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Publisher's Summary

No job, no money, no love - and to make things worse, 27-year-old Charlie has no choice but to leave New York City and move in with his mom in his isolated and conservative hometown of Sunset Springs.

Home isn’t a comfortable place for Charlie. One of very few Black residents and the only trans person around town that he knows of, this will be Charlie’s first time back in Sunset Springs since he transitioned. He expects confusion and maybe even hostility. He definitely does not expect Jackson Ford.

Jack was the brooding yet beloved football star at their high school, but now, he’s an outsider after coming out as gay. When Charlie and Jackson fall for each other in a swift and surprising romance, Charlie has to decide if he’s willing to exchange his old dreams for a new one.

Sunset Springs is an audio novella about finding courage to allow unexpected change, even at the risk of a broken heart. 

©2021 Kacen Callender (P)2021 Audible Originals, LLC.

About the Creator

Kacen Callender is a best-selling and award-winning author of multiple novels for children, teens, and adults, including the National Book Award-winning King and the Dragonflies and the best-selling novel Felix Ever After. Callender enjoys playing RPG video games, practicing their art, and focusing on healing and growth in their free time. They currently reside in St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, where they were born and raised.
Photo credit: Ashley Cain

About the Director

Shaan Dasani is an LA-based actor, producer, writer, and director. He was recently featured as a trailblazer in the New York Times piece "The Trans Actors Challenging Outmoded Ideas of Masculinity," for his work in the award-winning digital series These Thems and groundbreaking comedy series Razor Tongue, created by Emmy-nominated actress and producer Rain Valdez. As a voice actor, Dasani can be heard as the character Jack in James Sie's coming-of-age YA novel, All Kinds of Other. In 2019, Dasani was selected to participate in the prestigious ABC Discovers South Asian actor workshop. Recognized as a champion of social change, in 2018 the Bonobos brand picked Dasani as a representative for its #EvolveTheDefinition campaign, which sought to jump-start a conversation about broadening ideas of masculinity.
Before launching into the acting world, Dasani received his MFA from Chapman University. He has written, produced and directed over 30 short films, commercials, and music videos, and is a proud member of the Directors Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA.

About the Performer

Commarrah J. Yochanan (they/them) is a Black, trans, nonbinary, Jewish actrix, artist, and improviser with over 20 years of experience. They are an alum of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where they received a BFA in Drama in 2011. In 2019, they debuted an improv score "Ance$tor Money" as part of Stonewall @ 50, curated by Andrea Jenkins. They also originated the role of Kleo in a new sci-fi nonbinary musical, Queen Bee. In September 2020, they emceed the 7th Annual Minneapolis Transgender Equity Summit. Commarrah was one of four artists selected for 20% Theatre Company's Q-Stage: New Work Series 2020-2021. They were recently announced as part of the core ensemble of Lightning Rod, a majority BIPOC queer-trans-led theater organism. Commarrah is a former member of the Transgender Equity Council and Minneapolis Arts Commission, and a Marsha P. Johnson Institute Black trans Organizer, Class of 2020. They raised over $30K with a fundraiser for local Black trans and Native trans/Two Spirit artists.

Featured Article: The Best Trans and Nonbinary Listens


As our society becomes more inclusive, some of our most underrepresented communities are getting a much-needed opportunity to tell their stories. For this list, we’ve come up with some of the best trans and nonbinary listens, across all genres and age categories. And because we know that authenticity is important to listeners, our selections are almost exclusively written by queer, trans, and nonbinary authors.

What listeners say about Sunset Springs

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The ending ruined it

I read to escape. I read romance novels because they have happy endings. The ending did not jive with the rest of the story. This was ambiguous. Charlie could have asked to work remote from the town. Ugh!

8 people found this helpful

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So much prejudice

Being the story of a transgender man, should the narrator nor be a male voice?
Cisman not used correctly? Cisgender refers to identifying with gender assigned at birth. Bit confusing.
Although prejudiced dealt with in this story is heartwrenching. Unsatisfying end

6 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable listen

I enjoyed the story, but as a transgender male, the very feminine sounding narrator was disappointing and distracting.

6 people found this helpful

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Great story for a quiet afternoon

I found this story well balanced between a super cute and sweet love story and the issues of racism, transphobia and homophobia. An enjoyable afternoon listen that also gave me a little more insight into what life may be like for folks who are less privileged than I am.

So thrilled this was fabulously performed by someone who is Black and trans as well, that brought depth and sincerity to the reading of the story.

5 people found this helpful

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modern love story without harmful tropes

I love love loved reading this story. there were so many moments when I was concerned and expected a typical trope I've read before: the ultimatums, ignoring requests for space, the dead name being mentioned, giving up a dream for love. I was pleasantly suprised to find that the story was well-written and didnt include these harmful tropes. listening to this as a trans person was heart-warming and made me feel giddy. I highly recommend.

4 people found this helpful

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I am clearly not the intended audience for this

I don't have an issue with trans people or black people or gay people...otherwise I wouldn't have downloaded this book. I've listened to a number of guy/guy books, this is the first where one of the guys transitioned. But they're usually about the PEOPLE and how they feel about one another, not about how they feel about their own issues. This kind of misses the mark for a "romance" novel IMO.

That said, it deals heavily with trans themes that may help a trans person reading it feel like they are seen. For an outside person looking in, it seems that the entire book is about the feelings of a person whose only identity is that of being black and trans. There was nothing that helped me connect with the HUMAN that was black and trans, as that was kind of the sum total of the character. The black trans character makes comments about how they're surprised that the prior-quarterback-now-rancher refers to himself as "cis" and how impressive it is that they've educated themselves on the gay lingo. As if that validates him and otherwise he wouldn't have been a "real" gay guy.

Like I said...I am clearly not the intended audience for this one. I think I'm going to abandon it with 56 minutes left in the 2 hr 50 min book and leave it for the person(s) to whom it was targeted. I honestly believe that this title has been misclassified and should be in LGBTQ+ Fiction rather than "romance". There has been nothing romantic yet. It's been mostly a compendium of negative feelings toward the town and closed-minded people.

3 people found this helpful

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More please

Omg I love this novella… I want more of this story. This is my first book with a trans main character and I think I have been missing out! I want to find more books like this. I love the narrator also.

3 people found this helpful

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Better Than Expected

Overall I thought the book was a pretty good read. The story was interesting and really held my attention. The characters were relatable and I enjoyed the book.

3 people found this helpful

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Very good book

I really enjoyed listening to this book. i loved how it allowed listeners to tro to understand from the inside what a lot of people in the LGBTQ+ community go through as well as being black in a mostly white area. I didn't like the way it ended but I really loved the all around story

2 people found this helpful

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cute story!

I really liked this story. It's inclusive and doesn't gloss over the realities of "untraditional" relationships and the discrimination they receive. it's refreshing to see the spectrum of love represented and not sugar coated.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Clare Tunilla
  • 09-16-21

A little short and jarring, but so beautiful

This was a really cute mm, small town romance audiobook and got me really excited for the other books I own by this author. I loved the representation in it (the main character is a black gay trans man). I wish the ending wasn't so jarring, but given how the story played out, it stays true to the character instead of the expected ending. I love that the author is black, queer, and trans, and that the narrator is black and trans non-binary.