Monday, May 15, 2017

My Undoing by Susie Thomas (#trans #lesbian #romance)

My Undoing is an anthology of stories from Susie Thomas that ranges from sweet to sexy, and from tantalizing to taboo. It makes for an odd, almost awkward mix of styles and subjects, especially with the expectations set by the first story, but I loved that Susie explored so many different means (and reason) for coming out as trans.

My Undoing is, far and away, the best story of the collection. It is such a sweet little story, a happy fantasy of open crossdressing and loving acceptance. It opens with a young man walking by a shop window every day, in love with the pink satin and black lace corset on display, only to be heartbroken one day to find it gone. It is a thoughtlessly impulsive moment that prompts him to step inside, discovering the most wonderfully open, accepting, and loving shopkeeper waiting. She not only allows Amelia to emerge, but gives her a job (and, eventually, her heart), allowing her to flourish. I was actually disappointed to have the story end, and find another waiting for me.

The next story, Dare Club, changes things up considerably, trading the sweet support for erotic encouragement. Having arrived at university to find his apartment building on fire, Alan is forced to accept an unorthodox roommate agreement with a pair of exotic lesbians - who wish to make him one of them. This one is the kinkiest of the collection, complete with an incestuous hint/tease and a very fantasy-driven home castration, but it has a lot of heart and some wonderful characters - including a lovely secondary romance - to carry it through.

Penny's Story returns us to the word of sweet and sensual again, with a slow-burning tale of friendship, coming out, love, and acceptance. What begins as a tutoring opportunity turns into something more when Mary discovers women's clothes and makeup in Pete's bedroom. With her help, Pete transforms from an awkward crossdresser to a beautifully passable transgender woman. The friendship and support here is wonderful, including a frank (and tearful) discussion of sexuality, and the happily-ever-after is incredibly sweet.

Perhaps fittingly, Forever Lovers (the final story in the collection) was my second favorite (next to the opening story). It is a simple story, without the minor contrivances of the others, instead focusing on a single friendship rekindled after years apart. I hesitate to say too much, I loved the way it teased out Richard and Carrie's past friendship, dealt with the evolution of Richard's crossdressing desires, and revealed the real reason Carrie put him on that path. It is certainly the happiest of the four stories, which I am sure adds to its appeal, with a lovely finale.

If you are looking for BDSM-themed forced feminization, explicit bisexuality, and raw sexuality, then this is not the collection for you. Instead, My Undoing is a collection of sensual stories about slow, tentative, personal gender journeys, the love of another woman, and genuine romance. I quite liked it, and am eager to read more of Susie's work.

Susie Thomas is blessed with a vivid imagination - her memories and desires are as fresh as ever, and her stories are loosely based upon her experiences with a generous sprinkling of imagination. As a hopeless romantic, she hopes her stories will entertain and please you - your comments would be welcome.

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