A Love by Numbers Story When unlikely attraction blossoms between a twentysomething genderqueer tattoo artist and an older, small-town veterinarian, both are forced to face their pasts for a chance at a loving future. Four years ago Padraig Donovan lost his husband, the only man he’d ever been with. Now his life consists of the work he loves, a big empty house, and the possibility of a lonely future. Kaos’s experiments with makeup landed him in the hospital at the hands of his disapproving ex. With nowhere else to turn, he flees to Acker, Wisconsin… and runs into a sexy widower and the kindest man he’s ever met. Padraig and Kaos know there’s something worth exploring between them, and as they raise a puppy and deal with the ups and downs of their respective jobs, they fit into each other’s lives in ways they never expected. Being with Kaos—who is so different than the guys he’s always been attracted to—opens up an exciting new world for Padraig. But can he convince Kaos to trust another man with his body… let alone his heart
This is a slow and steady story about two men who have suffered in their life. Because of this the story contains triggers which are sensitively dealt with. I like that this is not a story where finding ‘the one’ means all is cured. Both Kaos and Padraig work work hard at building their relationship. Bonding over the care of a cute puppy. I think that because the story is so steady where there’s no drama or misunderstandings it took me a while to get into it. When I did I found it easy reading and fell for Kaos’s determination and Padraig’s gentleness. Kaos has found a place where he can be himself and found acceptance. Padraig is ready to let go of his husband who died four years ago and move on. Not having read the first book, Ten, I thought the town of Acker was portrayed very well. There are a lot of characters that I assume were introduced in Ten, especially Makai and Emil with secondary parts. I think Four can be read as a stand alone story.
3.5 of stars out of 5