Home Improvement
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.

Home Improvement Details

TitleHome Improvement
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 9th, 2019
PublisherDreamspinner Press
ISBN-139781644055427
Rating
GenreRomance, M M Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Music, Musicians

Home Improvement Review

  • CrabbyPatty
    January 1, 1970
    Gabe becomes a father at 17 and spends the next 16 years supporting his daughter, working at a steady job and making beautiful handcrafted furniture in his spare time. Or as his daughter says "I live with a man who pretty regularly gives up what he wants to do in his life for somebody else, namely me. It's great, but it's not a sustainable strategy." Or as Jerry says: "Gabe gave up his childhood to assure she had hers."Jerry, wearing a weird beanie and sunglasses, shows up at the ImproveMart whe Gabe becomes a father at 17 and spends the next 16 years supporting his daughter, working at a steady job and making beautiful handcrafted furniture in his spare time. Or as his daughter says "I live with a man who pretty regularly gives up what he wants to do in his life for somebody else, namely me. It's great, but it's not a sustainable strategy." Or as Jerry says: "Gabe gave up his childhood to assure she had hers."Jerry, wearing a weird beanie and sunglasses, shows up at the ImproveMart where Gabe works, asking for help in purchasing some drawer pulls. Gabe is drawn to the tall shy man and soon is caught up in helping Jerry remodel the huge house he purchased. Gabe thinks that Jerry has no money and he tries to get the best value for the best price, each time using this strange black credit card that he is convinced will be declined. But, of course, Jerry has a secret life as an extremely talented rock star (think a tall 26-yr-old Mick Jagger with long long blonde hair).Okay, sure, some elements of the story are unrealistic, but I was willing to suspend disbelief and just go with the flow of this sweet, fun story where each man learns happiness is in their grasp. Gabe and Jerry's slow burn romance along with an amazingly fast total house renovation keeps the pace of the tale brisk and interesting, and while the ending is straight from reality television and the situation with Gabe's ex-wife and her religious wing-nut fiance is just bizarre, overall "Home Improvement" is a fun sweet read. 4 stars.I received an ARC from Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review.Review posted at Gay Book Reviews - check it out!
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  • Emily Seelye
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsI really enjoyed this. Jerry is a famous musician who just wants to take a break from his busy life so he buys a house off the grid. Gabe is a single father who ends up overseeing the renovation of Jerry’s house. He will do anything for his daughter, including taking a crazy side job.They slowly fall in love, and I love that the teenaged daughter is a big part of their life. The only negative part of this is that it takes Jerry too long to admit who he is, hurting Gabe in the process. * 4.5 starsI really enjoyed this. Jerry is a famous musician who just wants to take a break from his busy life so he buys a house off the grid. Gabe is a single father who ends up overseeing the renovation of Jerry’s house. He will do anything for his daughter, including taking a crazy side job.They slowly fall in love, and I love that the teenaged daughter is a big part of their life. The only negative part of this is that it takes Jerry too long to admit who he is, hurting Gabe in the process. *ARC provided by author
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  • Lelyana
    January 1, 1970
    It's not easy being a single 'ordinary' gay man with a teenage daughter, working on an 'ordinary' furniture warehouse. Enter a mysterious guy who desperately needed his attention on his new home, then unexpectedly, the weird guy was actually a very famous person.I liked it when the main characters in my book stumbled to each other accidentally and fall in love. Tara Lain has my attention more when it comes to handymen. I liked Gabe's teenage daughter Ellie, she's sounded like my twelve year old It's not easy being a single 'ordinary' gay man with a teenage daughter, working on an 'ordinary' furniture warehouse. Enter a mysterious guy who desperately needed his attention on his new home, then unexpectedly, the weird guy was actually a very famous person.I liked it when the main characters in my book stumbled to each other accidentally and fall in love. Tara Lain has my attention more when it comes to handymen. I liked Gabe's teenage daughter Ellie, she's sounded like my twelve year old niece, an old soul.Though I didn't really agree with Gabe's reaction when he knew who Jerry was, Home Improvement succeeded to make me stay on my bed and finished it in one sitting.That alone, tells something that this book was worth my precious time.Recommended!
