Author: M.J. O’Shea
Narrator: Marc Schindler
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Story Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Release Date: 07/13/2016
Length: 06 hours 19 minutes
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance
What Austin Lloyd lacks in academics, he makes up for in his love of the animals who frequent his pet salon. He’s not lucky in romance, though, and his family would like him to settle down with a good man. Austin—and his golden retriever, Maggie—couldn’t agree more.
Evan Partridge isn’t good at letting people in. His messy family life and the past that’s shaped him aren’t worth bringing up. But his pug, Dexter, sure likes the pet salon owner.
Austin and Evan get off to a rough start, but being friends soon turns into something more. Unfortunately, Evan’s secretive behavior nearly does the relationship in, and the budding love affair almost crashes and burns when Evan’s troubled sister shows up on his doorstep.
Not speaking to each other is killing them both, but Evan doesn’t know how to keep Austin and help his sister at the same time. He just knows he has to try. Winning back Austin’s trust back, however, is going to take a whole lot of work.
I thought this story was very cute. It started out very simple with two engaging men meeting and getting to know one another. The dogs were adorable, the friendship was full of tension and unrequited love. The disasters made for a great meet-cute set up and both men had some baggage that promised a bit of personal growth. I liked both Austin and Evan and was really hopeful this was going to be a solid, happy read.
However, when Evan’s sister showed up, I lost the bit of the love I had for this story. The author threw a curveball in the plot that felt forced and didn’t quite fit with the cute feel of the story this far. And as things moved forward, I felt that the details needed to really understand why this plot was so important that it took over the story were just missing. I didn’t like or understand Della. I didn’t understand why Evan treated her as he did instead of forcing her to see a therapist. I didn’t understand why Austin was so willing to deal with her shit for a man he barely knew. I just didn’t understand the purpose of this plot point at all.
And once Evan finally took his life and romance back, I felt things were rushed and incomplete. This story just ended without really wrapping anything up. Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable read and I would not say no to a part 2 to answer my questions, I just wish I didn’t need a part two to feel like this story was complete.
This was my first experience with Marc Schindler as a narrator. His voice was clear and easy to listen to but his narration was really more of a read than a performance. I would listen to him again for sure but I think a performance may have made this story more enjoyable.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the audiobook of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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