Title: Hopeless Romantic
Author: Francis Gideon
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: April 10th 2017
Genre(s): New Adult Contemporary Romance, Transgender
Page Count: 293 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Nick Fraser is a true romantic. He wants the guy instead of the girl, but other than that, he wants everything his favorite rom-coms depict: the courtship, the passionate first kiss, the fairy-tale wedding. But after breaking up with the love of his life, Nick wonders if anything fairy-tale will ever happen for him.
Then he meets Katie, who’s just like a rom-com heroine. She’s sharp, funny, sweet, and as into music and punk culture as Nick is. What’s more, he’s incredibly attracted to her—even though she’s a woman. Nick has never considered that he might be bisexual, but his feelings for Katie are definitely real.
When Katie reveals that she’s transgender, Nick starts to see how much he doesn’t understand about the world, queer identity, and himself. He is hopelessly in love with Katie, but this isn’t a fairy tale, and Nick’s friends and family may not accept his new relationship. If he wants it all, he has to have the courage to make his fantasy a reality.
When Nick Fraser meets Katie he’s a bit confused. He’s attracted to her, which, as he identifies as gay is a bit confusing. When he meets up with her again he finds out Katie is actually transgender, but Katie is also smart, funny, sweet, and as into music and punk culture as Nick and the more time he spends with her, the more his feelings grow, which sets Nick on a path to figure out if he bisexual or maybe gay with an exception.
Hopeless Romantic is a coming of age new adult story told entirely from Nick’s POV. It navigates his relationship with Katie, what it means for his own identity, and how falling in love can sometimes be even more complicated than we anticipate.
“But there’s something you need to know and understand about all of this, though. Okay?”
“Okay,” he said, though he shifted under the weight of her gaze.
“There is no magical transformation at the end of this. If you continue to see me, this is not going to be like the trans stories you see on TV. We’re not going to be some wonderful heterosexual couple after I get the final surgery. Even if I do change my mind ten years down the line—there’s no rising above and becoming a phoenix.”
Hopeless Romantic is not quite what I was expecting, but I learned a lot. I really liked how it taught me without being preachy or heavy-handed about it. I did find it a bit slow in parts, and sometimes a little too prose-heavy, but, on the whole, Gideon creates a world that was easy to get lost in for a few hours.
In a blink, he saw Katie as a young boy who hated basketball, as a teen who loved Blink 182, and then as an adult who really, really wanted to do something with music because nothing else made sense. But Nick also saw her now, in his living room, in the middle of a pillow fort they had made with her hair still slightly damp from a shower after swimming all night.
In all of these worlds, she was beautiful.
“I . . .” Nick wanted to tell her he loved her. It was no longer a question of I think I’m falling for you; it was I am so deeply in love with you it’s terrifying. But he couldn’t open his mouth. She already knew how he felt. And he could only hope one day she’d say it back too.
If you’re looking for an outside of the box, hopeful romance with well-fleshed out characters, inclusivity, some sweet romance and sexy times, and a HEA, you should check it out.