Dana reviews Hopeless Romantic by Francis Gideon (Published by Riptide Publishing, April 10, 2017, 293 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Giveaway at bottom of post. Please check it out to win a cool prize from Rainbows4All
Why I read this: I want to start out by saying how great these two weeks have been. I have read a few books with transgender main characters in prior to our Trans Aware Event, and this is the third in the last two weeks that I have reviewed for the event. I have really been exploring and learning from the different couples represented in these books. I was happy that we were having the event just to show our support for the people who fall under the transgender umbrella (i.e. binary, gender queer, bigender, FTM and MTF), but I feel like I have come away with more awareness and that makes these two weeks even better. I requested Hopeless Romantic for review because I wanted to read a story that questions sexuality and gender when a gay man meets and falls for a trans woman.
Nick Fraser is a true romantic. He wants the guy instead of the girl, but other than that, he wants everything his favorite rom-coms depict: the courtship, the passionate first kiss, the fairy-tale wedding. But after breaking up with the love of his life, Nick wonders if anything fairy-tale will ever happen for him.
Then he meets Katie, who’s just like a rom-com heroine. She’s, funny, sweet, and as into music and punk culture as Nick is. What’s more, he’s incredibly attracted to her—even though she’s a woman. Nick has never considered that he might be bisexual, but his feelings for Katie are definitely real.
When Katie reveals that she’s transgender, Nick starts to see how much he doesn’t understand about the world, queer identity, and himself. He is hopelessly in love with Katie, but this isn’t a fairy tale, and Nick’s friends and family may not accept his new relationship. If he wants it all, he has to have the courage to make his fantasy a reality.
As I mentioned before, I have read a few books with trans characters in the past and so far each one has been pretty different. I have read a book that would be considered children’s about a boy who wanted to be a girl, a few books with gay transmen who fall for other men, a YA book with a straight teen boy who falls for a long time friend who transitioned from male to female, another YA book with a romance between a young trans man and a young man who identifies as asexual, and now with Hopeless Romantic I have read a romance between a gay man and a bisexual trans woman.
I guess I should clarify that by the end of the book Nick, who has been attracted to men 95% percent of the time, comes to the realization that he might be bisexual. Nick is the hopeless romantic that the title refers to. He loves romance movies especially ones from the 1980’s. I guess I can relate to his love for cheesy romances even if I’m not on his wavelength when it comes to the punk rock music he loves. He is a struggling grad student with debt and a broken car and the inability to ask for help.
Nick meets Katie when she bumps into him at school. She loves art and punk music and all the same movies that Nick does. She helps him even when he is afraid to ask. She is perfect for him except that all his relationships have been with men. This is what appealed to me in this story. This is like a Gay For You romance in reverse. (I am a sucker for GFY books. I know that gay for you is usually bisexuality but sometimes it might just mean that a person fell for who another person is rather than what is under their clothes. It appeals to me so much that love can break through what you thought you knew about yourself and leave you changed.)
The nature of their relationship involves a few mistakes and hiccups where Nick accidentally says something that is offensive but from the moment that he acknowledged his interest in Katie his intentions are all for the good. The romance between them had me feeling all sappy and smiley like I would feel at the end of one of the romantic comedies they watch in the book. It’s a very sweet book with some hot sexy scenes, too. I really loved the book and would definitely recommend it.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 StarsFrancis Gideon is a nonbinary writer who dabbles in romance, mystery, fantasy, historical, and paranormal genres. Francis credits music, along with being an only child to a single mother, as why they write so much now. Long nights at home were either spent memorizing lyrics to pop-punk bands or reading voraciously. Add a couple of formative experiences in university, a network of weird artist friends, and after years of writing stories Francis never showed to anyone, they now have books to their name.
After receiving an MA in English literature, Francis wanted to do something a bit more fun. They soon found the LGBTQ romance community and fell in love on the spot. Since then, Francis has attempted to balance writing romances with as many different types of couples as possible while also attending school for their PhD. When not writing fiction or teaching university classes, Francis works on scholarly articles on everything from character deaths in the TV show Hannibal, the online archive of Canadian poet and artist P.K. Page, and transgender representation on YouTube. Francis is a middle name, used to keep students from Googling their teacher and asking far too many questions.
Francis lives in Canada with their partner, Travis, where they often spend nights disagreeing about what TV show to watch and making bad puns whenever possible. Travis receives dedications in Francis’s novels because he tolerates Francis’s long hours and listens to random story ideas late into the night. Francis also might be a bit of a hopeless romantic—as if you didn’t already guess.
Connect with Francis:
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