Review: Meg Harding – Fixer-Upper

1950522Author: Meg Harding
Reviewer: Diane
Publisher: DreamSpinner Press
Genre:M/M Contemporary
ISBN: 9781634767477

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Summary:
Fixer-Upper by Meg Harding – Romance>Contemporary eBook
Ex-business owner and soon to be ex-husband Jake has had some rotten luck of late. His world is tumbling down around him, but it’s time to dust himself off and move on. Buying and fixing up the most dilapidated home he can find might be just the thing to get him back on track.

But Jake gets more than he bargained for when he meets former lawyer turned landscaper Dakota. Dakota is smart and ridiculously sexy—and Jake doesn’t have a clue how to act around him. After several gardening mishaps, Jake is sure Dakota thinks he’s completely inept.

Turns out Dakota is thinking something else entirely. And as Dakota gives Jake advice, an ear to listen, and helps him work through his issues, Jake realizes flowers aren’t the only thing blooming between them.
Review:
Jake has just been divorced and sold his business and has decided that buying a house is a good way to start again, the fact that the house needs a LOT of work, well, all the better for him! Dakota is one half of the landscaping company he hires, the only contractor willing to let Jake help them, even if accidents seem to happen when they are in the same area!
The story is told from Jake’s point of view.

This author is new to me, but after reading this story, I will be looking for her other work! I loved this story, the character of Jake who finds himself starting over after a long marriage and business partnership came to an end and the uncertainty he feels about that. Although the story is told from Jake’s point of view, you get the impression that when he wants to help out on his renovation and comes across Dakota that Dakota sees that Jake may need this, to participate in the rebuilding, so he lets him.

I felt the story had heart, humor and passion and so enjoyed it that it has already been added to my 2016 favorites list! The secondary characters of Jasper and Matt are likely my favorites of all those, although it would have been nice to get a bit more background on Matt and their friendship, since the book opens with Matt and Jake looking at the house, each time he was mentioned, I felt I wanted to know more about him. Jasper is the other half of the landscaping business and gets far too much entertainment out of the accidents that happen, as well as the “dance” that Jake and Dakota seem to be having!
The accidents are not life threatening, some are just because Jake gets flustered around Dakota, some because people are not paying attention and it is a construction site and surprisingly, the author can make all of these come across as funny rather than worrisome.

The romance portion of the book is slow moving, since the purpose of the house and renovation is a new start, Jake is also insecure and it does not cross his mind to think someone would be interested in him, but that is what helps make the story, and his character, more engaging. He is not pathetic or mopey in any way, I think because he was married so long, it never entered his mind whether men checked him out or not – I think he was just out of practice!

If you like romance and new beginnings, with some humor and good friends, I think you will like this book. For me, I’ll be looking for other books by Meg Harding and looking forward to new releases!

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