Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Bran Kendrick never expected to fall in love. He’s asexual, after all. What chance does he have of finding someone who’ll see past that? So when Malachi Warren catches his eye, Bran tells himself his crush will pass. Malachi disagrees. He has been attracted to Bran for some time, something he is delighted to find Bran reciprocating. They begin to date and feel their way through an intimate relationship that meets both their needs.
Suddenly Bran finds himself juggling a new boyfriend, a demanding job, and a college degree he’s not sure he wants, but he couldn’t be happier—until a series of seemingly random accidents befall Malachi. When they escalate, Bran realizes someone is trying to take away the best thing that ever happened to him, and he must scramble to keep Malachi safe while they search for the would-be killer
I wanted to give to Michaela Grey a chance for a couple of reasons. First of all the cover. Congrats to Aaron Anderson that, albeit unknowingly, the artist has put in my favorite color and everything food related is a winner to me. Reading the blurb of Coffee Cake I was soon curious about the asexuality aspect. I’m pretty sure this book was my first one with an asexual MC and I can say that I really, really liked how it was shown to me. Being pretty ignorant about this specific subject, I wasn’t sure what to expect, as a matter of fact I was expecting no sex at all. I was so wrong, the sex scenes were interesting too, not just the book. I loved the author’s note at the beginning of the book, I found it beautiful.
“Asexuality is something that is sorely misrepresented by the media, and as a result, many asexuals grow up feeling they are broken or “freaks.” It is my goal to show these people that they can live a wholly satisfying, fulfilling life without ever wanting sex, and it’s not something to ever be ashamed of or feel guilty over.”
The plot is simple. Bran is an asexual young man who has a crush on Malachi, the popular college guy. What Bran doesn’t know is that the crush goes both way. Malachi is interested too and so they start seeing each other. When he has an accident, Bran starts taking care of Malachi. But when he gets hurt for a second time, they began wondering about coincidences or attempts at Malachi’s life.
Coffee Cake hit one of my weaknesses, the sweetness. Malachi and Bran are cute together, in their everyday life and in their intimate moments. I liked the way the author put Bran in a journey to the discovery of his sex life, letting him free to explore and to understand what he needed. We learn more about asexuality as Bran learns more about himself. It was lovely and instructive too.
“Um. I’m not… I’m not aromantic,” he said in a rush.
“Yeah? That’s cool. Do you know which way you swing in that regard?”
“I guess… gay,” Bran said. “Not that it matters.”
“Why wouldn’t it matter?” There was honest curiosity in Malachi’s voice.
Bran shrugged. “Because no one’s going to want me,” he said, and he couldn’t help the pain in his voice.
“That’s bullshit,” Malachi said flatly, and Bran jerked his head up. Malachi’s eyes were angry as they met Bran’s. “You’re an amazing guy, Bran. You have so much to offer. So what if you don’t want sex? It’s not as rare as you might think, and any guy would be lucky to have you.”
The writing was good and delicate and the combination with a mystery brought the story to an engaging level. Unfortunately there were some parts too stereotypical to my tastes, as the scene where Mal’s dad wants to pay Bran to leave his son, or all the “I-leave-you-because-I-don’t-want-you-to-be-hurt” drama. These clichés curbed a little of my enthusiasm for Coffee Cake. Nonetheless I want to recommend this book and I’m still curious about this author and her coming works. I really hope she will talk about asexuality again.
Cover art by Aaron Anderson. I love this cover! It’s different and cute, and the colors simply perfect. It’s what caught my attention and then reading the blurb I decided to read the book.
ebook, 220 pages
Published May 11th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press