This was a sweet, low-angst, meet-cute novella.
Henry Hathaway, an evolutionary psychology professor, gets up on his birthday to go to the dentist, because that's apparently what one does on his birthday. Except most people go to get their teeth cleaned twice a year, and a dental assistant isn't interchangeable with a dental hygienist.
Henry is rather dull and a bit socially awkward. When he gets a text out of the blue from someone named Ash, confirming their dinner plans, Henry goes out of his way to meet Ash, thinking Ash is a woman who's going to be stood up, and he doesn't want her to think her date didn't show. Again, most people would reply by text, stating something like "hey, wrong number", but not Henry.
Except when Henry gets to the restaurant, Ash turns out to be Asher. Who's definitely not a girl.
Meet-cute, right? Except Asher is gay, and Henry is definitely not. That he knows of.
Henry is also super oblivious so when he and Ash hang out, he doesn't realize it's a date.
Matter of fact, our oblivious prof doesn't realize much of anything until Ash kisses him.
What I liked about this book is that Mr. Oblivious didn't suddenly have an existential crisis after The Kiss and his revelation that "huh, how about that, I may be bi", and Asher is spontaneous and fun, and Henry just goes with the flow, allowing Asher to pull him out of his preconceived notions and routines.
Okay, so when I said "existential crisis", I didn't mean that Henry is all set to go explore his newfound attraction to Asher. There's a somewhat short time period where Henry doesn't answer Ash's calls and texts, but then, professor that he is, jumps feet first into researching sexuality, and... well, you read this for yourself.
As short as this is, there's plenty of steam, once Henry fully commits himself, and starts taking more risks - the staid professor type in Henry takes a leave of absence.
This is only a novella, so there's not a ton of relationship development, and we don't get Asher's POV, which didn't help explain why someone who's supposedly such a player (as we're told) is suddenly hell-bent on gaining the prof's love. I guess the heart wants what the heart wants? They for sure had sufficient chemistry, so even though this thing between them develops quickly, I didn't find it difficult to believe they had the hots for each other. The epilogue sealed the deal.
So, meet-cute, a clueless professor, and a smitten ex-player - this was a fun, albeit quick read. Perfect for an extended lunch break, amirite?
** I received a free copy of this book from its author. A positive review was not promised in return. **