notes at once in a very lovely way, and feels very firmly written for trans &/or non-binary readers.

If you were hoping for a billionaire romance that centers trans and/or non-binary people getting their financial dreams come true, this book is for you.

A Boy Called Cin takes these classic romance tropes like May/December romance and billionaire romance, and shows what they might be like if they were trans and non-binary centered. Shows what a romance arc might look like if the cis gaze wasn’t part of it, except in the ways that trans and/or non-binary people internalize it and need to unlearn it. It shows the critical importance of deeply consensual negotiated sex for trans and/or non-binary people, how central that needed to be in order for both characters to feel seen and respected in their genders. It doesn’t just center two trans and/or non-binary characters; I loved the way even the secondary characters were pretty much almost all trans.

I love it most for the way its so deeply trans & non-binary centered, for the fabulous sexual negotiation that's deeply trans and non-binary. and especially for Cin. I fell so damn hard for Cin right along with Tom, his grumpiness, his certainty about the importance of boundaries & consent, the way he really saw Tom.

For me, one of the most amazing things that can happen in sex and in kink is to have my partner see my gender and hold space for me to be who I am. And it’s incredibly tender for me to do that for my trans and/or non-binary partners. That kind of recognition is rare enough in life; it’s even more rare in fiction. There was something so intense and beautiful about getting to read an entire love story that included those experiences of recognition in a larger romance arc. It made me cry, to watch Tom get to have that for the first time after years of not having it in his sex life. To watch Cin get to offer that, and be held and honored in return by Tom. It felt like it had cracked scars open, and they were getting the light and air they needed to begin to heal. It made me feel less alone.

I know that this book will be read by many as fantasy wish fulfillment for Cin (the whole billionaire thing). And it definitely is that. But for me, as a genderqueer reader, Cin is a fantasy of a dream lover who sees your gender & holds space for you to be who you are. It happens during sex, as well, which feels like such a gift to me personally. I just swooned for the ways sex is working in this book.

I am very grateful that A Boy Named Cin exists in the world. This is a trans m/nb romance that really touched my heart and gave me so many feels. It gave me comfort on a day when I needed it, and created a pocket of space that could really hold my gender. I needed that more than I knew.

A Boy Called Cin gives me so much hope for the kinds of trans and/or non-binary romance books that are possible.

Content Warnings
Profile Image for K.J. Charles.
Author 58 books8,110 followers
December 16, 2015
Loads of things to love about this. Cin is a delight, grumpy and cynical and vulnerable and determined. The relationship with Tom is very sweetly developed, and the author can really write. What I think I most liked though was the normality of it. This is a bi genderqueer man with a bi trans man, and dysphoria/its consequences was an issue in their sex life, but it wasn't a 'Big Traumatic Issue' issue. It was a *thing*, like the other things you get in romance novels, no more or less. A thing they negotiated and worked through and became stronger for. I'm cis, and can't comment on the accuracy of the handling, but the characters felt real to me (as May-December billionaire Cinderella romances go, obviously.)

In many ways this is a classic tropey romance in fact, a feelgood wish-fulfilment read. I found it very sweet and often funny. The time jumps could be a little jarring at points, but otherwise a smooth, fluent read. Gorgeous cover, too.
Profile Image for Aleksandra.
1,409 reviews
February 12, 2018
4.5 stars

A Boy Called Cin is charming and marvelous romance novel about twenty year old art student trans man Cin and forty year old business genderqueer Tom. I adore this book! It's so well-written, the romance is swoon-worthy and so healthy and delightful. I love both of the main characters and their relationship. It's a romance-focused book, with steady well-developed romance with mutual attraction, love and care for each other.

I love how important consent is in this story (as it should be). The clear enthusiastic consent is a must for any sexual activities. The character discuss their limits and set boundaries and they are so so good with it. I adore this aspect of the novel. The book has frank conversation about gender, bodies and limits, although, there's not much explicit sexual scenes.
As the characters are trans, there are lots of conversation about it, but not in educational way. They feel natural because Cin and Tom share their experiences.

It's important to say that the book has ownvoices trans rep and diverse lgbtq+ cast of characters.

The only thing I wish was clearer in the book is the time jumps. The events takes place over the course of two years, sometime intervals between chapters or subchapters are couple of hours, sometimes months. I wish the book had more distinct time signifiers. Just a minor complaint.

