Title: Redesigning Landry Bishop
Author: Kim Fielding
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Page Count: 177
Reviewed by: ParisDude
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Love never goes out of style.
Landry Bishop fled his tiny hometown and never looked back. Now his expertise in food, fashion, and décor has earned him all of Hollywood’s glittering perks. But with his husband deceased and his personal assistant retired, Landry has nobody to rely on—and no one to help him indulge his secret cravings.
Casual, plainspoken Jordan Stryker seems a dubious choice of a PA for someone as formal and self-controlled as Landry. Jordan’s questionable fashion sense and limited kitchen skills don’t exactly enhance his résumé. But as Landry soon realizes, Jordan has many attractive qualities too.
With a strong pull toward Jordan, new career opportunities on the horizon, and a persistent tug from family back home, Landry is in a quandary. He can advise others on how to make their lives special, but what should he do about his own?
This book was a pleasure to read, mainly because of the two exceptionally nice main characters. For nice they are indeed; not nauseatingly, flawlessly nice as people can be in bad feel-good-movies or books, but as nice as human beings can get. They both have flaws, they both have fears and issues, but they try to be respectful with others, which comes as a welcome change after a day at work where you don’t always experience the respect you deserve. The first character is Landry Bishop, early thirties, a guy from Nebraska who’s trying to bring some glitz and little wow-moments into people’s lives by giving them advice about design, clothing, food, and so on. He’s highly successful, living in an amazing house in Beverly Hills, running a blog, writing books, being invited to TV-shows. So successful, in fact, that he couldn’t be doing his stuff without the help of his perfect Personal Assistant Elaine. Problem is, Elaine is going back to Hawaii to care for her elderly parents, and Landry proves excessively demanding as to a new PA. That’s when he meets Elaine’s young in-law, dashing Jordan Stryker, for a job interview and hires him on the spot, despite the young man not having anything remotely qualifying in his resumé.
Landry soon finds out Jordan is eager to learn, eager to please, eager to make his life easy and to make him happy, no matter what. Sounds more like boyfriend-material than the stuff mere PAs are made of? Sure does, and Landry discovers he does have feelings for the young man, which turns out reciprocal. Nonetheless, when Jordan tries to seduce him during a business-and-pleasure trip to Vegas, he backs off immediately. He doesn’t feel ready—he’s a widower after all (his late husband, a successful L.A. lawyer, has died in a car accident some years before) and doesn’t think he can seriously consider a boss-employee relationship “with benefits”. But… the chemistry just feels so right. And Jordan is a helluva sweetly persuasive and stubborn guy, in addition to being handsome and as hot as the Vegas sun at noon…
When I started to read the book, I was a bit afraid I’d be plunged into a universe of stars and glitter with people feeling fake, but not at all. Here were people I could relate to, people taken from real-life with real-life questions (and answers). I was also afraid Landry would turn out an arrogant prick poor Jordan would need to work till the end so that we could have our deserved HEA. That was not the case either. Landry does have his snotty “Lord Thistlebottom”-moments, but he always realizes when that happens and either apologizes or takes the edge off his remarks. Basically, he’s remained the gentle, hard-working little boy from Nebraska who’s been thrown by his late Pygmalion-like lawyer husband into the world of stars and fame and money. He can be aloof, but never big-headed, always ready to explain, to help, to talk. Jordan on the other hand is exactly what he needs (without knowing it at first): centred, warm-hearted, spontaneous, lively, questioning, challenging, and very caring for others. The book doesn’t have any angst-moments, any emotional explosions. It’s a nice slow-burner that shows genuine feelings and character development. As a boy coming from a rural backwater in the Austrian Alps, I do know where Landry’s coming from—Jeez, yes, do I know! And I totally can see what’s going on inside when he does return to his little Nebraska hometown at one moment: the apprehensions, the fluttering feelings, and finally… the relief to realize things have changed for the better.
This is what I’d call a truly amazing feel-good book. Romance—perfect. Characters—endearing and able to learn and change. Plot—nicely paced, with some little surprises. If you feel down and out after a day at your job, pour yourself a nice glass of wine, sit down on your favourite armchair, and read this.
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