Author: John Inman
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Buy Link: Shy
Length: 256 pages
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Andrea
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.
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.
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