A Love By Numbers story
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Publication Date: July 23, 2019
Length: 222 pages
Reviewed by Truus
A Love by Numbers Story
When unlikely attraction blossoms between a twenty-something genderqueer tattoo artist and an older, small-town veterinarian, both are forced to face their pasts for a chance at a loving future.
Four years ago Padraig Donovan lost his husband, the only man he’d ever been with. Now his life consists of the work he loves, a big empty house, and the possibility of a lonely future.
Kaos’s experiments with makeup landed him in the hospital at the hands of his disapproving ex. With nowhere else to turn, he flees to Acker, Wisconsin… and runs into a sexy widower and the kindest man he’s ever met.
Padraig and Kaos know there’s something worth exploring between them, and as they raise a puppy and deal with the ups and downs of their respective jobs, they fit into each other’s lives in ways they never expected. Being with Kaos—who is so different than the guys he’s always been attracted to—opens up an exciting new world for Padraig. But can he convince Kaos to trust another man with his body… let alone his heart?
What a wonderful experience this was. I felt like a tourist. Walking through this special little town, waving at people, talking to the sheriff, walking past the diner, the post office, the vet clinic. It was all easy to visualize by the way this story was written.
There is so much story to tell. I don’t even know where to begin. The further into this story the deeper it goes, more complex.
Kaos packed his stuff and drives away. Away from his abusive partner, who couldn’t appreciate him for the beautiful genderfluid person he is, sometimes feeling more girly sometimes more like a guy and sometimes in between. He goes by he/him pronouns so that’s what I shall use.
He is driving to Acker, Wisconsin to Makai, his brother not by blood.
Acker is a small town with diverse and warm people. Kaos will live with Makai and his partner Emil, in their tiny home.
Padraig has one big home where, before his partner died, many people came.
At some crucial point in this story, he offers Kaos a room in his house to stay. Kaos accepts his offer.
Kaos’ life is complicated, he is traumatized and it takes a lot of strength and time to deal with this. Padraig, kind and genuine, seems, at first sight, an uncomplicated man who, besides his work as the local vet, has a simple life. When we get to know him there is so much more.
They don’t know why, from the first moment they laid eyes on each other, they were attracted.
Very slowly and very cautious they spend special time together. If only it were that simple.
After the introduction of the locals and the town, the story focused more on Kaos and Padraig.
They are kind and considerate with each other. Padraig’s job has a big part in this story. Their growing feelings and relationships aren’t an obvious one.
We meet Francis, a dear friend of Padraig, Makai, and Emil who are the most important people in Kaos’ his life. I understand they have their own story, so I HAVE to read Love by Numbers #1 Ten!
For me, Four is an extraordinary story and I think it’s because of the balance and consistency.
Substantively it was exceptionally balanced, the love, trauma, their past, and future, friendship, sexuality, dedication, work, and daily life. It was coherent and it felt real. Every part of this story was well developed. There was no rush and therefore had a comfortable flow. The surroundings were wonderfully described. All the diverse and engaging characters involved are special and they felt so honest and real. I want to find this tiny town and live there.
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