I’ve been dabbling with books by LA Witt for a while now. Generally, I find them enjoyable, even if they’re not earth shattering. So it was upon discovering that Ann Gallagher is actually LA Witt, plus the synopsis about how the protag’s are asexual, (and Brennan is a skateboarder), I couldn’t resist reading All the Wrong Places.
Prior to starting, the only book I’d read that contained an asexual character was Scarred Souls, and I really did not like that book at all. To be fair, the fact that one of the characters was asexual had nothing to do with what turned me off. If I were to over-analyze my choice to read All the Wrong Places, wanting to read what an author I liked could do with this story was probably what made my subconscious curious.
Whatever the reason, I’m glad that I read this book. In this day in age you usually find that ‘romance’ goes hand in hand with sex, lots of steamy sex that tries to outdo the competition. Reviewers talk about how hot the sex was, mention if there was dirty talk, blah blah. In a book like All the Wrong Places, the author has to make us feel every bit of connection between the characters, but without the crutch that is sex. I think that Ann Gallagher tackled that tricky romance story with class.
Yes, there were aspects of the story that were slow, particularly the first half when Brennan was still finding his way, and Zafir was just acting as a really good friend. The second half made up for all of the slowness. There was an emotional connection between Zafir and Brennan, and I loved that their connection was entirely one of the mind. (I personally prefer the sweet romantic scenes over sex scenes, and we got that in All the Wrong Places.) I also thought that one of the strengths of this relationship was in how Zafir and Brennan were with Zafir’s son, Tariq. Zafir was a responsible single father, over protective but he worked hard to also be understanding. Brennan loved Zafir’s son, and his bond with Tariq was as sweet as the bond he had with Zafir. I also thought that Gallagher was really smart in making Zafir and Tariq Muslim. This is a hot button topic right now, and it was refreshing to read Zafir and Brennan discussing Z’s religion, his family, and how society has treated him.
In the end, while this was not my favorite book by this author, there were still aspects of the book that I really enjoyed. I’m definitely down for more.
Thank you to Riptide Publishing via Netgalley for providing an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: = C
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