Review: Ari by Cheryl Headford

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Title: Ari
Author: Cheryl Headford
Cover Artist: Carrie Francis and Jay's Cover Design
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Reviewer: Sean
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Intersex, Pansexual, Trans*, & Undecided
Length: Novel
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating5 Stars (5 / 5)

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review


After having known each other online for some time, writers, Benji and Ari meet at a convention.

Their attraction is both immediate and mutual.

But all is not straightforward—Ari is intersex and Benji transgender.

Together they embark on a journey.

A journey that unites families, and heals old wounds.

But not everyone is happy with the blossoming love between these two unique and special individuals.

Will an act of aggression crush the flower before it can bloom?


Ari was an expanded version of a short story that was part of Wayawrd Ink Publishing’s Stranded anthology. It was also my favorite short in that anthology. When I found out it had been expanded into a novel-length, I was so thrilled and couldn’t wait to start reading more stories about Benji and Ari.

It was way better than the original version because I’ve got to connect with all of the characters in the novel more than I had from the original one. The length of the story helped big time. This time it showed me more story how both Benji and Ari identified themselves. Ari already knew himself a long time ago. Ari happened to be an intersex person, but he didn’t let that define him either. He could be whomever he wanted to. There was so much more about him that I’ve learned more after finishing the novel.

Benji was one confused person. He grew up unable to understand himself. After meeting Ari, he finally was able to accept and love himself for who he want to be. He more than identified him as a man. When it came to picking who he’d sleep with, he realized it didn’t matter to him. Based on my opinion, I believed Benji identified him as a transgender pansexual male. After all, what was behind the underwear didn’t matter to him.

Marc was a hilarious young man and he played a huge role as Benji’s young brother. To see the type of relationship he had with Ari and his family was the best moment out of the novel.

As I reached the near-end of the novel, I was almost to the point where I’d cry at work! Cheryl, Cheryl, you are so cruel! I didn’t expect to see that type of plot in the novel.

All in all, I loved the book and fully intended to buy a paperback of it. It’s a book I hold dearly in my heart. I hope that there will be more about them. I wholeheartedly highly recommended you to get the book and read! Especially if you enjoyed the short version of Ari.