Author: Ann Gallagher
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 06/13/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance
Three cheating girlfriends in a row have given skateboarder Brennan Cross the same excuse: he wasn’t meeting their needs. Desperate and humiliated, he goes to the professionals at the local sex shop for advice.
Zafir Hamady, a sales clerk at Red Hot Bluewater, has an unusual theory: he doesn’t think Brennan is a bad lover. In fact, he doesn’t think Brennan is heterosexual. Or sexual at all, for that matter. He also can’t stop thinking about Brennan. But even if he’s right and Brennan really is asexual, that doesn’t mean Zafir has a chance. Brennan’s never dated a man, and Zafir’s never met anyone who’s game for a Muslim single father with a smart mouth and a GED.
Brennan’s always thought of himself as straight. But when sex is explicitly out of the mix, he finds himself drawn to Zafir for the qualities and interests they share. And Zafir can’t help enjoying Brennan’s company and the growing bond between Brennan and his son. They work well together, but with so many issues between them, doubts creep in, and Brennan’s struggle with his identity could push away the one person he didn’t know he could love.
“That’s a thing? People can be asexual?”
Have you ever picked up a book and just said…OMG that is me!? Felt so connected to a character that you devoured their story while at the same time wishing it would never end? Well this book was one of those cases for me.
For the longest time I thought I was broken. I mean I like sex and it is often quite enjoyable when with the right person. But I never could understand why others seemed to be obsessed with sex or why my previous exes felt the need to tell me, in excruciating detail, why their current flames were better for them because of “insert all the ways I was inadequate in the sex department.” And then when I turned 30 (yep 30) I discovered that asexuality was a thing and not just a thing used to insult others, but a real thing! And color me shocked that I finally understood where I belonged in life. And OMG it was wonderful to finally understand.
And my story was soooo eerily like Brennan’s that I immediately connected to him and was pulling for a happy ending. I loved watching him learn about asexuality and all they ways it fit him and all the ways it did not. The book is a bit heavy handed on teaching about asexuality, but it fit the storyline and the author did a good job at trying to explain that asexuality is not one way. That it is a spectrum just like anything else. Brennan and Zafir were great examples of how two asexuals can be just as different as two straight people or two gay people or two any people. Their story was well done in my opinion.
I also LOVED watching the romance unfold and have the focus be on learning each other as people and admiring personality traits and actions. There was very little time given to physical attraction or sexual feelings so I could FINALLY see a romance that was based on more than sexual compatibility which is so often the focus in romance novels today. I don’t see others in a sexual way, so to see a romance happen how I dream of one happening was WONDERFUL! I get so frustrated reading books where sex equals love. And I want to thank the author for not turning this into “fix the ace.” Thank you for letting these men be who they were meant to be without judgement. Thank you for giving me characters who uphold that asexuals need love too and that they are not damaged goods!
I took half a star off because I felt the conflict and resolution was forced and rushed. I mean, I sort of understand why it was there, but really, I didn’t think it needed to be. It didn’t materially add to the story and just left a bad taste in my mouth because it felt like it was just inserted later for effect. The story would have meant the same to me without it and would have ended the same as well.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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