Author ~ M.J. O’Shea
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 4 March 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
What Austin Lloyd lacks in academics, he makes up for in his love of the animals who frequent his pet salon. He’s not lucky in romance, though, and his family would like him to settle down with a good man. Austin—and his golden retriever, Maggie—couldn’t agree more.
Evan Partridge isn’t good at letting people in. His messy family life and the past that’s shaped him aren’t worth bringing up. But his pug, Dexter, sure likes the pet salon owner.
Austin and Evan get off to a rough start, but being friends soon turns into something more. Unfortunately, Evan’s secretive behavior nearly does the relationship in, and the budding love affair almost crashes and burns when Evan’s troubled sister shows up on his doorstep.
Not speaking to each other is killing them both, but Evan doesn't know how to keep Austin and help his sister at the same time. He just knows he has to try. Winning back Austin’s trust back, however, is going to take a whole lot of work.
3 “Doggy Loving” Stars!
Pawsitively in Love is a stand-alone MM contemporary romance by M.J. O’Shea. While I did have some issues with how the plot developed, I did enjoy this author’s charming writing style.
Austin Lloyd has worked hard to make his pet salon a success. He may not be the luckiest man when it comes to romance but he is content with his life, friends, family and his cute dog (Maggie). When Evan Partridge and his little puppy (Dexter) walk into his shop (and his life) they don’t necessarily start off on the right foot, especially with the couple of incidents that happen at the pet salon between them. Despite all this, the two men somehow manage to enter into a tentative and fragile friendship. Evan is very clear from the beginning that he is not looking for anything more than friendship as he believes that he does not make a great boyfriend. However, as the men (and their two dogs) spend more and more time together, it is hard to deny the chemistry and the connection between them. Just as things seem to be heading in the right direction for Evan and Austin, a surprise visit from Evan’s sister turns everything inside out. Can Evan somehow come out from under the unending gloom brought on by his family and truly give his relationship with Austin a chance to thrive or will he once again allow his family to dictate how he lives his life?
Ms. O’Shea has written a story with two very endearing protagonists, although Evan could be a real jerk at times. To the outside world Evan has been this standoffish individual who lives a pretty solitary life not really allowing anyone to get close, but underneath that removed façade there is a man with a good heart. His family dynamics have taught him to keep to himself and not get too emotionally invested in anyone so he would rather remain locked up tight with his emotions in check. Austin comes into the picture and essentially turns Evan’s life inside out. As both men begin to spend more time with one another and their friendship deepens into something more, they both seem to be on the same page until Evan’s sister unexpectedly shows up. My frustrations with this book commenced when this occurred. Up until that point I was enjoying the slow building romance between Austin and Evan despite the fact that things moved at a snail’s pace. I did feel a little detached at times but when Evan’s sister came into the picture I felt like this was not the much needed plot device the book seemed to be missing. All Evan’s sister brought to the storyline was a lot of unnecessary frustration and the fact that Evan turned into a spineless individual all of a sudden made things that much worse. It was nice to see this cute love story come to fruition and see just how Evan and Austin finally get their shot at love even though the ending felt very rushed and incomplete.
All in all, Pawsitively in Love was an entertaining read even though it did not blow my socks off.