Monday, August 7, 2017

Becoming Kerry by Lynn Kelling (#gay #genderqueer #romance)

Becoming Kerry is a book so wonderful, it is actually overwhelming in the depth of its intensity. There is pain and sorrow aplenty here, the lingering spectre of abuse, and the ever-present threat of violence. At times, it is an extraordinarily difficult read. That said, there is also joy and happiness aplenty, the blossoming promise of true lover, and the tentative realization of identity. It is also an extraordinary delightful read, and that is what readers will take away from it.

Rather than talk about the plot, I want to talk about the humanity that Lynn Kelling explores. First off, the power exchange here is absolutely glorious, operating without the usual BDSM accoutrements. It is a beautifully erotic connection between the lovers, with Ewyn so carefully, so naturally, and so tenderly taking responsibility for Kerry. It is just gorgeous the way in which a glance or a touch can send Kerry to his knees, and equally sublime the way in which Ewyn imbue a kiss with so much sheer power.

The erotic aspect is equally incredible, especially the way in which so much is based on touch. Do not get me wrong, the actual act of intercourse is blissful and extreme, but it is the caress of a jaw and the squeeze of an embrace that are so intense. A big part of that erotic element is verbal as well, with Ewyn always saying just the right thing to awaken the right emotions in his submissive - especially when he calls Kerry his "good girl."

That brings us to the humanity of identity. Both Ewyn and Kerry have struggled with their sexuality, dating across the gender spectrum in as much an effort to understand themselves as to play to societal expectations. It is Kerry who is at the heart of the novel, of course, and the journey from 'him' to 'her' is everything I could have asked for. This is not a crossdressing story or a transsexual story, it is a genderqueer/genderfluid story, and that makes my heart soar in ways you cannot imagine. Kelling absolutely nails the thoughts, the fears, the hopes, and the happiness, understanding what that label means on an intimate level.

I had high hopes going into Becoming Kerry, so much so that I was actually hesitant to read it. I knew what it was about, and I wanted it to be so many things. Well, I am delighted to say it was all those things and more, a book that made me cry on more than one occasion, with both tear of sorrow and joy. Kerry spoke to my heart, reflecting so much of my own struggle, while Ewyn . . . well, he is precisely my idea of a knight-in-shining armor, the kind of true love that only comes around once in a lifetime. I cannot recommend this enough.

Lynn Kelling began writing in order to tell stories that aren’t afraid of the dark, don’t hold anything back and always strive to be memorable, forging lasting attachments between character and reader. Her inspiration comes from taking a closer look at behaviors and ideas lurking at the fringes of life—basically anything that people may hesitate to speak of in mixed company, but everyone wonders about anyway. Her work is driven by the taboo in order to expose the humanity within it. Lynn is an artist, designer and lover of any form of creative self-expression that comes from a place of honesty and emotion, whether it's body art or opera. She has had multiple novels published, has written over fifty works of erotic fiction of varying lengths, and always has several novels in progress.

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