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Man's Best Friend by P. A. Brown

Man's Best Friend

by P. A. Brown

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The last novel by P.A. Brown surprised me in a good way; it's true, it's not that I read many novels by this author, only her famous L.A. Heat, but from that one I had the idea that she was a good mystery / thriller author, who wrote very good characters, out of the ordinary and original, and good love story, even if not particularly sexy. In L.A. Heat there was sex, but it was not the main course of the story, and the story between the two men was intimate without giving so much details on their private moments.

So you can imagine my surprise when, just from the first pages of this new novel, I realized that I was starting to read a sexy and funny romp. Todd is an hotel assistant manager with a passion for dogs; he has two German dobermans, quite impressive animals, but they behave more like puppy than threatening dogs. Todd is also a old-fashioned gay guy, he is searching for the right man, but in the meantime he doesn't mind a bit of eye candy. And so when he meets the new young vet, Keith, he is open to the chance of love at first sight, even better when the feeling is mutual.

Like Todd, also Keith is more the old fashioned guy than the animal party. I also had the feeling that he is also a bit less experienced than Todd, and this, being both virgins at least in one way, makes them quite the naive couple. But Todd would have been more willing to accelerate the things between them, and instead Keith is the one who wants to wait and see if what they have found together is the real thing... at least for one day! Yes, it's not that Keith doesn't put out for a long time, but at least not at first appointment.

Meanwhile to their new family bliss is added a new element, a little chihuahua named Taco. Everything seems perfect, so good that it was almost pouring sugar from the side, when an unexpected event forced them to take a decision that it was probably on the horizon, but not so soon: they need to decide if what they have is real and forever love, or if it's only a temporary nice fling. Obviously being this a romance, they will take the right decision.

The novel is clearly divided in two part; the first one is more intimate, almost all spent between Todd and Keith with very few interferences from the outside. Even when they have to face that decision, they do that with a bit of drama, but all in all in almost smooth way. There is one scene, quite harsh and disturbing, when Todd takes his 'revenge' for Keith's temporary abandonment: he searches for mindless and meaningless sex with a stranger, putting himself and their relationship in danger. It's a brutal scene, but probably necessary to shake off the reader from the blissful he was till the moment before; it's a way to prove how bad life can be for both of them, Todd and Keith, if they are not together. Strange to say, to me was also a way to prove how much stronger and tougher Todd is in comparison to Keith.

It's not that Keith is not a negative character, it's only that I have the feeling that he is a bit soft and not tempered by life. Everything was quite easy for him, and yes, maybe now he is struggling to build his career, but it's a little struggle, nothing serious. At the first real trouble in his life, he reacts in a very bad way, closing off Todd, who was instead supporting and willing to help. Todd's reaction to this attitude was maybe drastic, but he realized soon his mistake, and was ready to make penance. He also behaves with honesty towards Todd, an honesty that was all willingly given, since there was no way Todd would have found out otherwise.

The following part of the novel is more smooth and easy, at least for what regards the relationship between Keith and Todd. The trouble this time are not between them, but we see them against the outside world, even if, truth be told, is a very little fight. In this second part the author introduce another couple, Charlie and Tyler, a couple I wouldn't mind to have a deeply insight: they stood out in a way that makes me think they are not merely supporting characters, that maybe there is a story planned also for them: but what I would be glad to read is not what will be of them after this book, but how they met and arrived to make their appearance in this story.

What at first appeared to be a simple and funny sexy romp, in the end is a complex romance all bore by the characters more than the plot, characters that have unexpected layers, positive but sometime also negative. The story flows smoothly only to be shaken by three dramatic events that serve to the author to not let the reader falls in the sugar feelings of the romance. To top all like a cherry on the cream, there are a lot of sex scenes, sexy and detailed.

  elisa.rolle | Aug 26, 2009 |
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New Mexico, the land of enchantment weaves a spell of love around Todd Richards and Dr. Keith Anderson as they struggle to make their love work amid terrible loss, betrayal and rustlers and make their dream of a bed & breakfast in Santa Fe a reality.
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