I am so excited to talk to y’all about Best Laid Plans by Roan Parrish, which is a small town m/m romance that I thought was so incredibly sweet. It’s out from Carina Adores so thanks to them and Netgalley for the review copy! Let’s launch into it.
This is a small town romance set in Garnet Run, Wyoming. Rye moves from Seattle to Garnet Run after being evicted and finding out that his grandfather whom he never met left him a house. Unfortunately, when Rye arrives in Garnet Run, he discovers this house is falling apart and not really hospitable. With few options though, Rye decides that with YouTube’s help he can definitely fix up the place. Charlie… is not so convinced.
Charlie owns the local hardware store and ever since his parents died two days shy of his 18th birthday and he took custody of his brother (one of the protagonists of book one), he’s had a bit of a thing for saving people. Rye is initially extremely skeptical of Charlie so this slow burn romance is really, really lovely.
If you’ve ever listened to Taylor Swift’s “Delicate” on repeat for hours or you know, even just a few times, I think this book will really call to you. Plus, there are cats! But in all honesty, Charlie and Rye’s slow coming together feels so delicate because they’re both sort of healing from things. Rye’s had a pretty tough life, hence the eviction, and Charlie didn’t even really know there was stuff to heal from. But slowly, the two of them really start learning more about one another and themselves and it’s really, deeply romantic in a lot of ways. I think because of the slow nature of the build up, the conflict, when it came, was really jarring for me. It’s not one of those third act break ups that ruined the book for me by any means, but it just threw the pacing off for me and brought me out of the book. Setting that one quibble aside, I think that Parrish wrote a gorgeous book, as per usual, and I’m really, really happy about it!
Oh, and important note! Rye is pansexual, which was really awesome representation to see. I think Charlie’s exploration of sex feels sort of demisexual vibes, but it’s not named on the page, and Charlie does not identify as ace.
CWs: intrusive thoughts, some discussion of parental abandonment/neglect related to not being straight or cis
Have you read this one? Are you planning to?