I like romance and boys loving boys in my books.
You can also find me on my main blog.
This was a fun romp, overall.
Shawn suffers from what he considers "Shawn's Law", which is like Murphy's Law but worse. Much worse. Pretty much anything that can go wrong, does. So Shawn has decided that living with and taking care of his mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's is enough, and has become practically a hermit. He paints on commission, but he doesn't really venture out much.
Enter Hippy Hotpants, the neighbor from up the street, who walks his dogs by Shawn's house every afternoon. Which Shawn has not timed, or anything. No, Sirree.
Harley, aka Hippy Hotpants, is intrigued by this neighbor, specifically the bubble butt he sees raised up in the air when Shawn busies himself planting strawberries (and not spying on the dude he's lusting after). He's environmentally conscious and spends time traveling the world fighting injustices where he sees them.
Shawn's Law strikes, and the two finally meet.
This book is giggly fun, like a slapstick comedy, and if you don't engage your brain too much, it provides a wonderful way to spend a few hours, laughing and giggling and smiling at Shawn's and Harley's road to bliss.
Until you do engage your brain and see the issues that are hidden within. The way Alzheimer's was portrayed here seemed somewhat disrespectful. There's much more to that disease than undressing and dancing naked in the sprinklers, and much more than thinking a condom is a balloon doll. The very real strain this terrible disease can put on a family is only touched upon. Shawn describing himself as somewhat pudgy and doubting that someone like Harley could actually want him was also a bit thick, but somewhat understandable.
Their budding relationship is of course plagued by Shawn's Law at every turn, and it takes a while before the two men get a chance to really spend quality time together.
What drove me batty, and this is the main reason why this book didn't reach more than 3.5 stars, is that the two don't communicate properly, and that I couldn't understand why two grown men would have such trouble talking to each other about things that actually matter. Sure, toward the end it's somewhat explained, but for most of the book Shawn whines about his bad luck, dumps Harley, is miserable without Harley, but doesn't open his mouth and talk to the man.
Harley, whom we only see through Shawn's eyes, seemed to be a good guy, wanting to be with Shawn, but is being deterred by Shawn's Law and Shawn's stupidity. Not knowing what creatures in your extended backyard you should stay away from is pretty stupid. If you're prone to accidental mishaps, you should be informed about bull ants and the hills they build, and pretty spotted octopuses hiding under rocks.
I could see where the author tried to turn Shawn's Law into something positive, and I was reminded that there's always two sides to a story. It also brought out the fact that one can always look at a situation as the glass half-empty or the glass half-full.
The writing flows well and evenly, without any lulls in the plot progression, and Renae Kaye's particular brand of humor shines through it all.
I enjoyed reading this, and I think you will too.
** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **