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Blank Spaces

(Toronto Connections #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  555 ratings  ·  163 reviews
Absence is as crucial as presence.

The decision to stop dating has made Vaughn Hargrave’s life infinitely simpler: he has friends, an excellent wardrobe, and a job in the industry he loves. That’s all he really needs, especially since sex isn’t his forte anyway and no one else seems interested in a purely romantic connection. But when a piece is stolen from his art gallery
ebook, 330 pages
Published November 14th 2016 by Riptide (first published November 12th 2016)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  555 ratings  ·  163 reviews

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Kaje Harper
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the things I am really, really enjoying lately, is an expansion in the M/M genre to give our characters a wider range of happy ever afters: long-term relationships that they get to define from the inside. Because, while I love (and live in) the traditional two-hearts-and-bodies-faithful-forever version of HEA, I also really believe the Tolstoy quote: “I think... if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.”

As we s
Lelyana's Reviews
This book is one of those book that felt trapped on inside.
The blurb felt different after I read about the 'relationship' between Jonah (the slut extraordinaire) and Vaughn the asexual guy.
I know the concept of 'open relationship'. Believe me I know.
But when you have a relationship with an asexual, and f*** everything that move, still doing the hook up, even your 'boyfriend' is around, I'd say no. No, enough.
I had a big expectation about this book after I read the blurb, but even the blurb cheat
Annie ~ Queer Books Unbound
Reviewed for From Top to Bottom Reviews.

*I got an ARC of this book via Netgalley*

Oh this book! I have so many thoughts and things I want to say but can’t because a) they’d be spoilerish and b) way too long for a review, but.. I LOVE this book. It is, without a doubt, one of my favourite books this year. I don’t know how to put my thoughts into a coherent structure so I think I’ll just go with bullet points.

• A+ portrayal of an ace character (I have to add that this portrayal is just one experien
Chris, the Dalek King
A good friend of mine has been raving about this book for about a month now, and having now read it I can clearly see why. I don’t think it would be much of a shock to anyone reading this review when it comes out, but the last week has sucked. Like, a lot. To the point where I couldn’t even do much more than stare at a wall and fight the urge to scream. I couldn’t even look at my kindle. As the deadline for this review crept closer and closer I was scared that I wouldn’t even have the energy to ...more
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
4,5 stars

I read this book back to back with another one featuring LGBTetc. spectrum minorities. but man, it was as different as day and night. Blank Spaces made me believe that it's possible to write a great book that represents a minority group without making it sound like an educational pamphlet.

And it was a great book. I can't remember the last time when the non-romantic parts of a romance were so interesting. How these people live, how they make new friends and reconnect with old ones, even
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: alphabookclub
I don't know if I could have loved this book more. This is my first Cass Lennox read and I can guarantee that it will not be my last. And can we all take a second to just appreciate that cover? I will be shameless and admit that I picked this one up solely based on the cover. And I’m really glad I did.

First off, I need to just give a round of applause for writing a character like Vaughn. And I don’t mean in his asexuality, I mean in his complexity. Vaughn was a character that was creative and af
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
One size does not fit all.

One of those books I read in a day. I enjoyed it, how Lennox laid it out and gave us Jonah and Vaughn so different but with the same need at the base. I did and do wonder how they are going to work out things and I find Lennox take plausible. I would love to see a bit more into the future because I'm one who likes the nitty gritty of things.

Lennox writing style is flowing, a bit preachy at times but I easily overcame these bits, as you can see I read this over the cours
Skye Kilaen
An endearing opposites-attract romance, with a side of art theft mystery and class difference, between quiet asexual artist Vaughn Hargrave and brash insurance investigator Jonah, a gay former foster child who deals with stress by having quasi-public and often rough sex.

This book has positive reviews on Goodreads from people on the ace spectrum, and Cass Lennox is ace, so yay for #ownvoices and good ace rep. Plus, this book has two of the most interesting, well-developed character growth arcs I'
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
*ARC provided by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Where do I EVEN start?

By 5% (no, I didn't swallow any digits, I did mean FIVE PERCENT) of the book, I had the mystery part solved.

