Another new thing here on the blog, is Monday Book Talk. It’s not reviews, it’s not promo for my own books. It’s just me, talking about books I read and liked. There may be a specific theme or trope, or there may be something else connecting them. There aren’t really any rules, just book talk. Because what’s better than talking about books?
When I traveled to Sweden (I’m back home in Malaysia now, YAY!), I downloaded books to my e-reader I’d read before. It’s perfect to re-read old favorites when spending 14 hours on a plane. I picked two books on the same theme: a main character receiving a wrong-number text and love ensues.
Textual Relations by Cate Ashwood:
Evolutionary psychology professor Henry Hathaway is ready to spend his birthday the same way he does every year: a good teeth cleaning followed by dinner with his brother. But when he receives a wrong-number text confirming the details of a date, he does what any considerate person would—he goes to meet them and explain why they’ve been stood up.
Asher Wescott hadn’t expected his blind date to go well, because when do they ever? Henry shows up instead, and things are suddenly looking up. Socially awkward and attached to his routines, Henry is nevertheless one of the most charming and kind men Asher has met in a long time.
Too bad he’s not Henry’s type.
An accidental date, an impulsive kiss, and a few conflicted feelings later, can Asher get Henry to see the world—and him—in a different light?
Textual Attraction by K-lee Klein:
Lewis has spent most of his adult life looking after his aging parents, and he recently ended a relationship with a domineering guy who’d been nothing but bad for him. Despite his less-than-stellar track record with men, he’s still hopeful there’s someone out there for him, but he’s learned to be careful with his heart. So he can’t figure out why a cryptic, gruff, drunken voice mail from a stranger named Jerry doesn’t make him hit the DELETE button. It’s clear the man’s got the wrong number. But when Jerry begins to text, Lewis finally responds, saying he’s not the guy Jerry wants. Jerry, however, is nothing if not persistent, and he keeps texting and teasing Lewis, even after he knows the truth.
Lewis is surprised when something sparks between them. Jerry turns out to be charming and witty, and they develop an odd friendship through text messages. When Jerry suggests they finally meet in person, Lewis is apprehensive, yet curious. Can he take the big step to meet Jerry face-to-face? More importantly, can he maybe even trust Jerry with his heart?
Even though they have the same main theme, the books are very different. Henry in Textual Relations is the world’s most clueless person (in an adorable way) who doesn’t realize he’s on a date with a man. Lewis in Textual Attraction is super annoyed by Jerry’s texts at first: Jerry doesn’t believe in punctuation and uses lots of emojis which irritates Lewis to no end.
Lewis and Jerry keep texting for quite some time before they finally meet, while Henry and Asher meet the same evening Asher sent the text to the wrong person. Lewis is burned by a previous relationship, while Henry doesn’t even know he’s gay, or at least bi.
What the books have in common is that they’re adorable, low angst, feel-good stories that both ended up on my re-read shelf over at Goodreads the first time I read them. And I really love the idea of two people meeting like that: by a text message meant for someone else.
Have you read any books with a theme like that? If yes, tell me. I’d love to read them!
(Apparently Textual Attraction isn’t available for purchase any longer because it was published by Amber and I can’t see that it’s been re-released anywhere else. But Textual Relations is available on Amazon.)