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Matthew Doner is starting over. After a five-year prison term that alters every aspect of his life, he receives a bequest from his aunt with the stipulation that he use the money to make things right. Breaking free of the long-standing role he’s played and inspired by the few who support him, he decides to create a safe place where people like him can find purpose and start a new life.
Julian Capeletti likes challenges. He is confident, brash, stubborn, and just what Matt needs. Desperate for work after a downturn of luck, he accepts the job to renovate Matt’s crumbling building.
Over the course of a year, romance simmers between them as they restore the house. But there’s a bigger renovation that must take place in their hearts. To become better men, they need to learn to trust each other even with secrets and painful memories they fear may rip them apart.
A clean slate.
A fresh start.
A new beginning.
Something we all cling to the possible of having after hitting rock bottom. Matt is sitting at the bottom and he has high hopes for his climb back up top. After his release from prison he’s got a plan, but he can’t achieve his goal alone.
A wanted ad connects two men at the end of their ropes. The connection is laced with tension and potential, but neither react due to the fragility of their situation. They both know secrets are being kept, but forge ahead with one objective in mind…the completion of the project. The renovation that Matt dreams of was dismissed by every other contractor until Julian. The irresistible pull that caught Julian might have something to do with theman inside the home, but nevertheless, he is compelled to take on this dubious challenge.
Matt grew up surrounded by money…old money, new money, frankly, lots and lots of money. Matt quickly discovers money isn’t everything. Despite his attempts to do right by his family, he continues to disappoint them. He is trying his best to honor his beloved Aunt, make her proud and be true to her last wishes. To do so, he must become a better man.
Julian has been hit with his fair share of bad luck. Always trying to make the right decision and play the honest card has been his motto in life so far. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and accepting Matt Doner’s ‘handyman’ position certainly fits the bill. When he took on the job, he never imagined he would be stripping away carefully placed bandages on his own personal restoration. To let someone in, where he has forbidden anyone to come before, he must also become a better man.
Time is a key factor…no instalove here! They nearly drive each other mad with the sexual tension but good golly miss molly, when the fire finally burns it’s wild. The passion, the love, the need…it vibrates from the pages.
I thought the pacing was perfect, the writing pristine and loved the bits of humor sprinkled throughout. A gorgeous love story where we are gifted with the beauty of trust, refuge, and most of all…love.
And though I hate to niggle, I do have one gripe. Matt’s uncanny ability to fall asleep. As someone who occasionally suffers from insomnia I am impressed and somewhat jealous of his ease to slip into slumber. As much as I cheered Julian’s uber protective scene when confronting Matt’s bitch-of-a-Mum, I couldn’t help but think his narcolepsy hindered the moment.
I encourage you to take a chance, a chance on this glorious union of two beautifully scarred souls desperately hoping…to become better men.
Ami – 4 stars