Tuesday, July 25, 2017

ARC Review: Textual Relations by Cate Ashwood

Textual RelationsBlurb:
Evolutionary psychology professor Henry Hathaway is ready to spend his birthday the same way he does every year: a good teeth cleaning followed by lunch with his brother. But when he receives a wrong-number text confirming the details of a date, he does what any considerate person would—he goes to meet them and explain why they've been stood up. 

Asher Wescott hadn't expected his blind date to go well, because when do they ever? Henry shows up instead, and things are suddenly looking up. Socially awkward and attached to his routines, Henry is nevertheless one of the most charming and kind men Asher has met in a long time. 

Too bad he's not Henry's type. 

An accidental date, an impulsive kiss, and a few conflicted feelings later, can Asher get Henry to see the world—and him—in a different light?

Todd's rating:


"And the award for most clueless man on the planet (apparently) goes to... [drum-roll] Henry Hathaway!"

While evolutionary psychology professor Henry was sort of adorably clueless, unfortunately, he mostly just came across as boring to me.

If someone asked me to come up with one fairly-interesting thing about Henry, I'd be hard-pressed to come up with that answer -- apart from his penchant for finding himself on dates, with no knowledge that he's actually *on a date*.

The premise immediately hooked me, but even with Asher continued pulling Henry off the beaten path, it really felt like nothing much really happens during the story, other than Henry realizing that he's bisexual. I just needed *some* type of external conflict that never appeared.

Things got slightly more interesting once Asher finally introduced Henry to his closest friends, helping the couple solidify their relationship and feelings, but it still felt a bit too much like smooth sailing.

Maybe if someone from Asher's 'supposed' player past (which we're only told, not shown) had made an appearance, that would have been enough conflict to satisfy me. But as written, it all was a bit too fairytale perfect to keep me fully engaged.

To be a shorter story, it did have a good bit of steam, but not so much that it ever felt gratuitous, and the epilogue from a year after they met did cement more of an HEA.

While I did mostly like the story, my mind did wander off during the middle parts, then pulled me back in again for the conclusion, so I'd have to rate this one at around 3.25 extremely-fluffy stars.

My ARC copy of the story was provided by the author in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.


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