This book is a lot like those fish out of water 90’s romantic comedies. We have 27-year-old Tai Samuels the (as the book describes him multiple times) sassy, lipgloss-wearing party boy who flees Boston with just the clothes on his back after a disastrous breakup. He makes a detour in small-town Vermont and, with a little help from the Vino and Veritas staff, finds a temp job with Emmett, the local veterinarian. Emmett’s a closeted bisexual single Dad trying to keep his business afloat and his 10-year-old son happy. The two couldn’t be in more different places in life but find an instant attraction.
I did not like this book, I had so many issues with it; the 10-year-old child felt super moppety, the plot never seemed to move forward and so much of the conflict was about how straight people would perceive straight presenting Emmett with the more flamboyant Tai–which seemed like such an odd focus for a book series about a queer community where (based on the cameos) it seems like 80% of these people are bisexual. Tai is also half Maori half white New Zealand and the way his “olive skin” is talked about during the sex scenes felt…real weird.
I’ve been trying to DNF more and I would have quit this book but I kept going with it because of the phenomenal performance from Gary Furlong, the audiobook narrator for Tai. As the kids say, he understood the assignment. Furlong is such a performer, he draws you into his character’s POV and gives an entertaining performance that hits all the comedic beats.
While Iggy Toma (who I thought was good) narrates most of the books in World of True North, Furlong only appears in this one. I think they brought him in specifically because he does an uncanny New Zealand accent. Not to mention his American. Furlong, who is an accent coach, is truly is a master of accents. I loved him in the Tara Sim’s Timekeeper series where he was doing a British teen and was thrown that this was also him because he sounds so different. I’d assumed that he was British but I’ve come to find out he is Irish? Why are Irish people so good at doing accents ?
I really need Furlong to pick better books because I also slogged through the Timekeeper trilogy because of him. I think I need to check out his Cat Sebastion work.