After David comes home to find his boyfriend of five years cheating on him, he quickly moves out. It just so happens that the house across the street from his mother is for sale and, in a hasty decision fueled by emotions, David buys it. He definitely shouldn’t have forgone the inspection as the house is falling down around him with one issue after the next. But David’s mother also knows the local handyman and passes off his business card. Whatever David was expecting, it certainly wasn’t the gorgeous man that shows up on his doorstep and Jackson arrives just in time as the next catastrophe is taking place.
Jackson has just moved back to the area to take care of his mother. He left a successful construction job and, being openly gay, he can’t get hired by the larger businesses in this small town. He has plenty of work at David’s house to keep him busy though and the attraction is sparking as hot as the faulty electricity. David knows he has no business being attracted to Jackson. He’s still adjusting from his breakup, he has financial ties with his ex, and that ex isn’t going away. But love doesn’t work on a schedule and David and Jackson may slowly realize they have the real thing.
The blurb for this book gave me just about what I was expecting, but I was a little more interested in trying out a book from this author. David is our POV character and he’s an emotional mess. His ex did a number on him over the years and his self esteem is at an all time low. So low that he can’t understand why Jackson would even give him a first glance, let alone a second. He buys the house in a rush and there were so many things wrong with it. The previous owner had lived there for many many years, it was across the street from his mother, and the set up tested the bounds of believability for me.
But moving on from there, the book offers a story on the sweeter side of two guys finding love in a small town. Both David and Jackson are on the rebound. Jackson, however, has returned to care for his ailing mother and finding work has been difficult due to the homophobia in town. In a lot of ways the book is just two guys living life and trying to find love. In other ways there were storylines of conservatives and holocaust remembrance that read for me as a lot of social issues being added in on top of each other without always a clear purpose. The situation with David’s ex becomes volatile and was on the predictable side, but also didn’t overwhelm the story, which was a plus.
The relationship is a slow burn, but it’s kept at a steady simmering heat as opposed to one that boils over each time the men are in contact. We don’t get Jackson’s point of view so while it’s inferred he’s attracted to David, we mostly are with David’s insecurities. But Copland does a nice job turning the slow burn into a simmering seduction worth waiting for.
The secondary characters here added to the story, from both mothers being shown in a refreshingly positive light, to their group of friends that all supported each other and there could most certainly be other stories for many of these characters.
While there was a little something missing here for me, this story would work for a lot of readers. If you like hurt/comfort stories of characters dealing with real life issues within a small town setting and a feel good HEA, give David, Renewed a try.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.