Shy

Title: Shy
Author: John Inman
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link:  Buy Link Shy
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 256 pages
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by Andrea

Review Summary:

Unlike anything I’ve read before and you should expect to leave reality behind the minute you pick up this book. The insanely over the top antics and situations are sometimes too much but most of the time they’re hilarious.

Blurb:

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.

Review:

It took me a while to get into this book. I kept going back and forth as I tried to get a handle on it. One minute I was thinking it was the stupidest book I’ve ever read and at other times I thought it was brilliant (don’t let that scare you, I’ll explain that later). I finally settled on brilliant when Tom and Frank left the city to take care of the farm.

When the book first started I had trouble with Tom. He is struggling with SAD (social anxiety disorder) and that greatly cripples his life. Tom’s best friend and only support is his ex-boyfriend, even though that boyfriend dumped him and is in another relationship. Tom also has a chihuahua which blatantly pisses and shits all over his apartment. That irritates Tom but he continues to allow it. To top that all off, Tom spends most of his time complaining about his life and obsessing over how much he hates his ex’s new man. I tried to be sympathetic but honestly I thought Tom was pathetic and difficult to like. It was at this point where I thought the book was going to be stupid and I had my doubts about liking the book. It does get better though so stick with me.  :afraid:

Things start to change when Tom’s ex asks him to play host to the new man’s younger brother, Frank. Frank also has SAD, so the ex and his new boyfriend think they’ll be make perfect anti-social companions during Frank’s visit. Once again, Tom whines and complains but agrees to do it. When Frank enters the story things became a lot more clear. I had assumed Tom was overreacting up until that point but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Suddenly I saw that Tom was more than justified in all his ranting and raving. That is the point where I decided on the author’s brilliance and kept that opinion until the end.

Tom and Franks adventures on the farm are everything you would expect from looking at the cover.  Tom is accustomed to city life and is a disaster on the farm.  His antics and eccentricities are hilarious.  That’s not to say there isn’t more to this book than funny situations.  The reason they go back to the farm is to help Frank’s father.  They know he is struggling with his health and hope to ease the burden of caring for a farm by himself.  They discover a situation much more dire than either of them expected.   Frank and his dad need all the love and support Tom can give them.  That part of the story was surprisingly touching.

I keep saying it’s brilliant but I only rated it a 4. The reason for that is because a couple things bothered me. The first is the sex scenes. Tom and Frank have a lot of sex scenes and I wanted more from them than blowjobs. I kept wondering why they never did anything else. I needed an explanation or a discussion between them as to why that was all they were doing. The second thing which bothered me was how their SAD seemed to disappear once they moved to the farm. There were a couple social situations where I would have expected Tom and Frank to have some major problems but their SAD wasn’t even mentioned. I found that odd.

This book is very different and it’s not for everyone but I certainly enjoyed it

9 comments

  • I bought this book a couple weeks ago because I loved the cover. After reading your review, I cannot wait to read it.

    And I agree with Jeffrey’s comment above. I hate humor that ridicules people. I’ve given some very popular books low ratings because of this very issue. Snarkiness is hilarious to some people, but to the person on the receiving end, it’s cruel.

    Reply
    • “Snarkiness is hilarious to some people, but to the person on the receiving end, it’s cruel.”

      This comment is really appropriate. It’s an important underlying message of this story.

      Reply
  • I love humor but I have a quirk (alright a lot of quirks but only one applies here – I figured I’d say that before Wave 😀 ). I don’t like humor that makes fun of people. Making fun of situations they get themselves into is fine but not making fun of them. For example, we love the TV shows “The Middle” and “Modern Family” because even though the characters get into hysterical situations they are still portrayed in a lovable way. So, after that long intro… Is the humor here based on the situations or does it make fun of the characters?

    Reply
    • I think you’ll be OK with the humor in the book. There were a couple scenes in which one character was making fun of another. Those both revolved around the villain of the story and only served to make him look bad. His treatment of others was never glorified or made to be a joke.

      Almost all of the humor is based around Tom and the situations he gets himself into. Even when the other characters are laughing at him, they are the ones who truly love and support him and Tom is laughing along with them.

      Reply
  • After seeing others thoughts at Goodreads, I still waffled and debated about this……:sceptic: I just wasn’t sure it wasn’t going to veer beyond funny into just stupid.

    And then I decided to wait for the review here. 💡

    I will take the plunge. Thanks, Andrea!

    Reply
  • Well Andrea
    On the strength of your recommendation I’m going to try this book. It certainly seems to be strange but I like strange. 🙂
    The bit about SAD disappearing and the fact that they only have Bjs seem strange, especially without an explanation. Hmmm….

    Reply
    • It is a very strange book. The only book I can even slightly compare it to is Just Don’t Mess With Us by Andrew Ashling. They’re both bizarre and readers will either love them or hate them.

      I have no clue what was up with the BJs. I don’t know, maybe it will be less irritating if you know going into the book that they never venture beyond the BJs.

      Reply

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