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  • Joyfully Jay
    January 1, 1970
    A Joyfully Jay review. 5 starsPlease forgive me if I gush a bit about Tara Lain’s latest novel, Home Improvement. I loved this story. From the wonderfully mature and loving Ellie who had her dad’s back, to Jerry who just wanted to be seen for who he really is, to Gabe who has sacrificed everything, including a personal life with a potential partner for his daughter, this book is a sweet and tender romance, as well as a lovely reminder that family is what you make of it and not necessarily what y A Joyfully Jay review. 5 starsPlease forgive me if I gush a bit about Tara Lain’s latest novel, Home Improvement. I loved this story. From the wonderfully mature and loving Ellie who had her dad’s back, to Jerry who just wanted to be seen for who he really is, to Gabe who has sacrificed everything, including a personal life with a potential partner for his daughter, this book is a sweet and tender romance, as well as a lovely reminder that family is what you make of it and not necessarily what you are born into.From the very beginning, Jerry stole the spotlight for me. It was so great to watch him grow into a person who took control of a life that he had never really loved, but one he’d pretended fulfilled him despite it never really doing so. His metamorphosis in this story was key to Gabe finally realizing that putting his own life on hold due to the constant fear that he might lose Ellie was doing neither of them any real good. Jerry not only showed Gabe that he was still a real “catch,” but also that when the chips were down there was someone who would fight for him and his daughter.Read Sammy’s review in its entirety here.
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  • Lexxie (un)Conventional Bookworms
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a free copy of Home Improvement. This has in no way influenced my review which is honest and unbiased.*4.5 starsHome Improvement was another amazing story by Ms. Lain. I loved Gabe and Jerry, and I think I fell the hardest for Ellie, Gabe's daughter.The sales person from home improvement and the mega rockstar really hit it off, and their sparks were strong and in all the colors of the rainbow. I enjoyed the fact that Jerry was hiding in Oregon, and how he and Gabe got to know each ot *I received a free copy of Home Improvement. This has in no way influenced my review which is honest and unbiased.*4.5 starsHome Improvement was another amazing story by Ms. Lain. I loved Gabe and Jerry, and I think I fell the hardest for Ellie, Gabe's daughter.The sales person from home improvement and the mega rockstar really hit it off, and their sparks were strong and in all the colors of the rainbow. I enjoyed the fact that Jerry was hiding in Oregon, and how he and Gabe got to know each other - and develop feelings for each other - before it was known who Jerry really was.COYER Summer 2019 Treasure Hunt: Read a book that fits in the LGBT genre. 2 POINTS
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  • Steven
    January 1, 1970
    Tara Lain has been on my TBR list for quite some time now and Home Improvement caught my attention with some of my favorite tropes: opposites attract, single father - is home improvement a trope? It really REALLY should be. It’s a bit predictable - It’s kind of like looking at a map, you know you’ll start at point A and end at point B but its all the roadside attractions along the way. And because this is a romance we’re guaranteed a HEA. A reluctant rock star. A home improvement store employee. Tara Lain has been on my TBR list for quite some time now and Home Improvement caught my attention with some of my favorite tropes: opposites attract, single father - is home improvement a trope? It really REALLY should be. It’s a bit predictable - It’s kind of like looking at a map, you know you’ll start at point A and end at point B but its all the roadside attractions along the way. And because this is a romance we’re guaranteed a HEA. A reluctant rock star. A home improvement store employee. A wise beyond her years daughter. All really well developed characters. I would liked to have seen a bit more fleshing out of some of the more consequential secondary characters and their motives - some of their actions were a bit jarring. But perhaps that was the authors intent. (Oh, CW: religious zealot)As a whole, an enjoyable sweet story about owning your own existence in order to get that happy ever after. Just enough drama thrown into the mix with a healthy dose of humor. 4 stars
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  • Calila
    January 1, 1970
    *A copy was provided by the author for free in exchange for an honest review*Another sweet lowkey read. I really felt for Jerry in his desperation for something real. Gabe I both liked and had issues with. I loved Ellie! The plot is pretty predictable and plays out fairly obviously. I had issues with Gabe's holding Jerry accountable for the assumptions Gabe made. He has a black card that works. He's obviously not broke. It's not his fault you jumped to that conclusion. Don't punish him because y *A copy was provided by the author for free in exchange for an honest review*Another sweet lowkey read. I really felt for Jerry in his desperation for something real. Gabe I both liked and had issues with. I loved Ellie! The plot is pretty predictable and plays out fairly obviously. I had issues with Gabe's holding Jerry accountable for the assumptions Gabe made. He has a black card that works. He's obviously not broke. It's not his fault you jumped to that conclusion. Don't punish him because you made yourself feel dumb. He's also real quick to think the worst of Jerry with no evidence. It irked me. But overall I think he was a decent guy and I still liked him. I think the part with the ex-wide is wrapped up a bit too easily but it's not a big complaint. I'm also not usually a fan of GRAND public displays of contrition/love but this one didn't bother me because the half receiving it was in private and not subject to the public pressure of it. I really enjoyed the wrap up and ending. It was sweet for them.
