Daniel Cabot Puts Down RootsRomance
Daniel Cabot doesn’t really know what he’s doing with his life. He’s lost faith in himself, his future, and maybe the world. The only things he knows that he cares about are the garden in the empty lot next to his crumbling East Village apartment building and his best friend.
Alex Savchenko has always known that he’s…difficult. Prickly, maybe, if you’re feeling generous. But maybe that’s the kind of personality it takes to start a low-income pediatrics clinic in one of Manhattan’s most troubled neighborhoods. When Daniel stumbles into his life, Alex doesn’t expect him to stay—most people don’t. And when Alex develops useless, inconvenient feelings for his new friend, he does what he’s always done, and tells himself that he isn’t feeling anything at all.
Daniel, though, has always worn his heart on his sleeve, and he isn’t stopping now.
Sometimes when things seem to be falling apart, it means there’s room for something incredible to grow.
Cat Sebastian’s Cabot books have proved a favourite lately, but I think Daniel Cabot Puts Down Roots might be my favourite of the bunch.
Daniel and Alex are both far from perfect humans, and their friendship might not always make sense to outsiders — Daniel spends a lot of time handling Alex, reading his mood and figuring out what he needs, whether it’s space for himself or a steady routine or a little extra companionship. That’s part of why their friendship works: Alex isn’t neurotypical, and a lot of things don’t make sense to him, and he finds most people impossible, but Daniel’s found a way to work with that, and the love between them is always there, even before they start moving toward a romantic relationship. Everyone takes them for a couple, and they more or less are.
The book follows their step-by-step evolution toward being the kind of couple who have sex, the kind of couple who plan based on knowing the other is there and is always going to be there, and that’s a huge deal for both of them. There’s lots of communication and an acknowledgement that their relationship doesn’t have to look like that of other people in order to be valid and important and absolutely central to them.
If I have one criticism, it’s that we spend an awful lot of the book on Alex’s needs. Here and there we see acknowledgements of Daniel’s needs, but it’s not so explicitly stated, and that can leave it feeling a touch imbalanced. It’s plain that Daniel doesn’t mind and he considers his needs to be met, but it still left me wondering a little.