Bad Boy

Bad Boy

A Novel

Book - 2016
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Baker & Taylor
Born female, Renard Grant, a transgendered male with a reputation for honesty, joins a rogue social justice gang known as Black Iris, but when a gang-related incident turns violent, Renard is forced to face the demons from his past.

Simon and Schuster
“Wake presents an intense, suspenseful, and unusual tale of romantic suspense that will make readers question their perceptions of gender and relationships.” —Booklist (starred review)

A “fast-paced, mind-bending romantic thriller” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) about a transgender vlog star who struggles with a past that continues to haunt him as he sets out to prove that he’s not a “bad boy,” but something else entirely: a good man.

Vlog star Renard Grant has nothing to prove: he’s got a pretty face, chiseled body, and two million adoring video subscribers. Plus scars on his chest and a prescription for testosterone. Because Ren is transgender: assigned female at birth, living now as male. He films his transition and shares it bravely with the world; his fans love his honesty and positivity.

But Ren has been living a double life.

Off-camera, he’s Cane, the muscle-bound enforcer for social justice vigilante group Black Iris. As Cane, he lets his dark side loose. Hurts those who prey on the disempowered. Indulges in the ugly side of masculinity. And his new partner, Tamsin Baylor, is a girl as rough and relentless as he is. Together, they terrorize the trolls into silence. But when a routine Black Iris job goes south, Ren is put in the crosshairs. Someone is out to ruin his life. He’s a bad boy, they say, guilty of what he punishes others for. Just like every other guy: at heart, he’s a monster, too.

Now Ren’s got everything to prove. He has to clear his name, and show the world he’s a good man. But that requires facing demons he’s locked away for years. And it might mean discovering he’s not such a good guy after all.

Elliot Wake has written a “searingly modern game of cat and mouse” (L.S. Hilton, New York Times bestselling author) that “compels readers to question their conceptions about gender and desire” (Publishers Weekly). Darkly humorous and evocatively sexy, Bad Boy is romantic suspense at its finest.

Publisher: New York :, Atria Books,, 2016
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781501115011
Characteristics: 248 pages ; 24 cm

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LPL_KateG Jul 21, 2017

This is both a romantic thriller AND a groundbreaking coming-of-age novel. Elliot Wake previously published under the name Leah Raeder and this is his first novel as an openly trans author. He combines a thrilling story about juicy revenge (and sexy sex) with narratives documenting the protagonist's emotional/physical journey as a trans man. I really enjoyed both elements of this book, and the "educational" parts (which truly were valuable) were inter-spliced in a way that did not feel forced. I'm very excited to see what Wake brings us next!

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