Cover Image: Fleur d'Lies

Fleur d'Lies

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Member Reviews

This is the first book I've read by MJ Williamz and the first book I've read where a trans man is a lead character. This is not my normal 'go to' read book, but I really needed a change, and the plot appealed to me.
I enjoyed the book to a certain point. I thought the crime (who'd done it) storyline was interesting and it did keep me entertained. The ending was a let down tho... I felt I was built up for some explosive ending but that just didn't happen and it was rushed.  I also felt let down by the lack of chemistry between the two main characters and at some point felt Ashleigh was just too immature, acting more like a child. 

DJ Sander is transitioning, as a cop, as a civilian, and from female to male. He's a fresh face rookie and looking forward to working in New Orleans French Quarter until he discovers the people he works with are not following the rules and are breaking them instead.
Ashleigh Jorgensons Father is DJs new partner. Raised in a cop family, Ashleigh knows right from wrong but finds herself beginning to question certain areas the more she gets involved with DJ.  Bobby Aiello is also known as Stringbean has been a family friend of the Jorgenson's for many years, and despite her feelings for DJ, she knows that there's no way he's right about bobby.
In DJs eyes, bobby is guilty of a major crime, and he needs to prove that he's right, even when threats and attacks on him make it impossible. He's determined to get to the bottom of things and keep Ashelight from getting hurt.

Overall, it started off great but just rushed at the end.
I give Fleur d'lies nearly a 3*  
I was given a copy for a honest review.
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One of the cop stories, when truth is uncovered and there is happy ending. 
I like this one. I like the plot, story line and issues the MC had to go through. 
The story is interesting and keeps you discovering the truth with each chapter. 
I have to admit I could not put this one down.
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I requested this off Netgalley mainly due to one of the main characters being a trans man.  I haven’t read anything by the author prior, so I went into this read quite blind.

This book does not advocate for transfolk. There were a lot of issues with this book’s portrayal of transfolk and it felt quite disrespectful to read, to be completely honest.

In addition, the relationship between Ashleigh and DJ was really odd, especially in the way that Ashleigh instigates the relationship with DJ and her influence on DJ’s transition. 

The storyline around the crooked cops was ok, but I think it could’ve been further developed and the resolution and ending felt very rushed.

I really think that the author and publisher missed the mark on this one. It’s not a great way to model their affinity with the trans community.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books for a copy of this novel. ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
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CW Transphobia, homophobia, problematic portrayal of sex and relationships. 
The author has dedicated this book to 'all the brave trans men and women who are living their lives as their true selves.', sadly that is where she should have stopped. DJ is a trans man rookie cop who is partnered with the father of the girl he is dating. He begins to realise that there is a lot of Police corruption when his partner gives him money as 'bonuses'. DJ is appalled by this but also goes along with things initially, so its quite ambiguous. 
This book is problematic, it is transphobic, DJ deadnames himselve in the book's beginning. His girlfriend Ashleigh, tells him, he is ready for 'bottom surgery' because she wants sex. When he says certain parts of his body are off limits; 'she decided to look it up later. Maybe there was something on the internet about untouchable trans men.'. 
The main relationship between DJ and Ashleigh is really toxic, they don't discuss sex or how they would like to be intimate with each other. When she doesn't get what she wants, she breaks up with him, whilst still seeing him and demanding sex from him. Then refuses to speak to him when he is trying to catch a criminal who is a family friend.
She gets jealous when he is assigned a new female detective to work with and is homophobic when she realises that the detective is a lesbian and '...often forgot that DJ used to present as a woman, and also as a lesbian. And now she thought of it, she wondered what she was doing pursuing him.'. 

I'm really not sure what the author was trying to do with this book, if she wants to write a book to honour trans men and women, I would argue that this is not that book. This book highlights the importance of ensuring that trans authors are published so that books are written with empathy and understanding. 

Thanks to net galley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This is the first fiction book I’ve read with a trans man as the lead character. Although I have no idea about the accuracy or reality of the depiction, I did note that Ms Williamz had used sensitivity readers so I assume the characterisation is “real”. DJ joins a police department as a rookie cop at the start of the book and he is thrust straight into corruption and dirty cops. As a rookie, he is treading a very careful line. He then meets Ashleigh who’s father is also a cop. They all frequent a rather dodgy bar owned by a small time criminal.

I liked the book and found the core story interesting but I wasn’t sure about the relationship. Ashleigh struck me as very naive. In the days of Google, I would’ve expected her to be more au fait with life. And strange that there was no notice taken of the propensity of cops to congregate in a bar of the type depicted. But all that aside I did read the book wanting to know how DJ got the truth outed and the plotting was tight. The ending was a little rushed but I felt it suited the clues which had been dropped along the way.

I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley in return for an honest review
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DNF’d @ 18%

[Content warnings (up until ch6): disowning, injection, sexism, deadnaming (character deadnaming himself???), casual aphobia, alcohol (recreational), homophobia, transphobia (deliberate misgendering), outing, bullying, potentially underaged sex work]

While I appreciate the author’s attempt of telling a story about a transman, I find a lot of the scenes very uncomfortable to read, including DJ deadnaming himself on the very first page and the emphasis on how being on T, having both top and bottom surgery will make him “all man.” I thought I’d keep reading for the romance and intrigue, but it was insta-attraction which I felt was a bit fetish-y on Ashleigh’s part (she seemed intrigued by DJ partly because he’s trans) and the older cops keep bringing DJ to bars owned by a pimp, basically having all these supposedly under-aged girls sexually harassing him, was too much for me. Note that none of these are in the blurb, and the police force, which Ashleigh’s dad is on, is so messed up I couldn’t quite believe that Ashleigh had zero clue about who her dad really is. Adding rather stilted conversations and lack of different sentence structures (22 out of 28 consecutive sentences started with “he” in ch1), I decided to DNF it. This is my first ever official DNF and first ARC I’ve ever DNF’d.
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I received an ARC copy of this book from the Publisher via Netgalley and voluntarily leaving my review.

DJ just finished being Air Force Cop and decides to go police academy where he graduate at top of his class. When he assigned to Royal Street in the French Quarter he starts to realize not all cops are upholding the law. 

Ashleigh comes from a family of cops although they want her to follow in their footsteps it’s not something she wants to do. She works at a pharmacy that’s she loves working at.  Her and DJ cross paths at the pharmacy and Ashleigh is intrigued by DJ and decides to ask him out. 

As they get to know each other DJ gets deep into investigating a fellow officer Bobby that has ties with Ashleigh who can’t believes the man who been her a family friend for years can be a criminal. 

This is was a good read. I like DJ and how he finally being who he always been and how he determined to do the right thing even if it’s will cost attacks on his life.  This world will be a better place if we could accept each other because everyone has a right to live their true self.
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