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  • Dixiecowgirl
    January 1, 1970
    Finding your heart and choosing your future theme is beautifully done in this story. Carving our a bit of life for you when the world is demanding so much of your time can be daunting. These MC's both have immense demands on their time and their commitments are important. I really enjoyed the low angst and beautifully crafted plot that moves the reader on a journey that will touch your heart. Gabe and Jerry are wonderful characters that i found touchable and was rooting for them to find their wa Finding your heart and choosing your future theme is beautifully done in this story. Carving our a bit of life for you when the world is demanding so much of your time can be daunting. These MC's both have immense demands on their time and their commitments are important. I really enjoyed the low angst and beautifully crafted plot that moves the reader on a journey that will touch your heart. Gabe and Jerry are wonderful characters that i found touchable and was rooting for them to find their way to love. The book is well written and it flows nicely. I love the way the author took a very simple phase of 'customer on isle sixteen' and has created an image in my mind that will last for years. I was gifted this book from the author and i freely give my review.
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  • kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    What a charming, fun romance to read. I thoroughly enjoyed Home Improvement by Tara Lain.Gabe and Jerry seem like they could not be more unsuitable for each other yet they are exactly what the other needs.Add in that one is a single dad and I'm sold! Tara has such a wonderful ability to show the heart of her characters. As a reader you become invested in their HEA!
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  • Elle
    January 1, 1970
    What a lovely book. I've enjoyed Ms Lain's books for a long time, and I predict that this will be another hit. Gabe (works at a hardware store, gay dad to a teenage daughter) and Jerry (Uber famous rock star) come together in this sweet love story.A charming romance, but also the two guys struggle to see how they can work together. Despite this, the story isn't dripping in angst and is quite a happy love story throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed reading how Gabe and Jerry's love grew, and also how What a lovely book. I've enjoyed Ms Lain's books for a long time, and I predict that this will be another hit. Gabe (works at a hardware store, gay dad to a teenage daughter) and Jerry (Uber famous rock star) come together in this sweet love story.A charming romance, but also the two guys struggle to see how they can work together. Despite this, the story isn't dripping in angst and is quite a happy love story throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed reading how Gabe and Jerry's love grew, and also how well Jerry fitted into Gabe's little family. Gabe's daughter, Ellie, is a great character. I loved how everything seemed so straightforward in her mind, while the two guys hummed and hawed over the right thing to do.I think this is up there amongst the author's best stories The main characters are real and written beautifully, l loved them both, the story has a lot of depth and Ellie was just perfect in her dealings with both her dad and Jerry.
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  • Brandee (un)Conventional Bookworms
    January 1, 1970
    *4.5 Stars*I thought Home Improvement was fantabulous! TLain delivered on everything I've come to expect from her - complex, genuine characters, a compelling story, and a few messages and food for thought. :)Full review coming...
  • Becca
    January 1, 1970
    This was a pretty sweet story, but a reminder that secrets can hurt. Jerry is trying to keep himself hidden. He goes into a home improvement store looking for stuff to renovate his new home, but really has no clue where to start. But meeting Gabe, who works there, has settled Jerry in a way he really never had been and he wants to hire Gabe immediately to renovate his home. Gabe has no clue with most of the stuff but knows people who do and they get started. Pretty soon the house is looking like This was a pretty sweet story, but a reminder that secrets can hurt. Jerry is trying to keep himself hidden. He goes into a home improvement store looking for stuff to renovate his new home, but really has no clue where to start. But meeting Gabe, who works there, has settled Jerry in a way he really never had been and he wants to hire Gabe immediately to renovate his home. Gabe has no clue with most of the stuff but knows people who do and they get started. Pretty soon the house is looking like a home and Jerry and Gabe seem to be hitting it off. Until Gabe's daughter's birthday present. A concert of Jet Gemini, who is none other than Jerry. Feeling used and lied to Gabe rushes out and Jerry is a wreck trying to figure out how to make things right. He eventually does, but more storms hit with the paparazzi and Jerry being done with being Jet. He wants a normal life. But with what the paparazzi are printing and saying, there may be no coming back from this one.I couldn't imagine being in Jerry's shoes. At all. I've never wanted to be in the limelight or front and center. I am perfectly happy being in the background. To have to deal with all the drama and not being able to just be himself or have real friends or live his life. It's insane. So I don't blame him for grabbing on to Gabe with both hands and not letting go. Gabe worried about him, his finances and everything. He treated him like he was a real person not a rock star. He had no clue who Jerry was. And it was wonderful. He felt free. Even more when he met Ellie, Gabe's daughter. He felt he had a little family. Until assholes tried to mess that up.Which makes me feel for Gabe and Ellie. Having the blowback of being in a rock star's life. Some people love it. Not me. And they weren't too thrilled either. Gabe just wanted the best life for his kid. That's it. He put his life on hold to give Ellie the best life. So when all this happened with Jerry, it was heartbreaking. He felt used. And lower than dirt. Communication is always key. No matter how much you may want to hide, you have to consider everything and everyone around you and how it affects it all. You can't hide and not expect a blowout. It's a bit of an angsty story but not bad. I love Ellie. She made it for me. See what you guys think.http://lovebytesreviews.com/
