Xan West's Reviews > Coffee Boy

Coffee Boy by Austin Chant
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So, I would give this 4.5 stars, I'm rounding up.

I already know I am going to reread this again. It captures a trans experience that I know deeply, and it is the first book I've read that does so. It stirred up all these feels, because of that. This book really holds the reality of what it's like to be a non-passing trans guy at the workplace. A reality I know well. (I am non-binary, but was read as a non-passing trans guy on the job for the last 13 years. So, while my situation is not identical to Kierans, it has substantial overlap.) The inexorable experience of being misgendered all day, every day, including by people that are well-meaning and kind in other ways, grappling with imagining a future of work being like this, being glad that other people correct folks about pronouns and also just wanting both your transness and the way it's a problem for other people not put you at the center all the time. This aspect of the story feels so critically important and so deeply needed in representation that I was pretty thoroughly distracted by it.

But yes, there is a romance at the center of this book, and it has a sweetness to it that I really enjoyed. The dislike turning to crush is lovely as it unfolds, the way they seek intimacy with each other and step back is a dance that I enjoyed quite a bit. The dancing scene is perfect. The sex is hot and real.

I liked how careful Seth was to establish actual consent, that I didn't doubt that he had it and cared about that. I usually avoid boss/employee romances because I'm worried this will be mishandled. I felt ok with it, personally.

What I would want, if anything, is more story. A companion novella, showing them at the next stage of their relationship. Or for this to be a full length novel. I was just really getting on board with them as a couple when the book ended. It may be that I am especially hungry for more because I so identified with Kieran and so need more queer trans stories. Those things are absolutely true. I am hoping there might be a sequel, that this could be a trilogy of novellas, or at least a duology. I would love that.

Trigger Warnings: (view spoiler)
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Reading Progress

December 2, 2016 – Started Reading
December 2, 2016 – Shelved
December 2, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
December 14, 2016 – Finished Reading
March 28, 2017 – Shelved as: translit
March 28, 2017 – Shelved as: trans-enby-romance
July 4, 2017 – Shelved as: m-m-faves
September 24, 2017 – Shelved as: posted-az-review
November 6, 2017 – Shelved as: need-trans-review
November 20, 2017 – Shelved as: comfort-rereads
December 25, 2017 – Shelved as: age-gap
February 9, 2018 – Shelved as: trans-enby-rom-recd
April 27, 2018 – Shelved as: trans-man-author
April 27, 2018 – Shelved as: trans-man-mc
May 2, 2018 – Started Reading
May 3, 2018 –
99.0% "Adored this just as much on second read, maybe more. It felt like the right length, this time. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to spend more time with these characters, but I didn't feel like anything was missing. I think I am more used to shorter romance novellas now. Anyways, still love this NA romance a whole lot. I want tons more like it, nuanced complex portrayals of trans characters at diff stages of life."
May 3, 2018 – Shelved as: bisexual-mcs
May 3, 2018 – Shelved as: pets
May 3, 2018 – Shelved as: novellas-and-novelettes
May 3, 2018 – Shelved as: workplace-romance
May 3, 2018 – Shelved as: activist-romance
May 3, 2018 – Finished Reading

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