Group Review: The Complications of T by Bey Deckard

Stuart Leandro knows he’s washed up, both on the big screen, and in his marriage. Then, when things take an even bigger turn for the worse one night, he winds up blind drunk and lost in a foreign city.

Thankfully, someone’s there to rescue him before his face ends up plastered all over the tabloids.

Wary of the motives of the reclusive stranger who brings the fading star into the quiet shelter of a hip but isolated loft, Stuart nonetheless can't deny his curiosity… Or his attraction. Tim is unlike anyone the actor has ever met, but underneath the mystery and quiet attempts at invisibility, Stuart discovers someone whose life has been intertwined with his own for years.

Neither could have predicted that Tim's act of kindness would lead to one of the most intense encounters of their lives—but, are they willing to weather the media storm their extraordinary relationship will cause?

Cupcake - 4 Hearts

There's not just one trans story. There's not just one trans experience. 
-Laverne Cox
I've been on sort of a trans vision quest lately, trying to lessen some of my idiocy on the subject, so this story came along at just the right time. It's filled with powerful and fluid dialogue that's both educational and moving. It's also sweet without being fluffy and gave me squishy good feels. 

Stuart is a bonafide movie star who's in the midst of a separation/divorce and tries to drown his sorrows in the bottle at a bar. I'm not sure how he didn't get noticed until he's curbside considering a brief and cool concrete respite when Tim comes to his rescue and gives him a bed in his spacious warehouse. Tim is transgendered but hasn't had bottom surgery, though there is just one sex scene that's not overly explicit.  

Two things niggle at Stuart's drunken brain: (a) Tim sounds familiar and (b) Tim looks like a she? Turns out Tim is none other than a well known movie critic who as lambasted several of Stuart's films. Awkward. 

BeyBey has put together an endearing tale of self-discovery, open mindedness and finding love in the unlikeliest of places without delving into the dreaded instalove. I would've liked more page time between them that showed their relationship progression, but what is there is golden, so maybe I'm just a hedonist. I was also firmly in Camp Stuart on the 3 month radio silence gambit. A romantic notion to be sure but not pragmatic, in my opinion, especially for two people who've "known" one another for 5 days.

Still, a most enjoyable, quick and enlightening read from one of my favorite authors and highly recommended. I would be delighted to read more about these two if he were so inclined to turn this into a series. 

Bonus points for the sneaky Millennium Falcon tattoo.

SheReadsALot - 4.25 Hearts

Quite simply this is just a romance between two people who just so happen to meet at the right time under slightly intoxicated circumstances. The rest...gender identity, relationship status, fan/hero worship...those are just semantics.

Sweet? Eh...I guess? *scrunches nose* Considering the typical stuff written by the author, this could be considered sweeter. I think it's definitely lighter with a sprinkling of hurt/comfort (very thin layer covering the prominent romantic tones). The story put me in a happy sort of mood.

The world we live in is constantly changing, right? We're becoming more politically correct and title specific each day. And while the transgender community is not a new, it's still in its infancy compared to other parts of the LGBT acronym. The media continues to embrace popular trans figures and it makes me happy. A lot of everyday people are still catching up to change, embracing the rainbow. I think the story's strongest suit is the fact it embraces the main character's cluelessness about a lot of trans topics. I thought it was written tastefully, writing the story from 1st POV helped eased the vibe the author was going for...well for me anyway.

Stuart Leandro's world is crashing down. The famous actor fell off the wagon and is embarrassingly drunk. He gets saved by a well meaning passerby before any fans take any compromising photos. Stuart's estranged wife has finally tapped the final nail in the coffin, his career is sort of in the toilet. Suffice to say, it's just not Stuart's day. Or maybe it is. He's saved by Tim who he confuses to be a man and then a woman and then he sort of puts his foot in his mouth. But once Tim lets him know it's okay and they get to know each other, there is an attraction that they can't deny. This is Stuart's first gay experience and he handles it as best he can. Namely with questions and coming a few times.

There was a sense of humor and snark: 

"You want to know if I have a penis?"
"I do! I was, however, unfortunately born without it, and seeing as what science can offer really, and I mean really, doesn't appeal to me, I'm forced to keep it in the top drawer of the bedside table. Why? Do you want to see it?"
Plus it had the wish fulfillment factor, a cinephile's wet dream: getting to meet their favorite actor and really getting to share their passion and interests. And if they happen to fall for one another on a more intimate level,it doesn't hurt either.

Now, since it has the wish fulfillment angle going on there, the romantic pace got intense really quick and then the pair takes a breather for ninety days. and Tim's reasoning makes sense when he explains himself but I wish I got to read what their ninety days consisted of. I'd like to think a lot of woeful grunts and dreadful pouts and whimpers and muttering of each other's name because the pain became too much to bear.

