Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sam's New Life by Kylie Gable & Claudia Acosta

While my own tastes in forced feminization stories tend to fall more under the erotic, submissive umbrella of self-discovery, there is no doubt that stories of cruelty and humiliation have their place. They free us from our own desires, erase all questions of fear and shame, and transfer ownership of the fantasy to someone else entirely.

As a writing team, Kylie Gable & Claudia Acosta are especially adept at capturing the darker side of the genre. Many of their stories do see a victim broken and able to realize his hidden sissy nature, and some even flirt with moments of romance and tenderness as a result, but it is the process of forced feminization that dominates, not the end result. Whether the victim ever finds happiness is far less important than whether the woman in charge is satisfied with her efforts.

Sam's New Life is a particularly intense tale from their collection, involving multiple young women who all have a hand in humiliating poor Sam. It all begins with his step-sister and her best friend, before their schemes grow to encompass even more of their friends, with a rival group of girls getting in on the action later on. This is a story built on blackmail and threats of exposure, leading Sam make some very difficult choices to protect his privacy. Cruelty is the predominant theme throughout, with nary a word wasted on allowing Sam to enjoy his predicament, but it is all for a purpose – although that is not revealed until the very end.

Although I suspect the most appreciative audience of these tales is dominant women looking to vicariously enjoy the humiliation of a sissy, there is significant appeal for those of us who identify more closely with Sam. Even if he is never permitted such pleasures himself, we can vicariously enjoy the process of feminization, luxuriating in the clothing, the cosmetics, and the public expression. The situations he finds himself in are unquestionably embarrassing, but we can always see that glimmer of hope or delight where we might respond differently.

Of course, all such stories must have a point, a destination in mind, and the final reveal here is one of my favorite from Kylie & Claudia. I will say no more, because part of its power is in the surprise, but I came out of this one with a smile.





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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Meido by Lyka Bloom

Oh my goodness, Meido was such a fun, sexy story! Combining fetishes for anime cosplay, French maid crossdressing, and absolute submission, this is a story where execution is everything. There may not be a lot of surprises to the plot, but Lyka Bloom can build characters and set a scene like few others in the genre.

It all starts when Derek tries to order the perfect maid's costume for his girlfriend. Not wanting to go traditional and slutty, he gathers individual pieces online to create the perfect Japanese-inspired costume. When one of his orders prompts a bright red warning message that he cannot read, he proceeds anyway, assuming it is just your standard shopping car warning. First mistake.

He thinks nothing of the fact that the bonnet arrives in a completely unnecessary, well-decorated wooden box; ignores the Japanese warning note contained inside; dismisses the thrum of power that emanates from the bonnet; and decides to try it on himself. Second mistake.

With the bonnet in place, Derek's mind and body transform into those of a petite Japanese maid. Completely feminine, completely submissive, and wholly Japanese, he very quickly forgets himself and sets about cleaning the house and making dinner for Casey-san. After a comical misunderstanding with this intruder in her house, Casey eventually tries the bonnet on herself, and the two lovers share a wonderful night . . . before she convinces Derek to try it again. Last mistake.

I loved the magic involved here, and the shift in personality that Derek undergoes. Watching him struggle to remember himself, even as he finds perfect happiness and contentment as a maid, makes for a delicious story. The erotic moments are, as always, gorgeous detailed and sensuous, but this is really a story that works best in the mind. As for the final twist, even if you see it coming (as I am sure most readers will), the way it is handled really ends the story on a high note.




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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Trained! by Kylie Gable and Claudia Acosta

Trained! may be a short tale, but what it lacks in words it more than makes up for in details. Kylie Gable and Claudia Acosta have managed to put a new spin on the typical revenge-driven tale where sexist arrogance is punished accordingly.

Up until the final few pages, there is no sex to the story, and yet it still manages to be intensely erotic. The female domination and humiliation that begins with his new personal trainer hits new heights once his wife gets involved, and watching their marriage change is a huge part of what is so sexy about the story. As readers, we may find it hard to believe the Jason does not recognize what is being done to him, especially once he beings filling out his workout bra, but that ignorance is part of what needs to be punished.

