Book Reviews

Home Improvement by Tara Lain

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 25-May-2020

Book Blurb

Romance on Aisle Sixteen—opposites attract amid the hammers and screws of the home improvement store.

Gabe Mason became a father at seventeen, and his daughter, Ellie, is the most important thing in his life. But being the parent the courts demand means Gabe has given up most of his dreams—education, making furniture, a gay social life—to be a model dad with a steady, reliable job in a home improvement store. Life’s predictable until Jerry, a shy, eccentric guy in a hat and sunglasses, begs Gabe to oversee the renovation of his run-down mansion.

Gabe loves the house and the work, and Jerry’s pretty lovable too, but when Gabe discovers Jerry’s secret identity, he fears their passion could overturn both their lives forever.

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, July 2019.

Book Review

“Besides being responsible for myself, I'm now responsible for someone else. And I have to set the right examples. I have to really be someone that I would want my child to look up to.” ~ Nicole Richie

It’s a normal day at the home improvement store where Gabe, of ‘Home Improvement’ by Tara Lain, works, until one of his coworkers comes over with an odd request. Apparently, there’s an unusual shopper, dressed in what looks like a disguise, who needs attention. Gabe’s coworker practically begs him to help the man. Gabe sighs, then approaches the man, who, indeed, appears to need special assistance. Quickly, Gabe realizes what his coworker is trying to tell him about the guy. Gabe helps as much as he can. The customer leaves, only to come back the next day, requesting that Gabe help him.

Gabe introduces himself and learns that the customer’s name is Jerry. Jerry has recently bought an older home that he wants to restore. The thing is, he doesn’t have a clue about how to go about it. Before he stops to think too hard about it, Gabe agrees to go take a look at the house so he can get an idea of what needs to be done. Jerry is ecstatic, gives Gabe his address, and they make plans to meet later. Gabe falls in love with the structure of the old home, but is overwhelmed with its state of disrepair. He explains that restoring it is possible, but it will cost a small fortune to do so. Jerry is undeterred by the cost. He is determined to have the house restored. His problem is, he doesn’t trust anyone to oversee the project except Gabe. Gabe is quick to tell him that he does not have the necessary expertise, but Jerry is persistent. He offers him so much money that Gabe can’t resist taking him up on the offer.

Gabe is in awe of the trust Jerry puts in him during the renovation, even giving him a black credit card to use to buy any supplies or hire anyone necessary to do what needs to be done. Since Jerry dresses like a homeless person, Gabe can’t help but wonder if it will work. When he uses the card and learns its limit, he is even more confused. Regardless, he and Jerry work closely together, become friends, and bond with each other. The physical attraction is strong, but Gabe’s first priority is his daughter, Ellie. Gabe is not willing to do anything that may jeopardize keeping custody of her. Her birthday is coming soon. Gabe has gotten tickets for them to go to a rock concert, featuring her favorite rock star, Jet Gemini. On the night of the concert, Ellie is very excited. Gabe not so much, but he is happy that she is. When the show begins, he is mesmerized by the musician, Jet Gemini. When he gets an opportunity to get a closer look, he is stunned. The writhing, loud, audacious rock star is none other than his shy, retiring, quiet friend, Jerry.

Tara’s characters always surprise me. They are so much more than they seem. Their strength of character always shines through, restoring faith in their ability to accept themselves and others. It’s one of the things that make her stories exceptional. In the end, her men do what they must to make a better life for themselves and those around them. Thanks, Tara, for giving me one more couple to admire and love.





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


Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 238 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 25-May-2020
Price $4.99 ebook, $12.98 paperback
Buy Link