It's an amazing novel and I want everyone to read it! I had the best of time reading this book and meeting these lovely characters. I'm definitely going to read another book by Cecil Wilde.

Content warning: dysphoria, abusive unsupportive parents (discussion of past events, parents don't have power over the MCs), transophobic parents.
Profile Image for Mel.
648 reviews78 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
May 9, 2017
Update at 44%

Oh my. The writing style is kinda really bad. There is absolutely no flow between the scenes and the constant jumping to the next is totally putting me off. It's taking a lot away from my reading enjoyment.

On the other hand, I appreciate that our billionaire Tom is no alpha and that this book is not playing into the usual tropes. But I actually wonder at this point what it's adding to the story. Is it just a fun gimmick? It is creating a little angst concerning a possible future for Tom and Cin but I could really do without.

Then I love that this book is so sex positive and gender non-conformative. There is so much freedom here and that is just so, so good to read about. I'm actually peeved that I probably won't continue with the book and miss out on this part.

The characters are okay, I guess, but to be honest, they are lacking depth and agency. Apart from what they are working through with the sex and gender part, I don't see much of anything else.

Even the kissing and cuddling is not doing much for me anymore. While I found that really sweet in the beginning, now, whenever I start to bond with the characters again, there's a jump in the scene and I feel cut off.

I feel so meh about most of this book, I think I will just probably move on to something else...
195 reviews5 followers
July 22, 2015
I rather liked the idea of this book, as I rarely see bisexual or transgender characters, let alone characters who are both, let alone a supporting cast including trans characters. As an exercise in exploring gender issues and dysphoria I appreciated the story. Having characters frankly discuss their sexual preferences and negotiate how their sex lives together would progress instead of making assumptions or coercing each other was fantastic to see in a romance novel. A++ would recommend to every romance author - it's a good thing to have the adult characters discuss their sex lives like adults without judgment or condemnation. And with transgender and gender-queer characters too!

But this book fell flat for me as a story. Tom and Cin felt more like instructional characters when it came to sex, and their actual romance felt like a 2-D wish-fulfillment than a real relationship. I don't know. I wanted to like their relationship but it just felt like there was no substance to it outside of gender issues. And maybe I'm too jaded (or really I just read a lot of trashy novels) but even the kinky bits felt a little too dry and/or educational to be racy.

Overall I was glad to see bisexuality and transgender alongside sex-positive attitudes and accepting relationships. I just wish the characters and their relationship felt more substantive.

I was provided an advanced copy of this book through Netgalley.
Profile Image for Shira Glassman.
Author 27 books507 followers
January 16, 2016
A Boy Named Cin is a luscious piece of wish-fulfillment in which a character who is basically the amiable, generous, bisexual nerd-programmer-billionaire (that probably has Steve Jobs as his Mirror Universe Evil Twin) falls for a bratty young art student undergrad basically because said art-student isn't groveling in front of him like everybody else is.

This is a delicious older-man dream, a billionaire romance that I actually saw the point of for once. (I mean, billionaire romances are supposed to be wish-fulfillmenty, and of course this was deliciously wish-fulfillmenty.... I guess this is a wish that I can relate to.) And because the author put so much energy into making sure that both characters felt equally vulnerable, they seemed to be real people rather than roles. The Steve Jobs analogue is dysphoric about his gender, but not in a way I'd ever encountered before -- he doesn't seem to want to transition or even change his pronouns so much as just have deep discomfort with his AMAB body.

This is contrasted with his young snarky boyfriend, who gets a Cinderella transition narrative written from the inside (the author is nonbinary.) So it's not "older cis man saves young trans man", it's the two men saving each other and by the time the younger man accepts that kind of help it's actually a big accomplishment on the older dude's part to get him to trust him enough to consider it, and what's more, he's not cis so that really changes the dynamic.

The sex scenes were especially focused on exploring comfort and discomfort within a relationship between two trans people, and sometimes they didn't have sex, either. This book has a lot of cuddling scenes and they felt totally natural; you believe it as a reader that they're enjoying that on its own level and that sex would have felt weird for them at that moment. In other words, the sex isn't just there to give the audience some frosting on the cake but are part of the characterization.

You also get a great supporting cast of one MC's cis queer girl bestie and the other's trans sister. They're adorable, too.

