Tag Team Review: Love and Lint Rollers by Kaje Harper

Even with six beloved cats at home, Thom Fletcher can't help opening his heart to a little injured stray he finds at Pride. Luckily, the generosity of the veterinarian who helps him means he doesn't have to open his wallet. Thom's budget is stretched pretty thin, between his struggling start-up and medical expenses for his Crohn's disease, so the free cat care helps a lot. Thom may have fallen for the little feline, but he's also intrigued by the attractive vet in the bi-pride bracelet.

Dean Edwards went to Pride with his colors on his wrist, hoping to find community after his divorce. Instead, he's pulled into a cat rescue by an appealing man. Dean likes Thom's kindness to strays, his blue-gray eyes, his intelligence, and his perspective from decades as an out gay man. Maybe with Thom, Dean will finally feel able to explore his long-neglected attraction to men.

They're not a perfect match. From Dean's cat-hating dog to Thom's chronic health issues and preferences in bed, going from a casual date to something more will be a challenge for both of them.


Annika - 3.5 Hearts

It all started with Pride, and a kitten stuck in a tin can.. Cat lover Thom and veterinarian Dean join forces to rescue the little critter. It seemed like a match made in heaven, but their relationship isn't as easy as one might think.

There was one thing that I really loved with this book, and that was that one of the main characters, Thom, was suffering from a chronic illness, Crohn's disease. You don't come across that in books. Sure you get the cancers, the HIV, and the mental illnesses - but stuff like Crohn's? Never. Or at least that has been my experience. So finding this book made me happy.

Suffering from a chronic illness myself (daily and never-ending migraines) I could relate so much to Thom and his struggles. The constant planning, the thinking "if I do this, I can't do that" or the "I wish I could do that. Always needing strategies for each and every thing that you do, for every trip - even something as basic as going to the store to buy some food. So while I don't have Crohn's, I can relate too many of Thom's struggles and I think that the way Ms. Harper handled it all was very well done. I can only thank her for including a character with this kind of major "flaw", because I for one is fed up with reading about picture perfect characters. Give me a real story any day of the week.

That being said, I truly wanted to love this story. It had all the ingredients for a cute story but with a lot of depth. To me, that's not really what we got. My wish was that the main focus would be on the relationship between Thom and Dean. Sadly that ended up in the backseat and all things cat and Crohn's kind of took over. Now I know I just said that I loved the fact that Thom had Crohn's, and that's still true. But it took over a bit too much of the story. I'm the first one to admit how much an illness like that can rule your life - and the lives of your loved ones. But I still feel that Dean was forgotten, he never really got much on page time or the chance to shine. His Dreams and wishes were kind of swept under the rug as if he didn't matter as much, it made the book feel a little off balance.

Then there was the cats. The many, many cats, the care of the cats and the cat stories. Thom might have been the male version of a cat lady, basically living for his cats (pre Dean), but at time it felt like they had more space in this story than Dean had. I'm a huge animal lover and love as many fluffy cuddles I can get, but I still think that the main character should feel more important than the cats...

This might not have been the hit I anticipated, but I'm still glad I read it. I'm even more grateful to Harper for writing it - we definitely need more stories like this, especially in a world where the perfect outside seems to matter more than what is on the inside.

Ann - 4.5 Hearts

I seem to always say this, but it’s a refreshing treat to read a story about two men, more on the mature side, finding their places with life and one another, and this is exactly what Love and Lint Rollers has going for it. It’s a character (and pet) driven romance and these men have histories and maturity behind them giving their characters a level of depth that was much appreciated and so interesting.

Thom has been living with Crohn’s disease for many years and has come to uneasy terms with it as a single man, but can’t imagine a partner ever having the patience and tolerance to deal with it as well. He has his kit kats and besties to keep him company, but it’s not the same as having a life partner to share your world with, so Thom’s loneliness is almost palpable.

Dean is a recently divorced veterinarian who identifies, privately, as bisexual. He’s been married to a woman for years and while she knew, he never thought his orientation was relevant to anyone else so he’s always kept that part of himself hidden, until now. He doesn’t have any grand plans to come out, but he’s definitely keeping his options open for future romances.

So, the dynamics were pretty interesting from the beginning once Thom and Dean had their meet-cute via Pride and a homeless kitten. If you’re a pet lover, and more specifically a cat lover, than this story is your catnip. Anywho . . . what comes next is my favorite part of the book, Thom and Dean just spend time together, getting to know and appreciate one another and I loved it. The organic ups and downs they went through made me root for them individually and as a couple.

Thom and Dean had to navigate a lot of realistic obstacles and there was the potential for a lot of angst, which, thankfully, was absent. I think that’s why I find older characters refreshing, they are over the angst BS and deal with life like adults. They also have a higher sense of self preservation so things move more slowly which I love when it’s as good as it is in this story. I’m obviously generalizing with the mature characters thing, but it was definitely true here.

Thom’s chronic health problems affect his feelings and preferences about sex and with good reason. It was sad that he felt that would keep him alone, but in the end of the day, this story is a romance and Dean is definitely Thom’s other half when it comes to compatibility. And sweet mother of all that is holy, the compatibility of these two is smokin’!

Thom has trouble believing Dean can be as in to him as Thom is in to Dean and Dean has to deal with coming out to his coworkers, family and friends. It’s not easy and the biphobia and bi-erasure he goes through is heartbreaking and frustrating.

There was no magic answer to every issue, but by the end there was a solid and believable relationship between two deserving men.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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