…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!
Finding love in the ashes was easy. Building a life together? Don’t make Fate laugh.
The Rebuilding Year, Book 2
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 his 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 “I’m gay. I’ve met a man”? That’s a bumpy ride he’s not looking forward to.
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.
Would one month without a new surprise knocking him upside the heart be asking too much? If the sound of Fate’s laughter is any indication, the answer must be yes…
Warning: Contains two formerly straight guys learning to navigate the gay-guy waters, sometimes without a paddle. Plus six kinds of family ensuring nothing comes easy.
So, John and Ryan are back! :) These two guys were one of the first M/M couples I read when I discovered the genre last year. I LOVED them! And when I found out that Kaje was working on a sequel, well, you can imagine how happy I was. I think that Kaje is a wonderful writer, I enjoy her stories and her characters a lot. So, I knew this would be a good book. I wasn’t wrong, of course.
In Life, Some Assembly Required we find an even more established couple. Ryan and John have been together for quite some time now, and, together, they fall into a nice pace. John’s son, Mark is still living with them, and the guy is adapting pretty well to his life with the guys.
Reading how sweet and caring are John and Ryan with each other was a joy to read. I love that Mrs. Harper always manages to put a huge smile on my face while reading. Though I talk about smiles and giggles, not all was sunshine and rainbows. There were struggles – There’s a lot of family drama. A LOT. In a nutshell: John’s ex-wife, Cynthia comes back. She’s going through a difficult time with her husband, and things don’t end up well for them. One day she comes back, and for the life of me… It enraged me!. If you’ve read the first book in the series, The Rebuilding Year, you know that she was quite nasty when John and Ryan broke the news that they were together. Now, when she comes back, she still shows all those homophobic traits. This was ennerving, but what was even more ennerving is that to some extent she wanted John back. Grrrrr
I never once doubted the love these two men had for each other. NEVER. I never thought John would leave Ryan for Cynthia, but I swear my heart broke over and over in Ryan’s behalf, mostly because to be in his position was difficult. You see, Cynthia is pregnant. Her husband doesn’t want the baby, and the only person she has to rely on, is John. Of course, John being the good soul he is, he is there for her almost inconditionally. I love that part of him, that side of John that shows me a beautiful man willing to do anything for those he care for, even if they’ve hurt him in the past, but geez!.. Sometimes I thought (more often than not, to be honest) that it was a little too much. I wanted him to stop, and put some boundaries! And Ryan wanted the same, and I admire him for being composed most of the times… Yes.. Most… There were a couple of times where he totally showed his claws. And I loved that. Deeply. That being said, you must be warned: Cynthia is an important piece to this story, so you will read about her, a lot. She’s a constant, and she’s not always pleasant. Also, the fact that she is the pregnant ex wife with no one to help her, kind of makes her a strange antagonist. You hate her, but at the same time, you feel sorry for her. Not pretty, I tell ya.
Along with Cynthia, comes Torey, John’s daughter who is about to go into her teens. What a lovely creature! I was talking to a friend today and we were talking about how Kaje really writes kids in her stories quite well. They may not always have it easy, but no doubt that Mrs. Harper knows how to involve kids and make it matter, and do so to the point where you really end up caring for them deeply. It was a joy to read about this girl. I loved to see how loving and caring she is, and I loved to see how much she loves and trusts not only her dad, but her dad’s boyfriend, too. I found Torey’s storyline sweet, and endearing. I wanted to hug her, and tell her how proud I was of her.
So, to wrap this up, this was a nice book! This is a book about two men that are still figuring out their life together, adapting to each other and the people that the other comes with. It’s about two men realizing that nothing stands still, that kids grow up, and you have to go with it. Two men who know that family matters, and that sometimes it’s worth giving up things you thought were important in benefit of the person you love the most. It’s about coming out, to their families, and learing to embrace what they have. Learning to go and show, what you have because you’re damn proud of it. Because you are lucky… Very lucky.
There were a couple of things that I don’t think were really wrapped up in this installment. I don’t know if Mrs. Harper is planning a sequel to it, but if she is, I’d totally read it! :)