One time when I was visiting my best friend when she was in vet school, we went to a steakhouse where I ordered an improbably perfect dish. It was a salad (I love salad) with steak on it (I love steak), BEETS, one of the cheeses I can eat without taking a pill, and I forgot what else, but the point was that every item in the salad was something I love. Usually, that doesn't happen when you dine out. You get a protein you want with some useless sides, or you get a fantastic salad with all the veggies you love but no hopes of a protein beyond uninspired, underseasoned grilled chicken. This was different. This was something that had all the elements I wanted without any of the stuff I don't like.

Get the picture?

A Boy Named Cin was like that salad, for me: a perfect little book and pretty much everything I'd want in a m/m book with a trans man, especially since I like older men. I'd been getting increasingly frustrated recently with the fact that so many romances have that scene near the end where the couple nearly breaks up, or does break up, before their happy ending. I just plain old don't enjoy reading that. This book did not do the thing. That's such a relief.

Trigger warning that Cin's birth family sucks, but they're really not in that much of the book.
Profile Image for liz.
746 reviews41 followers
May 17, 2015
Unfortunately, this book didn't work well for me. These are two characters finding ways to be at peace with themselves and each other. I wanted to be invested, but I mostly felt informed. Cin spends much of the book teaching Tom about gender and sexuality. Readers are told over and over how 40yo Tom is being educated by this 20yo boy. Tom hasn't been able to find a sexual partner to really understand his feelings. Suddenly this wise boy gets him. I wish that was just sweet and wonderful. Instead, it was just this side of info-dump. While there weren't pages of definitions, I felt most of the character intimate moments were conversations where Cin assured Tom his feelings were perfectly normal. Some of it read more like therapy sessions than relationship building. I didn't feel much for them together until 80% or so, and by then, I wasn't that interested.

As a personal niggle, I don't particularly care for the phrase "eat you out" or variations of it. The author uses it 8 times in this book. While I like a good rimming scene, that phrase squicks me a little. Totally a personal taste issue.

I was provided an advanced copy of this book through Netgalley.
Profile Image for amomentsilence.
327 reviews55 followers
August 14, 2015
That was pretty sweet. I can't begin to explain how satisfying that was to read, even more so because it ended happily with no one hurt or dying or mauled or anything. Might just be one of the best things I've read focusing on genderqueer characters and relationships in a long frigging time.

*proper review coming over the weekend*
Profile Image for Max.
103 reviews61 followers
January 23, 2016
TRANS ROMANCE NOVEL!!! It got very "gender 101" at times in the first half, and the billionaire age difference thing isn't usually for me, but god, I loved it anyway. The characters were cute and believable, their romance was sweet (if lacking conflict pretty much throughout the entire book), and also, TRANS PEOPLE IN A ROMANCE NOVEL. WHO GET A HAPPY ENDING. It made me so happy.
Profile Image for Elisabeth Lane.
407 reviews131 followers
December 16, 2015
I picked up this book based on a post over at Queer Romance Month because the author's sense of humor hit me just right. That's generally a pretty good indication that I will get along with their books and in the case of Cecil Wilde, that played out exactly as I expected. A Boy Called Cin was an emotional, romantic and sexy read that I couldn't put down.

From the moment of the meet-cute (or is that meet-pretentious-and-irritable?) Cin, short for Hyacinth, and Tom had me right away. Cin is a university art student and Tom is a world-famous software developer who happens to be guest lecturing at the college. When Tom buys Cin a coffee, they have a brief debate in which it is made clear that Cin definitely knows who Tom is and doesn't think much of him. Seeing as we're in Tom's head for this brief encounter, we get a clear view of how self-aware and self-deprecating he is, which keeps him from being a badass billionaire prettyboy along the lines of Christian Grey (which he would otherwise be, minus the BDSM). Cin is sarcastic, difficult to impress and completely wonderful. He's also trans, though we don't discover that until a bit later. Plus Tom is about twice Cin's age, which is complete trope catnip for me.

This very promising beginning is largely borne out in the rest of the book, which is sweet, funny, sexy and utterly charming. Despite working through some potentially fraught topics (family stuff, gender dysphoria, transitioning) it remains overwhelmingly light-hearted and angst-free. There's a sense that these are both grown-ups and they pursue grown-up solutions to their personal and relationship challenges. There is a lot of detail about how these particular queer characters interact with their own bodies, how they have experienced sex in the past and how they like to be touched. It was wonderful to see them discover things about themselves and each other in a largely safe environment. All while falling convincingly in love. It even ended in marriage, which made my heart happy.

