This week I'll be giving you my thoughts on a transgender romance that definitely has some erotic elements, but more importantly contains a wonderful message: The Definition Of Equal by E S Carpenter.
The Definition Of Equal is the sequel to one of my favorite books, The Definition Of Normal (you can see my review of The Definition Of Normal here). This is the continuing story of Stephanie and Jake who have been best friends since the age of five and in love with one another almost that entire time; of course when they were five Stephanie was Steven. Stephanie and Jake are planning to get married and The Definition Of Equal takes us along on their journey. We also meet a few new characters, perhaps most importantly Colleen. Colleen is a transgender girl whose parents are not nearly as accepting as Stephanie's parents had been, in fact Colleen's father is physically abusive. Stephanie, Jake, and their friends attempt to rescue Colleen and in the process begin trying to reach out to their community hoping that they can open some minds.
This is a well written book, with an interesting story, genuinely likeable characters, and most importantly a thoughtful and important message. I truly hope that both the books in this series will reach the widest possible audience as I believe the author does a wonderful job in explaining that we are all equal. What gender we are, who we love, or how we choose to dress does not make us any less than anyone else. We are all human beings.
One of my critiques with the first book in this series was the lack of real conflict, that is not the case with the second book, at least not in the first two thirds or so. The last third of the book did seem to fall a bit flat for me, most of the conflict was resolved and it kind of felt like the ending of the book was a bit drawn out. As with the first book, there were a few instances where the dialogue felt a bit awkward or contrived, but this was the author attempting to convey their message of love and equality, so I was able to happily just roll with it.
Overall this is an excellent book that I highly recommend. There are a few erotic scenes that are quite hot and steamy, but mostly this is a love story with a powerful message of equality and love for our fellow human beings.
The book could have used another proof read, there were a few copy editing problems, but it was not glaring enough to take away from the story.
I'm giving The Definition Of Equal four out of five paddles.