Title: Laugh Cry Repeat
Author: John Inman
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 4, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 200 Pages
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Wyeth Becker is a quiet man. Staid, serious, calm. A librarian. When he meets preschool teacher Deeze Long, he discovers joy for the first time in his life. With joy comes laughter, excitement, and a new way to look at the world through the eyes of the kindest, most loving man he has ever met.
When tragedy strikes and Deeze loses his joy, it is Wyeth who helps him find it again. It is Wyeth, the man who never truly understood happiness, who pays that gift back. Giving all he can of himself to the man who changed his life. Restoring in Deeze what he now so desperately needs.
But the road of their relationship doesn’t end there. The joys and sorrows of life are never-ending. As they set out to weather the highs and lows together, Wyeth and Deeze hang on to the one thing that makes all the tears and laughter worthwhile.
For only through love can life be truly savored at all.
Wyeth is a librarian; Deeze (Darryl Zachary Long) a preschool teacher. Seems their romance should be an easy love-at-first-sight sort of thing. But Wyeth has been burned before and is convinced that a relationship with Deeze is just a “heartache waiting to happen.” Wyeth tells himself he just doesn’t have the stamina to go through another dating disaster.
But kind, likable Deeze is not deterred by Wyeth’s curmudgeonly ways and drags him, kicking and screaming, out into the dating world. Their chemistry is all kinds of sexy and sweet, but it takes a while (about 2/3rds of the book) for Wyeth to finally believe:
“Remember what you told me once, Deeze? About how there is always one kid who doesn’t know how to laugh? Doesn’t know how to have fun. Remember?”
“I remember,” Deeze said quietly, a gentle grin curving his mouth.
“I’m that kid, Deeze. I’m the kid who didn’t know joy until you came along and shoved it under my nose. I’ll never be able to properly thank you for that.
What comes next is a tragedy that has happened too often in our society,
- There is a shooter at Deeze’s school and Inman writes heartbreakingly of Deeze’s efforts to calm and protect his little charges.
Looking at the story as a whole, I felt too much time was spent on the beginning of Wyeth and Deeze’s relationship. We get a lot of details about their dates, cute asides about Wyeth’s dog Chaucer and Deeze’s cat, but we learn little of Wyeth or Deeze’s past, their families, their interests, their goals, etc. Sure, Wyeth is gun shy, but c’mon, sometimes he acts like Deeze is a serial killer in the way he rejects him. And because we never really learn about Wyeth’s past relationships (just a few vague comments) his actions comes across as somewhat extreme.
Deeze recovers remarkably quickly from his trauma (other than a few nightmares), which seems too abrupt. There is little time for reflection or healing before Wyeth and Deeze are moving toward the ending, which includes a would-almost-never-happens-in-real-life bit of luck, but I rather liked this plot twist and thought it tied up the story in a unique way.
I liked this story, liked the chemistry between Deeze and Wyeth, liked the secondary characters, and liked the ending. But I felt the pace of the love story versus the last part of the book was skewed and I wanted some more in-depth information on the MCs. 3.5 stars.
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