• Against the Grain: A Human's Guide to Wooing an Asexual Incubi

  • An Urban Fantasy MM Romance
  • By: Nikole Knight
  • Narrated by: Jason Chacon
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

Ellian has a problem, and his name is Felix Masters. When Ellie, a high society male succubus, joins Against the Grain, he has a foolproof plan: attend the support group for supernatural misfits, figure out how to correct his...abnormality, and then return to the Incubi compound to join his betrothed. For once in Ellie’s suffocatingly controlled existence, he will bring honor to his family name, regardless of the personal cost. As long as a certain awkwardly sweet human does not ruin his carefully laid plans.

Felix Masters has a problem, and his name is Ellian. Felix never meant to crash into a therapy group for magical oddballs, but that single stumble changes his world forever. Magic, glamour, and succubus tails are only the beginning, and when faced with a skittish Incubi dead set on self-destruction, Felix is determined to change Ellie’s mind and, with a little bit of luck, capture his heart as well.

An asexual succubus trapped by fate and expectation. An insecure human desperate to set him free. Join Felix and Ellie as they find acceptance, courage, and unconditional love in the one place they never expected: each other.

Possible triggering material includes: Supernatural culture “norms” that border on child abuse (past), emotional abuse, and dubious consent (non-graphic/off-page). One character struggles with a form of gender dysphoria and self-harm manifesting in a type of eating disorder. Side note: mpreg exists in this magical race/universe, but it is not featured on page or experienced by the main characters.

©2021 Nikole Knight (P)2021 Nikole Knight
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about Against the Grain: A Human's Guide to Wooing an Asexual Incubi

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love this 💜

I love Ellie and Fleix's slow burn romance.

They were sweet together and I liked how the characters were portrayed.

The secondary characters were likeable as well and I found this to be a very relatable and real journey

The sensitive themes in this book were well handled and I enjoyed reading this one.

I'm not sure about the other books in this series, but I enjoyed this one as a standalone

3 people found this helpful

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Oh so good

This book covered so many topics asexual/demisexual, feeling broken like you don't belong,consent, even societal expectations. This was a rare one in that a character that didn't want children didn't change their mind in the end. I loved it.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing story

Nikole Knight is quickly becoming a new favorite. After reading some of her other series, I jumped at the opportunity to listen to this one. The world building is just amazing with a multitude of characters that are unique. Add in explaining the differences of the incubi there is so much depth to this story. That all being said the story itself is lighthearted. I found myself cheering on the characters and enjoying every chapter. Jason Chacon is a new to me narrator. His voice for Felix was just PERFECT! I could completely imagine the pudgy New York man. I'm not sure I know of someone who could have done better. He was perfect for this book. This is definitely on my re-listen to list and will be a for sure recommendation to others!

1 person found this helpful

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Cute romance

A cute romance that follows the predictable beats on the way to a Happily Ever After. Uses some of the Omegaverse tropes, but doesn't rely too heavily on them for the story. Narrator does a solid job giving different voices/accents/cadences to various characters. Easy to listen to and enjoy.

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Good book, awful narrator

I love the story and the characters, but the narrator just ruins the whole thing. The volume of his voice changes drastically between the beginning and end of each sentence. I couldn’t hear half of what he was saying unless I turned the volume up really loud, which of course made the louder parts ear splitting. Two hours in my tinnitus had been triggered and my head hurt. Should have gotten the ebook.

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Different beings, one true love

First of all, I absolutely love that title. How witty, whimsical and funny that tittle is. I just can’t help imagining a bit of a roguish human wooing an asexual incubi and I’m already in love with this novel.

I love Ellie who is gullible and a bit naive but at the same time unyielding and brave. Our poor little asexual succubus is forced to mate by his own family while he absolutely has no idea to mate. But Ellie is bound by honor and family traditions and he thought he could “cure” his problem by attending a supernatural support group. And our fun loving, roguish Felix who lives above a taxidermy shop found this bombshell of an asexual, periwinkle succubus, it was love at first sight. What can go wrong when a human woo an asexual incubi?

Fun, witty, funny and super amusing, I loved everything about this amusing little story. Sure, it’s not all rainbows and sunshines but I’m truly happy that Ellie finally found freedom, happiness and love in the arms of Felix. There are some darkness but the fluffiness and true love between our two protagonists assured we got a very satisfying happy ending. Loved it. Narrator is totally new to me but his performance was enjoyable.

