Review: All the wrong places by Ann Gallagher

 Series: Bluewater Bay (book 14), Standalone

Genre: LGBT (m/m, asexual character), Romance

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Cover: I like it

Links: goodreads, publisher

Trigger warnings: none

Description: 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.

Review: I was instantly captured by this story, because the writing is so flowing. But the story itself is very interesting as well.

I love how there are more and more asexual romance books appearing. All the wrong places works perfect as a beginner’s book, so to say. A lot of different sexualities are mentioned, so someone wondering about themselves gets a good starting point. Especially the way asexuality is handled here may be an eye-opener for some readers. But enough about the educating aspects.

The romance is very slow-building (which I absolutely love!), because they first develop a friendship. Both Brennan and Zafir are very interesting characters. I especially like how Zafir being a muslim plays a role without him mentioning it every chance he gets.

But my most beloved character would be Zafir’s son Tariq. He is very kid-like and so enthusiastic, which makes him a fun and refreshing character. So often children (if they are even featured in a story) get pushed to the sidelines without playing a big role. Tariq is a very important character and a driving force instead.

If it were not for the ending, which left me slightly disappointed, I would have given a full five stars.

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