Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Even with six beloved cats at home, Thom Fletcher can’t help opening his heart to a little injured stray he finds at Pride. Luckily, the generosity of the veterinarian who helps him means he doesn’t have to open his wallet. Thom’s budget is stretched pretty thin, between his struggling start-up and medical expenses for his Crohn’s disease, so the free cat care helps a lot. Thom may have fallen for the little feline, but he’s also intrigued by the attractive vet in the bi-pride bracelet.
Dean Edwards went to Pride with his colors on his wrist, hoping to find community after his divorce. Instead, he’s pulled into a cat rescue by an appealing man. Dean likes Thom’s kindness to strays, his blue-gray eyes, his intelligence, and his perspective from decades as an out gay man. Maybe with Thom, Dean will finally feel able to explore his long-neglected attraction to men.
They’re not a perfect match. From Dean’s cat-hating dog to Thom’s chronic health issues and preferences in bed, going from a casual date to something more will be a challenge for both of them.
I don’t know when I last read a story with so many elements that stood out as remarkable and yet still folded nicely into a heartwarming romance in the end as the ones in Love and Lint Rollers by Kaje Harper. First the characters are older which I really appreciated, one in his early fifties, with all that means emotionally, mentally, and baggage wise. Thom Fletcher has the added complications of Crohn’s Disease, something that has drastically affected his health and his love life (no anal sex to be explicit). Harper addresses life with Crohn’s through Thom and we see all stages of the disease and its effects on his life and relationships. For some readers it might not be enough information. For others too much. We definitely learn a lot about life lived with this illness and its tight restrictions. And how not to give up as well.
The character of Thom is someone I just loved and understood, even if I wanted to given him a shake or two. If you have ever known anyone who has or had had serious illnesses, then you know how their focus can or sometimes must narrow down to dealing with their own health issues, especially if they have been doing so over a length of time. And doing it on their own. Letting someone else in is hard and Harper shows that realistically. Especially with a diseases such as Crohn’s. Portraying Thom’s shame, fear, and belief that no one will ever stay with him because it’s too hard will ring true with all readers who will emphasize with this man.
Dean Edwards too is dealing with past issues, coming out at his age, overcoming the emotional restrictions his deceased parents placed on him that still effect him. I really liked Dean and believed in his internal battles and choices he was making. As well as his love of his animals and Thom. Oh, and Dean is a vet with years of medical experience behind him which helps when one has many animals and other issues.
Ah, the animals! Cats Gin, Snap, Buster, Louie, Onyx, Salem, and Cinder. Plus elderly but still fierce dog Tig. All with their huge roles to play in Thom’s life, this couple’s relationship, and in the story. And of course, the reader’s heart’s they wind and twine their way into.
There is a lesbian couple with a bestie half with tendencies to want to control Thom’s life. That was a character i found irritating, probably realistic as there are always people like that in RL who believe that they know better than another person what path that person’s life should take. That they do it out of love doesn’t make it any less controlling. That you as a reader want Thom to have this person back off? Well, it means that Harper has done her job and written this bestie so believably we have become put off by their behavior. Well done.
For me, I might have wished for a little less of the Crohn’s, and a little more of Thom and Dean together at the end with the menagerie for Love and Lint Rollers by Kaje Harper to fulfill all the promise I had hoped for. But honestly? It came so close I’m not complaining. I loved it. And think you will to. Especially if you love cats as well. I highly recommend this!
Cover Art is adorable. At first I thought the models were too young. Still wavering on that. But Thom is remarked to look more like in his 40’s than the early 50’s he is and I loved the cats. More cats. Where is Louie?
Sales Links: Amazon
ebook, 220 pages
Expected publication: October 9th 2018 by Kaje Harper
Edition Language English