Reviewed by Chris
TITLE: Coffee Cake
SERIES: Coffee Cake #1
AUTHOR: Michaela Grey
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 230 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 11, 2015
Bran Kendrick never expected to fall in love. He’s asexual, after all. What chance does he have of finding someone who’ll see past that? So when Malachi Warren catches his eye, Bran tells himself his crush will pass. Malachi disagrees. He has been attracted to Bran for some time, something he is delighted to find Bran reciprocating. They begin to date and feel their way through an intimate relationship that meets both their needs.
Suddenly Bran finds himself juggling a new boyfriend, a demanding job, and a college degree he’s not sure he wants, but he couldn’t be happier—until a series of seemingly random accidents befall Malachi. When they escalate, Bran realizes someone is trying to take away the best thing that ever happened to him, and he must scramble to keep Malachi safe while they search for the would-be killer.
Bran has been crushing on Malachi since he first laid eyes on the man. But having been burned in the past when he revealed that he was asexual, Bran can’t really see someone as popular and “normal” as Malachi bothering with someone like him. But he severely underestimates just how much Malachi is gone on him, or how far he is willing to go to prove it to Bran. Which would be all great and everything, but for some reason, Malachi keeps getting himself almost killed, and that is bound to put a damper on any relationship.
I’ve been trying to increase my reading of asexual and transgender stories lately, and someone suggested I might wanna check this out. And after seeing that the blog hadn’t done a review of it yet, I figured I would ask to see if I couldn’t do one for the blog. I’m always happy to boost the more queer side of the spectrum into the light, and I figured this would be a good chance.
For a book that is mostly about the repeated attempts on Malachi’s life, I found this to be a very lighthearted book. Bran and Malachi don’t really struggle much in their relationship–well other than a few stupid attempt on Malachi’s side to send Bran away–so when the two’s lives were not in active danger the story seemed to just coast right along. This is perhaps a bit to the books detriment, though. I liked the lighthearted feel, but the mystery was kinda pushed to the background for the lot of the book, so their relationship bore the brunt of the plot…and without that tension it just fell a little flat.
There was also a lot of sex, which is something I was more than a little surprised by. I have nothing against Bran or anyone who identifies with the many shades of asexuality engaging in sex in some form or another…I just didn’t expect it to take up nearly half of the book. And the fact is that there wasn’t a lot of chemistry to balance it out, so it felt a bit off. I wish the book had taken more time to build up the relationship, if only to let the reader get to the point where they truly felt this crazy love that was being played out on the page. It is well enough for the characters to declare their love, but if I can’t feel it, then I start to lose interest.
The pros and cons on this book seemed to basically offset themselves in my opinion. It wasn’t a great book, but neither was it all that bad. If you are looking for something light, this might just be your ticket. Just don’t expect the love, or the mystery, of the century and you should be find.