You’re Welcome, Love Your Cat
Title : You’re Welcome, Love Your Cat
Publisher : Loose Id (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 121 pages (ebook)
Published : August 6, 2013
Rating : ★★★★
Since vowing celibacy over a decade ago, history professor and classic car aficionado Edwin Blais’s only comfort has been his dead partner’s cat, Francesca. When she gets lost, Edwin’s beside himself…until he meets the man who found her.
Cat-lover and mechanic Forrest James is a Roman sculpture brought to life, old enough to run a successful garage but not old enough to forget the secrets of a painful childhood.
Edwin’s lonely, and a straight man poses no threat to his vow. Soon he’s going to the garage every night after class. Forrest’s quiet friendship is healing Edwin’s broken heart until a night of mind-blowing sex changes everything. Edwin can’t deny his growing feelings, but a relationship between them seems impossible.
After Edwin uncovers the mysteries behind Forrest’s tough exterior, he’s forced to choose between a lost love and an unexpectedly tender new love who needs Edwin more than he ever could have guessed. Only by dealing with their tragic pasts can either forge a future. Will they find a way to do together what neither could do alone?
When I was given a chance to review this book, I thought “Cats, how I can go wrong with a book involving cats? And a Maine Coon cat at that!” Then I started the book and it was set in Austin, Texas. Bonus! This is my home town.
Dr Edwin Blais is a History professor at the University of Texas. He is the stereotypical eccentric professor that immerses himself in his work, his cat and his 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk. Francesca, his Maine Coon cat, is his only remaining link to Howard. Howard was Edwin’s lover, husband and best friend; they were together many years. They were young and Edwin was in his heyday, still reaching for new experiences and not appreciating the special relationship that he and Howard had. Until Howard was killed in an accident. In an effort to alleviate his guilt and grief Edwin vowed to remain celibate to honor Howard’s memory.
One day Francesca escapes from her pet sitter and Edwin comes undone. He immediately puts up a poster offering a large reward for her safe return.. The next day he receives a call from Forrest James stating he has his cat. He rushes over in his pajamas, looking frazzled and much the eccentric professor. Forrest returns Frannie to him but declines the reward. Edwin soon finds out that he and Forrest share a love of classic cars. Forrest has a 1965 Rangoon Red Mustang fastback. After talking a while, Edwin promises to give Forrest information about the junkyard he uses to get parts. Edwin is grateful for Francesca’s safe return and tells Forrest if there is anything he can ever do for him to let him know.
When Edwin returns the next day to Forrest’s shop with the card for the junkyard; he is anxious to see Forrest again. Edwin has not felt an attraction to anyone in over eleven years and is flustered that he is feeling one now. He is much older than Forrest and feels that someone as young and good-looking as Forrest would never be attracted to someone like himself, even if Forrest wasn’t straight. This let’s Edwin feel safe with his attraction from afar. When Edwin enters the shop, he meets Forrest’s sister Susie. Susie is the book-keeper and receptionist for the shop and finds Edwin’s unease amusing. Francesca takes a liking to Susie and when Edwin realizes he has no one to take care of Francesca while he is at work, asks if Forrest would let her stay there for the day. Francesca seems pleased at the prospect as she has formed a friendship with Forrest’s tom cat, Nasty, and Forrest and Edwin are both secretly happy for an opportunity to see one another again.
This is where the story starts to evolve. Edwin is so caught up in his guilt about how he treated Howard, that he has closed himself off from anything social. He has isolated himself from his family, his coworkers and friends. He sees himself as an academic and could be seen as snobbish. Forrest is a hard-working young man who owns an auto repair shop, does not have the academic background that Edwin has, but is knowledgeable nonetheless. Forrest has also experienced some things in his childhood that are heart wrenching and these have set the tone for how he sees himself and how he thinks others view him. I enjoyed how the story leads us through this sweet and, at times, awkward courtship. Both men are dealing with their feelings for one another and their past. There were moments I wanted to swat Edwin and say enough already. The supporting characters fill out the story nicely and helped provide insight into Edwin’s and Forrest’s personalities. I really grew to like them as a couple.
I admit that I loved reading a book that mentioned places in Austin that I recognized and events that have occurred in the surrounding area. My love of the location aside, the story is enjoyable, written with moments of humor, heartbreak, tenderness and intense passion. The things that Forrest went through as a child left me feeling so angry at some of the adults in his life at the time. Some of the scenes in the book emphasize the disparity in formal education between Edwin and Forrest. This bothered me at times but Edwin’s character always seems to credit Forrest for his abilities and never found him a lesser man. It is a lovely story and one I wouldn’t mind reading again.
Rated 4 stars by Deb