I am proud in pink, a transgendered gurl who loves exploring the fluid, ambiguous, ever-changing definition of gender. After a lifetime in the closet, I am enjoying the love, acceptance, and support of my wonderful spouse(and couldn't be happier). My passions are curiosity, diversity, and imagination. The world is what we make of it, so why should we ever be content with what others tell us it should be?
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Smashwords book reviews by Sally Bend
- Begging For Favors
on Oct. 21, 2011
At just under 3650 words, Begging For Favors is a short story that packs a lot of drama into just a few pages, but which doesn’t seem at all dense or rushed.
It all starts with a lesbian twist on the typical workplace fantasy. Mona is your average, ordinary, every-day office worker. She’s neither drab and insecure, nor mousy and timid – instead, she’s the kind of woman you’re just as like to smile at as to take for granted. Grace, on the other hand, is a powerfully sexy woman, an absolute bombshell who inspires as much fear as she does lust. Being a secretary may place her on a lower rung of the corporate ladder but, socially, she is definitely a few steps above Mona.
I love the way Leota so quickly sets up their confrontation, letting us know first that Mona is afraid of the other woman, but then letting it slip that she’s also attracted. By the time Grace demands some rather risqué, almost demeaning sexual favours exchange for Mona’s simple business favour, we know there’s going to be very little coercion involved. Their brief encounter is so intense, so wonderfully erotic, it isn’t until they are interrupted that we realise they’ve hardly touched one another.
That interruption comes in the form of Paul – Grace’s boss, and the man from whom Mona needs a favour. You almost expect him to take charge, to reassert the ‘proper’ office dynamic, but he’s quite content to allow Grace to continue taking the lead. I deliberately use the word 'allow' because there is definitely a flexible power exchange between the two that really adds that final erotic touch.
Hot, short, and very sexy, this is definitely a story from an author to watch.
- Ghost Lover
on Oct. 21, 2011
On a chilly, windy, rainy October night, there are few things better than snuggling beneath the covers with a Ghost Lover. The writing here is perfect for the subject material – beautiful, full of atmosphere, and softly sensual – and the story develops slowly, building to a fitting climax.
However, writing quality aside, I’m of two minds about the actual plot. On the one hand, I loved the ghost story, and found it completely believable. On the other hand, I had issues with the ‘mortal’ characters (aside from Celia), and found their actions completely unbelievable. Maybe I had unrealistic expectations of Eddie, but his early betrayal really jarred me out of the story, and his subsequent actions really had me scratching my head. He and Buddy almost seem like stock horror movie props, more tools of deus ex machina than actual characters. Fortunately, the ghost story of Celia and Andre is more than strong enough to compensate and forgive the weaker aspects.
I loved how that first spectral meeting was so brief, so tentative, so ethereal. There’s no sudden explosion of seduction and sexuality, just a touching, almost sad moment between lovers. Celia’s investigation into the house’s history sheds some light on the encounter, and establishes a tragically romantic back-story that really pulls the story together. It also leaves us with questions, making the circumstances of her return to the haunted house very uncertain.
It’s no spoiler to say we do get to see the lovers come together, to enjoy an erotic scene of ghostly sexuality, and I’m pleased to say the happily-ever-after ending is well worth the wait.
on Oct. 25, 2011
Initially, I had planned to hide away in a darkened corner, curl up with a nice glass of wine, and enjoy Fireflies in a single setting. It seemed like such a slender book, and I assumed an erotic tale about Nymphomite vampires would simply demand a quick, intense read. I couldn’t have been happier to be wrong. Fireflies is so not your typical, run-of-the-mill lesbian vampire story – for such a short read, it’s surprisingly deep, and entirely satisfying.