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Here it goes....this story is really cute. Yes, I said cute. Gabe is a single dad doing his best to raise his daughter. He has given up some of his dreams to give her a stable life. His ex-wife is a constant source of tension in their lives. Gabe doesn't date because he is aware that his ex is likely to use his dating as a cause to change the custody arrangements. And then Gabe meets Jerry and his world is turned upside down. Jerry is an incredibly awkward dude. He stops in at the home improveme Here it goes....this story is really cute. Yes, I said cute. Gabe is a single dad doing his best to raise his daughter. He has given up some of his dreams to give her a stable life. His ex-wife is a constant source of tension in their lives. Gabe doesn't date because he is aware that his ex is likely to use his dating as a cause to change the custody arrangements. And then Gabe meets Jerry and his world is turned upside down. Jerry is an incredibly awkward dude. He stops in at the home improvement store to buy knobs for his kitchen and instead he ends up hiring Gabe to renovate his entire house. Jerry comes off as a bit of a naive loner. In the end, Gabe and Jerry are a perfect fit because neither man is what they appear.I really liked how the men got to know each other from all of the different aspects of their lives. The men are both multifaceted characters. I really like that both more than just one thing. I don't want to give it away but there is a nifty twist (it was a little obvious once the story got going). I recommend this story to anyone that likes m/m contemporary romance. This is a sweet love story. It's also a very fast read.Quotes:Gabe swallowed hard. While Jerry's hand felt ridiculously good, he'd never help the hand of a man in his life, even his own father. loc 958"The best. Amazing really. I don't know how many kids could be born to a seventeen-year-old father and a totally mismatched set of parents and wind up so bright and well-adjusted. Jesus, she keeps me together." loc 1017
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  • Xanthe
    January 1, 1970
    What a sweet romance, a true Tara Lain story with easily lovable characters and an enjoyable story.Gabe is the best father he can be to his wonderfully smart teenage daughter, working a steady job and staying away from dating to prevent any possible backlash in his custody of her. He definitely didn't bank on Jerry. He's so freaking adorable right from the start with how nervous he is around people and with such an innocence about him. His immediate attachment to Gabe makes for some fun times an What a sweet romance, a true Tara Lain story with easily lovable characters and an enjoyable story.Gabe is the best father he can be to his wonderfully smart teenage daughter, working a steady job and staying away from dating to prevent any possible backlash in his custody of her. He definitely didn't bank on Jerry. He's so freaking adorable right from the start with how nervous he is around people and with such an innocence about him. His immediate attachment to Gabe makes for some fun times and a surprise job opportunity that would mean Gabe can put money away for Ellie to go to college. There is a secret that is going to blow things wide open for the new friends but it has to be decided whether their attraction and new feelings/connection are worth what they would take on or possibly lose.Such a well written romance. I found it easy to fall into the story and just enjoy it. Gabe and Ellie made a great team, truly there for each other with a fantastic bond. The attraction that each man felt for the other was clear from the start and it was nice reading them dance around the possibility of anything between them. We even have a couple of "bad guys" to watch out for who bring a bit of drama to the story and added to the tension/entertainment.A definite recommendation from me. Those who love Tara Lain's work will enjoy it and it's a great contemporary romance.I received an ARC and am happily giving a review.
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  • Bo
    January 1, 1970
    Hits on Every LevelWhat a surprise, and what a beautiful book this is! Cover man Gabe Mason is a 33-year-old single father of 17-year-old Ellie which sets the stage for the entire plotline and romance. You can see what is likely to happen as Gabe, who is a customer service person at a home improvement store, gets snookered by the mysterious mid-20s slacker-like Jerry Castor into taking over the complete renovation of an incredibly stunning, yet decrepit, mansion in Ashland, the tony town up the Hits on Every LevelWhat a surprise, and what a beautiful book this is! Cover man Gabe Mason is a 33-year-old single father of 17-year-old Ellie which sets the stage for the entire plotline and romance. You can see what is likely to happen as Gabe, who is a customer service person at a home improvement store, gets snookered by the mysterious mid-20s slacker-like Jerry Castor into taking over the complete renovation of an incredibly stunning, yet decrepit, mansion in Ashland, the tony town up the road from Gabe's hometown in Oregon. Author Tara Lain gives us a completely insightful bunch of chapters examining Gabe and Ellie's relationship while giving hints of why Jerry seems to be so reticent to share his life story. There is a light which goes on around the 25% mark where you can figure out where this is going, and when it does the book takes off in flights of lust, angst, bigotry, and eventually love, which will overwhelm you with the intensity of how life tends to be too complicated to deal with at times.The plotline has very few holes but plenty of hints as to where it's going. Even though I figured out basically every twist that was about to come, author Lain did a superb job of keeping me interested: She continued to plumb the emotions of Gabe, Jerry and Ellie in a book which will leave you smiling, and maybe even laughing, at the end. Bravo!
