Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Ace of Hearts by Devyn Morgan

Title: Ace of Hearts
Author: Devyn Morgan
Purchase or read in KU at Amazon
Cover Artist: Resplendent Media
Genre: contemporary
Length: 22k EST
Formats Mobi

Sometimes your best match is the person you'd least expect

Brendan Cole’s quiet nature makes it hard to connect with people, but when he meets Lucas Amsden, everything changes. From the moment Lucas sweeps up to offer Brendan a plate of freshly baked cookies, his sunny disposition and generous nature give Brendan a new outlook on life. So when his new friend is pushed out onto the street by a bullying ex-boyfriend, Brendan is more than happy to offer Lucas a place to crash.

Lucas soon finds himself relying on Brendan’s steady practicality, even as he enjoys prodding Brendan to relax and have more fun. The only problem? Living with such a gorgeous yet untouchable guy just might drive him crazy. He understands why Brendan can't offer a traditional romantic relationship, but he also can’t imagine spending the rest of their lives as just-friends.

They may not be the typical couple, but Brendan cares too much to let Lucas drift out of his life. He's determined to find a way to make things work. Can the puzzle pieces of these two very different lives be made to fit together? With a little ingenuity, and a lot of luck, maybe they can create their own happily-ever-after.

Ace of Hearts is a standalone m/m romance with a HEA ending.

This was the second of a new kind of story for me, because one of the main characters identifies as asexual. Which presents some challenges for a romance, particularly a romance in a genre and from an author where we’ve learned to expect some sex.

And Devyn Morgan delivers. This author is wildly uneven for me, some stories I love, some leave me shaking my head, but this one is great. Still with the not-too-angsty treatment of some serious issues, and with a character the likes of which I’ve read very little. Brendan, the ace character, is endearing, and eye-opening.

He’s an education, really, to all of us who’ve made assumptions about people. He understands himself and what he’s ready for, and figures out how to cope with other people’s reactions. That doesn’t mean he’s happy with prying questions and dumb assumptions like “he just hasn’t met the right man yet.”

Well, the right man for what? When he runs into Lucas, he’s met a dear person who’s willing to accept him on his own terms, and not push.

Lucas is adorable, cheerful and interested and kind of like a big, thoughtful puppy, and how he stuck himself with a pompous prick like Chad is a sadness. Chad has bad boyfriend written all over him, controlling and snooty, and kicking Lucas to the curb is very likely the only good thing he ever did.

These guys have the opportunity to be friends first. And even if it looks like that’s all they ever could be, they are good as friends, and that’s a sweet part of the story. As friends, they complement each other well, helping and advising. When Brendan feels ready to explore what he and Lucas could do together, Lucas doesn’t go pushy and demanding. While Lucas has the raging hots for Brendan, he stays sweet, and they can find something that works for them. There’s a lot of colors in the rainbow, and these guys find out what color their happiness is. It doesn’t have to be the same as everyone else’s.

There's kind of a big jump to get to the super happy ever after, but it made me smile, and I liked what came before that.

Cute story for a charming couple. And also, karma. Go karma.   4.5 marbles


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