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Best Laid Plans: An LGBTQ Romance (Garnet Run, 2) Paperback – February 23, 2021
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—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“If an HGTV show and a Hallmark movie had a book baby, it would be this heartwarming, reno-heavy tale of rehabilitation, both emotional and structural." -- The Globe and Mail
"A sizzlingly hot yet surprisingly tender love story." -- Booklist
About the Author
- Publisher : Carina Adores; Original edition (February 23, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1335924809
- ISBN-13 : 978-1335924803
- Item Weight : 7.7 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.26 x 0.78 x 7.99 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #900,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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For starters, I’m from Seattle and the tenant laws are very pro-renter. For Rye to have been evicted twice, well, I’m not buying it and he’d have to have been a total loser, which does not track with the intelligent, emotionally intelligent, organized man he is later in the book.
So there’s that.
From the way he’s introduced, I was expecting a character who had difficulty with the idea of relationships and commitment. Instead, we got a character who ran into the relationship like he was skipping through a field of daisies. So, in my mind, this again doesn’t make sense and seemed like a huge wasted opportunity of character growth and conflict.
I loved Charlie in the first book of this series. He had so many issues that I was excited to see dealt with. Were they? No, they were not. Every time something came up, it was talked about and then left hanging, never to be resolved. I assume he just got over it? I’m not sure because the book just moved on. It felt very unsatisfying as a reader.
For instance, he discovers he likes his sex on, what for him is a little on the weird side. This is explored at the time and then never addressed again. I kept waiting for it to be dealt with because there was so much there that could have been interesting, but the next time they have sex, it’s all great and all his hang ups seem gone. Which was disappointing.
And that pretty much describes every conflict in the book. It was super frustrating. Everything came way too easily and nothing felt resolved, which made it difficult to connect with the characters.
One of my biggest issues was with the “black moment” where they have their big conflict. A) Charlie was totally in the right and Rye just bowled over him, which sucked. And B) the whole thing could have been avoided if they had insurance on the house, which I assume they did because no bank would have given them the mortgage without the insurance. I mean that’s mortgage 101. And Charlie, as a super responsible person, would have made sure they’d had insurance. So the conflict should never have happened in the first place.
Finally, I really hated how all of a sudden at the end, the book became about starting a cat shelter instead of their relationship. I started skimming. I don’t read romances to read about two heroes following their dream of starting up a cat shelter. Especially when it all comes together so easily as to be unbelievable. And the last 20% is pretty much all cat shelter.
My last nit picky thing is that at the end, a gender neutral character is thrown in. They is originally one of a group of kids and the gender neutrality is never discussed. So for most of the book, the they is referring to the group of kids. It then switches to just the one kid and it’s very vague that this is happening. So I was confused. There seriously needs to be a better gender neutral pronoun than they because they is a group of people and this is a classic example of when they is used to refer to one person and having it not work because the author was literally just using it to refer to a group. (End my complaining)
Also, the addition of a gender neutral character so late in the book for no real reason just felt gratuitous. I might have felt differently if the book had focused more on Charlie and Rye’s relationship, but by then, I was cranky, and I didn’t want to have to keep flipping back pages to figure out who or which group the they pronoun was referring to.
So you know, read the book because you should read the book if you like the m/m romance subgenre, but there are issues.
Charlie especially caught my eye in the previous book, BETTER THAN PEOPLE, because he was a gentle giant who sacrificed everything to care for his younger brother when their parents unexpectedly died. Charlie has given everything of himself without taking anything of his own and his squishy cinnamon roll heart is sooo big.
He falls hard and fast for newcomer Rye but the real delight was watching Rye go from surly and grumpy to all mushy. And boy do I love watching a grumpy MC catch feelings and not know what to do about it. Rye was so careful to respect Charlie's needs and to provide a safe place for Charlie to let go of all his responsibilities and find happiness just for himself.
And I have to give a gold star for both MCs having cats who were so cute. These were not background pets, but instead they had unique and adorable personalities that any cat lover will enjoy.
I loved reading about these two vastly different men getting to know each other, trust each other, and fall in love. I really appreciated their conversations about sex and consent and intimacy, and the way that they explored things together. Charlie and Rye both have traumas and baggage that affect their relationships and the way they view they world, and while they don't always agree, they do talk things out and help each other navigate difficult situations.
While the first book in the Garnet Run series, Better Than People, has a more insular focus, Best Laid Plans properly introduces the town of Garnet Run, making the people who live there an important part of the story. Not only is this book about making a home with the person you love, it's about finding community.
Best Laid Plans is a book with a big heart and a lovely story -- I can't recommend it enough!
It was okay.
I liked it?
I cried for Charlie and Jack.
Maybe the pacing was off a little? I felt like the last 30% was just...happiness? And what is with that?
I enjoyed every aspect of Charlie learning who he is and having the safety and space to do it in a healthy way.
Mainly I just loved Charlie? And I don’t dislike Rye, I just didn’t love him the same way. They both were written with Roan level emotional depth and i loved that, I didn’t feel really connected with him and even though I felt a deep connection between Rye and Charlie..., idk. I loved book one in this series and had higher expectations for this book than I what I felt it delivered.
Top reviews from other countries
Charlie is such a lovable guy, always willing to help everyone and putting himself last. I like his evolution in the story, when he meets Rye he becomes aware of how little he's enjoyed life. Rye, on the other hand, is blunt and rude, he doesn't expect much from people so he feels overwhelmed when Charlie offers and insists on helping him with the crappy house he's inherited. The attraction between them is unmistakeable and the moments they are together are cute and romantic. Charlie's opening to his sexuality is touching and seeing Rye be so understanding is heart-warming.
I like the plot, it tells the story of complicated lives and how love can overcome any problems that come your way. I've loved the heroes and also the cats, which have very important roles in this book. Overall, it's a great romantic book that shows how life can change when two people are predestined to be together.
Glad Jack and Simon were around. Love this series.
This is a super sweet story about a man taking a huge chance for a better life than he's known and a man who doesn't know how to live for himself. And cats. Lots of cats.
I laughed aloud in this frequently. The humour almost catches you off guard, so you can't help the little bursts of laughter.
It's beautifully written (I've never read a book by Roan that isn't) and I just completely fell in love with this couple. There's no high drama, and the tension builds so quietly you barely realise it's there until it breaks.