Title: Of Monsters and Men (A Forever Home #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Caitlin Ricci (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 20, 2015 – 200 pgs
Seth’s life looks idyllic on the surface. He has a great job at the pet rescue with a fantastic boss, who happens to be a werewolf. He is getting his degree at the local university and has a best friend who understands that the most intimate thing for Seth is a kiss. But when it comes to relationships, Seth’s perfect life is a jumbled mess. No guy stays around because eventually, they always want more than Seth, who is asexual, is able to give. Seth wants love and a relationship, but not the sex that everyone puts so much value on.
Seth tries for something more with the man he has a crush on, but when that ends Seth feels like he’s back to square one. So when his boss’s brother, Jeremy, pushes his way into Seth’s life, insisting that he won’t press for more than Seth is comfortable sharing, Seth is wary. All of Seth’s experience says it won’t last long. But Jeremy is one werewolf who is used to getting his way, and might just be patient enough to wait for Seth to see he means what he says.
Asexuality isn’t something most of us read about or even think about very often, so an Ace main character was a refreshing change. I’m not sure I really liked Seth, though. He seemed incredibly self-involved. For an asexual character, he seemed obsessed with sex and quick to judge the few people who cared about him.
I loved Jeremy and the rest of the cast. Far from the monster Jeremy claimed to be, he came across as the most human of the men in the story. His strength allowed others to be themselves and I was cheering when he started to venture out of his closet.
Romance stories usually have a sexual story arc, and I found it a challenge to accept and understand the progression of Seth and Jeremy’s relationship without physical intimacy. At times the relationship seemed very clinical. Both men laid out lists of what they wanted and then they negotiated compromise. It was all very grown up, but I kept yearning for the missing passion.
I found that I really loved Jeremy even though he was the a-hole he said he was, that was what sort of made me like him. He was who he was and that’s just it.
Seth on the other hand is supposed to be the one the story is about with his asexuality and his desire to try to find a life that he was happy with while not trying to change who he was or the person he was with to get there. Seth confused me on so many levels. While I understand what asexuality is and thought the author portrayed it quite well, I felt like Seth himself had other issues he needed to deal with.
Jeremy tried to be there for him as exactly what he needed and sure he pushed a bit (like losing his jeans) but Seth never once was willing to try to work on his own insecurities to make their relationship work and that made me not like him. Not saying he had to give in, but he wasn’t even willing to relax around someone who’d given him everything he needed.
I also felt like we were missing all of the paranormal/shifter aspect of the book as there was only one time we see any of the characters as a wolf so I felt like that was a let down.
I do wholeheartedly applaud the author for taking on such a hard topic as asexuality and doing a good job of portraying what it is like to be asexual in such a sexually driven society.
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