Author: John Inman
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Wyeth Becker is a librarian, a quiet man who has determined being single is fine by him since he has his dog Chaucer. When Deeze Long trips into his life, courtesy of Chaucer, he realizes that while he has experienced emotions, he has not encountered pure joy before! Deeze (full name Darryl Zachary, which he determine is too long and creates his nickname), is a kindergarten teacher who is also taking night school to potentially have a side career as a trainer. The two men start on a tentative friendship and with that, the roller coaster of life that comes with it and Wyeth finds himself in the position of helping Deeze find his joy when the pains of life almost become too much. The story is told from the alternating points of view of Wyeth and Deeze.
Review: The characters in this story drew me in from the first chapter. You sense Wyeth’s insecurities, that he has been hurt before and while Deeze is outwardly confident and happy, you also suspect that he has been used and hurt before, although for different reasons. Interestingly, the author does not go into the specifics of how either man was hurt in previous relationships or hook ups, which seemed intentional since the theme of the story seemed to be about living in the present. Deeze shows Wyeth a different view of San Diego and it’s residents while Wyeth provides strength and support for Deeze to continue being who he is, which also allows Wyeth to be more of who he has always wanted to be.
The supporting characters are just as important – Jake Ambrewster, one of Deeze’s students, who they meet on their first date together, who reappears at good moments, along with the traumatic event of the book. Agnes Mulroney, Wyeth’s nosy neighbor, who also is a key person for pushing Wyeth and Deeze together, and, in her own way, being there to support them when life threatens to crash around them, then provide the biggest surprise for the two men! Deeze’s cousin Laurie, the priest who got him his job, Father Mike, they all factor into the journey of these two men and make an impact.
The story was equal parts sweet, funny, romantic, sad, scary and worth every moment, just like life so as the title says, laugh, cry, repeat! Definitely recommend this for contemporary MM romance fans who like drama with their romance, lots of hot scenes between these two men, but just as many romantic ones to show their connections on all levels.