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Sunday, January 22, 2017

All the Wrong Places (Bluewater Bay #14) [Brennan & Zafir] by Ann Gallagher

Another book I'm not sure how to review.. Thing is the whole topic of Asexual was new to me and I enjoyed seeing a different relationship, and yeah, there was something even refreshing about a relationship being based on friendship closeness and trust with lust having NOTHING to do with anything. That being said, the story just didn't "grab" me. I liked both Brennan and Zafir, I could get both their difficulties with being together, but I wasn't that patient with them. I was tired of hearing redundant thoughts about life, definitions and insecurities. I wanted to SEE it, not hear about it. Also there was very little actually "going on" besides them forming a friendship, hanging with one another. Sometimes it works for me when it's just the couple, here I felt MORE would have been better than just being inside these guys heads and seeing them become more than just good friends. 

Brennan is a semi professional skateboarder, he works in a shop in Bluewater Bay who also sponsors him. But though Skateboarding works great for him, what doesn't are his relationships.. His last three girlfriends cheated on him.. Trying to work out what he's doing wrong he goes to Bluewater's Bay only sex shop. There he meets Zafir. From their conversation, Zafir starts to realize Brennan might be, like him, Asexual. Meaning sexual interactions aren't truly his thing, not something he NEEDS. Since Brennan has many questions, and since Zafir is a nice guy they start to hang out, at first, so Brennan can ask his questions and see how they apply to his life. But as they spend more time together, it's obvious something MORE is happening. I mean, it's basically them becoming great friends, but I could feel there was a little bit more than "me and my besty". 

While Brennan is struggling to understand his sexual interests, Zafir starts to realize he wants more than just friendship from Brennan, but thing is, there are many reasons to hold his ground.. First he is a Muslim. granted, not practicing it much but still. Second, he barely finished high school so he works low income jobs and he works A LOT to pay off his living expenses and his 9 years old son which is actually the biggest issue. Zafir doesn't want Tariq to get attached to Brennan only for him to disappear on him as it happened when other relationships didn't work out (including his mother..). But Brennan and Tariq are becoming good friends as Brennan started to teach him how to ride a skateboard and so its getting harder for both to separate their friendship from what's also happening between them. 

I liked the way the relationship progressed but I didn't like their final "quarrel" near the end, it was too much for me at that specific moment. I didn't need that. I was over them dealing with their inner fears. The final note though was beautifully done. I felt content with the life they built and going to build together. 

I say give it a try and read it if you haven't read a book about Asexuals. I was intrigued, I enjoyed the way their relationship was building up and yeah, I totally got both their insecurities on the matter. You might not have a problem with the things that were problematic for me. I wouldn't have giving up on this book. It was different and refreshing in it's own way even if I wish it was MORE than it actually was. 

I have one last thing to add which made me laugh (at myself). On dating sites under religion, one of the options is "Halal" I didn't know what that meant, and since it sounds Arabic, I wasn't sure why I was seeing some (Jewish) guys using this definition. I guess I was never that interested since I was looking for guys who regard themselves as "Atheists" (under this "box" of religious views). But now I know! Thanks Ann! (or rather L.A. Witt) It basically means, as I see it, funny enough, as Brennan saw it - eating "Kosher" or the Muslim definition of eating "Kosher". Everyday we learn something new, huh? :)   

Read on:
17-21 Jan 2017

Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

This collaborative story world is brought by collective authors, each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.

1. Starstruck By L.A. Witt [Levi Pritchard & Carter Samuels] (Published 3 November 2014) ★★★★
2. There's Something About Ari By L.B. Gregg [Buck Ellis & Ari Valentine] (Published 8 November 2014) ★★★★
3. Hell on Wheels By Z.A. Maxfield [Nash Holly & Spencer Kepler-Constantine] (Published 29 November 2014) ★★★★
4. Lone Wolf By Aleksandr Voinov & L.A. Witt [Hunter Easton & Kevin Hussain] (Published 20 December 2014) ★★ (DNF 25%)
5. The Burnt Toast B&B By Heidi Belleau & Rachel Haimowitz [Ginsberg Sloan & Derrick Richards] (Published 11 January 2015) ★★★½
6. Lights, Camera, Cupid (Bluewater Bay #6) Valentine's Anthology (Published 7 February 2015) ★★★★
    [ Just Another Day [Levi Pritchard & Carter Samuels] by L.A. Witt  ★★★ ]
    [ Nascha By Amy Lane  ★★★★★ ]

    [ No Easy Way [Cary Teijan & Dylan James] By S.E. Jakes  ★½ ]
    [ Helping Hand [Lucas Wilder & Gabriel Savage] by Anne Tenino  ★★★★★ ]
    [ I'll Be There [Nash Holly & Spencer Kepler] By Z.A. Maxfield  ★★ ]
7. Wedding Favors By Anne Tenino [Lucas Wilder & Gabriel Savage] (Published 11 April 2015) ★★★★
8. The Deep of the Sound By Amy Lane [Cal McCorkle & Avery Kennedy] (Published 13 June 2015)  ★★★★
9. When to Hold Them By G.B. Gordon [Doran Callaghan & Xavier Wagner] (Published 15 August 2015)  ★★ (DNF 49%)
10. Rain Shadow By L.A. Witt [Jeremy Rose & Scott Fletcher]  (Published 17 October 2015) ★★★
11. Stuck Landing By Lauren Gallagher [Anna Maxwell & Natalya Izmaylova] (Published 12 December 2015) ★★ (DNF 38%)
12. How the Cookie Crumbles By Jaime Samms [Frederic Jackson & Blaire Caruthers] (Published 13 February 2016) ★★★¾
13. Selfie By Amy Lane [Connor Montgomery & Noah Dakers] (Published 16 April 2016) ★★ (DNF 51%)
14. All the Wrong Places By Ann Gallagher [Brennan Cross & Zafir Hamady] (Published 12 June 2016) ★★★½
15. Bluewater Blues By G. B. Gordon [Jack Daley & Mark Keao] (Published 15 October 2016)
16. No Small Parts By Ally Blue [Nat Horn & Rafael Cortez] (Published 19 December 2016) 
17. For A Good Time, Call... By Anne Tenino & E.J. Russell [Nate Albano & Seth Larson] (Published 8 April 2017)

Though I enjoyed many books in this series, I'm not going to continue past the 17th. Firstly, this series, with so many different authors and different themes and at times sub-genres made the whole experience "bumpy". I had too many books I didn't connect with and I feel like it's going to stay this way with the authors who weren't my favorite. Secondly I feel a bit unsure about supporting this publisher considering its recent revealed "shade".

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