Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

All the Wrong Places

Sunday, February 23, 2020

All the Wrong Places (2016) Ann Gallagher (Bluewater Bay)

All the Wrong PlacesBrennan Cross doesn’t know what’s wrong with him, only that there must be something, since all his girlfriends cheat on him and then dump him.

Once was chance. Twice was coincidence. Three times was a goddamn pattern.

Zafir Hamady works at a sex shop for the benefits and at a pizza place for the extra money, because being a single father is expensive. But when Brennan comes into the shop looking for answers as to what he’s been doing wrong, Zafir’s answer is unexpected: perhaps you’re ace.

I deeply appreciate that Brennan recognizes the adage, “the common denominator in all your unhappy relationships is you.”

Even better is how hard Zafir works at being a good parent.

“I’m not a parent, and I’m no expert. But it sounds like you’ve got that balance, you know? Between being protective and being too protective. You let him take risks, but don’t let him do things that’ll get him seriously hurt. You know, enough that he knows that if you say not to do something, there’s probably a reason for it.”

Zafir recognizes his over-protective instincts and works to let Tariq make his own mistakes. And even though he desperately doesn’t want to, he lets his son take up skatboarding, which is how he keeps spending time with Brennan, who has offered to teach Tariq to skate.

What is particularly good about this story is just how much Zafir is willing to sacrifice for Tariq. A screw up that might be worked past in one relationship is far more difficult when his son’s heart gets broken with his own.

So yay for another good story!

Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Rating: 8/10

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