Interesting characters and great dialogue are what makes a book standout to me. I want a character or characters that are memorable. I want dialogue that sounds like real people talking. Easy right, yeah you would think so, but this takes real skill by a really good author. A few weeks ago I was contacted by Suzanne Falter and asked if I would be interested in reading her novel, Transformed: San Francisco (Charley & Electra #1). Let me tell you, this book is so much fun, and a really fantastic read.
Charley McElroy is a kind, witty, an exceptionally smart guy. He also happens to be a transman and an undercover CIA agent. Upon meeting Charley you learn that this amazing character is suffering from a touch of loneliness. His recent breakup is the cause. Not so much that he lost his great love, but from the fact that another lover has left because of they can’t commit to a life with Charley for the one reason that he doesn’t have a male appendage, you know which one I’m referring to. His recent ex wanted “real sex”, she wanted kids, the novelty of having a trans lover was over for her as she walked out his front door. Talk about OUCH!!! Charley has been dealt another blow, another heart break because he is who he is. He begins to wonder should he have bottom surgery, and would this change the outcome of his personal relationships.
Pamela Delacroix is on the front page of smut magazines being referred to as the Society Dom. Why? Well, because Pamela is a New York socialite who has recently been outed as a dominatrix. Messy divorce, public scandal, and ridicule, you name it and it has been hurled her way. So Pamela has fled from her penthouse in Manhattan to begin a new life in San Francisco. Pamela is conflicted. She feels guilt for hurting her daughter as she emerges as herself, as Electra the dominatrix, but she is also desperately seeking acceptance to be who she needs to be. It has taken her years to embrace who she really is, San Francisco is her refuge. This move is her chance at finding a community that will not shun her, not make her a public mockery, but as she settles in she realizes that it is actually harder than she had ever imagined, and social circles have become closed to her no matter the size of her check. Well that is until she meets Charley.
I adored both Charley and Electra these characters are so much more than a dominatrix and a transman. They are fun, quirky, almost comical at times, and not because of their labels but because they have big personalities. They are relatable and that what makes the reader grab on to them and want to go on their journey. You feel their “heart” in the story. I really enjoyed their path to romance, I could have spent all day just reading their story but this book has so much more to offer than just a romance. Oh yes, you have a thriller as well.
The book also has a crime oriented. You see a sub character Randy Tytus is fanatical evangelistic psycho that wants to eliminate the sexual deviants from Earth, specifically the hedonistic mecca of SF. Randy has suppressed his urges and has heeded his dead father’s evil ways and has decided that the only way to memorialize his father is to keep the hate going. So Randy travels to SF to find his prey. EEEKKK! The only problem is that Randy begins to have urges again and begins to sees the human side of things. That doesn’t mean he stops his crazy plan, nope this cuckoo bird and his villainous way just keeps on trucking. No worries though Electra, Charley and their upstanding police friend, Frankie will save the day and the City by the Bay.
This book has personality, it has heart, and it has characters that are more than just a label. This book is fun and really has moments of lightheartedness while it tackles hard hitting subjects. I think if you take one thing away from this book it will be the fact that love really does make life better. Cliché absolutely, but also totally true.
4.25 stars out of 5
- Publisher: New Heights Publishing
Transformed: San Francisco (Quirky Queer Spy Novels Book 1)
by Suzanne Falter et al.