If I were to have one minor complaint, it is that Jason seems a bit to accommodating in that final sex scene, inviting a final degree of humiliation that seems out of character for him. Do not get me wrong, I like it, and I love what the women do to him, but it just seemed like we missed an aspect of his breaking. That minor quibble aside, this is another sexy tale from Kylie and Claudia that really delivers.




Cover images are provided by an Amazon Image Link and used under the Associates Program Operating Agreement for the sole purpose of illustrating a product review. To remove an image, contact us and we will be happy to comply.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Constantine Affliction by T. Aaron Payton (#SF, #Steampunk, #GenderBending)

Offering up an interesting mix of genres (with an abrupt change of course in the last act), The Constantine Affliction is a fun, engaging, imaginative read that manages to succeed despite the relative blandness of its main character. That's not to say Pimm isn't an interesting character on his own, but he lacks the quirks and personality traits that make the other characters leap off the page.

T. Aaron Payton (better known as T.A. Pratt), has put together a story here that's equal parts thriller, mystery, horror, comedy, and adventure. At the heart of it lies the aforementioned Pimm (an aristocrat who likes to play detective - when not drowning his sorrows), the far more engaging Winifred (his best friend turned spouse - thanks to the gender-changing Constantinopolitan Affliction), and the rather remarkable Syke (investigative reporter and feminist heroine - for whom the glass is always half-full). Facing off against the unlikely trio of heroes is an even unlikelier trio of villains in Abel Value (criminal overlord), Sir Bertram Oswald (the Queen's consort), and Mr. Adams (cousin to Frankenstein's monster). Throw in some clockwork courtesans and some extra-dimensional monsters, set against the backdrop of a London under siege from darkness and disease, and you have yourself one heck of a tale.

Before we get to the story, let me take a moment to talk about the Constantine Affliction itself. Here we have a sexually transmitted disease, and one that often results in death. Nothing remarkable about that, especially for the Victorian age. Those who survive it, however, do not do so unchanged - upon being restored to health, they find that their gender has changed. Winifred is the one 'victim' we get to know best in the tale, and she is one of the strongest characters in the novel, especially in the latter stages. Hers is not the only prominent commentary on gender in the novel, however, as Syke's character has a lot to say about gender roles. Smart, independent, and damned good at her job, she is forced to masquerade as a man in print if she's to have her stories taken seriously.

Elsewhere, there is an awful lot going on, but Payton manages to keep it all on track, all the while building towards a pair of key revelations that quite cleverly connect the dots between the mixed genres. At times chilling, amusing, and altogether fascinating, this is the kind of book where you just have to give yourself permission to settle in and enjoy the ride. It's paced exceptionally well, so much so that you never begrudge Payton the opportunity to explore a few bizarre tangents (and of those there are aplenty). Perhaps Skye's intimate investigation of the clockwork courtesans goes into a bit too much detail, but it's fascinating, and it does help to justify some plot elements further on. Similarly, Mr. Adam's researches into life-after-death may be a bit too grotesque for some readers, but you'll come away believing in the possibility for romance with a disembodied brain.

Where the story faltered a bit, for me, was in the Lovecraftian insanity of the final act. It almost seemed as if, having so deftly handled so many genres already, Payton simply couldn't resist the urge to go all the way with the monstrous finale. The strength of the characters keeps it from becoming too fantastic, but it was so far removed from what I was expecting that I struggled a bit to keep my disbelief willingly suspended. It does give Winifred, our gender-bent heroine, a chance to shine, and does allow for a fitting resolution to the character of Mr. Adams, but it also cast Pimm a bit further out of the limelight.

All-in-all, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read, with enough plot lines to fill a trilogy of novels. Unfortunately, it seems as if this is to be our one-and-only adventure with Pimm and Skye, but there's always hope for a crowdfunded or self-published follow-up (depending, of course, on what rights the publisher has to the series).




