Monday, June 8, 2015

LGBT Monday: Life, Some Assembly Required

Life, Some Assembly Required (The Rebuilding Year, #2)Author: Kaje Harper
Series: The Rebuilding Year, #2
Released: June 9th 2015
Publisher: Samhain
Length: 327 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

Finding love in the ashes was easy. Building a life together? Don’t make Fate laugh.
After spending the first part of his life chasing pretty girls, love has finally come to Ryan in the form of John, a tall, lanky, red-headed landscape architect with wide shoulders and a five-o’clock shadow.
For the first time in his life, love feels easy. Hell, he even ran into a burning building for John and his son, and he’d do it again if he had to. But telling his father and brothers “I’m gay. I’ve met a man”? That’s a bumpy ride he’s not looking forward to.
For John, loving Ryan is as natural as breathing. Now if only the rest of his life would fall into place. Dealing with his teen son is complicated enough, but with his ex-wife causing trouble and his daughter wanting to move in, John’s house—and his relationship with Ryan—threaten to split at the seams.
Would one month without a new surprise knocking him upside the heart be asking too much? If the sound of Fate’s laughter is any indication, the answer must be yes…
Product Warnings
Contains two formerly straight guys learning to navigate the gay-guy waters, sometimes without a paddle. Plus six kinds of family ensuring nothing comes easy. 

One of the best gifts a book lover can get is an unplanned sequel about beloved characters. I’ve said my goodbyes to John and Ryan from The Rebuilding Year ages ago, left them in a very good place and carried them in my heart always. And while I saw some room for a sequel, I was perfectly happy rereading their story occasionally and thinking about them as one of my favorite romance couples.

However, when Kaje Harper announced Life, Some Assembly Required, I was overjoyed. This is an author I’ve come to trust implicitly, so I knew right from the start that this sequel would be something worth reading. I was not wrong.

We find Ryan and John pretty much where we left them, comfortable in their life together, but with some problems left unsolved. Ryan has bravely come out to his father, but it isn’t all smooth sailing. He was a womanizer before his accident and his family knew it. What they perceive as a huge shift in personality is a bit difficult to accept.

John’s son Mark is still living with him and Ryan, but suddenly his daughter Torey wants to move in, too. Her mom and her stepdad are constantly arguing and her life in California isn’t what it used to be. Then one day, Torey shows up on their doorstep, but she’s not alone. Her pregnant mother ran from her horrible abusive husband right back to John.

Now this is where things get a bit dicey. I’m not a fan of ex wives, ex partners, ex boyfriends or ex anything, really, coming back into the picture. I’m insanely possessive on behalf of my beloved characters and this sort of thing upsets me greatly. Pregnant or not, I wanted to wring Cynthia’s homophobic neck, and I wanted to smack John upside the head for letting her get away with almost anything.

But minor insecurities aside, Ryan and John presented a united front the entire time, proving that theirs is a relationship meant to last. This book was more focused on John’s problems, but for me, Ryan was the true star. The endless patience and the faith he had in John staggered me.

Finally, if there’s one thing I can say about Kaje, it’s that she always knows what she’s doing, even when she’s manipulating me into fits of jealousy. Her characters are incredibly realistic and her stories always true to life. This is just one of her many successes.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.

Please stop by tomorrow for an interview with the lovely Kaje Harper.


  1. I love good solid relationships and those significant others that stick with those they love. There is a lot to be said about loyalty. ;)
    Glad this was such a great read for you!

  2. I love authors who can effectively engage their readers emotionally. I can so tell you were all in with these characters. :) Lovely review, Maja!

  3. I read this one too (my review will be up Tuesday, I think) but I agree that it was really well done. I didn't like Cynthia, but I did really like how the guys were there for each other - at least in the end! lol I still haven't read the first one. I didn't realize it WAS a sequel, so I'll have to go backwards now. :)

  4. Maybe not for me but it sounds like a nice one. It's great to have a good sequel like that.

  5. I am with Melliane, maybe not for me, but it does seem good

  6. Oh yeah, it's always a nice when the author surprises us with MORE. :)

  7. "I’m not a fan of ex wives, ex partners, ex boyfriends or ex anything, really, coming back into the picture. I’m insanely possessive on behalf of my beloved characters and this sort of thing upsets me greatly."

    ME TOO MAJA!!!! And I already wanted to smack some sense in Cynthia in book one, so I can only imagine how I'll feel in this one. I'm so glad John and Ryan present a united front throughout though, that makes me happy:)

  8. I agree 100% with you and Jenny that I'm never really keen on having any sort of ex back into the picture as a way to introduce conflict at all! But glad that the author made it work here and it wasn't too frustrating!

  9. Ah yes it does add an element thats dicey when exes come back into the scene

  10. I agree having the exes back in the picture makes things messy, glad it didn't screw this up for you!

  11. I HATE exes in the picture as well because I, like you, tend to get insanely possessive on behalf of the characters but I am so glad that it never became a problem in this book. It makes me happy that the characters presented a united front and didn't let something like an ex-wife come in between them. It would be unrealistic if there were no insecurities but I am still so happy that it worked out!

    I think I am definitely going to have to check out the first book in this series now!

    Thanks for sharing, Maja and lovely review!! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  12. I love that you're possessive on behalf of your characters - that is so you!! :D Lovely review. Also, I'll have you know I just finished Shattered Glass and it was really good :) Never read anything like it - and I just loved Peter. Very Intelligent writing and a super tight plot. Impressive :)

    1. Yaaay! I am beyond thrilled that you liked it. I always recommend the audio because it's so much better, but obviously reading works too. :)

  13. I do love an unexpected sequel as well! Plus, this one sounds like she did the characters justice! I love that they put up a united front and I want to read more romances like that! This sounds so good!

  14. Now you have me wanting to read both, and this author is new to me but your thoughts on her indicate I need to add her to my library. Wonderful review Maja!


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