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  • Kristin
    January 1, 1970
    This was pleasantly sweet, a little unrealistic, and a different take on the whole “rock star” trope. I’ll start with what I found unrealistic, which begins with the blurb. I don’t know of any court that would demand a parent give up pursuing an education, because an education (read, degree) means better job prospects and better job prospects are win-win for families. That rankled me. The book also flipped between saying at 17, Ellie has a voice in the court system, to no, she would arbitrarily This was pleasantly sweet, a little unrealistic, and a different take on the whole “rock star” trope. I’ll start with what I found unrealistic, which begins with the blurb. I don’t know of any court that would demand a parent give up pursuing an education, because an education (read, degree) means better job prospects and better job prospects are win-win for families. That rankled me. The book also flipped between saying at 17, Ellie has a voice in the court system, to no, she would arbitrarily be removed from her father’s care. Also rankled me. It’s one, or the other. Either she has a voice, or she doesn’t. And yes, I know a bit of what I speak and yes, it’s different in every state and situation, but, for the premise of the book…it can’t be both.And the bit that really didn’t work for me – remodeling an older home in two weeks. Yeah, you aren’t going to be able to get those cupboards, granite counter tops or electrical work done in two weeks. You aren’t going to be putting in flooring while painting. A dilapidated pool heated and up and running? Oh bless, I know timeline was sped up for the sake of the story but, yeah. No. Contract/construction work doesn’t happen like that. My grumbles aside, I did enjoyed the romance between Gabe and Jerry. It was slow (relatively speaking), it was endearing, the plot had good pacing, and I liked the rock-star aspect from a different angle. Was the world’s most popular rock-star bit realistic? Oh heck no, but for this, it worked and I can forgive the popularity flaws. Jerry was sweet, Gabe was solid and steadfast, and Ellie a very mature 17 year old. The dynamic worked and I read this almost in one sitting. If you are looking for a lazy Saturday read while at the beach or hanging out in a hammock, this might be the book for you. Review is cross posted at Gay Book ReviewsA copy of the book was provided by the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
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  • Ali
    January 1, 1970
    A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review An Alisa Review:Rating: 4 stars out of 5This was an adorable story. Gabe has focused on being the best father he can since Ellie was born, which means he put his own life on hold a bit for her, but he would never regret the great women she has turned out to be. Working for Jerry seems like a great opportunity to earn some extra money for Ellie's college fund but turns out to be so much more.Gabe and Jerry's first meeting was a little strange as were th A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review An Alisa Review:Rating: 4 stars out of 5This was an adorable story. Gabe has focused on being the best father he can since Ellie was born, which means he put his own life on hold a bit for her, but he would never regret the great women she has turned out to be. Working for Jerry seems like a great opportunity to earn some extra money for Ellie's college fund but turns out to be so much more.Gabe and Jerry's first meeting was a little strange as were the next few encounters and while Jerry doesn't tell Gabe who he is he does start to let his guard down and even brings Ellie into their relationship. I loved watching how trusting Jerry was of Gabe's decisions, knowing that he would do what was right and not gouge him on prices and work. Even in his hesitation Gabe took on Jerry's house with enthusiasm and in a very short time got a lot accomplished.I love Gabe and Jerry's interactions because they were just so real and even though Jerry was hiding a bit he didn't hide who he really was from Gabe. I love that when the situation got turned all around that Jerry had the wherewithal to make the bid decision to set the story straight but to all give him and Gabe an opportunity to build a life together.I like the cover art and the visual of Gabe, I think it works well with this story.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    Home Improvement by Tara Lain is a sweet single dad romance that I just adored. Gabe Mason is a gifted carpenter but there isn’t a big market for custom furniture where he lives so he works in a home improvement store and makes do so his daughter can see her mother. I loved Ellie the daughter. She is smart, gifted and a terrific kid. It took me a bit to warm up to Jerry but by the end I loved him just as much as Gabe and Ellie. This story is guaranteed to warm the cockles of even the hardest hea Home Improvement by Tara Lain is a sweet single dad romance that I just adored. Gabe Mason is a gifted carpenter but there isn’t a big market for custom furniture where he lives so he works in a home improvement store and makes do so his daughter can see her mother. I loved Ellie the daughter. She is smart, gifted and a terrific kid. It took me a bit to warm up to Jerry but by the end I loved him just as much as Gabe and Ellie. This story is guaranteed to warm the cockles of even the hardest heart.
