Book Reviews

Rebuild My Heart (Dreamspun Desires, Lexington Lovers 4) by Ariel Tachna at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Bisexual / Contemporary / Blue-Collar Workers / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 18-March-2019

Book Blurb

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?

 

Book Review

Dealing with baggage of the psychological, emotional, or family kind is never easy, and ‘Rebuild My Heart’ is all about two men learning how to stand up for themselves and what they need despite their pasts. Owen and Derek are both a little older and fairly established in their professional lives, but the personal side of the equation leaves something to be desired for both of them, if for different reasons. Derek is in charge of the remodeling of Owen’s bookstore and home, and the job lasts long enough for them to get to know each other. The contrast between bookish Owen and construction worker Derek is nicely done without veering into stereotypes, their issues are very real and relatable, and their romance grows slowly at first before it explodes into incendiary passion. I loved every minute of their trials and tribulations, not to mention the final payoff!

Owen is in his late twenties, owns an LGBT bookstore, and has the most outrageous fashion sense that I found totally inspiring. He hasn’t got a ton of experience, but the one boyfriend he had was married and treated him abysmally. It’s understandable why Owen is initially hesitant to open up to big construction worker Derek – whom Owen finds irresistibly attractive while suspecting he is straight. Owen’s upbringing in a strict, bigoted religious home – a home he fled and left behind as soon as he was able – doesn’t help him feel more comfortable with courtship and romance, but luckily, he doesn’t let that stop him.

Derek is Thorne’s best friend and business partner, and I loved seeing Thorne, his now-husband, high-school principal Blake, and Blake’s nephews (remember Kit and Phillip?) from book three again. The boys help Derek at the construction site, and they are a breath of fresh air. Not that Derek always finds it easy to deal with them and their mischief, but they do occasionally help him bring things into perspective, just by being who they are. Derek is bi, way too much under his family’s thumb for his age, and can’t believe a well-educated guy like Owen might be interested in him.

Both these men understand the value of trust and loyalty. They are careful to build at least some foundation for their relationship before hopping into bed, and it made for a very nice romance on top of all the heat they generate once things get physical. The family drama is pretty horrid – as expected, and how they learn – eventually – how to support each other through the tough parts showed how difficult things can be even when love is part of the deal. The secondary characters are great and gave a lot of color to this story.

If you like love stories where seeming opposites complement each other perfectly, if you think that bookstore owners can be just as hot as construction workers, and if you’re looking for a read full of humor, a traditional courtship, some family drama, and a gentle romance that causes significant personal growth, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. It’s fun, entertaining, and full of true-to-life moments that brought me close to tears as well as made me smile.

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 230 pages/58954 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 05-February-2019
Price $4.99 ebook, $9.99 paperback, $9.99 bundle
Buy Link https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/rebuild-my-heart-by-ariel-tachna-10149-b