I fell in love with April French just as hard as Dennis does!
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I requested this ARC but what I got was something good.
This is, as odd as that might seem, quite a fluffy and sweet BDSM kink book which focuses on an element of the fetish world I’ve not really read much about yet, and I really enjoyed it.
There is no way I could ever claim to understand the unique pressures life as a trans woman or a black man in modern day America can bring, but I feel that this book gave me a unique insight into a part of those fears – and joys.
April French is a wonderfully complex character. I adored her, her vulnerability, her strength, her determination to move on and live an authentic life, even with the scars she carries.
Dennis Martin is a gem of a man too. He’s made mistakes in his first kink relationship and he’s still not really dealt with that when he bumps into Mama April on his first venture to Frankies, a local queer and kink friendly bar his best friend Jason has recommended.
And, at this point, can I just say I hope this is going to be a series and Jason’s up next!
What follows is an, at times painful to read, at others a simply stunning, expression of self, romance which develops from the initial one night stand into a haltingly beautiful relationship.
I read it all in one go, I couldn’t put it down because I just needed to know if they would make it. Of course, this being a Carina Adores line, I really knew they would, but I wanted to see how they managed the journey to reach happiness.
I only haven’t given it 5* because I felt I needed more of them once they had resolved the difficulties and were together. The final few chapters felt a bit condensed and we only got off page mentions in the Epilogue to their HEA a year or so later.
I also felt the kink elements themselves didn’t always get a full expression on page, there’s a bit of steam and then it mostly ends up as fade to black or off page mentions of what they’ve been getting up to.
While I can understand the difficulties of walking the line between fetishising their experiences, I think it would have helped more for someone who doesn’t know much about either being a trans woman or a kink participant, to have seen more of that side of things on page.
But, as it’s a Carina Adores line, I was also expecting it, they tend to be more on the low to medium steam level and I was just really pleased to read this book at all!
#ARC kindly received from the publishers Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review