Textual Relations, by Cate Ashwood
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: August 6, 2017
Evolutionary psychology professor Henry Hathaway is ready to spend his birthday the same way he does every year: a good teeth cleaning followed by dinner 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?
So I don’t know if this is right book at the right time or what, but I really enjoyed this. I had been looking forward to it, as I reviewed another Cate Ashwood earlier in the year that seemed like it wasn’t going to be my cup of tea but then ended up surprising me. This book had the potential to really go wrong, but it speaks to Ashwood as an author that it didn’t.
One thing about this book that I think works is it is short and, for the most part, angst free. Henry is pretty clueless when the book first starts out. He meets Asher when trying to be a nice guy and make sure a girl who has texted him in error doesn’t end up getting stood up at a bar. When he figures out Ash is not Ashley but rather Asher– and most likely also about to get stood up due to the texting error– he decides to once again be a nice guy and accept an invitation to hang out. It is his birthday (Henry’s) after all.
I think Henry could have easily been written GFY, which seems to be a very M/M thing to do with a man discovering his bisexuality later on in life. OR he could have been written as a guy who, having had his eyes open to the wonderful world of dick, decided he didn’t like women after all and was GAY. Which listen… all those things I suppose can and possibly do happen in real life to people, BUT so does just being a flat-out boring old bisexual (that’s sarcasm… I’m pansexual, which sounds more mystical to non-queer people than it actually ends up being).
What happens as a result of that one night not only changes things for Henry but also for Asher. This book could have been overdone but it was so simplistic in how the two handled things between themselves and others. It just worked.
Cate discovered her love for books of all kinds early on, but romance is where her heart truly lies. She is addicted to the happily ever afters and the journey the characters take to get there. Currently residing in White Rock, B.C, Cate loves living just a stone’s throw from the ocean. When she’s not writing, she can be found consuming coffee at an alarming rate while wrangling her children, her husband, and their two cats.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.