By 24%, I was already convinced that the so-called relationship would be unsatisfying for me(view spoiler)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, mm, asexual-mc
Good. A good book. First romance I've read with an ace MC. I liked it enough to forgive the fact that the "whodunit" aspect was painfully obvious from the get-go. And that absolutely zero time was spent on the investigation despite one of the MCs being an "insurance investigator". Despite the fact whatever Vaughn initially saw in Jonah really didn't come across at all. And that extremely contrived coincidental discussion at the "toga party". And I'm pretty sure Chekhov has some things to say abo ...more
Stephanie Hiddleston
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was my first romance book with an asexual character and a sexual character coordinating their desires (and non-desires) around each other and figuring out together how they'll work and then still having sexy times but with a fixed line and I've never loved anything as much as this. ...more
Angie Elle
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
ARC from Netgalley

3.5 stars

This book took me so long to get into, and quite frankly, I’m not sure why I stuck with it. But I am really glad I did, as I ended up enjoying it. I adored Vaughn and his easygoing, and at times, boyish nature. He was so honest and kind, just the sort of guy you’d want in your circle of friends. I love that he was so willing to just go with the flow. He wasn’t one to question why life was the way it was. It just was, and he was going with it. Jonah, on the other hand,
Christi Snow
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My Review:
Aww...this much love for this story and these guys...who are such complete opposites it's hard to see how they can possibly make this work. Vaughn is asexual and Jonah is quite the opposite. In fact, I'd almost hazard to say that Jonah is the male version of a nymphomaniac. He has sex...a lot of it...and truly can't live without it. Vaughn comes from money...a lot of it. Jonah is a product of the foster system. But they're drawn to one another and become friends...friends who
Oct 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book was disappointing. Asexuals seem to be the unicorns of the LGBT book world, so to find a book where the main character identifies as asexual is rare. Unfortunately this book just makes him look like a weak guy who wants a relationship so badly that he's willing to let his 'boyfriend' sleep with any dick that moves. The whole thing just left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth.

That aside the actually plot was soooooo drawn out. There was thefts, the bad guy was caught and the two main cha
While I liked both characters in this book, I really struggle with open relationships. I understand that this may work for some people but I have a hard time believing that it can ever lead to a HEA.

I felt that Jonah's constant need for sex and the reasons for it were pretty much glossed over, also the fact that Vaughn's friends and just about everyone else considers Jonah a "slut" was just brushed aside as irrelevant. I think that is something that would be very relevant in a long term relation
Lila Hunter
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
My View: I have read several books with asexual characters and I think this one does the best establishing a loving relationship in which one of the partners is asexual. But the best part is how the author shows the character self-discovery and how it changes him.

Vaughn is perfect. He has all he needs at the moment and meeting Jonah just opens the door for him to fulfill a piece of his life he didn't know was missing. Not because someone's expectations, but because it makes sense to him.

Jonah is
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, kindle, m-m
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review.*

I love this story so much I almost cried when it ended. This is not your usual m/m romance or erotic, it is unusual and that's what's makes it unique in my mind.

Jonah's cockiness and Vaughn's calmness was a joy to read about. Their differences are well described in a not so obvious way, but you still get it.

I liked the writing style of this author very much, it's light and easy even when it stil
I liked both leads and the caper part of the romance was interesting. However, it is hard for me to settle into a book with a love story when at least one of the characters needs therapy and doesn't get it.

This is an intersting exploration of two very different people who are attracted to each other and like each other but not a book I will be rereading.
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
A canonically gay, ace main character? Openly talking about asexuality? Acknowledging open relationships exist? Hell yes! This book is awesome!!

Ok, I admit the beginning of the story was a bit slow, and that mystery was more than predictable. Also, some of the things the different characters said or thought made me cringe. However, when I got to the second half of the book, I couldn’t put it down and now I’m completely sold. I adored it!

It’s very difficult to find books with a good portrayal of
Wow. I adored this and it came along at just the right moment.

