Monday, August 24, 2020

Review: Better Than People by Roan Parrish

Better Than People by Roan Parrish
Publisher: Carina Adores
Genre: Male/Male Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781335542823
Release Date: August 25, 2020
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible | Carina Press

It’s not long before their pet-centric arrangement sparks a person-centric desire…

Simon Burke has always preferred animals to people. When the countdown to adopting his own dog is unexpectedly put on hold, Simon turns to the PetShare app to find the fluffy TLC he’s been missing. Meeting a grumpy children’s book illustrator who needs a dog walker isn’t easy for the man whose persistent anxiety has colored his whole life, but Jack Matheson’s menagerie is just what Simon needs.

Four dogs, three cats and counting. Jack’s pack of rescue pets is the only company he needs. But when a bad fall leaves him with a broken leg, Jack is forced to admit he needs help. That the help comes in the form of the most beautiful man he’s ever seen is a complicated, glorious surprise.

Being with Jack—talking, walking, making out—is a game changer for Simon. And Simon’s company certainly…eases the pain of recovery for Jack. But making a real relationship work once Jack’s cast comes off will mean compromise, understanding and lots of love.

A grumpy illustrator with a marshmallow heart – and a small army of animals – meets his match in Better Than People. Animal lovers will smile over Jack’s cats and dogs and their antics (Puddles is a personal favorite), but it’s the humans that make this story shine.

After being betrayed by his best friend and business partner, Jack is grouchy, reclusive, and hasn’t drawn in longer than he cares to admit. A broken leg is the last thing he needs, especially with four dogs (and one cat) to walk. The PetShare app brings more than he expected in the form of handsome Simon Burke. Simon grabbed my heart from the first. He has extreme anxiety and author Roan Parrish doesn’t shy away from the realities someone like Simon lives with. I appreciated both the emotionally honest take on Simon’s anxiety and that it didn’t define his whole character. Both Simon and Jack are likeable heroes with tempers, insecurities, and flaws which help bring them alive and make them easy to root for. Their romance is slow burn to start and I thoroughly enjoyed watching their love story unfold. Problems aren’t overcome by magic and Jack and Simon have to work for their happily ever after, but it’s worth every bump in the road for a satisfying ending.

A cast of mostly animal supporting characters make Better Than People a lot of fun to read. The canine and feline personalities are every bit as well-defined as the heroes’, which was a treat. But there are a couple of human secondary characters who also made this book a richer experience. Simon’s grandmother was as endearing as could be and Jack’s brother Charlie… Oh, that man has a heart of gold and I do hope he gets a book of his own.

Better Than People is a sweet, sensual, and satisfying romance. This is the first book of Roan Parrish’s I’ve read and given the references to The Remaking of Corbin Wale in this story I will definitely be picking up that book next.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.