Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Our first glimpse of Eric Allen is during his grandmother’s funeral. We get some background information about their relationship, as well as the situation between him and his remaining family members. If you’re reading the book without looking at the blurb first, you can misinterpret Nathan’s and Eric’s relationship during the opening scene.
Jewell, Eric’s grandmother, left him his estate, but his mother and brother are after their share. After taking care of all the legalities, with the help of Jewell’s best friend, Nathan invited Eric for a small vacation. During which, he takes him to an abandoned hotel on an isolated stretch of the Central Oregon Coast. Since Eric is a line cook and his friend Nathan, a waiter, they pooled together all their money, plus the inheritance to buy the hotel.
Naming the hotel after the only bachelor president with a male friend, sounded like a good way to start their business. They had several months to get the hotel ready for its grand opening on the Fourth of July weekend. With the help of Tim, a local handyman, some friends, and a pair of new part-time employees, they set to work to receive their first guests. All their relationships get tangled with every passing week, and what started as a kid’s dream between Eric and Nathan turned into a small family.
Tim’s and Eric’s relationship blossoms with time, but their separate growth is as important as their romance. In the beginning, we don’t get a clear path to their future, but after a turn of events, their love goes from zero to one-hundred on a handful of pages. By the end of the story, we are cheering for the MCs and looking forward to learning more about the hotel’s future.
Buchanan House is more than a romance. It’s a story of healing, friendship, and self-discovery. Yes, Tim and Eric are the main characters, and they get more than their HEA, but how they got there is more important than the end result. As well as all the events that surrounded them.
We don’t get into their romance until later in the book. Eric’s and Nathan’s friendship takes the first part of the book, and Eric’s self-discovery unfolds with every chapter. His insecurities shaped him, leaving him second-guessing all his decisions and relationships. Nathan’s friendship and Tim’s love are the catalysts that get him to be the man he always dreamed.
All the characters in the story had a purpose, and the author incorporated not only gay characters, but bisexual, lesbians, and trans*, too. Also, the characters discussed their differences, sexualities, and genders. Everyone gets a small backstory, even those interacting with the MCs for a short amount of time.
Tim’s family is great, and the way they interacted with Eric, even the ones that aren’t completely comfortable with their sexuality do it with respect. Eric’s family, on the other hand, wanted nothing more than Jewell’s money. They didn’t care for Eric or his dreams and did everything they could to interfere.
The setting and the atmosphere played an important part in this story— Eric’s recipes too. It’s easy to identify the smells, colors, and shaped introduced by the author. Even the way each character dresses is part of their dossier. And the house, from its flowers to its moldings is another character in the story.
This is my first story narrated by Alexander Johns. I enjoyed his cadence and the distinction between the characters. My only complaint would be with the quality of the audio. For some reason, parts of the file had static in the background and others sounded as if the story was recorded in an empty room, creating an echo.
L.C. Chase did an excellent job finding a house that matched the book’s description. Perhaps, I’d have left the two figures out of the cover since they look like an afterthought.
Narrator: Alexander Johns
Length: 5 hours and 4 minutes
Published: January 27, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English