Francis Gideon, Riptide Publishing, Softcover $17.99 (236pp), 978-1-62649-556-2 is an incredible, vibrant, timely romance that puts the emphasis on the T in LGBTQ.
What happens when you fall in love with someone who defies everything you think you know about men, women, gender, queerness, and yourself? Nick, the hero of Francis Gideon’s terrific new contemporary romance novel Hopeless Romantic, finds himself head over heels for Katie, a trans woman who teaches him there’s more to love than conventional labels.
Katie, who is not only proudly trans but also gender-savvy, is quick to educate Nick when he shows his ignorance about nonbinary or trans people. At one point, Nick expresses hope that since Katie “used to be a guy,” Nick won’t have to change his perception of himself as a gay man. Katie says, “I’m not going to say that I am kind of like a guy so you can feel more secure being gay and having this attraction towards me. That’s not my fault.” In this love story, the binary has no place—which makes Hopeless Romantic a standout in a genre that often relies on old-school interpretations of masculinity and femininity.
Gideon, a talented writer, uses a tried and true formula of boy-meets-girl. This helps ground the novel’s progressive story line. Nick, already so comfortable with his gay identity, faces the double challenge of coming out again—this time as a bisexual man—as well as defending his relationship with Katie. With a masterful touch, Gideon elucidates many of the biases within the LGBTQ community and talks openly about transphobia. Katie is often the voice of reason, who catches subtle prejudice and calls it out with confidence and humor.
Can Nick and Katie have their fairy tale romance? Or will they sink under the weight of cultural expectations about gay love, gender identity, and sexual preference? Hopeless Romantic is an incredible, vibrant, timely romance that puts the emphasis on the T in LGBTQ.