I was also appreciative of how Cin & Tom's sexual relationship develops--they take it slow with lots of kissing and cuddling, they talk about where they like to be touched and don't, they explore together what's good and what isn't. In the world of heterosexual romance, I often see scenarios where a young woman is tutored in sexual matters by an older man who shows her and tells her what will feel good for her. Even in cases where a woman has some sexual experience, it often wasn't fulfilling until she met her true love. The same is true of Tom here (the older partner, in a subversive shift, who hasn't always had fulfilling sexual experiences), but rather than magically knowing how to touch him and what to do, Cin asks Tom questions and constantly checks in during their encounters. They actually have to communicate to find personal and sexual fulfillment. It's hot, but it's also emotionally rich and realistic. Watching them learn to trust each other and develop a relationship over the course of what seems to be a bit over a year is some of the best, most romantic, romance writing I've seen recently.

Not that the book is perfect. The age difference, which at 20 years is pretty significant, rarely makes an impression on the couple or anyone else. I probably only noticed because it's a favorite trope of mine, but I would have liked to have seen that explored a bit more fully. At basically the length of a category romance though, you can't cover everything and the topics the book ended up working through in detail were ultimately sufficiently interesting to me that I wasn't too upset with the lack of age gap conflict. Finally, there were a few craft issues in the form of some head-hopping and language misses. Just little things, but when the dialogue wasn't quite right it pulled me out of the narrative. But it was all really minor in comparison to the strength of the story played out.

All in all, A Boy Called Cin was a terrific book that I ended up reading in one sitting. What with the trope subversion, wry humor and lack of queer stereotyping, there's a lot to love. Wilde has a few other books out and I'm curious to take a look at them. With such a compelling voice, I suspect they may turn out to be a writer I will love no matter what they come up with.
Profile Image for ~ Lei ~ Reading Is An Adventure ~.
1,167 reviews242 followers
October 11, 2015
★★★★☆ ~ 4 Stars
Not my usual type of read but when I saw it was available as a prize in the 2015 M/M Anniversary Celebration, I jumped on it and I wasn't disappointed.

When businessman Tom brings a cup of coffee to a young, half-frozen guy at the college he's giving a lecture at is the beginning of an interesting and rewarding romance.

As it works out although Tom and Cin have an age gap and money gap among other things, they have a surprising amount of things in common. I was curious and this book was informative but not over the top public service announcement.

They found acceptance of each other in more than just surface looks. Cin is ftm transgender and Tom is genderqueer and does not want his penis touched or used in sexual relations. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all so please don't perceive insult when there is none meant. I had the dictionary up a lot.

But they worked together with a lot of communication and humor. Sexual content was sensual and adventurous within their boundaries. And surprisingly low angst.

I found this an enjoyable and informative read.
Profile Image for Relly.
1,297 reviews21 followers
May 20, 2015
Review Copy from Netgalley

This one didn’t work for me
I liked the idea of this book from the blurb, and did like some aspects of the storyline but the narration style didn’t work for me. I prefer to feel the emotions with the characters, but in this case felt like I was being told the emotions not feeling them and this made it that I was unable to connect with the characters, and struggled to feel their connection.
Tom didn’t work for me as a character and I’m going to struggle to verbalise why. Understanding that he did have issues of his own, he came across as very unsure of himself, always second guessing what he was saying so as not to upset Cin. I would have liked him to sometimes just speak what was on his mind without the internal worry.
I liked Cin. He came across as really abrasive at times, but I think that was mainly due to his extreme unhappiness inside his own body.
Profile Image for Mercedes.
1,080 reviews92 followers
October 22, 2015
3.5 stars

I really enjoyed this. If I had to describe in two words I would say sensible and mature.
Profile Image for Eloise.
593 reviews238 followers
February 20, 2018
Wow that was cute.
There was more smut than i'd first expected but actually, it was so well done. All the discussions about gender and dysphoria and respect in sexual activities despite dysphoria... All of that was beautiful and a great example of how to act and react.
The two characters are at different places in their gender discovery but they are so good for each other, helping each other and simply loving each other in the best possible way.
You can't help but smile and laugh and be super happy for these great people.
Profile Image for Love Bytes Reviews.
2,529 reviews36 followers
July 14, 2015
5 Heart Review by Carissa

Tom’s a billionaire tech-genius who just wants to share a cup of coffee with the cute guy near the coffee cart. He wasn’t expecting to get insulted for the gift of caffeine, but he kind of likes it anyways. It is always nice to have people who don’t treat him like some type of god. Plus, Cin took the coffee, so mission accomplished. When Tom spots Cin at the lecture he is giving later that day, he decides that one coffee is clearly not enough, and asks Cin out. And so begins a beautiful relationship…

…that is about as easy as you would expect for two guys who have twenty years between them, a whole host of gender issues, and about a billion little difference in their bank accounts. So, not easy at all. But Tom knows that it might just all be worth it.