At its core, this is the story of three very different women. Linda is a career-driven woman, with a life that’s just a bit too perfect, who stubbornly clings to her own humanity following her transformation. Natasha is the vampire who turned her, and who laments the loss of her own humanity. Jesse is the passionate, free-spirited artist who, upon being turned by Linda, chooses to reject humanity and embrace the monster inside. Lacey clearly demonstrates that the line between humanity and monster is not as distinct as we’d like to think, and it’s in the blurring of the two that the story finds its depth.
Despite that depth, this is a very fast-paced story, full of frantic action, and sublimely erotic scenes of lesbian arousal. It’s also a story that’s often amusing, in an ironic smile kind of way, especially with Linda repeatedly wandering naked through the city. The language here is beautiful, with words selected (particularly in the more erotic scenes) to be both subtle and powerful, without being rudely explicit.
The first-person perspective of Linda adds a sense of immediacy to everything that happens, and almost demands that we exhibit the same superhuman stamina in following her from one encounter to another. This limits our experience a bit, denying us any insight into what the other characters are thinking, but it’s a narrative technique that works well here. At times exhilarating, and at times exhausting, Fireflies is a story that engages the reader physically, emotionally, and intellectually.
Whether she chooses to revisit the fireflies and Nymphomites again, or takes her talents in a completely different direction, Lacey Reah is certainly an author to keep an eye on.
- Seducing My Beefcake Roommate
on Oct. 28, 2011
Seducing My Beefcake Roommate is a wonderfully-written story, with a horribly-crafted (perhaps deliberately provocative) title. The two don’t seem to mesh, which means it wasn’t quite the story I expected, but perhaps more of a pleasant surprise because of it.
This is a touching tale of forbidden love once lost, and then found, only to be lost again. It’s also a story of dreams, and of how far reality often veers from those dreams. It’s a remarkably romantic story that manages to pack a lot of emotion into a minimum of words. While it has its erotic elements, particularly towards the end, they’re less the focus and more a flavouring.
Both characters are very well-developed, so much so that you know there’s a life lived off the page. Not that the life lived on the page isn’t complete, but you really have the sense that these are real people who continue to exist through both ends of the story.
Sadly, we don’t get a happily ever after, but the ending is still a satisfying one.
- Pink Pleasure: Volume 1
on May 29, 2014
The series opens with Pink Surrender, which provides a sweet, sexy introduction to Lady B and her Institute, as seen through the eyes of Nikki, a committed sissy submissive, and Carol, her somewhat negligent Mistress. As for Lady B, she is a stunningly beautiful and extraordinarily charismatic shemale Mistress with whom Carol once worked, before going her own way to found the Institute. The Institute itself is a towering pink edifice, a very private sort of school for sissies, latex slaves, and bimbo submissives, which uses hypnosis, subliminal suggestion, and other forms of conditioning to bring out the hyper-sexualized, overtly feminine potential in the young men and woman who choose to attend.
Technically, they’re just supposed to be visiting, but Lady B is one of those women who know what’s best for you, and who will stop at nothing to ensure you get it. She plans to ensure Nikki gets the chance to completely realize the sissy inside, while providing Carol with the happiness that has eluded her.
Bloom has some really interesting thoughts on human sexuality and gender expression, with a really imaginative approach transformation and conditioning. She walks a fine line here between force and coercion, with intellectual consent secondary to emotional happiness. There’s a lot of implied sexual activity here, but it’s more a journey of the mind . . . and the heart.
As we move onto Pink Submission, things begin to shift subtly, pushing ever further against personal boundaries. When a young man by the name of Robert makes the mistake of trying to rob the Pink Pussycat – the gentlemen’s club where so many of the Institute’s graduates work – he’s caught in the act by none other than Lady B herself. Rather than turn him into the police, she has him brought him to the Institute, where he’s given a chance to rehabilitate himself. First, however, he must perform a few tasks to avail himself of the basic necessities of food and clothing. Once he’s crossed that simple line and pleased Lady B (intimately), her offer seems almost too good to be true – spend just two days as a student, and she’ll allow him to walk away a free man, should he so choose.