The story doesn't get too deep. I think it could have gone further but it might be just for my greedy purposes more than for the story that is told. Because it's solid and gets the job done. Quirky, light, hopeful, scattered with snark and...sweet?

Yeah, I guess it is. ;P

Lorix - 4.5 Hearts

Oh how I wish this wasn't a short story because I wanted more. I sat down with my morning coffee and devoured this offering from Bey Deckard. The Complications of T is about as different from his Baal's Heart series as you can get - except I adored it every bit as much. 

If I could have one wish about this story... actually, make that two wishes, firstly I'd want it to be longer and secondly I'd want the insta love angle dropped. In fact, I wouldn't have cared about the insta attraction at all if it hadn't been that Stuart was drunk and disorderly when we (and Tim) first meet him because his wife wanted a divorce. So, it wasn't the attraction that felt too quick, but it made me feel like Stuart was a bit flakey. A longer story would have solved this with a slower on page romance development. 

Actually, as I analyse this story while I write my review, I want to pick the whole timing aspect of it apart. I get instant horniness and sex and attraction, but a week together, then three months totally away from each other, no contact at all and then that's it big decisions made forever. Logically I don't like it. 

Emotionally though - I loved this book. I loved Stuart and Tim. I loved their interactions. I loved Tim's honesty. I loved the fact that an f-m trans character didn't need to be super butch to be male. I loved the sexy times. I loved Stuart's acceptance of Tim and of his feelings for Tim. I loved the writing and descriptions and how it made me feel. I'm an emotional reader and that is why this gets 4.5 hearts from me. Logic v emotion in the book stakes, and emotion wins hands down.

ETA: So, I've just read my girl SRAL's review and I'm stealing the opener...
Quite simply this is just a romance between two people who just so happen to meet at the right time under slightly intoxicated circumstances. The rest...gender identity, relationship status, fan/hero worship...those are just semantics.
Pretty much this is why I loved this story. SO go read the other unicorns' reviews, they say it better than me. 

Justin - 4.25 hearts

This book was very hard for me to rate. It was way out of my comfort zone and not something I would normally read. On one hand I loved it and wanted to give it all the hearts. I loved the writing, I loved the story and I loved Stuart and Tim, the main characters. I didn’t have a problem with the relationship between the MCs starting before Stuart was legally divorced and surprisingly, I didn’t have a problem with the female anatomy in the story. Tim, a transsexual, considered himself fully transitioned yet with the lack of options available to him, he still had a vagina. This was certainly leaning in the insta-love direction but there was no mention of soul mates or professions of love so I was happy with the relationship as it was written.

So what was my minor beef with this story? I think was the missed opportunity. It was a very good romance, but I feel like it could have been EPIC! All the making were there. The setup and how the MCs met was unique and interesting. The chemistry between the main characters was there in droves. Add in the transsexual aspect of this story and you’ve got the potential to knock it out of the park and claim a spot on the "Best Romances of 2015" list. If this story had gone a little deeper, the characters and the relationship fleshed out a little more, it would have on my 'best of 2015' list for sure. Unfortunately, for me, it was very good but not quite spectacular. And I really wanted it to be spectacular!

Let me end on a positive note. This book is really good. I think it would appeal to most any romance reader. Don't let the female anatomy bit scare you even if that's not normally something you're comfortable with. I was very skeptical too, but Mr. Deckard showed me what's important in a relationship. It's not so much the bodies, it's the two hearts that really count.  

Ann - 4.5 Hearts

That was an absolutely lovely story. I actually had that description going through my head while reading it when Stuart said, “’That would be lovely. Really . . lovely.’ Go on Stu. Say lovely again.” Stu was so charming in his clueless ness. Now if someone told me after reading the Baal’s Heart trilogy that Bey would give us a book that would make me sigh and swoon from the sheer loveliness of it I would have snortled in their face. I’m a HUGE fan of that series and the fact that the author can then give us this as well speaks to the range of his talent.
I think what I appreciated most was how he knows how to trust his own words. This is a short story with a big impact and many salient points. The downfall of a lot of shorts that try to cover big topics is that many end up beating a point into the ground and the whole idea loses its impact with the repetition. Bey knows how to write a sentence or convey a thought and then leave it there for me to digest. It shows respect for me as the reader and trust in his own words as a writer. That’s a tough balance and he achieved it here.
Tim and Stuart are great couple characters both together and apart. Tim’s experiences have made him very wise and Stuart is smart enough to know a good thing when it comes his way and not to be a stubborn idiot about what it all “means”. Sometimes things just are and overthinking them will guarantee a failure. As Tim says, “If it works for you, it works for me. The trick is not to overthink it.” Such simple and sage advice.
Of course I would love more, but that’s just me being a selfish reader.

Find out more on Goodreads.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**