Title: Best Laid Plans
Series: Garnet Run: Book Two
Author: Roan Parrish
Publisher: Carina Press
Length: 266 Pages
Category: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
At a Glance: Best Laid Plans is worth picking up for many reasons. The beautiful writing. The well-crafted, dual POV narrative. The small-town vibe. And the true stars of the story…the cats, Marmot and Jane ;)
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: A man who’s been moving his whole life finally finds a reason to stay put.
Charlie Matheson has spent his life taking care of things. When his parents died two days before his eighteenth birthday, he took care of his younger brother, even though that meant putting his own dreams on hold. He took care of his father’s hardware store, building it into something known several towns over. He took care of the cat he found in the woods…so now he has a cat.
When a stranger with epic tattoos and a glare to match starts coming into Matheson’s Hardware, buying things seemingly at random and lugging them off in a car so beat-up Charlie feels bad for it, his instinct is to help. When the man comes in for the fifth time in a week, Charlie can’t resist intervening.
Rye Janssen has spent his life breaking things. Promises. His parents’ hearts. Leases. He isn’t used to people wanting to put things back together—not the crumbling house he just inherited, not his future and certainly not him. But the longer he stays in Garnet Run, the more he can see himself belonging there. And the more time he spends with Charlie, the more he can see himself falling asleep in Charlie’s arms…and waking up in them.
Is this what it feels like to have a home—and someone to share it with?
Review: I have to admit that when I read Better Than People, the first book in Roan Parrish’s Garnet Run series, it didn’t even occur to me that Charlie would have a book. You know how sometimes, or often actually, you read a book, and you just know which side character is going to get a book next, or you find you desperately want someone’s story? That didn’t happen for me in Better Than People—but it turns out that Best Laid Plans was the book I didn’t even know I needed. I sooo loved getting Charlie’s story here. Looking back now, it’s so obvious that he needed and deserved a voice, and Parrish did a fabulous job giving it to him.
The book opens with introducing us to Rye, but I want to talk about Charlie first, because I absolutely adored him. Charlie Matheson is literal goodness. Just absolute, pure goodness. At barely eighteen, he gave up everything to take care of his brother and run the family store after his parents were killed in a car accident, and in twenty years, has pretty much never done anything just for himself. Sure, he’s happy enough. He enjoys running the store, loves Jack and is still a big part of his life, and he really does love Garnet Run. But at the same time, he has always yearned for more. He’s got a comfortable life, and a great house, but he wants a home. And a partner to share it with.
That longing for a home is the main thing Charlie and Rye have in common. Rye has moved around so much and has gotten so used to instability and chaos being the status quo in his life, that he thinks nothing of packing his duffel, grabbing his cat, and leaving Seattle for Garnet Run, Wyoming, at the drop of a hat. When he first finds out that his grandfather, whom he never met, left him a house, he sees it as a means to get away from couch-surfing and his perpetual fear of eviction. But it’s much more than that. It’s the possibility of a home of his own. Finally, a place to put down roots. When he gets to the house, however, he finds another problem rather than the solution he was hoping for. Lucky for him, though, a trip to the hardware store puts him on Charlie’s radar, and everything begins to change. For them both.
It took me a bit to warm up to Rye, but eventually I did, and I loved seeing him evolve from the wary, prickly guy that arrives in Garnet Run, to the absolute ball of mush he becomes as he falls for Charlie. Rye made Charlie feel truly seen for the first time in so, so long; something Charlie so much deserved and needed. Rye also helped Charlie acknowledge some big things about himself, and helped his relationship with Jack as well, which led to one of my favorite moments in the book. So, in the end, there was lots to love about Rye.
Best Laid Plans is worth picking up for many reasons. The beautiful writing. The well-crafted, dual POV narrative. The small-town vibe. A chance to see Jack and Simon again (though you do not have to have read the first book to enjoy this one). It’s thoughtful, low-angst, and with a bit of smolder as well. And, if you need a final motivation, a solid reason to dive in, look no further than the true stars of the story…the cats. Marmot and Jane, Rye’s and Charlie’s cats, respectively, are showstoppers, and should be reason enough. 😉
You can buy Best Laid Plans here:
[zilla_button url=”https://www.carinapress.com/shop/books/9780369702883_best-laid-plans.html” style=”black” size=”large” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Carina Press [/zilla_button][zilla_button url=”https://books2read.com/Best-Laid-Plans-Parrish” style=”black” size=”large” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon & Other eTailers [/zilla_button]