Saturday, August 9, 2014

Virile & Vixen by Jill Soffalot

Blue Blooded Gender Bender is a new 5-part series from Jill Soffalot (I love that name!) which blends medieval fantasy, paranormal romance, and gender transformation. As much as I generally hate the distinction, this really feels like a gender swap fantasy that's written for female (whether they be cisgender or transgender) readers . . . but with which the boys can have just as much fun.

The first book, Virile, introduces us to Tybalt, a womanizing Baron whose lust leads him to save an accused witch from the Revenant Guard (witch hunters sent from the Church). On the surface, he appears to be the very picture of chivalry and gallantry, but all he can think about (in the rudest, crudest terms) is using lovely young Hildie sexually. Together, they flee to his dark, drafty, cobweb-strewn castle, where they meet up with Dorian, his more romantic, more compassionate brother.

The mere presence of Hildie brings life back to the castle, and sparks a new rivalry between the feuding brothers, which she resolves by seducing them into a threesome. While Dorin proves his romantic passion, Tybalt selfishly takes his use of the beautiful witch, cums in her mouth, and then falls asleep beside them. It's not long before Tybalt begins to shudder and shake, transforming into a women before their eyes. How and why we're not quite clear - even Hildie seems genuinely surprised - but it does nothing to dull his crude lust . . . just redirect it upon himself.

The second book, Vixen, continues the story from there, with Tybalt still very much a woman, Hildie revealing herself to be an authentic witch, and the Revenant Guard on their way to take her into custody. Much of the action in the second book centers around the three loves continuing where they left off, getting intimate and romantic with one another. You can't help but wonder if Hildie has ulterior motives, but she seems to genuinely want one night of true happiness before either she's taken for execution, or she flees on her own.

Both books are well done, with just enough detail to really orient the reader in an age of draft castles, Pagan witches, and church-sanctioned witch hunters. There are a lot of questions left to be answered, not the least of which is how and why Tybalt was transformed, but Jill has certainly whet our appetites. The covers, I must say, do nothing to hint at the story within, but hopefully readers will find it a pleasant surprise.

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