Title: Building Forever
Author: Kelly Jensen
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: October 15th 2018
Page Count: 337
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Charlie King is doing fine. Sure, he’s a widower raising a teenage daughter who just got her first boyfriend, his book series isn’t writing itself, and he has a crush on his new neighbor — the guy next door. But everything’s just fine.
Simon Lynley is doing better. He moved to Bethlehem to fall out of love and rebuild his career. An affair with his neighbor isn’t part of the plan, but the attraction between them is too hard to ignore.
But when Simon’s ex follows him to Pennsylvania seeking reconciliation, and Charlie’s life starts to feel like a video on repeat, everything comes apart. Charlie worries that he’s failing as a father, and Simon is a distraction he can’t afford. Meanwhile Simon doesn’t know if he could survive being left again, and he hasn’t come all this way to make the same mistakes. But despite their fears, it’s only together that they’ll find the strength to slay old foes and build the forever they’ve been waiting for.
Phew! For a while I thought I’d need a box of shame for this one. I have niggles, but in the end I can say I enjoyed this and I’d like to read the second book.
I don’t usually compare authors and books in my reviews but Building Forever very much reminded me of Amy Lane’s Bonfires. It’s very focused on family, the MCs (one of them here) are over forty, and there are teenagers involved. But where Bonfires was all about the secondary characters and their subplots, this story was way more focused on the main couple. Thankfully!
I think what I liked the most about this book is its honesty. The MCs are old enough to know what they want without all the bullshit, but at the same time they ‘re not jumping into situations and decisions without thinking things over or without talking.
”We’re not sparkly new adults waiting for our first-week anniversary. We’ve lived and loved. Our scars are supposed to make us interesting.”
I liked Charlie and his voice. I have a soft spot for blurters. He’s awkward and funny and so cute. I also loved the way he embraced his bisexuality. The conflict in the end comes from him, and, as a parent, I totally understand where he comes from.
It took me longer to warm up to Simon but in the end I appreciated his quiet strength and the way he stepped up to be there for Charlie.
The sex scenes are HAWT! Charlie is rather….eager. He can’t learn everything fast enough! And Simon is more than happy to teach him.
I don’t know how I feel about what happened with Charlie’s daughter but I can’t say more without giving away major plot points. I’ll just say that although I didn’t like what happened, I really liked the genuine way all characters reacted and the things it set to motion.
The writing is great but a couple of times the humor didn’t agree with me and the MCs’ thoughts just felt weird.
My biggest niggle is that although the story was focused on the main couple, the “I love you’s” came a bit out of the blue. I believe that Charlie and Simon needed some more alone page time before the next step. But again, they are older MCs who know what they want and have been around the block a few times so…it might just be me.
All in all, I liked this and I’m excited for Frankie’s story!