Better Than People
"An irresistible queer romance." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
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.
Carina Adores is home to romantic love stories where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.
Book 1: Better Than People
Book 2: Best Laid Plans
Book 3: The Lights on Knockbridge Lane
Parrish (Small Change) delivers an irresistible queer romance between a grumpy children's book illustrator and a pathologically shy graphic designer. When Wyoming illustrator Jack Matheson already down in the dumps following a business partner's betrayal breaks his leg while walking his menagerie of rescue dogs (and one cat who likes to lead the way), he hires Simon Burke to walk his pets. Simon has debilitating anxiety and has an easier time interacting with animals than with humans, but the more time he spends with caring, supportive Jack, the more he opens up. Parrish nails both the throat-closing hell of Simon's anxiety disorder and his palpable desire to have a healthy relationship, as well as Jack's frustration at not always being able to soothe Simon's fears. Superb supporting characters especially Simon's firecracker of a grandmother, Jean, and Jack's doting older brother, Charlie add considerable charm. This sensitive tale will leave readers with big smiles on their faces.
Characters realistic. Sometimes the weaknesses of each main character seem a bit too prominent. Nice emotional contrasts. Happy ending.
Every day I returned to this book, the emotion I felt most was a gentle caring... At the beginning of the book, Simon desperately needed the gentle caring, and I was so happy to see Jack take that role. By the end of the book, I felt like a gentle caring spirit was pervasive among minor and major characters, and the animals seem to exude this feeling as well, completely trusting the people in there lives. Simon and Jack are memorable and are hard to bid farewell. I miss them already....