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  • Amy Dufera
    January 1, 1970
    Tara Lain's Home Improvement is a fantastic romance. There's some mystery, as Jerry's hiding something. He's sleeping on an air mattress, but can pay for handmade furniture. Gabe knows something's up, but it takes a while for him to figure things out. This romance is fun and intriguing. But it isn't until half way through that things really get good. I was surprised at the difference between the first and second halves. The first part is okay, but the second half is awesome.Gabe's relationship w Tara Lain's Home Improvement is a fantastic romance. There's some mystery, as Jerry's hiding something. He's sleeping on an air mattress, but can pay for handmade furniture. Gabe knows something's up, but it takes a while for him to figure things out. This romance is fun and intriguing. But it isn't until half way through that things really get good. I was surprised at the difference between the first and second halves. The first part is okay, but the second half is awesome.Gabe's relationship with his daughter is fantastic and completely heart-warming. I truly love her contribution to the story. His ex, however is a piece of work, and causes a lot of angst. Be prepared for some homophobia. This story explores the divide between who a person is to the public, and who they are at heart. It illustrates the battle between who you are versus who you want to be. It's stories like this that help put a reader into the mindset of a famous person. It allows us to better understand their issues with fans and the paparazzi, as well as their need to have some time to themselves.Overall, Home Improvement is a sweet, wonderful romance. Tara Lain perfectly captures the cost of fame to one's life. The ending is superb. I love this book and highly recommend it.
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  • Robazizo
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. A cute story, but it didn't wholly work for me. Jerry at the beginning was too big a contrast with Jet and the development of the relationship went too fast from just interested to forever love. And just like in Knight of Ocean Avenue the sexy times had a bit of a weird vibe. I loved the inclusion of Ellie and the family feeling the three of them created though.
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  • Esther
    January 1, 1970
    Very standard story of rock star meets ‘common man’. You can see the plot coming from miles away. But because Tara Lain writes it well, it’s very enjoyable. The storyline with the ex was a bit weird, that could have been done better (I always have a problem with a character suddenly doing a complete 180- it always feels like it’s done because it’s necessary for the plot). Also there are not a lot of sexy times.....
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  • Angie
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy to read and review for Wicked ReadsI loved this book. It was sweet and low on angst. I fell in love with Gabe instantly. I connected with him on all levels because I became a mom at 17. I knew right away what Jerry's big secret was but that didn't stop me from enjoying the book. I loved how Ellie was a huge part of the story too. I wish this book came with pictures so I could see Jerry's house and Gabe's furniture. This was a sweet love story with a few minor bumps in the road I received a copy to read and review for Wicked ReadsI loved this book. It was sweet and low on angst. I fell in love with Gabe instantly. I connected with him on all levels because I became a mom at 17. I knew right away what Jerry's big secret was but that didn't stop me from enjoying the book. I loved how Ellie was a huge part of the story too. I wish this book came with pictures so I could see Jerry's house and Gabe's furniture. This was a sweet love story with a few minor bumps in the road on the way. Highly recommend.
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  • Z. Allora
    January 1, 1970
    Tara Lain is always one of my go to authors, but when my real life is tough. She gives you want out of a romance and more. I know Tara Lain's characters and stories will soothe and remind me life can be magical. I adored the complexity of these characters. I highly recommend this book. Hugs, Z.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    This is such an amazing story. I love Gabe and Jerry! Gabe is such an amazing dad to Ellie even though he had her when he was a kid himself. The Jerry I just wanted to wrap up in a hug. He is so shy and awkward but has a secret. This is such a sweet story and I love that it's a friends to lovers slow burn romance. I just couldn't stop reading.
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  • Elaine Gray
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it. Tara Lain never disappoints! Home Improvement is a sweet, romantic, fun, happy love story. Jerry is a rock star living in the closet and Gabe is a single dad raising his daughter. It's a slow-building romance and they took their time getting to know one another. Gabe knew something was up but couldn't quite put his finger on it until he went to a concert. All Jerry wanted to do was live his life to fullest but was scared to come out. The attraction between is shown from start to finish Loved it. Tara Lain never disappoints! Home Improvement is a sweet, romantic, fun, happy love story. Jerry is a rock star living in the closet and Gabe is a single dad raising his daughter. It's a slow-building romance and they took their time getting to know one another. Gabe knew something was up but couldn't quite put his finger on it until he went to a concert. All Jerry wanted to do was live his life to fullest but was scared to come out. The attraction between is shown from start to finish and once I started the book I couldn't put it down. Ellie really stole the show because no matter happens she's there for her Gabe and vice versa. Truly a great book and author.
