Author: Joscelyn Anne Hayes
Title: Mistress Maggie
‘Welcome to a most unorthodox love story. A story containing romance, transgenderism, spirituality and yes, even S&M. Thomas sees Maggie O’Shea on a company website, not usually very interesting, until he realizes he can’t turn away. As he falls head over heels for this older woman nearly twice his age, we follow him on a long journey down a spiraling rabbit hole. And while he reveals his most private yearnings, we’re along for the ride as the ‘powers that be’ make good use of his soul, and provide him with not only an older lover, but a retired mistress as well. But no ordinary mistress, Maggie’s one in a million, and your first few paragraphs will fire up your spirit to want to help find her husband’s killer, and fall in love a young transgender man who needs her ‘special’ talents.’
Since reading so much of Tab Kimpton’s work I’ve been fascinated by LGBTQ issues, and have searched, quite deliberately for books that dabble in those ponds. I identify as bisexual myself, but I’m continually stunned by how little I know about the different facets of LGBTQ identity, and sexuality. It’s a massive hole in my knowledge that I’m not proud of.
The fact that this book featured trans characters within a kinky setting made it perfect. I wanted to see what someone else made of a subject that I’m slowly learning about.
…and read about sex of course.
Unfortunately, not one of the best covers in the world. The title text can be a bit tricky to read and that yellow is slightly garish. Though I can see the author name, the colour and font choice didn’t seem to fit the type of book. The images are nice, but there is a sense of one slapped on top of the other. There was so much scope for fun with this cover, unfortunately, for me, it didn’t achieve it.
A young man discovers his desire to dress in female clothing is not disgusting or sinful or weird and merely a reflection of who he is on the inside. While learning this fact about himself, he becomes besotted of an older woman high up in the chain of the firm in which he works. He spends a good portion of the book trying to win her attention and when he does his journey of discovery takes on a whole new dimension.
I like this as an idea, it’s very sweet and I spent quite a few moments throughout saying ‘awww.’
Unfortunately, that’s not what I’m looking for, necessarily, in a book like this.
I’m thrilled to say that it wasn’t just an excuse to cram a bunch of people together and make them bump genitals, but I do feel that the story was strong enough by itself without some of the later paranormal aspects.
Self discovery, sex, mystery, murder and investigation; all of these things were plenty and held my attention more than well enough to avoid the, for what of a better word, bizarre climax.
Thomas is a sweetheart and I believe him, to a point. The idea of his ‘obsession’ took on quickly enough that some of the sting is removed from the ending, but until that point I found myself wondering if he’d suffered from that same attachment complex that ducks do when they hatch. You know, when the latch onto the first living creature they see?
Maggie lacked something. I’m not sure what, but there was a spark lacking that, otherwise, would have lifted her off the page and made her fizz.
Clean formatting and only a few instances were I couldn’t quite figure out what was what. This is nothing that a quick line edit from someone in the biz couldn’t clean up. The book was a good length (any longer and it would have struggled) and I read it comfortably in the space of two days.
My only complaint is the difficulty in reading certainly sections of dialogue. Hinting at accents and/or regional dialects, but it really does get tedious trying to read them.
Final score 2.75… three fireballs.
As my first taste of a novel featuring a trans character I’m glad I read it. However it feels almost like this book tried to be too much at once; thriller, erotica, mystery. Staying with one of these would have made a shorter read but, I feel, a stronger read overall.