Monday, September 19, 2011

REVIEW: Eclipse the Stars by Giselle Renarde

Eclipse the Stars is Giselle Renarde's entry in this year's Charity Sip Blitz from Torquere Press. In the past three years, Torquere Press has donated more than $13,000 to charitable organizations that support GLBT causes, and all royalties from the stories in this year's blitz will be donated to the It Gets Better project to support LGBT youth.

Not that I ever need an excuse to pick up a new read from Giselle, but when you've got a great read AND a great cause, you can't lose!

Eclipse the Stars is an erotic romance, featuring a post-operative transsexual woman and her lesbian partner. This a very touching story, and one that spends as much time exploring emotions as it does bodies. I loved the way in which Giselle contrasted the 'before' and 'after' lives of Jody and Renata, using the events of a dinner party to illustrate how not only their roles have changed, but their experiences as well. Once the insecure, mousy half of the relationship, Renata has come through her surgery more comfortable in her beauty, and far more outgoing in expressing herself. Meanwhile, Jody, who was once the beautiful, attention-getting actress in the relationship, is beginning to develop her own insecurities, giving her a sense of what it's like to live in another's shadow.

Like I said, this is a very touching story, and one that demonstrates a kind of understanding and compassion that is so rarely found in erotic fiction. By the time Jody and Renata return home, ready to slip into bed, we already know and love them both. It's clear that there's been tension building between them for a while, but the dinner party brings it to the surface. Of course, the best part of any argument is the making up that follows, and their reconciliation is as lovely and as erotic as you'd expect from Giselle. There aren't many authors who can comment upon the transformation of a lover's sex while in the throes of passion, and still come across as tender and respectful, but that's precisely what she does. It's not so much that she throws Renata's transgender nature in your face, but that she reminds us of how significant that transformation has been . . . to both of them.

Whether you're just looking for a great read, whether you just want to support a great cause, or whether you're greedy and want to do both, I urge you to check out Eclipse the Stars for yourself.

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