*I received a free copy of Home Improvement from Dreamspinner Press via ARC Publisher. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *
Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Published by Dreamspinner Press on 9 July 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Romance
Source: ARC Publisher
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.
Home Improvement was yet another sweet, hot, and deep story by Ms. Lain, in my opinion. I loved how Gabe and Jerry met. And I loved Ellie even more. What did you think of this one, wifey?
OH good golly! I certainly enjoyed this one, wifey! I loved the characters and I appreciated the messages offered, especially the one about being genuine.
I’m not sure how Lain does it, but her characters always, always feel so relatable to me. And that’s also something I felt with Home Improvement. Even if they’re all very different from me, I felt connected to them – you know?
I know exactly what you’re saying. No, neither of us is a single-dad, gay home improvement store worker, gay-but-not-out rock star, or daughter of a gay man, yet Lain can make us relate to so much of what they each were experiencing. Feeling like you aren’t or can’t live your life as you’d like to because of people relying on you or expectations of you from others and/or yourself. Both Jerry and Gabe wanted that solid family foundation along with a loving relationship but neither thought they could have it. And upon meeting each other, they determined they’d figure out a way. 😉
What did you think of Jerry keeping a huge secret from Gabe? I could totally understand him – even more so when that secret came out, and the consequences of that.
Of course, I wish he’d confided but I also completely understood. I loved what Jerry had to say about his secret and what others thought they knew about him based on it. So I gave him a pass especially since I could see he was so sincere in his feelings for Gabe.
One of the consequences of Jerry’s secret coming out was what he did about it to live his life on his own terms. And that was such a huge win in my opinion. How did that make you feel? I totally swooned 😉
Omigosh! It made me love him even more! I knew he was genuine in his feelings but there’s no better way to prove it than taking action and boy did he take action!
Ellie’s mom was mostly a piece of work – and I hated how she made Gabe feel like he had to walk on such a narrow path in order to still have Ellie in his life. Her way of seeing things was so unfair, but also, at the same time – sadly – very realistic. What did you think of her?
I did not like her one bit! I thought she was so very selfish! To make Gabe feel like she could take their daughter away if he didn’t toe her line when he’d taken Ellie on, given her a loving home and solid foundation, both financial and emotional support, ALL so SHE could go on and live her life as she wanted to. Grrr! Selfish!! Sigh. But I agree with the realistic part. Unfortunately.
The slow burn of the romance in Home Improvement was yet another part I really enjoyed. Because we really got to know Jerry and Gabe (and Ellie) before things became serious. Did you enjoy the slow burn?
I really, really did appreciate the slow burn, wifey. It really gave us time to see where these characters were coming from and it made their relationship feel organic and real. And I loved how TLain incorporated Ellie because she was an integral part of Gabe’s life so it wouldn’t have made sense any other way than how TLain did it. Gabe and Jerry’s story gave me all the feels, honestly. 🙂
Home Improvement showed yet another way of how people who seem to not have anything in common can make each other feel complete. And I think that’s another thing Lain does that I love with her stories. Gabe and Jerry appeared to be complete opposites – but they did have something big in common. And love and loyalty was just two of those big things… Did you feel this, too?
I did! Gabe particularly felt the differences between he and Jerry were too much to overcome but TLain showed us that with love, all things are possible. Yes, sacrifices are sometimes part of the deal but if you love someone, they shouldn’t feel all that much like sacrifices. Relationships are give-and-take, a balance with lots of compromise. I’m guessing TLain has a great marriage. 😉
For me, Home Improvement was a great story, I felt the feels, and I loved the characters so much. Plus, I felt like the overall story was very well done. How about you, wifey?
I thought Home Improvement was fantabulous, darling! TLain delivered on everything I’ve come to expect from her – complex, genuine characters, a compelling story, and a few messages and food for thought. 🙂
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: