A love built to last.
When Derek Jackson is hired to renovate the LGBT bookstore that’s also Owen Hensley’s home, opposites attract. Derek is a big burly blue-collar guy, about ten years older than slight, sweet, and bookish Owen. As they spend time together, it becomes clear that each handsome outside leads to a beautiful interior. Far from the shy twink he appears, Owen has a rock-solid foundation that helped him put himself through college and start his own business. Behind Derek’s strong façade waits a tender heart that’s been battered by a rough family past—something Owen understands.
After Owen’s runaway nephew lands on his doorstep, it throws a wrench in their plans. Derek can’t ask Owen to choose, but he doesn’t think he can take second place with his lover the way he always has with his family. Can they find a way to keep their romance standing?
So, I’m jumping into this series with book 4, but I’m hoping to go back and read everyone else’s story (especially Thane and Blake), but it didn’t put me off or confuse me in any way, not having read the others just yet. While I’d suggest reading it in order, I reckon it doesn’t have to be, you get to know Thane and Blake as friends of Derek….
Also… shout out to Mary Calmes in chapter four! (fan-girling!!)
Anyway…. So, as I mentioned, Derek helps run Thane’s construction business. Sent to do a bid on a job at a bookstore in town, he finds the proprietor attractive, but not necessarily his type. While I love the blue collar type of guys in my stories, and Derek the handyman was hot in my mental image, he was kind of douchey at first, to me….
Owen has one of those backgrounds that you hear about, but don’t really believe.
Like, his family are the snake handling, cult-like, extreme “church”…. If you can call it that. Luckily, he got away when he went to college, but it didn’t leave him without his own issues (and a somewhat hilariously cheesy vocabulary, “Great Cesar’s Ghost!”…. I mean, tell me you wouldn’t laugh if you heard that). He’s sweet though if not a little shy and I found myself siding with him throughout the book. He also had some ex-drama that seemed a little unnecessary given the other drama of the book, but, it made for a nice karmic kick in the pants.. literally lol, I always love seeing justice being served against douchebags. Which is why I had a hard time with the ending.
We see the two guys get to know one another and take it slow while Derek is doing the remodel of Owen’s shop. They spend as much time as they can together and get to see each other every day, even if only during a workday. While things are going great, Derek has some parental issues that kind of keep him held back. I will say, I did find him incredibly selfish towards the end.
While I can understand not wanting to come second to anyone in a relationship….
Family does not count. I will put any member of my family before anyone I’ve known around a month or even someone I’ve known a long time…and for Derek to pull that card and use it against Owen was just lame and it lost him a lot of points with me. I didn’t like that, or how it was so easily forgiven…. Don’t get me wrong, I understood where he was coming from, I truly did… but if you love someone, you don’t just give up when things get a little inconvenient. I dunno, that bugged me.
I’m still looking forward to reading the others in the series and I hope we get something with maybe Preston and Brent, or maybe someone else I haven’t read about yet… Looking forward to getting to know more about these guys in Lexington.
3 Pieces of Eye Candy