Book Reviews

A Better Man (Men of Halfway House 1) by Jaime Reese at Romandeavor

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 08-May-2014

Book Blurb

Matthew Doner is starting over. After a five-year prison term that alters every aspect of his life, he receives a bequest from his aunt with the stipulation that he use the money to make things right. Breaking free of the long-standing role he's played and inspired by the few who support him, he decides to create a safe place where people like him can find purpose and start a new life.

Julian Capeletti likes challenges. He is confident, brash, stubborn, and just what Matt needs. Desperate for work after a downturn of luck, he accepts the job to renovate Matt's crumbling building.

Over the course of a year, romance simmers between them as they restore the house. But there's a bigger renovation that must take place in their hearts. To become better men, they need to learn to trust each other even with secrets and painful memories they fear may rip them apart.


Book Review

This is one of those books that, for me, combines just the right amounts of very sweet romance with characters who are real, have a backstory, and come together in a situation that challenges them both. I loved that they didn't have it easy, and they were both interesting in their own way: one an ex-convict with a house to renovate to create his second chance, and the other a construction guy desperate for work. Talk about potential for conflict!

Matt is a man with a mission. We only learn about his deeper reasons for renovating the house gradually, and the reason for his imprisonment is a similar mystery. He is determined to make this work and tries to keep it a secret from Matt, fearing the 'handyman' would leave if he found out. That may not have been necessary, but it was realistic. After all, he doesn’t know Julian well enough initially to trust him with that information.

Julian is a man with a temper. Grumpy more often than not, but I can see why; life hasn’t been easy for him. I loved his snarky remarks and thoughts. He is good at his job though, and has a bigger heart than he will admit. He isn’t really one to pry, not appreciating anyone asking him too many questions, either, but he does want to figure out what Matt is up to. No wonder, they are living under the same roof, after all. Intensely loyal, he is soon ready to support Matthew no matter what.

When the romance does take off – hold on to your seats. These two men are very hot, very loving, and very sexy together. This book combines high emotions with a little bit of an edge of danger. I enjoyed reading this second edition as much as the first, and the couple of added scenes really helped fill in some of the missing pieces, making the story slightly smoother and the characters even easier to understand.

If you like stories that take their time developing a relationship rather than have the men jump into bed before they know each other's last name, if you're looking for a sweet romance, and if you enjoy books where the main characters have to work a little for their happy end, then you will probably like this book as much as I did. I certainly look forward to reading the second volume in the series.





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 225 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 15-January-2014
Price $3.99 ebook, $9.99 paperback
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