“Love and Lint Rollers” by Kaje Harper features Thom Fletcher, whose fortuitous encounter with veterinarian Dean Edwards results in…a new houseguest. Each man has a painful past that threatens to prevent him from forming a lasting relationship and will have to decide whether to fight for happiness.
This story is an adult contemporary m/m romance. I love that this author's characters are so real, with their attendant challenges and sometimes imperfect solutions. Having been temporary house-slave to a household of 10 cats, I was entertained to read about Thom's routine which evokes memories of being “trained” by the felines and their preferences. The challenges of dealing with a medical condition that controls one’s choices are sensitively described and I couldn’t help but ache for Thom even as I regretted how much that makes him prickly and pessimistic about the chances for a permanent romantic relationship.
The challenges that Dean faces as he reveals his life choices were surprising and enlightening to me as I hadn’t really considered how bisexual folks are judged and sometimes criticized by folks who really should mind their own business. There are some elements of this story that were a little sticky for me, but I think they reflect that folks have blind spots and are imperfect. As always, the theme of “love me for who I am” is artfully depicted and as usual with this author, I consumed the story in one delightful gulp.
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.