Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Queer and the Restless by Kris Ripper

He must overcome his fear if he's going to embrace her and her free spirit...

Ed Masiello has been on testosterone for a year, is working his dream job as a reporter, and is finally passing as a man (so long as you don’t ask his abuela). But the investigation of a murder case is starting to take over his life. Afraid he’s becoming obsessed, he goes to the local club to relax, and meets the flighty, whimsical Alisha.

Alisha is a free spirit who’s tossed aside ambition for travel and adventure. Her approach to life is a far cry from Ed’s, and while Ed has always assumed that meeting his goals would make him happy, Alisha is much more content than him — despite all the plans she can’t yet fulfill.

As their relationship heats up, so does the murder case. Alisha thinks Ed needs a break, but someone’s got to find this killer, and he wants to be there when it all goes down. Besides, taking off into the great unknown with Alisha is crazy. But opting for what’s safe is just another way of living in fear, and Ed vowed to stop living like that a long time ago.

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Book 3
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Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Riptide Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


I’ve only read a few transgender romances, but The Queer and the Restless is the first I’ve read in which the romantic interest was a woman rather than a man, so it offered a relationship dynamic I’ve yet to encounter. And I must say that, for the most part, I enjoyed the heck out of the book. I read romances in order to be entertained, to be swept up in someone else’s life, and to take joy in their happy endings, but I also read romances to learn about other places and other people’s ways of life – don’t scoff, historical romances are why I aced the sections on English feudal systems in world history classes in high school and college. For me, The Queer and the Restless was a trip to an unchartered destination with friends I’d yet to meet and, upon reaching the end of the journey, was not only glad I took it, but really hope that the author lets me catch up with Ed and Alisha in a future installment. I suppose I should note that I haven’t read the previous books in the series and didn’t feel as though I was missing out on anything, but upon looking at the blurbs for books one and two, the main characters in both of those books did make appearances in this installment, so fans of the series will have the chance to catch up with them.

Ed is a budding young journalist who also happens to be a FtM transgender who has always been attracted to women but didn’t fully understand his sexuality until he realized that his fascination with his best friend, Cameron, wasn’t that he was attracted to Cam, but that he wanted to be Cam. On top of that, he grew up in a Mexican-Italian home and has been shunned by his Italian-American father because he could not accept that Ed could no longer live his life as a woman, which forces Ed to “sneak home” to visit his grandmother – the one family member whose unconditional love is needed, yet hurts at the same time because of her continued use of feminine nouns and adjectives when speaking to Ed in her native Spanish. Yeah, Ed’s got a lot going on that he’s dealing with and that doesn’t even take into consideration his five het male roommates who have no idea he’s transgendered or the difficulties in dating. Needless to say, with all this and a bit more buzzing around in his head, I wasn’t all that surprised when he didn’t know how to respond to Alisha’s flirting and invitation. It was actually a rather cute scene when looking at it from the outside because Alisha knows Ed is transgendered, so that awkward conversation is avoided, and she seems genuinely attracted to Ed as a person, not as an “adventure” to be taken, but Alisha is a lesbian and Ed has trouble wrapping his head around the fact that she’s interested in him. As Ed takes a chance on Alisha, he discovers a level of acceptance and happiness he was beginning to wonder if he’d ever find in a relationship. But there’s a killer on the loose in La Vista and Ed’s personal and journalistic goals come into conflict in a way he never expected and if he doesn’t figure it out soon, he may lose the girl or the job, or both.

I hope no one takes offense, but I need to say that I am beyond relieved that this book was written by an author who identifies as genderqueer because it makes me feel less ignorant to know that even members of the LGBT community get confused when it comes to transgender issues. At the same time, it makes me sad because I suspect that the author is close to someone who has experienced the same issues that Ed faced in his romantic relationships because they’re written in a way that seems extremely personal. However, Ripper uses Ed and Alisha’s relationship to not only illustrate the misunderstandings, but also to educate readers in a way that is entertaining and heartwarming – at least for me it was. Now for the semi-spoiler. The author infuses one of the few examples of realism in the book that I don’t like – the failure of the killer to be caught. I love it when books contain realistic elements, as I tend to find it easier to connect to or become invested in the characters, except when the crime is left unsolved and it’s not clear that the thread will be continued in the next installment. I don’t like unsolved mysteries in books, especially murders, because there are far too many of them in real life. Despite that minor complaint, it didn’t affect my rating because I rarely “punish” an author for tapping into one of my pet peeves, especially when it’s a minor issue in an extremely enjoyable book (and as I said before, I haven’t read the previous books, so for all I know, this is a continuing thread). The Queer and the Restless was a fascinating read that I found to be both entertaining and informative. I’m looking forward to reading the next installment because I need to see if Cameron finds his happiness.

Also Available in the Queers of La Vista Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Riptide  Publishing

For reviews & more info, check out our Gays of Our Lives post.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Riptide Publishing

For reviews & more info, check out our The Butch and the Beautiful post.

Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a toddler, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.

Connect with Kris

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Queer and the Restless (Queers of La Vista #3) by Kris Ripper to read and review.

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