Review: Textual Relations by Cate Ashwood


Note: This ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Every year, Henry Hathaway spends his birthday the same way--a trip to his dentist for his annual cleaning and then lunch at the same place, eating the same food, with his brother. So, why should his thirty-second birthday be any different? All it takes is one missent text message from "Ash"--a text that makes it clear that this person is looking forward to a pre-arranged date. Henry decides to meet Ash in order to clarify that their text was sent to him instead of the intended party. Much to Henry's surprise, Ash is not an Ashley but an Asher--Asher Wescott. It's the beginning of an unexpected non-date that leads to a much more unexpected kiss. But Henry isn't gay and Ash is. So maybe they could make a go of a friendship instead...if only Henry could stop thinking about that single kiss.

This novella had the adorableness level on high and I loved every single bit of it! Textual Relations was my first ever Cate Ashwood read and it was exactly what I needed after a stressful day. All it took was less than a hundred pages for this author to give her readers a story that was fully developed and chockful of all the goodness that I look for in my romance reads. This also happens to be the kind of introduction that I like from new-to-me authors: it's short but ticks everything of my checklist AND it makes me quite curious about the author's back list and if there's anything there that may appeal to me and slash or if they have something that they're currently working on that may tickle my fancy. Ashwood's writing was on-point and had a lighthearted cleverness to it that I so appreciated.

What wasn't to like about Henry and Ash? Henry was a tad clueless about his sexuality, but maybe it had more to do with the fact that he never really considered the possibility of him being gay...that is, of course, until he meets Ash and then they share that life-changing kiss of theirs. There's an almost natural progression to their relationship that I loved. In the limited number of pages that we're given, I feel as if I truly got to know Henry and Ash, although more the former than the latter since the story is told from his point of view. I know there are some readers who aren't fans of gay-for-you (GFY) stories, but I hope you'll give this one a shot. It's well-written and is as much about Henry's journey of realization and self-acceptance as it as about falling in love. That's five stars to Textual Relations. ♥

Release Date: 10 August 2017

Date Read: 06 August 2017

Learn more about Cate Ashwood.

Purchase Textual Relations on Amazon.

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