Author: Kaje Harper
Series: The Rebuilding Year, #2
Released: June 9th 2015
Length: 327 pages
Source: Publisher for review
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…
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.