Review: Home Improvement - A Love Story by Tara Lain

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 is exactly what I expect when I read a book by Tara Lain. There’s likable characters I want to root for, relationship dynamics I get sucked into and just enough melodrama to be super entertaining.

She also writes great “every man” type characters. Gabe is just such a good guy who has sacrificed his own future when he was young to raise his daughter in the best way he knew how. He’s in his early thirties and his daughter is now 17. He works at a home improvement store and is liked by pretty much everyone.

When an odd customer shows up at the store one day and seems to only trust Gabe when it comes to his home improvement project. Gabe is strangely intrigued, but also very practical so he’s not too quick to jump at the opportunity to help renovate Jerry’s (weird dude) classic home. But Jerry’s shy and sweet demeanor quickly breaks down Gabe’s defenses and Gabe agrees to tackle Jerry’s home. 

Jerry sees some of Gabe’s handmade furniture and falls in love with it, which was pretty much the way to Gabe and his daughter’s hearts. Ellie, Gabe’s daughter is his biggest champion and I really liked the relationship they shared. As Gabe and Jerry spend more time together, I got to see that Gabe wasn’t the only really good guy here and while it was obvious Jerry has some secrets, he was good to his core.

There was the prerequisite angst that came with Gabe’s ex, Ellie’s mom. She’s not always been the most dependable, but they’ve always gotten along well, keeping Ellie’s well being in mind first and foremost. But, she’s hooks up with a religious man who is anything but good (and this is where the melodrama comes in). He’s OTT enough to be a caricature more than anything else but he does add the necessary villain that is fun to hate. He’s too ridiculous to win anything here, but he does galvanize the rest of the characters together.

I don’t want to go into who Jerry was outside his home, that’s not for spoilering, that’s for reading and it’s a fun revelation that isn’t overly surprising, but is written so that the discovery is a fun ride. I liked the whole unwrapping of Jerry, theatrics, declarations and all. The ending is sweet, fluffy and perfect for Home Improvement.

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

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for reading the book Ann. So happy you enjoyed it. : )