Title: Home Improvement
Author: Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Page Count: 207
Reviewed by: Kristin F.
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Romance on Aisle Sixteen—opposites attract amid the hammers and screws of the home improvement store.
Gabe Mason became a father at seventeen, and his daughter, Ellie, is the most important thing in his life. But being the parent the courts demand means Gabe has given up most of his dreams—education, making furniture, a gay social life—to be a model dad with a steady, reliable job in a home improvement store. Life’s predictable until Jerry, a shy, eccentric guy in a hat and sunglasses, begs Gabe to oversee the renovation of his run-down mansion.
Gabe loves the house and the work, and Jerry’s pretty lovable too, but when Gabe discovers Jerry’s secret identity, he fears their passion could overturn both their lives forever.
If a fluffy romance between a carpenter and a rock and roll god sounds like your brand of screws, this delightful story will hit the nail on the head.
Gabe Mason is a 33 yr old single gay man raising his 17 year old daughter. His ex-wife is still in the picture, just enough to threaten his ability to have a life without worrying about her taking him to court. He makes his own furniture in his spare time, but living in Oregon doesn’t truly afford him an opportunity to get his business off the ground. Instead, he works a day job at the local home improvement warehouse.
Jerry Castor is a rock star by night, but really wants a new life in the light of day. When he buys a run down home and has no idea what he’s doing, he heads to the local hardware store for help and runs into Gabe. Who just happens to be perfect.
This first half of the book grabbed me and held on for dear life. I loved it all and couldn’t put the book down. The attraction between the two men was palpable and explosive. But there were secrets that Jerry was keeping and things took a turn.
This is where things started crumbling for me. It seemed like the shy, stuttering Jerry turned into a wholly different person that oozed sex appeal and charm, which seemed contrived. It almost seemed to go to extremes. At one point I felt like we had gotten to the ‘I think I like him’ stage, and then a few minutes later there were declarations of forever. It just felt unrealistic to me, unfortunately.
Ellie stole the book for me. As Gabe’s 17 year old daughter, she was the glue that held everything together. The voice of reason. The adult. The shoulder to cry on. I loved her and was thrilled that she ended up being such a vital character in the story. She’s worth the read, just as herself.
Overall, it was a cute spin on the rich/poor trope with lots of fluff and hyperbole.