Finding love in the ashes was easy. Building a life together? Not so much.
After spending the first part of his life chasing pretty girls, love has finally come to Ryan in the form of John, a tall, lanky, red-headed landscape architect with wide shoulders and a five-o’clock shadow. For the first time in Ryan’s life, love feels easy. Hell, he even ran into a burning building for John and his son, and he’d do it again if he had to. But telling his father and brothers and classmates “I’m gay. I’ve met a man”? That’s going to take nerve of a different kind.
For John, loving Ryan is as natural as breathing. Now if only the rest of his life would fall into place. Dealing with his teen son is complicated enough, but with his ex-wife causing trouble and his daughter wanting to move in, John’s house – and his relationship with Ryan – threaten to split at the seams. Is one month without a new surprise knocking him upside the heart really too much to ask? Unfortunately, the answer seems to be yes.
First, this is the sequel to The Rebuilding Year, and you must have read it before for this lovely novel to mean anything to you.
We left off with Ryan just telling his dad he’d met a man… This is the story of how to build a life with someone AFTER the initial blush of romance.
And that’s just it – it takes work. John and Ryan have to work at their relationship. They have to battle John’s crazy (seriously crazy) ex-wife Cynthia for John’s kids and their sanity. They have to battle Ryan’s homophobic brother and his Dad’s less than warm welcome. Ryan has to continually battle his pain.
What they don’t do is battle each other. That was a really nice touch. Sometimes – in sequels – the couple separates and we have to fight to bring them back together again, almost like a new story. In this case John and Ryan’s love for each other is strong and pervasive. The world throws them curve balls and they work as a team to hit them out of the park.
I loved the emerging personalities in John’s kids. Torrie is a force to be reckoned with and I loved her teen-age angst and thought it felt very authentic.
This wasn’t as “hot” as The Rebuilding Year – not that there isn’t plenty of great sex – there is – but the sexual tension was less and the book focused more on the emotional growth of the relationship at the same time the couple “experiments” with their newfound sex life.
The Rebuilding Year was one of my all time favorite books and it set an extremely high bar. I loved catching up with the guys and learning more about their lives. Kaje Harper is an amazing writer and she crafted another excellent story here. For me, it wasn’t quite as amazing as it’s predecessor, but it was still wonderful and a must read for her fans and fans of the first book.
4.5 of 5 stars
I love listening to Gomez Pugh. He does a really nice job for John’s voice, deep, a little older, definitely sexy! He does a great job giving us unique voices for the other characters including the children and the female characters.
I find listening to him soothing and he really allows the story to shine through.
5 of 5 stars
Overall 5 of 5 stars
Copy Purchased for Review