Of course, two days are more than enough for the Institute to get its hooks in him, seducing him with happy dreams of sexual bliss and contentment. Although he’s never had so much as a fleeting sissy thought, he takes to audio and visual conditioning very quickly, and before long he’s happily exchanging pleasures with the sissies who shares his classes, and the shemale who instructs them.
Having already laid the groundwork in the first book, Bloom has the freedom here to delve further into the fragility and malleable nature of human sexuality and gender expression. She strays a bit further onto the naughty side of consent, but Roberta’s transformation proves to be both the most significant and the most complete of the series.
If the first two books played with the issue of consent, Pink Bliss finally and irrevocably crosses that line. It all begins in a cold, sterile courtroom, where Barbara Klein is attempting to sue Lady B for preying upon her husband’s addictions and stealing from them both. In truth, Lady B was doing nothing but giving Ian what he wanted, helping him to find peace and happiness with the sissy inside. Nothing she’s done has hurt him, and it’s certainly left no burden on his finances. Barbara’s case is about nothing more than maintaining her own authority and getting revenge on the woman who challenged it. Much to their surprise, Lady B agrees to sign a deal, so long as they come to the Institute to discuss the terms.
There, of course, the tables are swiftly turned. Ian is immediately welcome back into the welcoming arms of the Institute, while Barbara and their lawyer are taken captive. Both are worn down in much the same way Roberta was in the previous book, before being offered a similar deal. Their lawyer succumbs to temptation almost immediately, but the battle of wills between Lady B and Barbara is a lot of fun to behold, with her ultimate submission all the more sweet because of the challenge in getting there.
Once again, even though there is a self-serving motive in protecting herself and the work of the Institute, Lady B’s actions are never cruel or punitive. She is all about helping her students, no matter how they come to the Institute, free themselves from their inhibitions, and learn to embrace the blissfully content sexual beings inside.
- Pink Corruption: An Institute Tale
on May 29, 2014
The series takes an even darker turn with Pink Corruption, as Lady B sets her sights on not just conditioning her students, but on controlling strangers - emotionally and physically. There is no longer any illusion of consent here, but it's still important to note that her actions are never driven by a need for punishment or revenge. She sincerely wants her students to enjoy themselves, and if that eternal bliss also serves to protect her interests, then so be it. The new technology in question here is a sort of stun gun that can fire twin probes into a subject from a distance. Targeting the hypothalamus and the frontal cortex, they permit Lady B to remotely implant thoughts, wants, needs, and emotions in a subject.
It's not long before she gets a chance to use it, when an uptight, prissy, religiously conservative young policewoman comes into The Pink Spy - Lady B's foray into voyeuristic web porn - and threatens to make trouble for her immoral enterprise. Lady B quickly takes charge, turning the prissy young woman into a wanton bimbo slut, literally overnight.
Ethically, this is probably the most challenging of the stories, but there's such a clear progression of themes and subjects that I suspect Bloom will eventually deal with the issue. This is also the first cliffhanger in the series, with more story definitely to be told.
Overall, the Tale of the Institute is incredibly imaginative and gloriously erotic. Lady B is a woman you can't help but want to please - I love the way she always dresses so that just the tip of her penis peeks out beneath her skirt - and the Institute itself is a place you can only wish existed. After all, who doesn't want to be freed from their inhibitions, stripped of all guilt and shame, and empowered to embrace the raw sexuality inside? Lyka Bloom is a stunning author with a flair for her fetishes, and I cannot wait to read more.
- Doctor's Orders
on June 11, 2014
Well, the lovely Lyka Bloom is at it again, with another sexy forced feminization, chemical transformation, mind-control hypnosis tale in Doctor's Orders. As always, she manages to make punishment and correction something for the reader to lust after, and so carefully builds her case that we implicitly understand that the poor man at the heart of the story really will be better off for whatever temporary suffering he endures.
