Building Forever (NeRdyWYRM’s Review)

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Title: Building Forever (The Rebuilding Year, #3)
Author: Kaje Harper
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: October 13, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 80 pages
Reviewed by: NeRdyWYRM
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Blurb:

Four years ago, Ryan and John decided they’d wait to get married until it came with full legal equality. Now, thanks to the Supreme Court, that historic moment has finally arrived. But two hundred miles separate Ryan’s hectic residency from John’s busy campus job. With a son in college, a daughter choosing her future, and a rambunctious Irish Setter needing attention, planning a wedding isn’t simple.

Of course, even the most perfect ceremony can’t solve all their problems. What does it take to build forever?

Short, Sweet, and Suspense-Inducing

I won’t lie. I hate shorts. If you’ve read my reviews you know this. I won’t belabor the point. Maybe it’s unfair to ding an author on a personal preference issue, but a short has to be truly stellar for me to give it more than 3 stars. This one was good, but it wasn’t spectacular. That said, I can’t help but be invested in these characters and credit for that lands squarely at Kaje Harper’s door. Her character development and conveyance of feelings and emotions is truly skillful.

The pacing was fast here. Catastrophes abound and the angst came from … what’s the word I’m looking for? External. That’s it. The angst came from external forces beyond anyone’s control and not from the relationship itself. Well, the relationship bit wasn’t entirely in the clear but I’ll let you read it and find out for yourself. I liked these guys together in books 1 and 2. I really did. I don’t so much like the potential for disaster I’m feeling about where things are headed right now.

I can’t help but think that despite the life victories John and Ryan have achieved that there’s going to be some serious sticking points and bullshittery somewhere along the line that will make me want to rip my freaking eyeballs out. I’m halfway there already. Did I say I don’t like where this is going? Yeah. Exactly.

Where this story is extremely successful is in reminding us, and quickly, of exactly who these MCs are individually and together. The intimacy, longing, and love is all present and accounted for. We get a taste of all the key peripheral characters as well, because let’s face it, you don’t get John and Ryan without teenagers, a nutty dog, and some extended family (for better and for worse). I was extremely happy not to see Cynthia infringing here. And I’ll leave the extended cast of characters alone after that little nugget.

I would much rather have had this story be mostly about John and Ryan getting hitched and then getting some much needed quiet time—especially sexy and intimate time—together after their first year of stressful separation, but it was not to be. What we got instead was fine, but somehow tumultuous, too. Thus the dread I feel for this couple’s future.

Adding anything else would be pure speculation, so I shouldn’t go there but I can’t help it. I’m feeling some foreboding. I don’t like it, but I’m rolling with it because I really want to know what happens next. If I had to guess, I think Ryan’s going to get stuck too far in his head. He’s already spiraling (if you ask me) and exhaustion, isolation, and enmeshment in tragedy do not make for good influences on decision-making. I think he’s going to be stressed and lonely and in several different kinds of pain. I think he’s going to do something stupid … or almost do something stupid. Maybe that’s my inner cynic speaking, I don’t know. But something wicked this way comes. It’s already making my bones ache and my heart hurt. Even though it won’t be permanent, I think we’re headed for:

splitsville~~~~~~~~~stress anxiety depression
Population 2

It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that it will be some unexpected and nearly-insurmountable family drama, but my money is on relationship problems. I just hope I don’t end up wanting to quit on the whole thing because I’m having murderous thoughts towards one of the MCs. Ultimately, I have a lot of feelings running amok. Some were bombarding me while reading the story and even more came after … mostly it’s dread and fear of what comes next. Sort of smooth sailing can only last so long.

So I’m waiting on tenterhooks and hoping I’m wrong. IMHO a good story makes you feel something. A great story makes you feel a lot. This one falls somewhere in between. I’m not digging the uncertainty and that’s my only real bitch about this particular title. Otherwise it was short and sweet and we got a glimpse of something wonderful for these guys we’ve been waiting for a long time. I’m thankful for that. Regardless of my peeve-y niggles, I recommend it. Especially if you’re a fan of this couple or of this author.

This review cross-posted at Goodreads.
Other reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be read here.

Images (when present) may be subject to copyright.

Rebuilding Year series


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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Building Forever provided by Kaje Harper in exchange of an honest review.

Author

I am a life-long reader and an avid learner. I remember reading books without pictures when I was about four, and raided every title on my parents’ full and intimidating book shelves—well, the ones they would let me read, anyway—from then on. Characters written by authors like Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Robert Jordan, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Raymond E. Feist, Mercedes Lackey, Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, and Anne McCaffrey were my childhood playmates.

Back then, I went nowhere unless I had a book in my hand. While the rest of my generation was shifting from cassettes to CDs and from Atari to Nintendo, Sega, and Playstation, I spent my allowance on Myth & Magic pewter figurines and on books at the Stars and Stripes bookstore. These days I don’t have a book in my hand anymore, at least not the printed variety. Instead, it’s any device with a Kindle app.

I stubbornly held on to the printed page until a military move weighed my book collection in at over a ton. Oops. Sorry-not-sorry, but I did have to exercise some pragmatism in that area, unfortunately. Now I only buy hardbacks from my favorite authors, the classics, or long-running series. Otherwise, I’ve surrendered to the times and our weight allowance and have gone all digital.

I stay strictly on the fiction side of the fence because non-fiction is generally too dry to hold my interest. I was always a scholar, and so have read enough textbook-like titles and required reading for school and college to last me a lifetime, thank you very much. So, non-fiction? No, thanks. However, barring non-fiction and biographies (ewww people), there’s not much out there I won’t read.

I have loved romance novels since I was prepubescent. Something about historicals and anything with horses, i.e., Native American inspired romances just did it for me. My grandmother was appalled that my parents let me read that ‘smut’ as she called it. I’d already justified my position on being allowed to read those controversial titles with a logical argument that there were a lot of historical facts in those books that couldn’t be learned in the classroom alone. And to this day, I maintain that stance. I have learned more from books, specifically romance and fantasy novels, than I ever did in a classroom.

~~wink-wink~~

My dad always said I was too smart for my own good. Looking back, he was probably right! I could logically talk my way into and out of just about anything. It’s served me well, but caused me no end of problems, too. That said, despite my love for the romance genre in general and the m/m romance genre in particular, there is little chance that a decent book of any kind will fail to catch my interest, and there’s nothing at all I’m unwilling to learn. So bring it on. I hope you enjoy my reviews.

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