Will Brewer is an introverted artist who relishes his time at home, painting and creating art for a living. He’s rather successful at it, actually, and has a good reputation in the field, but Will doesn’t want hangers-on or moochers hounding him ever again. He enjoys his privacy and would find a night in with a loving man to be an ideal date. Will’s elderly neighbor, Mrs. O’Grady, is always trying to get Will out and over to her place to visit or fix “just one quick thing” and he loves the dear woman, so he always agrees. Only, this time, Will’s not her lone volunteer. Now, she’s got a burly mechanic assisting and Will’s shyness is a hindrance—or so he believes.
Blain Stewart moved into the empty house on the other side of Mrs. O’Grady after leaving his cheating, conniving boyfriend of the past several years. He’s a mechanic, and a darned good one, but this was never prestigious enough for his man—nor were the nights in and cozy dinners Blain would prepare. Starting over seems a bit like failure, but Mrs. O’Grady hasn’t let Blain mope—not when she needs closet doors hung and flowers planted in her garden. What’s wrong with giving up some of his unpacking time to help an old lady, right? And, when she introduces Blain to Will, well, the connection is instant.
This is a very quick set-up to romance. Will and Blain both think they are too broken to be good partners to another man, especially one another. Will sees Blain’s strength and confidence as daunting. Meanwhile, Will’s talent and culture evoke bad memories of Blain’s ex. Still, the attraction is there and it’s pretty much hours before they act on it. For me, this was really fast and not necessarily in keeping with the characters’ convictions about their inner struggles. These are really good guys, and I liked them; I just wished the story took a little more time to develop, because it seemed unrealistic that their feelings could have changed so dramatically in such a short time frame. Beyond this, Mrs. O’Grady is a dear heart and her albeit minimal meddling was a fun catalyst for love.
If you want a breezy read with two lonely souls finding their forever home, this one might be a good option for you.