Romance isn’t one of my usual genres and if I do happen to read one, oftentimes, it’s because I went in blind (judged only by the colorful covers; didn’t read the genres/blurb). Well, with a week-long vacation coming up (and no idea if there would be any travel plans with the family), I decided to grab one extra book for my Kindle and decided to try a genre I don’t usually read.
I had picked this one up because it looked like it was ten levels of cute. I couldn’t say no, especially considering the summary was essentially a bunch of fun tags, Ao3 style. It sounded like a nice book, and it really was just that! Cute as hell, fluffy and comfy, and sweet enough to rot your teeth! No rivalry drama, no jealousy (except for a quick misunderstanding), and no major scandals, just two guys discovering their love for one another in ways they’ve never even imagined previously.
Title: Style of Love
Author: AJ Sherwood
Edition: Kindle > Ebook
Length: 291 Pages (Kindle)
Genre/s: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance > M M Romance, LGBT, Adult
Rating: 4 Golden Eggs
TW/CW: Homophobic slurs, Toxic Family Members, Sexual Content
Asher’s dream job: Interior design – check.
His dream boyfriend: Park Bo Gum – not check. Sadly.
Straight as a board, childhood bff Zar: check
Zar becoming his boyfriend: che–wait, what?!
Oh look a contemporary romance, GFY, Best friends to lovers, Dumbasses to lovers, not so much slowburn as two idiots standing around on fire, emotional baggage check, HGTV meets BL, family of choice, Asher needs a better family, Zar’s will adopt him, healthy choice making (and some impulsive ones), no angst here only cuddles, best friends giving The Talk, yes that one, Gage hates -coughlovescough- them, tropey tropes a lot, yaoi fangirls as co-workers leads to interesting situations, and sexy photoshoots, best supporting character goes to the dog, small town, Asher and Zar are so obvious there is a bet riding on them, Zar uses handcuffs for not sexy reasons, at least the first time, only one sledgehammer was sacrificed in the making of this book
Toxic family members
Asher is living his dream life: he’s got a home that he renovated himself, has his dream job in a company that he’s a partner in with his good friends, the best teddy BEAR of a dog, and the best of best friends who grew up with Asher. They’re so close, Zar is always popping by to drop off coffee and calls Asher every SINGLE morning. It doesn’t get better than this.
Time hasn’t severed their relationship either, merely making it stronger than ever, enough so that if it weren’t for the fact that Zar was as straight as a board, people would’ve though they were dating by now. But, something changes during a photoshoot between Asher and Zar and suddenly everyone’s world is rocked.
This was a really sweet book revolving around the childhood friends to lovers trope, and it’s pretty well done. They’ve been friends for so long and with Zar intertwined in nearly every aspect of Asher’s life (being his daily support, Zar knowing Asher’s only other closer friends, his inner circle, etc.) Asher’s afraid of the massive fallout if this relationship turns sour. Zar, who is still trying to get a grasp of his sexuality, is the one doing the chasing and the only way through would be solid communication; sit and talk this through slowly. With plenty of guidance and advice from family and friends alike, each begin to see a new side to this relationship.
All of the main and supporting characters are lovable and it gave me such a warm feeling to know that so many of Zar and Asher’s close friends and family are not only supportive, but rooting for the two of them to get together (I mean, the town board has a betting pool on them!) Zar’s family is amazingly supporting, a stark contrast to Asher’s who’s bigoted views truly hurts to read. Asher, dear, the garbage can is this way. Just chuck the entire household on the next pickup day…
On the side line, I also was fascinated by Asher’s job as an interior designer. As someone with an abysmal taste in anything revolving colors, I found it intriguing that every now and then, we would briefly turn the story back quickly to Ash doing his job, be it a lunch meeting with clients over colors, having his coworkers discuss which walls to and not to tear down, and him going on seven hour long emergency shopping trips for a single lighting fixture.
All in all, I thought it was a pretty good read that I plowed right through. I enjoyed the friendly chats between Asher and his friends, both in work and their group texts. Their messages are some of my favorite lines in the book. I love how protective Zar is of Asher in nearly every sense as well as how jealous Zar becomes of Asher when he thought he was in a date with another guy, and loved the extremely close-knit town that had a betting pool on the town’s website over Zar and Asher (amongst other bets like when a neighbor’s old car would finally break down). While most of Asher’s family is worthy of a smack-down, Zar’s is right there to pick him up (and dish out a smack of their own if needed).
Gage: Guys, help. I’m having creation ideas above my skill level
Asher: Pfft that’s nothing. I have creation ideas above my motivation level
Cohen: I have them above my free time level
Riggs: I’m suddenly glad I’m not the creative type
Asher: Bragging is unbecoming
Gage: Ash, I will pay you in beer if you come rescue me.
Ash: You tried it anyway, didn’t you?
Gage: To be fair, my life is mostly a collection of poor decisions set to rock music
There is a small note that did stick out and it was that their relationship was too golden. It’s a major empathizes that they were meant for each other. Aside from the initial fight where Asher believed Zar was rushing into this too much and too fast, there weren’t a lot of other conflicts between the two. That, in itself is fine, but sometimes the things that they would say to each other, dialogues wise, was not really realistic and felt a bit unnatural, though it didn’t stop me from grinning madly because geez, these two lovable and oblivious dumbasses. I simply had a couple of fleeting thoughts of, “People don’t talk like this, do they?” Other than that though, it really was a good, smooth, and nicely written book about friends to lovers with plenty of memorable lines spoken between friends.
Also, if the moment below isn’t the epitome of adult life, I don’t know what is. They say, you know you’re an adult when nobody can stop you from eating cake for breakfast!
“Oh, I had a delicious omelet this morning.” Like hell he was awake enough to cook. I played out some more line, waiting for him to hang himself. “Oh, really? Do tell.”
“I seasoned the eggs with sugar, oil, chocolate, even threw in some flour for texture. It was amazing. Best omelet ever.” I translated without effort. “So, you had cake for breakfast.”