Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Review: Shy by John Inman

Reviewed by Fehu
SHY by John Inman
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 256pgs
2.75 Pants Off

Dating is hard enough. Throw in an incontinent Chihuahua, an unrequited love affair, a severe case of social anxiety disorder, a dying father, and a man-eating hog and it becomes darned near impossible. Still, it takes two to tango—and when Tom Morgan, a mild-mannered assistant bank manager with a debilitating case of shyness, meets Frank Wells, who is straight off the farm and even shyer than he is, sparks start flying.

Just when Tom and Frank’s burgeoning love affair is rolling along nicely, Frank must return to Indiana to oversee the farm while his father battles cancer. Tom tags along to help Frank out and finds himself slopping hogs and milking cows and wondering what the hell happened to his orderly citified existence. And what’s with all the chickens? Tom hates chickens!

With Frank’s help, Tom grits his teeth and muddles through. Funny what a couple of guys can accomplish when they’re crazy about each other. Not even nine hundred chickens can stand in the way of true love.

Be prepared! I'm trying to explain my experience with this book! :) Some books, either work for me or they don't and this one didn't work out for me, which is not to say that it won’t be a good book for someone else.

It all started on Christmas Eve, when I decided to give this book a go in between meal preparation and the waiting time, when I just have to watch the cake and the duck not to burn. So there I was, me and Shy, the cover was interesting and promised some humour and entertainment, as did the blurb of the book.

A city boy on a farm (happens in part 2) sounded amusing, right? However, there are some other things happening first. For one we meet Tom, who is still hung up on his ex, who cheated on him and then dumped him. Tom is also still on friendly terms with the jerk and going to his and the new boyfriend, Stanley's party. The party part doesn't sound so bad, one might say, well, it is for Tom, who has a social anxiety disorder, short SAD, parties, in general scare him sh...well you know. Oh, and Tom has a pet in this book, the pet, a Chihuahua, who is not only mentioned but really is a part of the book, so bonus points for that!

How did Tom end up on a Farm in Indiana? Well, enter Frank farm boy from Indiana, with an ill father who also has SAD, is even shyer than Tom and is Stanley’s brother; yes that boyfriend thieving Stanley. Now, Stanley is clearly the bad guy in this book and he does get what he deserves, somewhat. ;) I actually liked the boys standing up for themselves to him after he embarrassed them, where he could at his party. Being the "caring" brother that he is Stanley lets Tom deal with his visiting brother and of course, they end up falling in love with each other.

What worked for me:

- Sex scenes were pretty hot, like losing your pants hot!

-It's well written and has a plot, it's not just all sex and more sex, I usually enjoy a plot in a romance book.

-The animals were not just for show but well worked into the plot. Not all books do that, some mention a dog and at the end, you ask yourself if it has died of neglect and starvation, while the hero was off solving crimes or acquiring new lovers, not here.

- There is humour, if you like, poop jokes and general don't mind the gross kind of things happening, like the Chihuahua, pooping or peeing, when it's worked up or unhappy. The dog did have it’s moments, I liked him and the chips, mainly because of a friendly Chihuahua I know and love, who would act the same. (Meaning eat the fallen goodies and trying to snap at everything that comes in its path, to the food)

And here we are on the parts that didn't work for me:

- The word "poop" is used a bit too often, while it might, and I'm stressing the word might here, been fun the first two time, it's not if it's used like a dozen of times in the first chapters already.

- Instant love. I love you pops out on their second day of knowing each other, so they fall in love in 24 hours. Hard to believe this of two people who hardly talked to each other at first.

- Predictable, no really, two guys with the same disorder meet and fall in love with each other, father's illness is mentioned so I was expecting the call for Frank to come back or have to move back to manage the farm. Stanley is also predictable and it's all black and white Frank is the good son, Stanley is the bad guy and not redeemable, without any facets in character.

- SAD played a big part in the first part of the book and not so much in the second.

- Characters, well mostly Tom ramble and while I don't mind snarky ramblings, it grates if it happens a lot.

Question I asked myself: Why would someone stay friends with the ex who a.)Cheated and b.)Dumped him?

Heck, why go to the said ex party, if you know the current boyfriend will do everything that he can to embarrass you, especially if one has SAD.

So, should you read this book? Honestly, you might want to, because tastes differ and this book has good points, I mentioned them, and is written nice enough not to pass.

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