Publisher: Jaybird Press
Rating: 4 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Type: Short Novel
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Nathan wants to put a ring on it, but is Owen the marrying kind?
Two years on from their first date, Owen and Nathan are living together and life is good—except they’re not on the same page about marriage.A traditionalist at heart, Nathan wants it all: the wedding, the vows, and a pair of matching rings. Owen, on the other hand, believes marriage is old-fashioned and unnecessary. They don’t need a wedding to prove their commitment to each other. Love should be enough on its own.
All it takes is one moment of weakness on a night out to force the issue. Owen finds himself engaged after a half-drunk proposal, and Nathan’s enthusiasm sweeps him along. But as the big day approaches, the mounting tension finally combusts.
If he’s going to save their relationship, Owen will need to decide once and for all if he’s truly the marrying kind.
Review: The Marrying Kind is a sequel to The Dating Game, although it can be read as a standalone.
Having seen the start of Nathan and Owen’s relationship in The Dating Game, it’s now over two years later and they have become an established couple, living together for the past year. There’s no doubt that previously commitment shy Owen is very much in love with Nathan and in it for the long haul. However, when their good friends Simon and Jack get married, it makes Nathan realise that he wants that with Owen, too. Owen has made no bones about his thoughts on marriage. Having seen his own parent’s marriage disintegrate and only minimal contact retained with his father, Owen has no real reference of how marriage can work. To him, it’s just a piece of paper and not a symbol of his commitment to Nathan.
Nathan tries to put his longing to be able to call Owen his husband aside, but with their friends’ wedding bringing it to the forefront, Owen is not immune to seeing how important it is to Nathan. After a night on the town with Nathan, a somewhat drunken Owen makes a heartfelt impromptu proposal at the park where they had ended up on one of their first dates. A delighted Nathan accepts. As preparations get underway and the day is set for a June wedding, Owen feels distanced from it all. The thought of getting married alternatively sends him into waves of anxiety and denial, although there is a little excitement thrown in there as well. To top it off, the company he has been working for since finishing college is in the process of laying off staff and, being one of the youngest employees, Owen is really worried that his job is under threat. Come the end of March, it was a very real possibility he would be out of employment.
As the stresses build up, Owen becomes snappish and he and Nathan start to have arguments over little things. Nathan is getting exasperated by Owen’s lack of interest in any of the wedding plans, even though he was the one to propose, and his surliness. When he gets invited on a week long hiking trip by his brother, he jumps at the chance to have a break. The morning that Nathan leaves for the trip, he and Owen exchange heated and hurtful words as the tension reaches breaking point. He knows Owen loves him and is fully committed to their relationship, but is he left wondering if Owen really wants to get married at all.
The Marrying Kind is a lovely, gentle romance with just enough relationship drama created by Owen’s fears about getting married to keep things interesting. Owen’s fears, combined with the stress of his job, were believably done and never slipped into being overly dramatised. I was never in doubt that Owen was very much in love with Nathan and wanted to grow old with him. The wonderfully drawn characters kept my interest in the story from start to finish. The side story of Owen’s sister was well balanced, creating plot interest without ever being in risk of taking over Owen and Nathan’s story. A great sequel to Nathan and Owen’s romance.