- Series: Toronto Connections (Book 1)
- Paperback: 284 pages
- Publisher: Riptide Publishing (July 9, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1626494843
- ISBN-13: 978-1626494848
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,310,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Blank Spaces (Toronto Connections) (Volume 1) Paperback – July 9, 2016
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"Lennox's story of attracted opposites, enhanced by her engagingly wry humor, progresses rapidly, keeping readers absorbed and entertained." ~ Booklist "An unlikely romance between two beautifully written characters will leave readers swooning." ~ Kirkus
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Top Customer Reviews
Central to the story is an art gallery where paintings have begun to disappear. After the third insurance-covered theft, the insurance company sends an investigator, to look into what is going on. The questions to be looked into are is it an inside job, has someone compromised the security system, why are these particularly paintings being stolen, and especially, how are the thefts being carried out. All of these questions presumably will lead to discovering who the thief is. The mystery of the painting thefts is not the main plot, though, because Blank Spaces is a love story, not a mystery novel.
Vaughn is a man who never leaves his apartment without ironing his clothes and otherwise making sure he is perfectly groomed. His job title is gallery assistant but he longs for more. The other aspect of Vaughn that is beautifully developed in this story is the fact that Vaughn is asexual. He needs romance in his life far more than he needs sex. In fact, he isn’t interested in sex at all. He is indeed gay, in that he is attracted to men, but he wants to love and be loved. As we begin this story he has plenty of friends but no one person with whom he is in love. He also has a job he treasures but that may be at stake if these thefts continue, imperiling the gallery’s continued existence.
Jonah is the investigator sent by the insurance company to make sense of these continuing thefts and hopefully, either solve the mystery or aid the police in finding the culprit. Jonah is gay but his sexual identity is about as opposite of Vaughn’s as it is possible to be. Jonah needs sex, lots of it with many partners and a variety of kinds of sexual experiences. Yet, he is drawn to Vaughn, even after he discovers what makes Vaughn tick and realizes he can’t give Vaughn the romance he craves. Jonah’s lifestyle is on the edge of dangerous and maybe even a bit over that line.
Following Vaughn and Jonah grow and learn how to respect and fulfill the needs of each other was undeniably the most enchanting part of this story. How is it possible for a man who craves romance but not sex to become the boyfriend of a man who needs a variety of sex outside of their relationship and doesn’t have any idea how to love someone else?
There are several secondary characters who are important to Vaughn and Jonah, and all are well developed. To call this book character-driven is spot on in categorizing it. Cass Lennox is a master at giving us three dimensional characters and also describing the environment that accommodates them.
Is the mystery solved? Do Vaughn and Jonah become a couple? I’ll leave the answers to these questions to you, the reader, to find out and thoroughly enjoy. This is a book to experience and appreciate on all levels but I will tell you that the ending is highly satisfying.
The characters were so lively and realistic, and the dialogue! So great. These characters came across as real people and they spoke that way, too. And if I don't get a book about Zay, I will cry many tears :D I *did* cry when Vaughn had his moment of realizing he was asexual. It was familiar, I think, to many of us who finally have that moment where a label exists to tell us "You are not alone. Other people feel this way." It was lovely. Jonah's issues were realistic and provided drama to the story without feeling contrived.
Basically I think Ms. Lennox is a super talented writer and can't wait to read more of her work in the future, and I'm stoked to see there are more books in this series.
What really impressed and delighted me -- DELIGHTED ME -- about this book was the phenomenal rep for non-traditional relationships. It was probably one of the best I've read.
I LOVED how this book ended. The idea of open sexual relationships -- where partners are free to explore their sexuality with others and not necessarily form emotional bonds while doing so -- is something I so rarely get to read about, and when I see it, 99% of the time it's portrayed negatively. I get that it's not for everyone -- I really do -- but hey, it's also *for* someone and it's nice to see that portrayed in a positive and affirming fashion. I love how sex-positive this book was, that Jonah's enjoyment of sex had reasons, perhaps, in his upbringing but also he was aware of that and totally owned it. It didn't mean he had to change or stop having the kind of sex he liked, and that was really awesome to read.
Vaughn's support of Jonah's needs was so lovely, and what I just adored about this book was how they were able to make their relationship work *for them* regardless of what people might think about it, or how others would view it, because *they knew what they needed to work together*. This is so important, because when your non-trad relationship structure is either not portrayed at all or is portrayed negatively *ALL THE TIME*, when society's view of love and romance is so rigidly defined that it's alienating to be outside of those celebrated norms, you do feel like it's you and your partner against the world (or just you against the world). Seeing this kind of accepted and celebrated relationship was just...man, it was just *great*. I can't express how much it thrilled me to read about it being one that worked. It does, for a lot of people. We just don't always talk about it, because we're used to keeping quiet.
I had no idea how much I'd like seeing an open relationship that simply was about sex, because there's nothing wrong with that. If it works for both partners, if it provides them the structure and framework they need to be happy and fulfilled, then that's all that matters. I especially loved the detail of Vaughn commiserating with Jonah after a failed hook-up, that they had a moment of shared amusement over it -- *swoons* -- and they did this because they're on the same page, and they communicate, and their relationship really works for them. This little detail was one of my favorites, because it *happens* and I loved being able to relate to it.
I also really enjoyed how Vaughn's asexuality was written, as it was also very positive and affirming. People discovering their sexuality is one of my faves to read about, especially when it's so joyful. Vaughn might have struggled at first, but being able to come to that place with him, as a reader, was just a delight.
So, yeah, I loved this book for a lot of reasons, and I will happily read everything Ms. Lennox writes from now until the end of all things xDD
Vaughn and Jonah are complete opposites. Vaughn doesn't really care for hooking up. In fact he doesn't really like sex all that much, but he's not sure why or what's wrong with him. Jonah loves sex, but without realizing it, he uses it as a way to numb the pain of his horrible childhood. They meet when an art piece is stolen from the gallery Vaughn works at. Jonah is the insurance agent that shows up to investigate the claim.
I read some reviews after I started the book and they made me want to put the book down, but I decided to keep reading. I'm glad I did, while I wasn't completely satisfied with the story, it's not for the same reasons as some of the other reviewers. This story leads to an open relationship, which although it's not for me and I don't particularly care for it in my books, if I don't have to see it on page, I guess I could live with it. Unfortunately, the author failed to address Jonah's need for sex. As I said above, he uses it to numb the pain, sort of like a drug and if the author had addressed this maybe an open relationship wouldn't have been needed. Maybe a better sexual compromise could have been reached, too. Sex toys anyone?
Jonah and Vaughn had a great chemistry, I just wish the author had put them together sooner. The romantic portion of the story moved much too slow for my taste.
While this was an enjoyable read, it left unresolved issues and the ending left me feeling unsatisfied and wanting more, but not in a good way. Still, it was a recommended read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book took me so long to get into, and quite frankly, I’m not sure why I stuck with it. But I am really glad I did, as I ended up enjoying it.Read more
I’m not entirely sure what kept me so glued to...Read more