Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Bingo-Bango by Sara James (#genderswap #romance)

One of the things I love most about Sara James is the way she so effortlessly injects the bizarre into everyday life. Sometimes it is for humor, sometimes for shock value, and sometimes just for effect, but it really makes you step back for a moment and take stock of the story she has so carefully woven around you.

Bingo-Bango opens with three such moments, all of them connected. First, there is Darrell's oddly comical job interview, which is over before it has begun. Next is the awkward encounter with the fiercely beautiful woman in the elevator, with accidentally suggestive banter giving way to deliberate double entendres . . . and a very public, very weird bout of oral sex. Third is the bizarre game of seduction back at his apartment, with frustrated indifference battling with impatient eroticism, ending with the Bingo-Bango gender swap upon which the story hinges.

After that, the story really settles down, becoming an almost mainstream romance about a young woman finding her place in the world. Darrell's difficult road to rejecting the easy way out by passing on the curse, and ultimately embracing his new gender, is beautifully written, with genuine emotion and real drama. There are some very sexy encounters along the way, with more of those bizarre elements to keep things interesting, but all in the name of promoting that journey of self-discovery.

If you have read her work before, then you know Bingo-Bango will eventually lead to where you want it to go, but in ways you do not expect, with obstacles and decisions that seem to challenge that end-goal. Sara James has written a lot of fun, creative, interesting stories, but this one may be her most well-rounded and engaging yet.

Sara James (1968 - present) was born in the rural hills and valleys of New York state's Leatherstocking region, where she grew to maturity before leaving home to join the Navy. After four years of service that took her to Chicago, Boston, Memphis and San Diego, she returned home to pursue a dual degree in physics and mathematics with a minor in computer science. At the suggestion of an English professor who encouraged her to pursue writing as a career, she began to hone her craft by writing stories in private. Publishing her first work in the year 2000 with Reluctant Press, she has continued to write and publish while maintaining a full time career and family. Her hope is to make her professor's suggestion a reality and become a full time author.


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