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  • Vinga
    January 1, 1970
    I really love this story. Great characters and story line. Just love how Gabe and Jerry fits together.
  • Erica Chilson
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads 4 Stars Spoiler-Free review. Home Improvement was the perfect afternoon read. Read in one sitting, I was hooked from the start, finding the interactions between the characters realistic and endearing. Gabe is a single dad to a teenage daughter. While he feels as if he's struggling at life, he isn't in the parental department. Ellie is a good kid, taking after her father, so no fear on this front. A solid character, Gabe's passio I received a copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads 4 Stars Spoiler-Free review. Home Improvement was the perfect afternoon read. Read in one sitting, I was hooked from the start, finding the interactions between the characters realistic and endearing. Gabe is a single dad to a teenage daughter. While he feels as if he's struggling at life, he isn't in the parental department. Ellie is a good kid, taking after her father, so no fear on this front. A solid character, Gabe's passion is working with his hands, seeing the finished product gives him pride, almost as much pride as when he looks at his daughter. He's an everyday Joe- a hard-working, flannel-wearing, tool swinging man who doesn't seek out relationships, because that will happen after his daughter has reached adulthood. The best things in life come out of nowhere and take us by surprise. Gabe meets Jerry out of the blue, quickly taken with the socially awkward fella who is in great need of help with his new home, which is in massive disrepair. As they work on the house together, the slow-burn of a new relationship is sparked, while a mystery of who Jerry truly is unfolds. Cute, sweet, warm and fuzzy, with a few laughs and heart clenching moments, I was thoroughly entertained. There wasn't much angst, a bit of a feeling of betrayal due to evasion, which draws in the conflict. Highly recommend for fans of Tara Lain, MM Romance, and those who enjoy romance with a slight age-gap, where the little shown demographic of those 30-something+ are shown as being worthy to find love and happiness. Why didn't I pass out a 5-star rating? First, I felt as Gabe did- felt played. As a reader, Jerry's dual-personality was jarring. I understood the concept, but it also didn't quite ring true. Someone who has had Jerry's lifestyle since age 15, he might be an introvert, but socially awkward/inept? No. There's no way Jerry could go from acting like he's a bit slow to swaggering in front of the masses. While we all have the ability to don a persona, those personality traits still carry through. This didn't work for me. The second con, which was the biggest distraction of the novel for me. Gabe's ex-wife/Ellie's mother. That entire thread of storyline was over-the-top in the extreme. Do I believe it might happen in real life? Plausible. I just felt it took away from the story, instead of adding to it. It made me groan aloud every time it was shown on the page. There was enough conflict dealing with Jerry's identity, with Ellie almost an adult, the strange, irrational, and OTT conflict dealing with the ex's fiance was baffling and lessened my overall enjoyment. This is coming from someone who isn't religious, but it felt as if a dig was being made to religious folks, like they're all crazies. Along with showing mature-age women as being desperate, weak, and foolish. With how much focus was on Gabe having custody of Ellie since the beginning, with her almost being an adult, with the courts taking that all into consideration, this entire thread was unnecessary and distracting.
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  • Jenny Wood
    January 1, 1970
    Gabe’s life consists of two things… working at the homewares store and providing the best life he can for his teenage daughter. He puts everything else on the back burner, partly because he wants her to have the best life, but also because his ex-wife, depending on the man she’s with at the moment, is just itching to take him back to court to get custody of their daughter, even though she’s almost 17 and able to make those decisions for herself….. I first want to say that I adored this story, bu Gabe’s life consists of two things… working at the homewares store and providing the best life he can for his teenage daughter. He puts everything else on the back burner, partly because he wants her to have the best life, but also because his ex-wife, depending on the man she’s with at the moment, is just itching to take him back to court to get custody of their daughter, even though she’s almost 17 and able to make those decisions for herself….. I first want to say that I adored this story, but the whole storyline with the ex and all the trouble she makes, is ridiculous when at the end, she just kind of gets over it when the whole story she’s been this evil, bigoted, hate-spewing woman that causes both Ellie and Gabe nothing but stress and misery. Gabe even goes so far and spends his life alone, not dating….ever, just because she’d make trouble! Then all the sudden she calls, they go running and all is forgiven??? Uhm, no. So, Gabe is excellent at his job and he’s probably the most experienced man there, so when a clueless and shy guy comes in for help, Gabe is sent to help him out. That’s when he meets Jerry. I adored Jerry… Painfully shy and socially awkward, I knew there was something about him that he was hiding. It’s obvious from the beginning and though it was easy to figure out, I can’t believe Gabe didn’t before he did. I loved how slow their relationship formed and progressed. It was sweet and realistic, watching them tip toe around each other and hope that the other was feeling the same way… you could tell they had feelings for each other but neither of them would come out and say it. It was a little bit annoying that Gabe kept jumping to conclusions and ran away when things got even a little bit tricky, but they always worked it out. I also didn’t understand Jerry’s brother…. He seemed shady and bad news, and I thought for sure that Jerry would have it out with him, but he just kind of disappeared as well. Causing trouble one second and then gone the next. I’d have liked for Jerry to have told him off and not let him have all the say in his life anymore. I’d have liked the satisfaction… but meh, I’m petty. It was tricky, being a celebrity and trying to be a normal person with a private life, as Jerry tried to do, and it proved a bit tricky to be the little piece of normal for the celebrity that so very much needed that, but they got there in the end. Overall though, I loved how Gabe and Jerry was with each other, and I loved each one’s relationship with Gabe’s daughter Ellie. She’s sweet and helpful and she just wanted them both to be happy. Other than the ex-wife and Jerry’s brother… I really enjoyed it!4 stars from me!