I loved this book, let’s just put that out there. I absolutely loved it. I was crying and happy and sighing thru the whole thing. That is what, I think, makes for great reading. The fact that I can totally connect with the characters is something I long for when I read, and I was so glad to get it in A Boy Called Cin.

I totally recommend you read this book.

Even if you are not trans.

Even if you are not genderqueer.

Even if you are not a billionaire, or an artist, or a student, or tech-savvy.

You should totally read this book. Because even if you are not any of those things, or you are all those things, these are stories that need to be told. And told well.

Sometimes Cin having to constantly reassure Tom got a bit repetitive. And sometimes the story seemed a bit fairy-tale. But you know what? I don’t care. Because Cin and Tom (and all the rest) brought this story to life in a way that had me wrapped around their fingers. I can put up with a few small annoyances for that. And I have done so many many times in the past.

But what I love–and I do mean love–about this book is the hope that it gives to the reader. That anyone and everyone deserves a happily-ever-after. Not just the cute little gay boys that fill the m/m genre. Everyone. And the people who are not defined by birth, and who demand the right to be themselves, are not just side characters there for comic relief. They are just as fitting, and just as in need of MC roles, as all the others.

This book is not the sole definition of how trans or genderqueer people live and love. But it is a story about how they can love. How they live, and what they live thru.

And yes, there are mentions of vaginas–or, well, one vagina. And even if this gets me yelled at, can I just say that if that is the sole reason you reject this book I need you to grow the fuck up. Or at least not complain about it to me. I can not force you to read books–and believe me that would be a superpower worth having–but I can request, plea, and urge you to put aside preconceived notions about sexuality and gender and just let the characters tell you a story.

Because it is a really good story.

This book was provided free in exchange for a fair and honest review for Love Bytes. Go there to check out other reviews, author interviews, and all those awesome giveaways. Click below.
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Profile Image for Alison.
762 reviews30 followers
May 17, 2017
3.5 stars. This was nice and wonderfully queer. I love that it's an own-voices, feel-good romance between a cool trans person and a cool genderqueer person because that's not something one sees very often in romance and it gets bonus points for that. This is a sweet and fairly quiet Cinderella-type of romance between two people who talk about things a lot and make their relationship work through a thorough examination of what they both want and need. It's wonderful ordinary (but also special and satisfying) in that way, despite the billionaire situation. It's very queer and full of happy wish-fulfilment, and that's awesome.
Profile Image for namericanwordcat.
2,442 reviews408 followers
May 19, 2018
Tom and Cin.

I adored the love story of Tom and Cin. The exploration of sexuality is powerful here.

Cin is wiser than Tom about gender in many ways because he is younger and grew up in the time of the internet and gender studies. This knowledge helps with power imblance that might be brought on by Tom's age and wealth.

Tom is lovely and watching him settle into his truth is powerful.

I love the way issues around money are handled here realistically and the levels of emotionial bravery in this book is grand.

The frank conversations are wonderful and the characters are fully realized and whole in themselves. Watching Tom and Cin form a true partnership is a pleasure.

I love the secondary players as well.

There are elements that could have been strong. I am not sure where Cin goes to school exactly and it is confusing to not know where they are in terms of location and traveling between locations. We get a bit of the parents of both leads but not as nuanced in Cin's case as possible.

These are just quibbles.

A finely wrought romance.

