Author: Diana Copland
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Narrator: Michael Pauley
When interior designer David Snyder buys a beautiful century-old house in eastern Washington, he is reeling with heartbreak and looking for somewhere to put down roots. Unfortunately his new home comes with a laundry list of problems: electrical, plumbing, heating… things David knows nothing about. When his mother offers him the business card of a local handyman, David pictures an overweight, balding man in his fifties. But Jackson Henry couldn’t be further from that stereotype.
Dark-haired, muscular, and handsome, Jackson left a large construction firm in Seattle to take care of his sick mother. However, his hometown still has an active “good old boy” network, and finding employment in construction is almost impossible for an openly gay man. Determined to persevere, Jackson takes odd jobs as a handyman. He’s exactly what David needs—in more ways than one.
David isn’t ready for his attraction to Jackson, not considering the way his last relationship ended. But as the two men get to know each other, it becomes clear that the heart often knows best, and it rewards those willing to listen.
I loved this audiobook! Everything from the story itself to the narration was just terrific. Michael Pauley gave life to these two very wonderful MCs and their cast of secondary characters, especially David’s best friend and right-hand man at work, Michael. I really want his story!
Backing up to the beginning—when we first meet David, he’s purchased a house in his childhood neighborhood. Having walked away from his long-time lover, Trevor, after catching him with his pants down—literally—he bought this older home and waived the inspection. Now he’s regretting that hasty decision as he discovers all the things that are in disrepair behind the historic façade.
With a gleam in her eye, his mom gives him the name of Jackson Henry, handyman and son of one of her friends. Jackson turns out to be every man’s wet dream—from muscular and handsome to sweet and kind. He’s moved home to care for his mother who has MS, and unfortunately, he can’t get any work with the big companies that all seem to have a blatantly poor outlook on anyone who’d display a rainbow sticker on their truck. But Jackson refuses to hide so he does handyman work instead.
David needs every penny he can get to complete the work but he’s still paying the mortgage on the condo he bought with Trevor so decides to sell it. Trevor refuses to sell or buy him out but won’t pay the mortgage. In fact, he threatens David on several occasions, finally leaving David no choice but to hire a lawyer. That, of course, sets Trevor off more and his threats escalate.
In the meantime, David is becoming closer to Jackson, who is struggling with caring for his mother. She recently fell and was severely hurt. Torn between the two people he cares for, Jackson doesn’t know who needs him more. Trevor’s threats escalate and ultimately result in going too far. Fortunately, by then, Jackson has some help from David’s mother, who wants nothing more than for the two young men to get together, so he happens to be present when there’s a break-in at David’s home.
There’s plenty of adventure and danger here, but there’s also a lot of character development and support from family and friends. Plus, the author gives the men the time to get to know each other, becoming friends before falling in love. There was sex, and in fact, some very hot sex, but it enhanced the story as opposed to others I’ve read where the focus was on the sex long before the characters had a chance to develop a relationship.
If I had to label this book, I’d say it was a sweet love story with a solid storyline that laid a firm foundation for the characters’ romance. I highly recommend it in audiobook format. Just make sure you have plenty of time to listen because you aren’t going to want to hit the pause button on this one.