Robert Chambers has had one serious lover in his life, a man who broke his heart and ruined his ability to trust. On a cold winter night, Robert meets up with a friend to get drinks when they come across a homeless man asking if they have $5 to spare so that he can stay the night at the homeless shelter. Ordinarily Robert would have probably walked away, but there was something in the way this homeless man met his gaze. Handing him $50, Robert headed off wondering whether he was a philanthropist or a sucker.
Matt Cosgrove was down on his luck and forced to beg from strangers. When an anonymous stranger hands him money, he uses it to ensure a place to stay for the night, and get a haircut and a new set of clothes, which help land him a job working at the home improvement center.
Two months later, Robert is attempting to build some built-in bookshelves. After screwing up, he heads back to the home improvement store to replenish his dwindling woodpile and bumps into Matt. A former carpenter, Matt offers to help Robert build his bookcases. Robert struggles with his attraction to the former homeless man until he begins to realize that they have a lot in common. When Matt’s past is exposed, Robert cannot believe his poor judgement once again.
I would classify this book as more erotica than romance. While there is romance, there is a lot of hot sex in this book…including a self-satisfying session involving some hand tools that had me fanning myself. My only complaint about the sex scenes is that the author comes up with some unique terms I’ve never quite heard about before that didn’t sound all that sexy.
The plot of this book is interesting. The idea that you give someone a helping hand, expecting never to see the person again, only to bump into the person when they are back on their feet and realize that that he isn’t all that much different than you. I was a bit disappointed with the whole “secret” to why Matt was down on his luck. It was not so much because of what the secret was, but rather how he expected Robert’s reaction to be just what it was and didn’t even bother to defend himself. For a couple who deems themselves “in love,” I thought that this suggested that Robert was more shallow and like his friends than we were seeing.
Which brings me to the characters in the book. I really liked the two main characters, but I had to question what Robert saw in his group of friends. I would rather be a lonely person than to have a group of friends such as his. At times we get a glimpse of snobbery in Robert when he is thinking, only to have him open his mouth and have something totally different come out. As for Matt, I really found myself connecting to him, and found that even when the secret was revealed, I was rooting for him because he was just a genuinely nice guy who lost everything and was putting it behind him if people just gave him a chance.
Surprisingly, this was a book I ordinarily wouldn’t have chosen to read because the thoughts of a romance involving a homeless man didn’t appeal to me…wow, do I sound as shallow as Robert’s friends! With that said, I really found myself enjoying this book.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.