His Fair Lady, by Kimberly Gardner
Loose-Id: April, 2014.
Blurb, via Goodreads[Mark Talleo is something of a dog with the ladies. Any girl, anytime, anywhere is his motto until he meets Josie Frazier. The long lean redhead not only shares his love of musical theatre, but her smoky sexy voice and infectious laugh drive Mark wild and haunt his every step. Equally fascinating is his sense that she has a secret, one he is determined to uncover on his way to becoming her leading man.
Josie does have a secret, one she guards with her whole self. Although she has always known she was female, her name used to be Joey and she's still biologically male. As much as she yearns for love and acceptance, her fear of rejection is just as strong.
Mark's need to know the truth is matched only by Josie's need to hide it. But when malicious gossip reveals her deepest secret the price of honesty may turn out to be too high to pay. But if each can accept that the woman he wants is the woman she is then at last he may find His Fair Lady.]
Review:I loved this story. It is a short novel (though not a novella) that moves quickly and is heavy on dialogue. This is the first book I've read featuring a transgender relationship, and even though I have very little to go on by any personal experience, I still came away feeling that it was quite realistic. You could really sense Josie's fear and panic about being "found out" and drawing attention to herself, and I also felt that the reticence of her mother was another good mark of realism. The mother is supportive, but still has that hesitation and the "maybe you should just keep to yourself" mindset about Josie having relationships. Too often in stories like these, authors will make stark divides between those who support and MC and those who do not, ignoring the very real--and far more common--gray area that tends to exist, especially with parents. As to the plot, there is that delicious tension and suspense that comes with the sure knowledge that something bad is going to happen. You don't want it to happen (we love Josie and are rooting for her!), yet the plot driven reader will still appreciate the conflict, =).
If I have any complaints, it would be that I felt the story lacked detail on the characters. In other words, I would have liked MORE, which is hardly a negative, right? =D Also, I suppose I was a bit frustrated that the subplot was not further explored (I do like it when villains get their comeuppance), but that's just me showing my aggressive side, lol. His Fair Lady is a tense, absorbing story, and I highly recommend it.
~ Lydia Gastrell
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