Profile Image for N.M. Pratt.
Author 1 book40 followers
September 24, 2018
Perhaps I’ve been reading the wrong books. This is, by far, the best book I have read where gender identity is truly fluid. Cin is a person I would want as a friend or a lover. This book was low on angst, had some wonderful “non traditional” sex scenes and was just all around wonderful.
Profile Image for Monika.
508 reviews146 followers
July 5, 2018
This is a sweet, cute, and HAPPY bi trans/nonbinary story. It's so nice to have positive #ownvoices rep like this! 😊 I feel like any issues I had with it fell into the "it's not you, dear book...it's me" category. So while it was just "good" for me personally, it's definitely a must-read for those who enjoy romance novels.
Profile Image for Jules Lovestoread.
603 reviews50 followers
July 13, 2015
This was a really interesting read…I’m actually having a bit of trouble putting into words all of my thoughts on this book. I’m not gonna do any type of synopsis recap – which I don’t typically do much of in my reviews anyway – but instead, I’m going with a sort of stream-of-consciousness of my thoughts.

I liked both main characters quite a bit. Tom is a sexy billionaire with a heart of gold, and Cin is a twenty-year-old art student. Cin is snarky and intelligent, and, honestly, seems very put-together for being so young. Tom is basically just a huge sweetheart, who seems to wear his heart on his sleeve. They were very cute and sweet together. In fact, for the most part, that’s how I would characterize A Boy Called Cin: cute and sweet. I would describe it as fairytale-ish, even – which I think perhaps was the author’s intent. I don’t think that every book that deals with heavy subjects has to necessarily feel heavy, so in that regard I like what Cecil Wilde did here.

A Boy Called Cin deals with gender topics that are oftentimes confusing for a lot of people, transgender and gender dysphoria, or genderqueer, mainly. Cin is transgender, born biologically female, but identifies as male. Tom, we discover, is genderqueer. He doesn’t feel like a girl, per se, but doesn’t always feel entirely male either. Then, the author throws in there that Tom’s sister, Poppy, is also trans. Now, I love diversity in my books. I have really enjoyed the few transgender-related books that I’ve read, but I think Cecil Wilde tried to do too much here. Learning about Cin and what he was going through, and what he needed in order to truly feel like himself, was interesting and engaging.
Tom’s story, on its own, is interesting. I would have been more satisfied with the story, though, if the two hadn’t been combined, not to mention bringing the transgender sister into the mix. I think Tom could have been the same intelligent, handsome, open-hearted, open-minded man that he was, who fell in love with Cin just as he was, without him also having gender issues. I felt like it took away from Cin’s story a bit. That’s just my opinion, of course. Perhaps the author is writing from experience, though…maybe a similar thing happened to them in their life. Who knows? I realize it’s not my story. As far as a reading experience, however, it was a lot to wrap my mind around.

The other slightly quirky thing about the book was the writing style. Written in the present tense, it definitely jumped out at me. On the one hand, it was kind of cool; the book read as a documentary almost – a sort of a play by play of the action. As most fiction books are written in the past tense, it was noticeably different. Unfortunately, because of that it was also somewhat of a distraction. I have to admit that it did pull me out of the story on several occasions, just because my mind kept recognizing it as unusual. It came across as somewhat less personal at times, especially during some of the more intimate scenes.

Overall, I enjoyed the characters and the snappy dialogue very much. Cin and Tom were just as cute as they could be. The book was definitely thought-provoking as well. I think if you can go into it with an open mind, and overlook some of the tidy set-ups, you will enjoy it and even learn a few things you may not have previously understood about gender.
Profile Image for Amanda.
578 reviews62 followers
September 8, 2019
This! book!

Can I just start off by saying that this book is SO QUEER. LIKE, not just the protagonists, but EVERYONE IS QUEER! I'm not sure there are any non-LGBTQIA characters in this book aside from VERY minor secondary characters? And that is so notable to me because there are a lot of books--ahem, especially ones written by cishet authors--that have like, one queer character who seems to know no other queer people. I mean, not saying this can't be someone's reality, but I don't want to see it in fiction. I want queer people to have queer friends and coworkers and family members!

This was on my TBR for a while languishing but after I saw this recommended a few times on Twitter by the wonderful Corey Alexander (@TGStoneButch), I knew I had to bump it up. I wish I had read this book sooner because it's just WONDERFUL. BTW, they've written a review for this book here: https://coreysbookcorner.wordpress.co...

Ok, so this book is an age gap romance, which is catnip to a lot of people but usually not my thing, and it also has a billionaire trope that I don't usually go for, but fuck it, why can't queer people get their billionaire romance sometimes? Plus, Cin basically calls Tom a capitalist pig when he meets him and I knew I was in love from that first meeting! I appreciated that the money and age difference weren't a source of a TON of angst--they're brought up plenty, sure, and Cin is never really comfortable with Tom's money, but equally and importantly(!) I never felt there was a power imbalance because despite being a broke college student, Cin gives SO MUCH to Tom.