Here, we have a rough-and-tumble working man who wants nothing more than for his wife to spend more time in a traditional role, cooking, cleaning, and being there when he gets home. With their last argument having escalated into violence, he's forced to see a therapist to help him deal with the underlying causes of that violence.
It will come as no surprise to Bloom's loyal readership to learn that the therapist is herself under the thrall of another woman, but that just adds to the tale. Derek's transformation from brute to beauty is fantastic to behold, with just the right mixture of desperation and logical connections to make it plausible. It's a sensual tale, with a lovely attention to detail in his feminization, all leading up to a conclusion that is no less pleasing for being so predictable. Even if you've never so much as thought about being a brute, there's no denying we'd all like to be under Doctor's Orders.
- Making Mandy
on June 11, 2014
I hate to use the word, and will apologize now to anybody I might offend, but I can’t think of a better word to describe Making Mandy than schizophrenic. It’s a wow, OMG, and WTF story all wrapped into one!
The first half of the story is quite lovely, an incredibly sweet love story featuring a middle-aged divorced gentleman and his transsexual lover, both desperately looking for love. Having met on an online dating site, their first date is dinner at a fancy restaurant, where the dialogue between the two is just stellar. You can really feel the loneliness of them both, and their desire for simple companionship. From there, they go back to Janessa’s house where, before things can get heated, her coming out is handled exceptionally well. Martin initially isn’t sure what to think of a girlfriend who still has a penis, but the two end up in bed, where they orally please one another several times throughout the night.
With morning after sobriety casting a shadow over the night before, Martin blurts out some rather inappropriate comments about how Janessa is asking too much of people who just want a normal partner, someone like them. The confrontation is handled very well, with the pain and confusion of both coming through. Lyka Bloom makes us sympathize with Janessa, but she also makes us feel (at least a little bit) for Marin. In the heat of the moment he smacks her . . . and she retaliates by knocking him out with a candlestick.
It’s from there that the story takes its darkly schizophrenic turn.
Taking Martin’s comments to heart, Janessa sets about making her perfect lover – somebody just like her. Over the course of the next few weeks she transforms him into the perfect shemale lover, manipulating him physically, mentally, and emotionally through both surgery and hypnosis. The transformation is a simple one, lighter on the details than some of Bloom’s other stories, but interesting because of the motivation behind it.
Janessa doesn’t want to create a mindless bimbo slave. She agreed to a date with Martin because she fell in love with him, finding somebody in his emails and phone calls who she could enjoy being with. No, she just wants more feminine version of Martin, a shemale lover who still has his personality, but who will love her for who she is. It may have its ethical challenges, but it's actually quite romantic!
The entire story is exceptionally well done, with the emotional element the strongest I've seen in a transformation story in quite some time. I loved the romance of it all, even in its darkest moments, and once Janessa succeeded in Making Mandy, found myself cheering for their happily ever after.
- Sissy Dreams: A Gift for You
on June 24, 2014
If you're looking for a crossdressing tale that's more sensual than sexual, more erotic than explicit, and as much about romantic fulfillment as it is about fetish exploration, then I think you'll find that Sissy Dreams is indeed Paul Zante's Gift for You.
This is just an altogether lovely story about a husband and wife, very much in love, who are finding new ways to add a little spice to their life. It all starts with a little fun involving her soiled black satin panties, and quickly escalates to her insisting he try on a pair of pink satin knickers. Before long, he's taking care of the house in a French maid's outfit, and soon fretting over their first public outing with him fully dressed as a woman.
There is so much about this story to love. Zante touches on all the senses, making is smell, taste, and feel what his characters are experiencing. The act of dressing is gloriously sensual, and the lovemaking between husband and wife gets a bit kinky at times, but comes across as authentic. The final scene definitely strays into fetish fantasy territory, but still comes across as a natural and, one might argue, inevitable, extension of their fantasy.