Story Rating: 5 out of 5 paddles
Sting Factor (kink): 4 out of 5
Buy this book now! This is a book which will be read and never forgotten. It is a book that is more than just hawt BDSM kinkiness. It’s a story of change and acceptance. This moving story of a person who finally comes into their own is breathtaking. Richard Carr is married to a wonderful man who loves him. He is a lawyer who makes oodles of money. The D/s dynamic between Richard and his husband Robert is delicious. What more could Richard want?
Richard is not comfortable in his skin. Since his childhood, he feels like an imposter because what he wants to do is dress up in corsets, dresses and wear make-up. His outer shell may look like a man but he really wants it to look like societal perception of a woman’s image. This in the pain part of the book. For me it is frustrating because I’ve always felt that how a person dresses is dictated by society, not by XY or XX chromosome. Why is it a man must wear what society deems as masculine clothing? This is a false construct thrust upon people for no logical reason. To me, it makes no sense, especially when there are other cultures where males do wear what is considered a skirt. How is war paint different than cosmetics at its base level? How does the outside of a person change how we feel about the person inside? If as a society, we are always told that it’s personality and how a person behaves that matters, then what difference does it make if the person dresses how they prefer? And this is what pisses me off about what happens to Richard as he transitions to his alter-ego, Renee. Why can’t he decide to wear what he wants to wear and still be considered a man? I see no problems with this because he hasn’t changed where it matters most. He is still able to construct a good case as a lawyer. He is still a great friend to his current friends. His morals have not changed. Yet Ms. Grant shows just how much people judge him by his exterior.
What is even sadder is how this impacts Robert. I get it. I really do. Some people are just wired to find a certain body type attractive. There is nothing wrong with this. Unfortunately for Richard/Renee, his husband really wants a man, not a feminine one either. The struggle for Robert to accept this drastic and rapid change is disheartening for Renee. There is no wrong or right in this instance. It’s heartbreaking as Robert questions if he can continue to be married to a person whose outside is no longer appealing. Is this shallow? Perhaps for some, but really, one must be sensitive to Robert’s needs too. I feel for him. I don’t have as much of an issue as a reader because I am pansexual so a person changing their out appearance makes little difference for me.
I must commend Ms. Grant in how well she shows each person’s perspective in a nonjudgmental way. She also shows how difficult it is for each person in this relationship to adjust to the changes. She underscores how marriage is not easy and it takes work. When a life changing event comes, it could break them or bond them closer together. It’s beautiful how Ms. Grant explores both avenues. I loved this book especially as I have a relative who seems to be going down the path of Richard. If he ever decides to take this difficult path, rest assured, Breaking Free will be a book I recommend to him. This book’s message of hope and acceptance is splendid. Highly recommended to all readers to see how hard life can be for some and how we can help them be welcomed.
Reviewed by Book Addict