Author ~ Diana Copland
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 19th May 2017
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Cute hipster and interior designer Michael doesn’t do love—not after his ex screwed him over. Sex is a different story, though, and the gentle giant who’s painting the mural in the old mansion they’re restoring might be perfect hookup material. Gil is just Michael’s type with his solid muscle, wicked sense of humor, and the hazel eyes that seem to see into Michael’s soul.
Trouble is, Gil does do love. He wants romance and forever, and he’s set his sights firmly on Michael. Michael’s not going there again.
Yet when Michael is the victim of a vandal who’s been plaguing the men working for Delta Restoration, Renovation, and Design, Gil is the first person he tells. No matter how he fights it, it’s becoming harder and harder to deny he’s crazy about the guy—even if that thought terrifies him. But the true fear sets in when the criminal behavior escalates, and Michael realizes he might have lost the chance to tell Gil how he feels—forever.
After being utterly charmed by David and Jackson in the first book, David, Renewed, I was very happy to see there would be more to come. This story focuses on David’s assistant, Michael, and Jackson’s friend and co-worker Gil. Although there was some minor flirtation between the two in that first book, their story can be read as a standalone.
Michael is a snarky character, using barbs to deflect and stop most people from getting too close and it’s his eyes we get the story through. He knows he has feelings for Gil even as he fights them, but he also knows one night won’t be enough with the sweet, mountain of a man and he’s not going back into a relationship with anyone after being badly burned in the past, no matter how safe the man makes him feel.
Gil sees through Michael and is persistent, perhaps due to Michael’s very mixed signals, in showing he cares and that he wouldn’t hurt him. He has a protective nature and with Michael being threatened, has vowed to keep him safe. You could almost see him chipping away at Michael’s cool exterior with every interaction.
With Gil and all his charms continually flirting with Michael and calling him “baby”, and Michael finding out in a very sweet, tears in your eyes scene, that there may be a lot more to Gil than he thought, Michael can only hold out so long. I did love their first kiss which is always a plus in my book, but when push comes to shove Gil agrees that he won’t push for anything Michael can’t give him, but there is a serious threat to Michael’s safety and he won’t stop being there to protect him. Michael isn’t the only one in danger though and when he realizes that Gil may not always be there, he also realizes just what he stands to lose.
As much in focus as the romance is the continuing storyline of the hate crimes being perpetrated against the men that started in David, Renewed, and ramps up here (the author gives information to jump in here easily if you haven’t read the first book). Gil is almost a bodyguard for Michael most of the time and I feel like I didn’t really get to know either of the men all that well until the very end. I did love it when Michael realized he didn’t know Gil at all as he tours Gil’s house, but as they do spend most of the story at arm’s length I missed some of the romance and charm of the first story. They definitely had a spark though, and their banter, along with that of the other members of their circle, was fun and spoke to the bond they all are building.
Speaking of their friends, Jackson and David are back and moving their relationship forward. These two are still completely sweet and I adored every moment they were on the page. Overall the story was well written and smoothly paced. I have a feeling things aren’t as over with their tormentor as the men would like it to be, but there is some resolution here. I’ll be looking forward to the next installment as Manny definitely needs someone worthy of him, whether will it will be the older, wise-cracking Vern or someone else, we’ll just have to wait and see.
(Delta Restoration #1)
When interior designer David Snyder buys a beautiful century-old house in eastern Washington, he is reeling with heartbreak and looking for somewhere to put down roots. Unfortunately his new home comes with a laundry list of problems: electrical, plumbing, heating… things David knows nothing about. When his mother offers him the business card of a local handyman, David pictures an overweight, balding man in his fifties. But Jackson Henry couldn’t be further from that stereotype.
Dark-haired, muscular, and handsome, Jackson left a large construction firm in Seattle to take care of his sick mother. However, his hometown still has an active “good old boy” network, and finding employment in construction is almost impossible for an openly gay man. Determined to persevere, Jackson takes odd jobs as a handyman. He’s exactly what David needs—in more ways than one.
David isn’t ready for his attraction to Jackson, not considering the way his last relationship ended. But as the two men get to know each other, it becomes clear that the heart often knows best, and it rewards those willing to listen.
Meet Diana Copland
Diana Copland began writing in the seventh grade, when she shamelessly combined elements of Jane Eyre and Dark Shadows to produce an overwrought Gothic tale that earned her an A- in creative writing, thanks entirely to the generosity of an indulgent teacher. She wrote for pure enjoyment for the next three decades before discovering LiveJournal and a wonderful group of supportive fanfiction writers who encouraged her to try her hand at original gay fiction. Born and raised in southern California, Diana moved to the Pacific Northwest after losing a beloved spouse to AIDS in 1995. She lives in eastern Washington with four horribly spoiled cats, near her two wonderful adult children who swear she doesn't embarrass them. She thinks they're so cute.