This is not your average love story.
Ben Easton is not your average romantic hero. He’s a tattooed, badass, wannabe rock star, working in a perfectly horrible dive bar in Camden Town. His life is good, and he’s totally unprepared for how one man will turn it upside down.
Stan isn’t your average heroine. As a gender-fluid man, he proudly wears his blond hair long, his heels sky-high, and his makeup perfectly executed. A fashion industry prodigy, Stan is in London after stints working in Italy and New York City, and he quickly falls for Ben’s devil-may-care attitude and the warm, soft heart Ben hides behind it.
Beneath the perfect, elegant exterior, Stan has plenty of scars from teenage battles with anorexia. And it only takes the slightest slip for his demons to rush back in while Ben is away touring with his band. With the band on the brink of a breakthrough, Ben is forced to find a way to balance the opportunity of a lifetime with caring for his beautiful boyfriend.
*I received an ARC from Signal Boost Promotions in return for an honest review*
I enjoyed this book, and found it to be a relatively engaging read. It wasn’t a book I couldn’t put down, but I did get into the story. I have never read a book with a truly gender-fluid character; the author did a great job with Stan. I really felt like I knew him by the end of the book — as well as one could, considering that I felt like he still had (as do we all humans, amirite?) growing and learning about himself to do.
I loved Ben. He had a particular sort of fluidity that worked with Stan and Stan’s fluidity. I never doubted his attraction or investment in the relationship. Even lost and frustrated when Stan is ill, his care for Stan was solid.
I found myself occasionally frustrated by the author’s choice to allude to things (and I don’t mean the anorexia, since we know about that from the blurb, even if Ben doesn’t) but keep the reader in the dark until a bit later. I don’t generally mind this in novels, but there was something about the construction and delivery that made it hard for me to trust that we *would* find out what was going on in Stan’s head or what a reference to his past was; without that I often found myself disengaging a bit. We did get some gaps filled in, but other times not — there were time jumps or spots in plot that were never fleshed out, we just fast forwarded to them. I had no problem with not seeing Stan’s relapse in action, however. I think that the author showed us well enough what happened through Stan’s words when he’s working on recovery again. Perhaps, for me, this is because I love recovery stories, and don’t always want the story of relapse/breakdown etc.
If you aren’t triggered by the storyline of anorexia, I recommend you give this one a shot. It’s unusual and well written.
Genre: Contemporary Identity: genderqueer / genderfluid Orientation: Bisexual Pairing: M/M Publisher: Dreamspinner Press Review Tag: Friends to Lovers Tag: Illness / Injury Anna Martin The Impossible Boy trigger warnings
Jude Sierra is a Latinx poet, author, academic and mother who began her writing career at the age of eight when she immortalized her summer vacation with ten entries in a row that read “pool+tv”. Jude began writing long-form fiction by tackling her first National Novel Writing Month project in 2007.
Jude is currently working toward her PhD in Writing and Rhetoric, looking at the intersections of Queer, Feminist and Pop Culture Studies. She also works as an LGBTQAI+ book reviewer for Queer Books Unbound. Her novels include Hush, What it Takes, and Idlewild, a contemporary queer romance set in Detroit’s renaissance, which was named a Best Book of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews. Her most recent novel A Tiny Piece of Something Greater was released in May of 2018. Shadows you Left, a co-written novel with Taylor Brooke will arrive spring of 2019 from Entangled Press.