4.25 different beings, one true love stars
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨


Audio rating

Story - 4.5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Narration - 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Performance - 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Overall - 4.25 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

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Must listen

I wasn't quite sure if I'd like this book but decided to give it a chance after listening to her other series. I'm typically not a fan of slow burn or little heat in my books. I'm glad I did. I loved it. First off, the narration, Jason Chacon was phenomenal. His voices and accents were fantastic. I want a million more books narrated by him. If you, like I was concerned with the "asexual" in the title, don't be. It still got a little heated. Another concern - there is a scene of dub-con, it is off page but it still hits home. Also, mpreg exists in the world but it is only mentioned. Oh, I forgot to mention, this book was funny. I laughed out loud several times. Buy this book.

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So much fun!

I had so much fun reading this story! The characters had me very curious from the moment I started and I couldn’t get enough of them. They were so awkward at times and adorable and I just loved it so much! This was a different take on succubi and incubi that added an entirely different element to the story which I loved! Definitely read the disclaimer and make sure you want to read this and if you do the story is amazing! Going to find other books this author has written since I loved this one so much! The narrator made it even better!

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Great listen!

Thoroughly enjoyed this audio from Nikole Knight! I had read this one as an ebook and had really enjoyed it but the audiobook just shone! It was humorous and satisfying and just plain fun! Jason Chacon is a new narrator for me and his work was delightful!

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Loved the Story

I loved the story set in a unique world Nikole Knight created where paranormal characters are living among humans in New York city. I thought it was a very cool premise of support group for paranormal creatures who are having difficulties with who they are and parallel to support groups for people with anxiety and other mental health issues. I liked all the characters in the story, Ellian, Felix and all the cute and funny supporting cast of characters making this story so much fun. This is my second book by this author and I love the writing style very much, I am looking forward to reading and listening to all other books written by this author. Narrator did an okay job, his voices were good for many characters, but his voice for Felix was not at all how he sounded in my head. Overall I loved the story and excited to listen to more books by this author.

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  • choccygrl
  • 09-21-21

Excellent story and superb narrator

Sometimes it pays to take chance on an unknown (to me) author. But rarely do I do it without the back up of a familiar narrator. Here I chose to jump in with both feet and a newbie author/narrator combo.
I'm so glad I did. This story was excellent. The relationship developed so naturally and I loved the characters, especially Felix, who was adorable, gentle and caring, and made me cry. But it was Ellian who broke my heart with every expectation heaped upon him, every way he'd been raised to believe he was wrong, who thought duty was more important than happiness.
This story had so much to say on the subject of gender dysphoria and it said it well. The scene in the epilogue (you'll know when you get there) was both uplifting and heartbreaking in equal measure and spoke to me on a personal level.

The narrator did an excellent job and I felt every emotion with the guys.

Highly recommended l.

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  • Susie Umphers
  • 09-15-21

Emotional story

We should all be as luck as Felix to stumble into a support group and find someone like Ellie. These two were made to be together and Felix is the perfect guy to get Ellie to see that other's expectations don't have to define who you are and can become. There are some serious issues of societal and family pressures dealt with in this story, but they are handled beautifully. It's the inner, emotional battles that will grab your heart in this one. Jason Chacon is a new performer for me and he is definitely one to watch. He gave a great performance here capturing the quiet loving moments, the heated ones and the emotionally stressful ones superbly.

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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 09-14-21

Ellie and Felix (an audio review)

The author had me at wooing an asexual incubi. Did I know what an incubi is? Uh, no. Did I know what a succubus is? Again, no. Am I much clearer now? Not really…but I did somewhat enjoy the ride.

I enjoyed the concept of a supernatural support group for, uh, things (because people’s not the right word, obviously) who don’t fit. I’m a misfit in many circles in my life so I could relate. Ellie has a problem – he’s expected to mate but he’s not wanting to. He’s being forced by his family, against his will, to mate. He meets Felix and discovers there are other ways of approaching life and that includes doing what he wants, not what his family is forcing upon him.

Felix. Dear bumbling Felix. The guy who lives above his uncle’s taxidermy store. The guy who can’t quite get it all together and discovers things about his past he didn’t know. He falls in love with Ellie easily because he’s just a loving guy and he’s determined to help Ellie find happiness, no matter what it takes. There are dark undertones in this story, but also a light-hearted approach.

Jason Chacon is a new narrator to me and I did enjoy his performance. His differentiation of the two voices was good so that helped. If another one of these books comes out on audio, I’ll likely pick it up if only to see what other maladapted creatures are out there.

