Down on his luck contractor Julian Capeletti needs to find a job asap. He can’t even come up with the rent money for his crappy apartment. So in desperation he answers an ad from a man named Boner looking for a handyman. The thought makes him laugh and the job description reads more like a general contractor than handyman, but beggars can’t be choosers. When finally sees the building and meets his new boss he sees the potential in both. This is just where he needs to be.
Matthew Doner has just finished serving a five year sentence for a white-collar crime. Determined to do something good with his life and following his beloved Aunt’s instructions in her will, he takes his inheritance and sets out to build a half way house. He has no idea what he’s doing and every person who has answered his ad so far has turned around and walked right back out the door as soon as they saw the work needed to turn the derelict building around. So when cocky, good-looking Julian Capeletti shows up and immediately takes the job he’s happy that he is finally able to start working on his dream. Once Julian and Matt agree on salary and the one year time frame it’s all systems go.
I’m not going to even try to lie, the main reason I picked this romance for review is because one of the main protagonists just got out of prison. These types of stories always interest me and I was also intrigued that this was actually a revised and expanded edition which was previously released in 2012. I didn’t read the first edition so I went into this story a complete stranger to this couple. If you visit the author’s website she states how much was changed and why.
This was a very sweet romance between two men not only damaged by their pasts, but also afraid to open up and be emotionally vulnerable to each other. They start out rubbing each other the wrong way, both afraid the other will walk away if they are offended or upset. Julian needs this job and Matt needs someone to help get his halfway house open on time, but they can’t seem to communicate enough to explain their thoughts and feelings to each other. This pattern continues as they become lovers. I liked the build up to the romance, but occasionally I just wanted them to quit with the leaving the room or shutting down whenever they didn’t understand where the other was coming from. It did get a little frustrating at times. I think this irritated me so much because time jumps a month at a time from chapter to chapter so there was a lot of scenes where they would kiss or have a sweetly intimate moment and then in the next chapter it’s a month later. I wanted to know what happened in between, how they dealt with each other immediately after the scenes where the finally connected. It takes a long time for them to communicate, but once they finally do it was lovely to watch them find the peace and comfort they so desperately needed.
I have to say though, other than the jumps in time, I did enjoy my time with this couple and liked them together. I also enjoyed watching them work together to build a home that would ultimately be something that would help both of them heal. I look forward to the reading the next book in this series. Final Grade- C+
He didn’t think he had ever loved, or been loved, quite so hard.