Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Brennan Cross can’t get past his girlfriend’s parting remarks. He caught her cheating with another guy and she blamed him. Him—because he failed to meet her sexual needs. And what’s worse is that she’s the third girlfriend in a row who had the same problem. He decides he needs professional help, so he goes where he expects to find someone who knows about sex—the Bluewater Bay sex store—Red Hot Bluewater. There he meets Zafir, a young Lebanese man, with long, dark hair pulled back into a ponytail, and an obvious desire to be helpful. After some conversation, Zafir poses the idea that Brennan might not be a bad lover; he might be asexual like Zafir.
After Zafir explains, Brennan finds himself more confused than ever and sets out to learn as much as he can about being asexual. Even though there’s an abundance of information, and misinformation, on the web, he finds that Zafir might indeed be right.
The two become friends, and Zafir allows himself to hope that there might be a place in Brennan’s heart for a Muslim single father with only a GED and no hope of a future career. Zafir took custody of his infant son when he was seventeen years old, and so far, the nine-year-old boy seems happy and well-adjusted. Zafir protects Tariq as much as he can, but he can’t protect him from a broken heart if this closeness he feels with Brennan falls through because Brennan has slowly become a part of Tariq’s life as well.
The biggest issue is Brennan’s doubt about his sexuality, especially when he realizes he loves Zafir but has no sexual desire for him. Advice from his ex-girlfriend seems to spin him around, and he’s headed for a collision with a broken heart and a broken relationship if he can’t come to accept Zafir’s love for him.
I loved this story. It was sweet and romantic, very informative, fun, humorous, heartwarming, and heartbreaking. When I find myself taking time between chapters to go back to savor the goodness of what has gone before, I know I have a winner in my hands, and that definitely happened here. The storytelling is superb, the pace perfect, and the romance just the thing to make my romantic heart swoon. I can’t recommend this one highly enough.
Cover art by LC Chase depicts the two MCs: Brennan with his constant companion—a skateboard—and Zafir gazing off into the distance overlooking Bluewater Bay. This book is a part of the Bluewater Bay series but most certainly can be read as a standalone.
Published June 13th 2016 by Riptide (first published June 12th 2016)
Original TitleAll the Wrong Places
ISBN 1626494193 (ISBN13: 9781626494190)