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  • Amelia
  • 09-14-21

A touching romance that melted my heart

Felix and Ellie's romance was as unexpected as it was wonderful. I'll admit that I didn't quite know what to make of Felix when he stumbled into the support group Ellie attended, but the more I got to know him the more I fell in love with his quirky personality. If there was ever a person who could bring Ellie out of his shell, it was Felix, and I had a blast watching the two of them bond over cooking classes and self-portraits. Jason Chacon's narration was on-point from start to finish, and I thought his depictions of Felix and Ellie matched them nicely.

Though Felix's anxiety appeared in bits and pieces throughout this book, the heart of this story centered around Ellie's struggles with the expectations placed on him in Incubi society. It was truly heartbreaking to see him war with his sense of duty versus what made him happy, and I was firmly on Team "Make-Ellie-Happy" despite how much he wavered back and forth. Knowing how much was at stake for him, I was even more thrilled to see Ellie open up around Felix and trust him with intimacy he hadn't shared with anyone else. This book didn't need steamy sex and passionate bedroom flings to showcase the emotional connection these men shared when a sweet kiss and hand-holding session could melt my heart into a pile of mush. I loved experiencing every quiet, content moment between Felix and Ellie, and their silly banter never failed to make me smile. Best of all, Felix never asked for anything Ellie wasn't comfortable giving and regularly checked on his emotional state. Without even saying the words, I could feel the love these two had for each other, and that's what made me even more invested in seeing them find a way to be together. The journey certainly wasn't easy, and there were moments when I was afraid Ellie's sense of duty would overrule his heart, but in the end Felix and Ellie took the leap and chose a life of happiness, love, and togetherness.

**I voluntarily listened to a free copy of this book. This review expresses my honest thoughts and opinions.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hey There Delilah!!
  • 09-14-21

Felix and His Jellyfish

The story: I really, really enjoyed this story. It was super cute, funny, at times emotional and an overall good story. I love awkward, naïve characters and Ellian is just that. I also enjoyed the growth Felix and Ellian develop in their relationship. I know I will be re-visiting this story again.

The narration: Being from NYC myself, it took me a moment to get use to Felix's accent as its not what I'm used to as a New Yorker. It was more like how its portraited in the old school movies like "A Bronx's Tale". I did feel the emotions though. Also, there was some hiccups with the sound, like some of the characters were very low and some were very loud. I had to adjust the volume up and down.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bookoutbelow
  • 09-13-21

Extremely thought provoking

Audio review:
Jason Chacon is a new to me narrator and did a lot of things really right. I thought there was enough modulation to be able to differentiate between characters and the accents were well done and true to the locations of our characters. Overall really a great job narrating, I had just already read the book and for me the characters would have had different tones and inflections then they did. So really good narration and definitely something you should check out as this story is amazing, just not completely for me.

Book review:
Okay so from the blurb and cover I expected this to be light, fluffy, maybe even silly (in a good way) and while it had moments of all those things it was soooo much deeper than that. It dealt with gender dysphoria on such a deep level which was unexpected but in my opinion was done very well (however, I am a cis woman so my opinion does not matter here and take all of that with a whole mountain of salt). Still Knight’s writing was so powerful and thought provoking that I truly felt like I was on Ellie’s journey with him. The enjoyed the way the ace rep was done as well, since it seems most books that deal with ace rep go straight to the sex-averse side of asexuality, while it was treated differently here without ever making it seem like there was one way to be asexual.

And I think that kind of gets to the crux of this novel, and it was one about accepting who you are, no matter what box you were born in or which box is the one you actually fit comfortably in. Felix and Elian were the perfect characters to go through this story with. They were cute, charming, insecure (the fact I haven’t already mentioned that Felix is a plus sized MC is a crime because I adored that), and just all around lovely characters. I laughed, I cried, and just fell for this beautiful story.

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  • sarah mitcham
  • 09-13-21

Not A Typical Incubi.

MM, Paranormal romance. Absolutely loved this story, I wasn't too sure what to expect as the author is new to me but I LOVED it!! unpredictable, emotional, fantastic story and characters with great narration by Jason Chacon, who again is new to me. Ellian and Felix should never have met at the support group for supernatural misfits as Felix should never of been able to enter but everything changes for them once they have met.

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  • Meg
  • 09-12-21

So many emotions!

I received a copy of this amazing audiobook from Gay Romance Reviews. What really caught my attention was the blurb, and the representation of an Ace character. Little did I know that this "rom-com" would grab me by the heartstrings, tie them in knots and fray the edges, before mending them nice and neatly and returning them to my emotional self. I obviously missed the part where the author is the same person that wrote the Fire and Brimstone series which would have given me some warning.

