Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Review: Blank Spaces

Blank Spaces Blank Spaces by Cass Lennox
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blank Spaces is a sweet, engaging romance.

I warmed immediately to Vaughn’s artistic sensibilities and the sense of isolation and detachment that stem from his confusion about his asexuality. He seems to float through the world around him, observing it but not letting it touch him. If not happy at the start of the novel, he’s content to have traded the possibility of a romantic relationship for the guarantee of never having to be sexually intimate again. But, nevertheless, he’s lonely and longs for the romantic love he thinks will be impossible for him to find.

Jonah is the perfect foil for Vaughn. He’s very much rooted in sensation, using strings-free sex to blot out the deep pain of his troubled past. And, like Vaughn, he also believes that he’s fundamentally unlovable and that sensation is all he can expect from personal relationships. Jonah doesn’t believe he’s worthy of being loved—and certainly not by a guy like Vaughn.

Their journey towards each other through the book, each learning to accept their own nature and to accommodate the needs of the other, is sweet and angsty and had me rooting for them even when I couldn’t see how they’d reach their happy ending. (I loved the ending, btw: non-traditional, but charming and happy and perfect for this pair.)

The writing is polished and the story, involving mysterious thefts from the art gallery where Vaughn works, is handled well and has a satisfying resolution. It doesn’t intrude on the romance, but serves it and provides enough plot to keep the pages turning at a good pace.

For me, this book had all the feels with the added benefit that Vaughn’s asexuality brought something different to the m/m genre. Recommended for anyone looking for a sweet, fun romance with a good dollop of angst and an ending that leaves the heroes happy and in love.

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