This book explores consent better than possibly any book I've ever read. Cin teaches Tom a lot about how important it is to have a partner who listens to you and respects your choices. They start off by cuddling and kissing a lot, but when it becomes more intimate, they talk a lot and this felt so important particularly to Tom. I felt like he questioned whether his identity as non-binary was valid; in response, Cin literally gives him the words to help him work through this. They're so patient with each other as they explore different forms of intimacy. They create this absolutely safe, supportive space and this plays out in both sexual intimacy and just the way they communicate with each other. This was truly the best part of the book for me and it's something that runs throughout the ENTIRE book.

This is a "fluffy" book in a lot of ways, but there are definitely some darker moments, most notably the transphobia Cin is exposed to at college, in the media (after he starts dating Tom), and with his own family. Tom does not have a relationship with his parents and we learn why later in the book. Also, it's written in third person present which confused me sometimes but I didn't even care because I loved it so much. This book left me feeling so happy and giddy and warm and fuzzy and all the good things.
Profile Image for iam.
972 reviews130 followers
September 27, 2019
Reread September 2019: One of my all time favourite comfort reads. I absolutely adore the genderqueer and trans rep in this book, and beyond that the characters and romance between them is wonderful, and the humor made me laugh out loud.

Original review 2018:This is probably one of my all time favourite reads.
"What's the cute boy's name?"
"Is he a stripper?"
"No, no. C-I-N. He's an art student. He thinks I'm a capitalist pig. It's great."
A Boy Called Cin is a wonderful romance novel about Cin, a trans art student, and Tom, a bisexual genderqueer self-made billionaire.

Content warnings include. semi-explicit sex on-page, detailed discussions about and descriptions of various forms disphoria and medical transition, unsupportive and straight up horrible parents, transphobia, age gap of around 20 years, class difference; mentions of child abuse.

Plot-wise it's entirely focused on Tom and Cin's relationship, and it's truly beautiful the entire way through. It takes place over the course of about two years, from their first meeting to their HEA.

There is lots of talk about gender identity and gender expression, and how sex and consent factors into it, and it's incredibly nuanced in the detailed discussions and it's ownvoices trans rep.

Cin and Tom's relationships is one of my favourites I've ever read about. They are open with each other and talk a lot about... anything and everything, but especially about how they can be comfortable with each other and what their relationship means to them, both sexually and in the broader sense.
Their relationship features a very active sex life that is frequently discussed. The sex itself is semi-explicit, the details around it are more often described than the acts themself.

This book made my heart melt so much at so many times and it made me a lil teary at times by how beautiful it is and how much I could relate to it. It's also incredibly funny and has a great sense of humor. There is a tiny bit of angst and a little bit of conflict, but it's always resolved fast and through honest discussion, and overall it's a very happy and hopeful book.
Profile Image for Eddie.
2 reviews
March 7, 2020
A boy called Cin is light-hearted for the most part, respectful (in a great way) and funny at times. All the characters are easily likable and I suppose a lot of people could identify with Cin and Tom (though maybe not the millionaire part). The main couple goes against some deeply-rooted stereotypes of age difference relationship portrayal and it's pretty cool.

Unfortunately, despite all this, I can't say I enjoyed this book at all.

I started reading A boy called Cin thinking I'd love it, but clearly, it simply wasn't meant for me. A lot of things I found annoying about it are so personal someone else may look at them and think they have no idea what I'm talking about.

I disliked the dialogues. I disliked them a lot. They sounded either like gender 101 infomercials or oddly mechanical and unnatural. I disliked that there was so little plot. Up until the very end I kept waiting for something to happen but it... didn't. The main characters have jobs and school but it all seems almost like an afterthought. Cin could be studying medicine and Tom could be an actor and it wouldn't make a difference. The outside world doesn't work like an actual outside world and background characters only ever appear when they have to serve some purpose ().

