Release Date: May 19, 2017
Length: Novel (220 pages)
Genre: Contemporary M/M romance
Cover Art: Ann Cain
Blurb: 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.
A hipster, interior designer falls for a painter of both the house and art varieties and eventually gives in to having a relationship. In terms of tropes, it’s a friends-to-lovers leaning toward enemies-to-lovers, at least on Michael’s side.
I loved the first book in the Delta Renovations series so I was excited to read this one, but while I liked this book a lot, it wasn’t quite as good as the first. I loved Gilbert, the painter, in David, Renewed and absolutely adored him here. Michael, the interior designer, went the opposite way. I loved him in the previous book, but came to like him less in this story. What felt like fun, snarkiness in the first book seemed more like cold, bitchiness in the second.
Michael held on to a decade old hurt that should have softened over time. College romances fail in spectacular ways every day, that’s sort of the nature of the animal. Very few walk away emotionally crippled for life. He also seems to intentionally hurt Gil repeatedly and it took him a LONG time to muster up the self-awareness needed to stop.
The writing is very good. I enjoy Diana Copland’s wordsmithing a lot. But, I did have some issues… While the unresolved romantic tension was good at first, but it became repetitive and went on too long. Gilbert and Michael didn’t really get together until very late in the story and it finally took a traumatic event for Michael to get his shit together. The mystery stalker storyline begun in the first book continues through this one as well, again without a clear resolution. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it kept the story from being as satisfying as I’d hoped. The ending was pretty abrupt which didn’t help. We never get to see the “new normal” for Michael and Gil which was disappointing.
Overall, this is a good read. It felt good to see how far David and Jackson have come in a short time and I can’t wait to see what happens with Manny and Vern. Also, Pixie and Scooter were worth the price of admission alone.
The cover is beautiful as Ann Cain covers usually are. They alway fit the story, reflect the characters well and are seamlessly put together. While I guess it is technically another floating men in the sky cover, it’s more creative and artistic than the usual. Maybe it’s because everyone still has their clothes on.