Buddy Read Review: Michael, Reinvented (Delta Restorations #2) by Diana Copland

Cute hipster and interior designer Michael doesn’t do love—not after his ex screwed him over. Sex is a different story, though, and the gentle giant who’s painting the mural in the old mansion they’re restoring might be perfect hookup material. Gil is just Michael’s type with his solid muscle, wicked sense of humor, and the hazel eyes that seem to see into Michael’s soul.

Trouble is, Gil does do love. He wants romance and forever, and he’s set his sights firmly on Michael. Michael’s not going there again.

Yet when Michael is the victim of a vandal who’s been plaguing the men working for Delta Restoration, Renovation, and Design, Gil is the first person he tells. No matter how he fights it, it’s becoming harder and harder to deny he’s crazy about the guy—even if that thought terrifies him. But the true fear sets in when the criminal behavior escalates, and Michael realizes he might have lost the chance to tell Gil how he feels—forever.

Michael, Reinvented is a perfect buddy read story and my brain sharing Unicorn, Jenni Lea and I saw horn to horn throughout.

Jenni Lea: 4 Hearts

Michael and Gil have been dancing around one another since they first met, way back in the first book, David, Renewed. Though they had an immediate attraction to each other, Michael has no plans of ever being in a relationship. Hiding behind snark and cynicism, Michael tries his best to keep Gil at arm's length. But Gil is determined to get to know the man behind the glasses and he's not going to let a little thing like a cold shoulder from Michael get in the way.

Now, I know that sounds a bit Creepy McCreeperson, but I can assure you that there is nothing about Gil that is creepy or domineering. Gil may be massive in size and stature, but that's only because he needs the extra strength to carry around the gigantic heart he has. Gil is the quintessential 'gentle giant' and I absolutely adored him.

Michael took a bit more to warm up to but, once I was able to see through his facade and gleaned that his insecurities and the hurt from the past he still held onto were the reasons for his tendency to lash out, I understood why he would act the way he did and grew to love him as well. He did frustrate me at times though, but not enough to make me not like him. And, though it took a near tragedy for him to pull his head out of his ass and admit how he felt about Gil, I admired his courage and dedication. 

This was a lovely addition to the Delta Restorations series. Diana Copland writes with a simple eloquence that makes reading seem effortless. I was never bored, never rolled my eyes and not once did I have to suspend my disbelief. These characters are realistic to the point I could see myself bumping into Michael at Starbucks or hiring the team to do some restoration work on my home. The scene with the Velveteen Rabbit brought tears to my eyes even though I've never read the book and I knew then and there that this story was going to be a win for me.

I really enjoyed the ending as well. Some stories need to end with a bang. Some stories need a cliffhanger to make you gasp and salivate for the next book. Some need the over-the-top, mushy gushy HEA as a grand finale. But sometimes... sometimes all you need is a quiet reaffirming of the love between two people that fought tooth and nail to get where they are. These types of endings tend to resonate with me more than the flashy HEA.

All told, I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who is looking for a realistic story with likable characters and an interesting plot. I do suggest reading book one, David, Renewed, first though, as this book continues the storyline that was introduced there.

Ann: 4 Hearts

I was such a happy Peach when I found out that David, Renewed was going to be turned into the series Delta Restorations. There’re way too many great characters for them to be done. I was so anxious to read Michael’s story, he’s such a snarky little brat on the surface, I wanted to know more about him. It’s pretty obvious from David, Renewed that Michael is going to be pairing with Gil, it’s the perfect opposites-attract setup. That all being said, Michael, Reinvented shouldn’t be read as a standalone. This isn’t one of those series that moves from couple to couple with just a little mention here and there about past characters. This is a series about a group of men finding their happiness on their terms.

Michael, Reinvented is romantic but it’s also so much more. There is a heavy emphasis on friendship and community and there is an element of crime-drama that we got a taste of in David’s story. The vandalism that started in David continues in Michael and it does play a large part in the story. And while I would have loved more Michael and Gil time, the way the story was told it put the real emphasis on the friendships and motivations among all the characters. There was a lot of strength in that telling and it laid more groundwork for additional stories in the series organically. A lot more information about each character was revealed as Michael was integrated into the Delta Renovations crew more fully. We learned more about Michael too and his reticence in entering into a new relationship no matter how much he longed to climb Gil like a tree and cuddle him all night.

I loved that David and Jackson were a big part of Michael’s story and the beginning was delicious and just soooo, them. They set a good example for the rest of the guys. The continuation of their HEA and the big part they play in one another’s lives flowed throughout the story and as the story is told from Michael’s perspective we get plenty of his snark but also a glimpse into how much he’d really like a relationship of his own. Michael is the only one standing in his own way so the angst level is actually pretty low. Gil is a patient, patient man and it’s obvious he’ll be waiting for Michael as soon as Michael pulls his well-coiffed head out of his ass.

It takes a tragic event for that to happen, which while unfortunate, makes sense for Michael. Once he does realize what he could have, the relationship between Michael and Gil moves pretty quickly and by this time the book is just about over and that would be my only gripe. I want more Michael and Gil together. The series is pretty rational in its setups and the flow so the guys don’t necessarily talk about forever, but it’s implied. As a reader, I want to be a part of that journey, much like I was in David and Jackson’s story. I don’t feel like I know Gil enough and I really want to. Michael admits he doesn’t know Gil well since he’s never given him the chance and since we really only know Gil through Michael, we don’t know enough yet and I want to know. So, I hope the next installment of the series continues on with Michael and Gil’s story, I really like Gil and I want to know about his murals (don’t even get me started on the Velveteen Rabbit – there will be tears), his art, his dad and so much more. I also want to see more of Michael’s softer side and to see him settle into some happiness.

I love Diana Copland’s writing, it’s so easy to get caught up in her stories and characters. Everything just flows so well and I feel like anything I might be missing isn’t actually missing, it just hasn’t been addressed yet which is what is making the Delta Restoration series such a treat. It’s a whole world I get to see come together and evolve with characters I want to know in RL. I feel invested in their happiness which makes me all kinds of happy along with them.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

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