First thing: READ THE TRIGGERS! They cover just about everything, except one emotional scene during a meeting where a member describes her experience as part of the supernatural world. Even though it is not sexual in any way, I fully experienced it as a noncon situation, so beware. If you're uncomfortable with anything listed in the warnings, please proceed with care; the author put them there for a reason.

The characters are so well developed that I was immersed in their lives from page one. The attention to detail in the descriptions of not only the many differing species, but also the settings and background are fantastic. Both Felix and Ellian stole my heart from the very beginning. They both have issues and insecurities, but in my opinion, Ellie's situation puts him in a much more harsh situation.

The thing to remember about asexual people is that there is a vast spectrum of comfort levels and desires that they may or may not experience. Ellie is a very special Incubus/succubus. As his friendship with Felix grows and trust is formed, Ellie is allowed to find out what he wants and who he wants to be. Felix is my hero, with his brash and honest words, and the sensitivity he shows in order to treat others with respect. It was an emotional rollercoaster ride that Ms. Knight took me on watching their love story unfold and come to fruition.

Jason Chacon is a new to me narrator, and I was definitely impressed. I enjoyed his character differentiation, and I could hear the emotions coming from each character. Two things I found a bit distracting: 1.) Unless you have your volume up at extreme levels, there are a few times where you can't hear what is being said. Of course, it is most likely meant to be quietly spoken, but I did have to backtrack a few times and turn my volume up full blast; and 2.) There are very long pauses between chapters, or Steps. I checked more than once to make sure my player had not stopped. Otherwise, I think Mr. Chacon did a superb job of bringing this book to life. Bravo!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • L.D.
  • 09-11-21

Support Group Romance

A Human’s Guide to Wooing an Asexual Incubi is part of the Against the Grain series but it is easy to read it as a standalone. The other two books in the series are written by other authors featuring other characters.

What an interesting storyline—the worldbuilding was very interesting and I liked what the author did with Incubi culture. There was a lot of intricate incubi politics and social customs that Ellian had to face and overcome. The friendship, which soon developed into a beautiful love, between Felix and Ellie was delightful and sweet. I really liked how creative Felix became when it came to providing for Ellie’s needs without crossing any boundaries. Their respect and love for each other was strong and beautiful. There was a lot of suspense, some angst, humor, and of course, some really romantic moments.

The audiobook was narrated by Jason Chacon, a new-to-me narrator. Jason did a nice job with the main characters voices, and although some of the voices for the side characters weren’t to my taste, I still really enjoyed listening to this book. I will definitely listen to more books narrated by Jason Chacon.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KR Phoenix @ Books, Tattoos and Tea
  • 09-11-21

Enchanting

Oh my! This story is everything! It's witty, enchanting, hilarious, endearing, wonderful and triumphant. I loved Ellie and Felix and the whole support group!
I humour and species barriers were hilarious and I will totally admit to laughing out loud at some of these interactions!
The wit and humour is balanced wonderfully with the series issues Ellie is going through. if I had not read the warnings page I probably wouldn't have understood Ellie as much but his underlying identity is core to the story and was beautiful to see him grow into himself with the help of the colourful support group and the gentle, loving and wonderful cinnamon roll, Felix!!

Now, the narration was good, especially for the main characters, with depth, dialects and passion but there side characters were often spoken really softly which made it hard to hear and you could turn up your volume then the main characters would be too loud. there were also times were the emotions bled into the narration, which is usually fantastic but it was often quieter and softer, making it hard to heard on occasion. The actual voice acting is great and diverse but the volume fluctuations were admittedly quite frustrating.

The story is entirely worth it tho!! I highly recommend it and can't wait to read the rest of the series!!!!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Angela
  • 06-20-22

💕💕*insert jellyfish emoji*💕💕

This had so much more depth than I was expecting. I went into it expecting a light and fun romance. What I got was rich world building, parallels to intense real life sex and gender identity issues, a character arc of self empowerment that brought me to tears of heart break and happiness in equal measure, and some of the most erotic sex scenes I've seen. Kinda sappy forever romance at the end, but I would say it falls into the rare catacory of healthy codependency.

Only issue is that there was no consistency in the volume level. The narrator was brilliant! Wonderfully expressive and versatile and it wasn't until writing this that I realised there wasnt two different narrators for each character. But there were times his voice would drop until I almost could't hear it, and times it would spike and make me glad I wasn't using headphones.
Other than that, 5⭐ for everything else.