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This story was very easy to listen to. It managed to keep a light and pleasant tone despite dealing with some heavy topics like anxiety, coming to terms with being gay and dealing with loved ones being away for war. But it also never felt like those problems were not real or important.
All in all a lovely little story.
I found this book a little bit challenging to review, struggling to separate the story from the narration because I actually listened to the audio book (narrated by Charlie Belmont) rather than reading the story.
The reason I found it challenging was because I found the story a little slow moving and it was hard to determine if this was mainly driven by the story itself or from the speed of the narration. I have a feeling that if I had been reading this myself and at my own fairly rapid pace, it may not have felt quite so drawn out. I would like to give it the benefit of the doubt and say the slowness was mainly due to the narration speed (from past experience I usually find the pace of audio books a little bit slow for my liking).
The story follows Mark, incredibly shy with a diagnosed condition that has prevented him forming relationships, who moves in with his sister-in-law to support her through the last months of her pregnancy while his brother is deployed overseas. Mark meets Seth and they are attracted but his condition means Mark needs to overcome some hurdles if they are to be together.
I liked that Mark had finally found a man worth trying to break through his own barriers for. I liked that Seth took things slowly and was prepared to handle a unique relationship that didn't consist of a lot of face-to-face time. It was quite interesting to see Seth relate to his rescue greyhound and encourage the dog to trust and venture into the world and see the same occur with Mark.
I wanted to love Mark but for some reason, although understanding the difficulties he faced in life, I found him slightly annoying. There was a repetitiveness to his thoughts and actions that irritated me slightly (plus all the references to 'he blinked', 'Mark blinked at him'...)
The other characters were engaging - Seth, sister-in-law Lisa, friend Claire and brother Pete. Plus the dogs were cute!
So all in all, quite a nice and sweet story with some lovely lines...
"Besides you're not a greyhound Mark. You're a bulldog. Tough and wary, loyal as all get-out, not easy to get close to and you know, that intrigued me but once inside what do I find but this huge heart. I'd be the crazy one to walk away from you." He grinned. "And by the way, you should hope it's an extension of my dog thing. I make long term commitments to my greyhounds." Sorry if the punctuation is wrong but I am listening to it being said, not reading it!