Two Spirit Ranch: A Romance by Jaime Stryker
In this groundbreaking romance novel, Terri Lawson, an alluring young attorney, has it all. She’s on the fast-track at her firm, widely recognized for her pro bono work, and has a handsome suitor, who she’s sure has marriage on his mind. But when her boyfriend abruptly calls off their relationship and her favorite uncle passes away, she suddenly find herself losing all that was important to her.
Not sure where to turn next, Terri heads off for a trip to small town Clearview, Montana to explore the sprawling ranch her uncle left her. It’s there that Terri while speeding down the highway has a run in with the ruggedly handsome sheriff, Jake Collins. As the two find their mutual attraction too strong to deny, Terri, who had only planned to be in town a few days, finds herself wondering if she can risk opening her heart again and sharing a secret from her past with Jake...Terri was once Terrence.
Debut novelist Jaime Stryker presents not only a romance with a transgendered heroine but a tale of true love and acceptance.
Nona's comment: This is an excellent "gateway" trans romance for anyone who'd like to read about the topic but is a bit nervous. It has the feel of an old fashioned romance with a woman leaving behind the troubles of the city for a new life in on a ranch in the country. She meets a handsome, rugged man and they begin a sweet romance. There's even a nasty villain who wants to stir up trouble. The only twist is the heroine is a trans woman. There is no explicit sex (the lovemaking occurs "behind closed doors").
His Fair Lady by Kimberly Gardner
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 Mark may find His Fair Lady.
Nona's comment: The characters in this story are young, college age, and there are explicit sex scenes. Mark falls for Josie, but she's afraid of how he'll react when he discovers she's transgender. I was on the edge of my seat wondering when Josie would disclose the truth--and worrying Mark would find out from someone else. I really liked how Josie's family was completely accepting of her and the fact that there was another trans character playing a supporting role.
Scarlet Stilettos by Ash Penn
Although Laine Lawson is physically male, she's spent much of her life expressing the feminine side of her nature. She's also well-skilled at hiding her romantic feelings for her best friend.
Life's sweet for waiter and ex-stripper Tony Barton. He's met a guy who's everything he wants in a lover, both in and out of bed. Will Thompson isn't the love of Tony's life, but he's fun and doesn't take their relationship too seriously. At least, not until Will discovers Tony's best friend isn't quite as she seems.
When Laine's ex-boyfriend contacts her about a past she'd sooner forget, and with Will's jealousy threatening her friendship with Tony, the only thing she can do is run.
Her absence forces Tony into acknowledging his feelings for Laine aren't entirely platonic. But Laine's a woman, no matter what lies beneath her skirt. They might have shared one night together when they first met, but that was business. A relationship could never work, even if she hadn't disappeared.
After Laine makes a major life-changing decision, she returns home to say goodbye. But Tony can't say goodbye back. He can't say much at all, not with Will doing the talking for him.
Publisher's note: Laine and Tony's road to happily ever after isn't a smooth one, and both must deal with violence along the way.
Nona's comment: Can a gay man and a transgender woman find love together? In this story, Laine lives her life as a woman, but also cherishes the male part of herself as well. (This story touches on the aspect of being genderqueer or genderfluid.) She's in love with her friend Tony, but is afraid to let her feelings show and risk losing him. There is plenty of angst in the story (oh, and lots of sex, too :-) ) as Laine deals with family issues, a dangerous and powerful former lover, and shadows from the past. In a bit of a twist on romantic tropes, Laine is the one who must rescue Tony from a a physically abusive partner.
Man Enough by Beth Burnett
Things are going well for Davey Carter. She loves her job and she has a comfortable bed. Granted, her love life is non-existent, her pot-smoking mother is wreaking havoc in her apartment, and she is starting to suspect that her lesbian best friend might be secretly in love with her. But none of that matters when Davey meets Danny, a kind, loving, intelligent man who just may be the love of Davey's life. Until it turns out that Danny is harboring a secret of his own.
Nona's comment: This book combines touching romance, comedy involving family and friends, and some thought provoking issues. Davey is completely comfortable among her LGBTQ friends and workmates, but when she meets Danny, she realizes she may not be as open minded as she thought. Danny is smart, funny and brave--everything a romance hero should be. This is a very enjoyable romance feature featuring a trans man hero.
I'm always looking for great new romances, friends, so if you have any suggestions featuring trans/genderqueer/genderfluid characters, please leave them in the comments! Thanks so much!
Now available: my newest release, Her Kind of Man