Title: Shawn's Law
Author: Renae Kaye
Purchase Link: Dreamspinner (Preorder now, released on 3/6)
Genre: MM Contemporary
Vice: Adorkable Men, Australia, Feel Good Reads
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Satisfaction: HEA with plenty of smiles
Cover Impressions: You will laugh out loud after you read the book.
Best Line: "You break my heart daily with how strong and gracious and loving you are to your mother."
Synopsis: Shawn is single, twenty-nine, the full-time carer of his Alzheimer’s-stricken mother, and a frequent victim of Murphy’s Law—although his family calls it Shawn’s Law. Other than caring for mum, his day consists of painting nude men and spying on the guy who walks his dogs along the street every day at four o’clock. When Shawn takes a spectacular fall on his front steps, who is there to witness it other than the man of his dreams?
Harley doesn’t believe in Shawn’s Law—but he soon changes his mind.
The two men make it through a memorable first date and Shawn’s sexual insecurities to begin a relationship stumbling toward love. But when Shawn’s Law causes Harley to be injured, Shawn is determined to save Harley’s life the only way he knows how—by breaking up with him. Not once, but twice. Throw in a serial killer ex-boyfriend, several deadly Australian animals, two dogs called Bennie, a mother who forgets to wear clothes, an unforgiving Town Council, and a strawberry-flavored condom dolly, and Shawn’s Law is one for the books.
Impressions: Renae Kaye is quickly becoming an auto-buy author, and move to the top of my huge TBR pile author. This book seemed a little more light hearted than some of Kaye's other works, and I was intrigued. Sometimes I want a high angst book, but living in Boston and seeing 5 feet of snow outside my window, and half a foot more coming tonight, I needed some levity ASAP!
One of the best things about this book, as with many of Kaye's others, is the voice of the MCs. In this novel we alternate POV between Shawn and Harley, aka Hippy Hottypants. From the start, this is told as Harley and Shawn reflect back on their early relationship. There is a feeling of love and fondness in each chapter, and that guides the whole story.
Shawn is prone to accidents and injuries, but he is such a lovable and kind hearted character, that you can't help but fall in love with him. In fact, everyone around him seems to love and care for him. Shawn is a talented artist who has given up most of his own life to care for his mother. He is insecure in his own attractiveness to others, but he never loses his own compassion and sweetness. He never questions his dedication to his mother and to the others that he loves, and that genuine kindness and openness is what guides his interactions each day.
Shawn could easily have been a character who was bitter, angry, or even stupid, but Kaye is a much more effective writer and she doesn't let Shawn be reduced to that. In many ways, Shawn's Law is a product of his openness, curiosity and generosity. This is not a man who is afraid of life due to his circumstances, but rather someone who doesn't get upset when life throws him a challenge, and someone who continues to face each day with excitement and openness. The people around Shawn realize that what is sometimes his misfortune, is often an act of mercy for those around him, as he prevents others from getting into even worse scrapes. In this light hearted and easy way, Kaye reminds us of something pretty important- Life is a matter of perspective. Do we view our challenges as misfortunes or as opportunities?
Harely is clearly a man in love with Shawn, even when Shawn can't believe it himself. Where harley wants to protect Shawn, he has to learn that Shawn isn't a damsel in distress, and he is not a victim needing rescue. He is a man who makes his choices and accepts his responsibilities, and how could Harley *not* love that?
The setting in this book is classic Kaye...Australian landscapes and critters galore. I've always wanted to go to Australia, and with each Kaye book my fear of snakes and spiders rises, while my desire to pack my bags continues to grow. How can she do that?!
The romance is sweet and sexy, and the secondary casts is amazing, as always! This may look like a slightly different book from some of Kaye's others, but the sweetness, sincerity and romance are here in plentitude! This book will keep a smile on your lips and a warmth in your heart. Though there is a lightness to this book, there is an important message to take away in the midst of the laughs. This is one not to miss!
Definitely recommended! Pre-order it today and have it ready for a day when you need a smile- don't we all?