Wednesday, September 26, 2018

ARC Review: Love You So Special by Tara Lain

Can a man’s secret yearnings be revealed in a tank full of fish?

Artie Haynes knows he’s nothing special, with just-your-regular-brown hair, a solid plumber’s job, not much education, and a family that can barely get off the couch. But Artie has quirks—like his love of tropical fish, a landlord who’s a professor of existentialism, a passion for the amazing piano music he hears at a concert hall while he’s fixing the bathrooms—and the fact that he’s never come out as gay and probably never will. But when he’s hired to build a guesthouse for the pianist whose music enchanted him, Artie is swept up into an unimaginable world.

Francois Desmarais may be famous, rich, and revered as one of the world’s great classical composers and pianists, but he’s soothed and challenged by the inquisitive, stalwart, protective man in his back yard. When Francois’s terrible fear of crowds turns into a dangerous plot, Artie can stay in the closet or prove just how special he is.

Dani's rating:

This book was adorable on so many levels. I loved the juxtaposition of blue-collar plumber guy and delicate pianist getting together. Both men were sympathetic characters, and I was rooting for them.

Artie, especially, with his love of music and awkward attempts at Googling French words, was everything that's right with the world. I got a big kick out of his family too. When his mother revealed her secret reading pleasure, I giggled madly.

Tara Lain is an experienced author and writes with ease. Her books are fun, fluffy, and a bit sitcomish; they don't take themselves seriously.

I was smiling while reading this story, not expecting anything complex, just enjoying Artie and Francois drinking champagne and visiting Artie's fish. Artie works so hard to freshen up his apartment for Francois. He even buys fancy cheese!

Then toward the end, Francois ditches his overprotective mother and goes to a mall. And then something truly weird happens. This sequence of events is so bizarre, I thought perhaps Francois was having a nervous breakdown or maybe fell and hit his head and the whole thing was a dream. But no such luck.

I don't understand the author's reasoning for including this "twist." It didn't fit the rest of the story at all. It was like eating apple pie a la mode, enjoying the creamy sweetness with crunchy bits, only to have a ghost pepper shoved in your mouth.

The ending returns to the pie, but I can't forgive the ghost pepper. Way to fuck up dessert.

Get the book:

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.
~Harper Lee

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Download links are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with the book, author, publisher, or website listed.

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