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  • Kirstin
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsIf a fluffy romance between a carpenter and a rock and roll god sounds like your brand of screws, this delightful story will hit the nail on the head.Gabe Mason is a 33 yr old single gay man raising his 17 year old daughter. His ex-wife is still in the picture, just enough to threaten his ability to have a life without worrying about her taking him to court. He makes his own furniture in his spare time, but living in Oregon doesn't truly afford him an opportunity to get his business off 3.5 StarsIf a fluffy romance between a carpenter and a rock and roll god sounds like your brand of screws, this delightful story will hit the nail on the head.Gabe Mason is a 33 yr old single gay man raising his 17 year old daughter. His ex-wife is still in the picture, just enough to threaten his ability to have a life without worrying about her taking him to court. He makes his own furniture in his spare time, but living in Oregon doesn't truly afford him an opportunity to get his business off the ground. Instead, he works a day job at the local home improvement warehouse.Jerry Castor is a rock star by night, but really wants a new life in the light of day. When he buys a run down home and has no idea what he's doing, he heads to the local hardware store for help and runs into Gabe. Who just happens to be perfect. This first half of the book grabbed me and held on for dear life. I loved it all and couldn't put the book down. The attraction between the two men was palpable and explosive. But there were secrets that Jerry was keeping and things took a turn.This is where things started crumbling for me. It seemed like the shy, stuttering Jerry turned into a wholly different person that oozed sex appeal and charm, which seemed contrived. It almost seemed to go to extremes. At one point I felt like we had gotten to the 'I think I like him' stage, and then a few minutes later there were declarations of forever. It just felt unrealistic to me, unfortunately.Ellie stole the book for me. As Gabe's 17 year old daughter, she was the glue that held everything together. The voice of reason. The adult. The shoulder to cry on. I loved her and was thrilled that she ended up being such a vital character in the story. She's worth the read, just as herself.Overall, it was a cute spin on the rich/poor trope with lots of fluff and hyperbole.*Galley copy generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. Cross posted to http://gaybook.reviews/*
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  • E.
    January 1, 1970
    4.25 stars“Home Improvement” by Tara Lain features single father Gabe Mason, who is content to devote his life to providing for his soon-to-be seventeen-year-old daughter. His life gets complicated when an unusual customer at the home improvement store hires him for a home renovation that is going to be life-changing for both of them. This lovely adult contemporary gay romance reminds me of why I adore this author’s stories so much—I’m always smiling by the end, and the angst is relatively low-k 4.25 stars“Home Improvement” by Tara Lain features single father Gabe Mason, who is content to devote his life to providing for his soon-to-be seventeen-year-old daughter. His life gets complicated when an unusual customer at the home improvement store hires him for a home renovation that is going to be life-changing for both of them. This lovely adult contemporary gay romance reminds me of why I adore this author’s stories so much—I’m always smiling by the end, and the angst is relatively low-key even as it enriches the story. I am always glad to “meet” her characters because they are folks I would like to get to know in real life because they seem like such genuine people. I enjoyed the maturity of Gabe’s daughter and wallowed in the warmth of their father-daughter relationship even as I chuckled when she went into fangirl mode and reverted to being a squealing teen. The evolution of the relationship between Gabe and his mystery guy was fun to watch and had a great balance of heat and romance. As usual, the overall theme of “be true to yourself” is artfully presented with plenty of “aw” moments. I did think some folks got off a little too lightly (*cough* Tiffany) but I guess it shows what a generous heart Gabe has.Adding to the fun is the wonderful house that has a character of its own, and I can’t help but wonder what actually did or will happen to the real property. I can only hope that it was given a similar new lease on life. For a new perspective on the “glamorous” life of a music icon and an entertaining story about making a house a home and finding love along the way, be sure to enjoy this fun story.A copy of this title was provided to me for review
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