I think I'd recommend A boy called Cin to you, if you were looking for a sweet Cinderella romance with enthusiastic consent and trans characters. But I wouldn't recommend it if what you're looking for is character development, plot twists or realism. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as we do deserve sweet and unrealistic trans romances. It just wasn't what I was looking for.
Profile Image for Billy.
58 reviews2 followers
August 25, 2021
A trans book by a non-binary trans author - yes, love it!
A nice, cheeky, short story. This is the second book featuring a gay FtM in the past 5 years that I've come across, but my first featuring someone AMAB who is coming to terms with their gender identity and dysphoria over the age of 35.
This is not a coming-out novella. It is a mixture of the sweet and salty that comes with being queer: finding people who accept you and love you unconditionally, being rejected and/or disowned, but also trying to just live and work towards making yourself happy like everyone else in the world.
Or, you know, snagging a Sugar Daddy to pay for stuff... But I can't hate on that, because Wilde wrote them to match so complimentary to each other. Tom is shy and sincere despite every other book with a Sugar Daddy that would presuppose him to be obnoxious and authoritative. Cin is the one who wears the pants; he's confident and sarcastic and I couldn't help but fall in love with both of them like the secret romantic I am.
Profile Image for Samir.
25 reviews10 followers
October 19, 2021
Well this book was definitely the first book I have read with this sort of writing and representation. Cin is an trans, art student and Tom is a bisexual, billionaire tech genius who is twenty years older. I honestly still am not a fan of the whole age difference thing, but I am not apart of the male gay community so I am not sure what the general thoughts on age gap relationships are. Beyond that, I really loved this book and how sweet it was. There were definitely times were it felt like “Gender 101”, but I liked seeing my own experiences validated and shared on the page. The writing style was easy to follow and I loved all of the characters so much.

I liked the lack of conflict between the main two characters and the focus of building trust and sharing with eachother their struggles with dysphoria. A lot of the book is focused on the characters caring for eachother so they can feel happy and safe in their own bodies. This is the first trans romance novel I have read and I really loved seeing characters that were relatable to me!
Profile Image for Antonella.
1,387 reviews
May 19, 2017
After rereading: I've rounded my rating up from 3 to 4 stars because I realised that I often criticise other books with trans characters because I wouldn't put them in the hands of LGBT youth due to the traumatic content. This book is exactly the opposite: no big traumas, no slurs, no assaults. A kind of fairy tale with billionaire., a great read for trans and cis people alike.

Below my original review:
This book get plus points for the genderqueer/transgender aspect, but some other bits are a kind of cliché: first of all I'm a bit sick of billionaires, they crop up too often in romance. . Still, it is an interesting read and I recommend it.

Disclaimer: I'm a white cis woman.
Profile Image for Dannica.
701 reviews24 followers
June 21, 2018
I mostly saw this book pimped as good trans rep and a very nice romance before reading it. Which is pretty much what it is--it's a specific kind of art student wish fulfillment (or maybe millenial wish fulfillment) of finding a nice, mature significant other who has enough money for you to live comfortably without worrying. Which is cool. But also, I'm not hugely a fan of fluff with so little conflict. So it's a good book but didn't do much for me.

That said! It does have some very interesting stuff, like:
-Detailed relationship and sexual negotiation. I really enjoy this stuff. On the other hand, I usually like it more as a side dish, whereas here it seems to be the relationship's main plate.
-A trans man and a genderqueer man navigating each other's boundaries/dysphoria. Oh, and details of the trans man medically transitioning.
-An older man who's much less sexually experienced than his younger partner.

So, if those things float your boat you'll probably be into it.
Profile Image for Ladz.
Author 1 book35 followers
July 24, 2018
Recommended to me by a dear friend of mine, this book was a nice reprieve to the emotionally draining epic fantasy near and dear to my heart. A Boy Called Cin is a short tale about a trans artist who goes out to coffee with a dashing billionaire and romance blossoms.

It's really touching and the frankness of the conversations between these two characters is really well done. There's almost no interpersonal conflict, but I loved the journey of self-discovery both men go on. Oh, and the sex. The sex in this one is really good. With each scene, there's another checkpoint of their personal journey unlocked and it's really well done.

If you want something a bit on the lighter side that's all joy, definitely consider picking this one up.
Profile Image for SammiSue.
75 reviews5 followers
August 14, 2018
That was an elegantly done, sweet love story about transgender love!

The characters are so well developed and genuine. I started reading it knowing that it was about a transman going into and through a relationship and was pleasantly surprised to experience Tom's gender insecurities as well.

This was a very straightforward and hilarious read and I highly recommend it.
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