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?
[I received a digital arc for an honest review]
Best Laid Plans is the second LGBTQ+ adult contemporary romance book in the Garnet Run series by Roan Parrish. While this can definitely be read as a stand alone it features the couple from the first book, and it would make the reading experience even better if you’ve read that one.
“F*ckin’ savior complex. Told me.” But his voice was without heat. He just sounded tired.
“Is that the same or different than a hero complex, because I think that’s what you said last time.”
Since Charlie’s parents died when he was 18 he has devoted his life to taken care of his younger brother. That always meant putting his brothers wants and needs before his own. When Rye moves to town it shakes up his very repetitive and lonely routine. Rye inherits a house in Garnet Run from his estranged grandfather except it’s really a run down death trap. Rye has very little to his name besides his cat, so he attempts to make it livable on his own. Charlie steps in and offers to help him figure everything out and in the meantime a safe place to live. They naturally progress into a relationship but they both have fears of what’s going to happen once the house is done.
“He had something with Rye. Something rough and new, but something nonetheless, and he didn’t want to lose it.”
There was so much I enjoyed about Best Laid Plans. Let’s start with Charlie , I adored him, it hurt my heart how much psychologically his parents death still affected him. Rye was the grump to Charlie’s sunshine. He had some serious attitude in the begging of the book but while he used it as a shield I loved when he used his sharp words to defend Charlie. I loved that Jack and Simon were present side characters in this one, strengthening Jack and Charlies relationship and creating a friendship for Simon and Rye.
Oops can’t forget the cats of the book, Jane & Marmot, those two had just as much personality and love as the humans.
“But Charlie’s arm felt so damn good around him. Warm and strong and just so.. present. Like Rye could lean into him and be held forever.”
I appreciated how much the book doesn’t side line the characters mental health. Also, a really big theme in this is communication, inside and outside of the bedroom. To always be honest and open with your partner and no matter what intimate acts you want or are uncomfortable with doesn’t make you normal or not normal.
Best Laid Plans is a wonderful queer romance with very low drama and lots of kitty snuggles. I hope there will be more additions to the Garnet Run series because I quite enjoy this cast of characters.
—-Written by Amanda—