Way too many romances focus on sexy times as the primary conduit to love these days. While sex is great in its place (which isn't automatically locked to love IMO), I love a book that can separate these things. There's loving to hang out with someone, there's being at their back when they are attacked, theres looking after/caring over someone when they need help, there's glorious comfort from touch/hugs and smell... and all those thi
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not only is it super rare to find a romance with a MC who is on the ace spectrum anyhow but the few I've read didn't quite work for me. This one does. On the one hand it is respectful in its depiction of Vaughn who just doesn't get what's supposed to be so great about sex. On the other hand it doesn't vilify Jonah for having sexual urges and the need to satisfy them. I can understand that some people have a problem with the solution to this dilemma (view spoiler) ...more
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the ace representation. I think this is one of the few MM books I've read with an ace MC that hasn't put asexuals in a clearly labelled box. The fact that it is mentioned that what is true for one ace, isn't necessarily true for another. I love that Vaughn was a sex-repulsed ace who's sex repulsion isn’t cured by the power of love so that the author can write in a gratuitous sex scene or two. Had Vaughn been presented in a way that I often see ace characters p ...more
A mysterious elf gave me this book that I was dying to read! Thank you sooo much!!
Kate Lynn
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, lgbt
I’ve got a few complaints about how the character’s sexualities are presented, but it’s over all a very cute read.

I was excited about a book with an asexual main character. The descriptions about him discovering his sexuality really resonated with me and it made me tear up seeing my own thoughts reflected in a book.


I understand that Jonah’s sexual identity is the complete opposite of an a-spec person. Still, the amount of sexual descriptions really got to me. Tread carefully if you’re
Barb ~rede-2-read~
ARC provided by the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an impartial review.

Unique, enjoyable, interesting, fun, amazing, and heartwarming are just a few adjectives that describe this story from Cass Lennox, in what might be their debut novel.

Vaughn Hargrave doesn’t like sex. He’s had it, and it’s okay, but it’s pretty much nothing special. He’s never felt that’s okay, so he avoids situations in which he might be expected to “put out.” He has a few close friends and will go out to bars
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Also posted on my blog.

ARC acquired through Netgalley.

So, I loved this book.

Like, really, really loved it.

One of the reasons is fairly obvious: one of the main characters, Vaughn, is ace, and he’s one of the best ace characters I’ve ever read (granted that they aren’t many, but Vaughn was great). The author is ace too if I’m not mistaken, which would explain how Vaughn’s experiences felt so genuine to me. In fact, I think that’s one of the first times where I identified almost completely with an
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
An ARC of this book was generously provided to me from the publisher via NetGalley.
If you are looking for a unique romance story, have an open mind, and are okay with an emotional relationship rather than a sexual one, this book is highly recommend for you! This book is all about emotion, a slow-build relationship involving 2 distinctive men who are opposites in most ways. Each fighting their own battles, their personal growth throughout the story is wonderful to witness. It tugged at my heart s
Jun 28, 2017 added it
Oh man. I adored this book. It's so amazingly and unabashedly queer.

Yes, the whodoneit part was obvious (though not the how), but that was such a small part of the book anyhow.

The book is about Vaughn and Jonah's relationship. And their lives. And how the can be together in a way that works for them. They're who they are and accept their sexuality and needs and the love they share. It's not a heteronormative situation where you're gonna have the whole monogamous-get-married-and-have-babies thi
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Second best book I've read that goes into detail about asexuals and their relationships with allos, best book about where to get information on asexuality and the validation of queerness of asexuality I've ever read.
The story was nice too, but let's be honest, it's the ace parts that made me enjoy this book so very much.

Full review to come.
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add Rainbow Award winner, 'Blank Spaces' 2 15 Dec 19, 2017 05:49PM  

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Cass Lennox is a permanent expat who has lived in more countries than she cares to admit to and suffers from a chronic case of wanderlust as a result. She started writing stories at the tender age of eleven, but would be the first to say that the early years are best left forgotten and unread. A great believer in happy endings, she arrived at queer romance via fantasy, science fiction, literary fi ...more

Other books in the series

Toronto Connections (4 books)
  • Finding Your Feet (Toronto Connections, #2)
  • Growing Pains (Toronto Connections, #3)
  • The Wrong Woman (Toronto Connections, #4)

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