Chase the Ace, Casey Ashwood

Chase the Ace by [Ashwood, Casey]

Two men, one sweet pup, and a connection based on something far deeper than passion.  Morgan and Chase find that they are drawn to one another in ways that neither expected but can't seem to mind too much.  When Chase finds a skinny pit bull in need of a rescue and a good meal he does his best to lure her in and is doing a fairly good job at it but finds invaluable help from a kind stranger.  The stranger, Morgan, hasn't met a dog he hasn't liked and vice versa.  He helps Chase and finds himself wondering more about the stunning man.  They find mutual attraction but they discover soon after that the attraction is no simple thing, there's something complicated, new, deeper, and far more valuable and lasting than anything either of them has experienced before.

Chase is sweet, vulnerable, and has the biggest heart.  He's loyal and caring.  There's something so pure about him that I find myself thinking of him as a young man that I need to shelter.  He's a man, though, and he has enough backbone to speak up and own who and what he is.  Being hurt in the past hasn't made this easier, but it does put things into perspective for him.  He holds out hope for more, for meaning, for intimacy without the pressures of sex.  Finding Morgan is scary but Chase is willing to take the risk when Morgan seems so different from anyone he's ever met and come out to.

Morgan is far more accepting of Chase's designation than I was expecting.  I was also thinking there was going to be a lot more drama about it and that the big confrontation or mistake was going to be regarding this but I was very happy to be wrong.  He's a simple man with a newer realization that he's tired of the game and is open to something that holds greater depth and substance.  He thinks what he's building with Chase could be the thing he's finally ready for.

Together they work toward a future and for the most part everything between them is sweet, innocent, but absolutely heartfelt and significant.  The foundation they're building is based on trust, admiration, respect, affection, and an innocent intimacy that I find lacking in other books that are filled with sexual situations.  Not that it's not an important aspect of many relationships, I'm just saying that it's interesting and nice to read a story that creates a relationship without sex being the end-all-be-all of a relationship.  When the sexual aspect of their relationship is address it's done with honesty, maturity, and it feels organic and more like the icing on the cake.

Reading stories with an asexual MC is relatively new for me.  I don't know much about the designation and I'm glad that there's an element of education within the pages of each story.  This one, in particular, was really good for me because the focus was on the level of intimacy that was comfortable, the intent and honesty, the coming together of two people that wasn't centered on sexual attraction and release.  There is more than an abundance of romance stories out there that are heavy on the sex and very light on the innate connection between two people.  They start in bed or by objectifying the other person and then grow a relationship from there but when sex is removed from the equation I don't think many of the relationships actually work.  But that's definitely a rant for another day...

Overall this story was touching and sweet.  It was still passionate, just in a different way and I enjoyed that it was written the way it was.  The MC's were worth getting to know, the writing was fluid, and the forging of a future grounded in all the stuff that makes relationships last was impressive.

 Chase the Ace, Casey Ashwood

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