A Basic Renovationby Sandra Antonelli
When it comes down to it, rats in the oven trumps Lesley’s desire to never set eyes on another Brennan family member. So Lesley, a pro at property redevelopment, scrambles to Dominic Brennan’s hardware store for supplies. Dominic knows poison rat and otherwise and he sees it in Lesley. The woman ruined his brother’s life. Now that she’s back in town, Dominic’s afraid she’ll drag up the past, the secrets, and the pain. They clash immediately, but mix in a teenage boy, a puppy, some white paint, and some loud music, and what starts as cold fury transforms into a nuclear attraction. This basic renovation becomes a major life refurbishment for them both.
- Harlequin Enterprises, Australia Pty Ltd
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- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
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- 1 MB
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I received a copy of this title from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review I went back and forth on how to rate this book and settled on 3 stars. The steamy romance parts were definitely 5 star-worthy; however, the storyline in between was just 3 stars for me. I didn't enjoy the cranky grandfather with the new girlfriend bit and the evil, homophobic ex-mother-in-law. I found that there was some hilarious dialogue and great chemistry between our two leads, Dom and Lesley...but I didn't find much to like about the other characters. They were either difficult or bland. What really saved the story for me was the writing. It was a well-written book but there was just that missing element for me in order to rate it any higher. It was a good weekend read, so definitely worth reading...just be prepared for some ups and downs with the plot.
Although an older release, Escape (Harlequin’s Australian imprint) offered this title and I am very glad that they did. Clever and fun, with a title that reflects some diy as well as renovating relationships and mistaken impressions, A Basic Renovation was the perfect afternoon escape. Lesley is strong and feisty, with a whole passel of family seeking to change her, even though she is a grown woman. Her mother thinks her hair is too long and her skirts too short. Her father despises her Harley, and will go to great lengths to keep her from riding it. Her grandfather is by far one of the better secondary characters ever: at 92 he says what he wants, when he wants and to hell with the consequences or anyone else’s sensitivities. Foul mouthed, insulting and bossy, he was delightful to read, although most certainly a pain in the rear to deal with. Lesley is successful and determined, a business woman with a plan and the skills to get things accomplished. But, her chance encounter with the brother of her ex-husband is more disturbing to her than she would wish to let on: even more so because Dominic is ‘indoctrinated’ into the family’s beliefs that Lesley was the only one at fault in her failed marriage. Dominic has an overbearing and quite distasteful mother, a spoiled brat of a younger brother who was married to Lesley, and is a single father with a teenaged son. Dominic’s family is most definitely ruled by his mother Peggy, who cossets and spoils her youngest son and is verbally abusive to the women in her son’s lives. She just needed to go away, with her ‘baby boy’, her character just oozed malice. Of course, Dominic’s mother and brother, Terry, are interfering in his relationship with Lesley. From hinting to rumors and outright lying, and even forcing physical altercations they almost succeed. It’s strange that Terry was away from their little town for years after her divorce from Terry, and yet the attitude of Dominic’s mother and brother were so laden with malice and anger fueled by Terry’s lack of sense and ability to take responsibility for anything that it was literally nauseating. Peggy and Terry nearly succeed in driving a permanent wedge between the two, until Dominic wises up and realizes his happiness is more important than his brother’s misguided feelings and his mother’s interference. Snappy dialogue, a female protagonist who is strong and smart, clever secondary characters, a wise-mouthed and quite funny teen to balance the ever-outspoken grandfather and a believable story that features 40-something main characters: this is a winner and the perfect getaway book for an afternoon. I received an eBook copy from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.