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Dating is hard enough. Throw in an incontinent Chihuahua, an unrequited love affair, a severe case of social anxiety disorder, a dying father, and a man-eating hog and it becomes darned near impossible. Still, it takes two to tango—and when Tom Morgan, a mild-mannered assistant bank manager with a debilitating case of shyness, meets Frank Wells, who is straight off the farm and even shyer than he is, sparks start flying.
Just when Tom and Frank’s burgeoning love affair is rolling along nicely, Frank must return to Indiana to oversee the farm while his father battles cancer. Tom tags along to help Frank out and finds himself slopping hogs and milking cows and wondering what the hell happened to his orderly citified existence. And what’s with all the chickens? Tom hates chickens!
With Frank’s help, Tom grits his teeth and muddles through. Funny what a couple of guys can accomplish when they’re crazy about each other. Not even nine hundred chickens can stand in the way of true love.
I have some mixed feelings about this story. First, I love John Inman’s writing style. He makes it so easy to just jump right in and feel like you are part of the scene. Second, I thought the two MCs were hilarious and sweet and so cute together it almost gave me a cavity! Third, I didn’t mind their insta-love one bit. I thought it suited their characters and fit with their own desperate need to find someone to be an anchor in their lives. But…
I really, really, really didn’t like the way Stanley was handled. First, the fact that Jerry was with him and he was such an obvious dick made me question Tom’s judgment- especially since apparently their “marriage” was dismissed so easily and casually by Jerry. Why, why, why would Tom still be Jerry’s friend??? It sounds like he was an idiot who dumped a wonderful guy (Tom) for a psychopath! Second, Stanley went from your basic home-wrecker to deranged, druggy, greedy psycho pretty quickly. Even his own father thought he was a dick. I would have appreciated just a little bit of explanation as to how Joe (super awesome dad) and Frank (the nicest guy in the world) could be related to such a psycho. Finally, the pig eating the brother. ICK! I did not like that part at all. I was sad for his death and even sadder that no one else was sad. Sure, he was a dick, but really – he’s dead! And he’s Frank’s brother and Frank is a sweetie. I think Frank would be torn up more.
So… most of me simply loved this and found the quirkiness of the characters (especially the judgmental Pedro) to be hilarious, but I was a bit shocked by how Stanley was portrayed and a little put off by his demise.
I thought the narrator, Tommy O’Brien, did a nice job. Nothing too crazy or over the top, good at the pacing and mostly letting the story tell itself.
So for both the story and the narration 4 of 5 hearts.