Cover images are provided by an Amazon Image Link and used under the Associates Program Operating Agreement for the sole purpose of illustrating a product review. To remove an image, contact us and we will be happy to comply.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Freshman's Curse by J.B. Rogers

Although it starts out as a standard gender-swap revenge tale (only with a female-to-male twist), The Freshman's Curse: The Complete Novel (With Extra Parts) is a rather massive, well-layered story of a romantic threesome and their wider community of kink. J.B. Rogers throws a lot into the story in terms of gender, sexuality, and fetishes, but it all works beautifully.

As it turns out, that revenge aspect is really just the catalyst for the story, although it does have significant bearing on what happens throughout. It is what transforms Jenny/Jimmy into a character we truly care about; it is what propels Sheila into a kinky kind of love; and it is what allows Mia to claim both her identity as well as her own happiness. The three-way relationship between gender-swapped cheerleader, bisexual submissive, and transgender sweetie, is (in a word) glorious. It is honest and sincere, with real emotion tied up with the passion, and just a much romance as eroticism.

On that note, I must say I adore what Rogers has done here with the whole question of gender, gender identity, and gender expression. There is a genuine fluidity to the whole tale that it is hard to talk about without spoiling the story. When it comes to Jimmy and Mia, Jenny and Manuel are never far from their thoughts. There is a lot of crossdressing, reverse crossdressing, and partial gender expression that allows them to better understand one another, and prove that their love goes beyond the state of their bodies. It is a relationship that could become comical in the wrong hands, but here it never strays from being genuinely passionate and respectful.

As for the wider community of kink, Rogers really knows how to explore that defining line between mere bdsm and true dominance/submission. Even when the story is at its most extreme, with rough, public, anonymous, sex, we are never allowed to lose sight of the psychological aspects at work. I don't want to potentially spoil anything, but there is a prolonged scene with Sheila in the second half of the book that is better than most erotic novels as a whole. It is extreme and taboo, with just about every kind of abuse and penetration you can imagine, along with some bondage equipment you probably cannot, but what makes it all work is the emotional and psychological transformation that Sheila undergoes. Powerful stuff.

If you choose to pick up The Complete Novel (With Extra Parts), Rogers has formatted the book with two ways to enjoy it. You can either read the two halves of the novel first, and the three short stories after, or read all five pieces where they fit in the overall narrative. Personally, I recommend the latter option, as those stories (especially the first two) really do have a significant bearing on the novel, and certainly add to the experience.




Cover images are provided by an Amazon Image Link and used under the Associates Program Operating Agreement for the sole purpose of illustrating a product review. To remove an image, contact us and we will be happy to comply.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Freebie Fiction Friday - Putting the TG in TGIF!

Well, if it's Friday, then that must been it's time for Freebie Fiction Friday . . . time to put the 'TG' in TGIF (and the 'FD' in Friday)!

Every Friday I take the initiative to search through thew newly free titles on Amazon, and to identify those that might be of interest to trans* readers, fans, and lovers. Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can still download the titles through one of Amazon's free reading applications, and covert it (if need be) with Calibre. I can tell you I do most of my reading on my tablet, using Kindle for PC, and it works beautifully.

Please do be sure to check the price before downloading anything, though, as most freebies are limited time offers, and some are specific to certain regions.



Enjoy!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Bottle Blonde by Lyka Bloom

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 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.





Cover images are provided by an Amazon Image Link and used under the Associates Program Operating Agreement for the sole purpose of illustrating a product review. To remove an image, contact us and we will be happy to comply.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Gender Proof by Jessie Ash

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.





Cover images are provided by an Amazon Image Link and used under the Associates Program Operating Agreement for the sole purpose of illustrating a product review. To remove an image, contact us and we will be happy to comply.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Freebie Fiction Friday - Putting the TG in TGIF!

Well, if it's Friday, then that must been it's time for Freebie Fiction Friday . . . time to put the 'TG' in TGIF (and the 'FD' in Friday)!

Every Friday I take the initiative to search through thew newly free titles on Amazon, and to identify those that might be of interest to trans* readers, fans, and lovers. Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can still download the titles through one of Amazon's free reading applications, and covert it (if need be) with Calibre. I can tell you I do most of my reading on my tablet, using Kindle for PC, and it works beautifully.

Please do be sure to check the price before downloading anything, though, as most freebies are limited time offers, and some are specific to certain regions.



Enjoy!