Review: Better Than People by Roan Parrish

Quick Info
Better Than People

  • title: Better Than People
  • author: Roan Parrish
  • publisher: HARLEQUIN – Carina Press
  • release date: 25.08.2020
  • series: Garnet Run
    book 1
  • genre: Contemporary, Romance
  • content warnings: anxiety descriptions
  • rating: 5/5

Better Than People

It’s not long before their pet-centric arrangement sparks a person-centric desire…

Simon Burke has always preferred animals to people. When the countdown to adopting his own dog is unexpectedly put on hold, Simon turns to the PetShare app to find the fluffy TLC he’s been missing. Meeting a grumpy children’s book illustrator who needs a dog walker isn’t easy for the man whose persistent anxiety has colored his whole life, but Jack Matheson’s menagerie is just what Simon needs.

Four dogs, three cats and counting. Jack’s pack of rescue pets is the only company he needs. But when a bad fall leaves him with a broken leg, Jack is forced to admit he needs help. That the help comes in the form of the most beautiful man he’s ever seen is a complicated, glorious surprise.

Being with Jack—talking, waking, making out—is a game changer for Simon. And Simon’s company certainly…eases the pain of recovery for Jack. But making a real relationship work once Jack’s cast comes off will mean compromise, understanding and lots of love.

The Queer’s Review

This has been a great quarantine read.

But I would have loved Roan Parrish’s newest book any time and I’m already excited to reread it some time soon.

It is a very quiet and… unhectic read but it hit me in the feels every other page. The way Simon feels – actually feels – his anxiety and how it shapes his life left me feeling touched and sometimes frustrated because it mirrors some of my experiences with anxiety. So much so that I have to quote some of my own notes here because I can’t find any better words.

The description of Simon’s anxiety and how it compares to being shy hit me in the fucking heart and soul

Better Than People offers way more than mental health rep though. Lovely pets! The gang was always so fun to read about and every one of them had their own little quirks. And of course I enjoyed our at times very grumpy other main character as well.

Simon and Jack have to carefully navigate their own needs and wishes with each others and it’s no perfect falling in love relationship without any problems at all. They clash. They hurt each other and have to find a way for them both to be happy. I just love how authentic their feelings and worries are and how I was pulled along for the ride.

Bookish Thoughts

A grumpy character who lost his trust in humanity and relationships thanks to a former friend. Not an exlover. I can’t even begin to explain how refreshing it was to have that happen. Not because cheating and/or abusing ex lovers aren’t a thing that happens in reality as well but because Jack’s reaction to what has happened reminds us how important friendships are. There is too much focus on romantic relationships in society it feels like while friendships are a stand in for when you don’t have a lover.


I received a free ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

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