Friday, March 6, 2015

ARC Review: Shawn's Law by Renae Kaye

Shawn is single, twenty-nine, the full-time carer of his Alzheimer’s-stricken mother, and a frequent victim of Murphy’s Law—although his family calls it Shawn’s Law. Other than caring for mum, his day consists of painting nude men and spying on the guy who walks his dogs along the street every day at four o’clock. When Shawn takes a spectacular fall on his front steps, who is there to witness it other than the man of his dreams?

Harley doesn’t believe in Shawn’s Law—but he soon changes his mind.

The two men make it through a memorable first date and Shawn’s sexual insecurities to begin a relationship stumbling toward love. But when Shawn’s Law causes Harley to be injured, Shawn is determined to save Harley’s life the only way he knows how—by breaking up with him. Not once, but twice. Throw in a serial killer ex-boyfriend, several deadly Australian animals, two dogs called Bennie, a mother who forgets to wear clothes, an unforgiving Town Council, and a strawberry-flavored condom dolly, and Shawn’s Law is one for the books.

Dani's rating:

Shawn, a short, curvy man, finds something to do in his garden at 4 p.m. every day. That's when Hippy-Hotpants, with his long white boy plait, walks by with his dogs. Shawn is lusting after said Hippy-Hotpants, so he sticks his arse out in the air and continues to replant strawberry bushes.

This book feels very much like slapstick, and that is most definitely not my humour. I prefer dry and ironic. I still giggled many times, but some of Shawn's actions and accidents were over the top.

Shawn, prone to calamities, is a victim of Shawn's Law, which is like Murphy's Law. ON STEROIDS.

He's always setting things on fire, stabbing his toe, tripping, breaking things, walking into an ant's nest, picking up a dangerous octopus, getting attacked by birds, talking to serial killers on the phone (oh, YES, Shawn's ex was a serial killer who ATE gay men), and so on. He is on a first-name basis with every nurse, doctor, and EMT within a 50-mile radius.

All I can say is: Thank the gods Shawn lives in Australia, which has universal healthcare. He would be so fucked if he lived in the States.

To make matters worse, Shawn's mum has Alzheimer, so she's quite prone to accidents too. Shawn, a commissioned part-time artist, is his mum's main caretaker and doesn't have much free time, which Hippy-Hotpants, an environmentalist whose real name is Harvey, bemoans.

Shawn's mum is portrayed as being infantile, prone to running around naked under the sprinklers, and making ballloon babies out of strawberry-flavored condoms. I fully admit this made me cringe. Alzheimer disease isn't funny.

The book is told from alternating first-person POVs, Shawn's in the present as the two men meet and begin a relationship, and Harvey's looking back on their many, uh, adventures.

If you read Amy Lane's Shiny!, the structure will feel familiar. We know by chapter 3 that there is a HEA, and the remainder of the book fills us in on the details.

I can't say I connected with either MC. Shawn is naive and childish. His profanity of choice includes words like fudge, sugar cookies, cheese with pancakes, and darn.

He worries that because he hasn't had anal sex for so long his anus and prostate have shriveled up and died.

Hey, it could happen.

Harvey is a bit self-righteous and a tad au naturel for my tastes, but he is patient and really into Shawn. Harvey freeballs it at all times. He loves to fondle Shawn's meaty arse, but Shawn keeps breaking up with Harvey.

Because. He doesn't want Harvey to die.

This is a Renae Kaye book, so it's cute and well-written, and has a certain charm, even if the slapstick humour didn't fully appeal to ME (but it might certainly appeal to you!).

Shawn's Law is unlike Kaye's other books. It's not my favorite, but kudos to the author for her creativity and range. If you like humorous reads with plenty of sweetness and imperfect MCs, I recommend this book.

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An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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