Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Ben wants to find a new home.
Twenty-four-year-old Ben McCormick is the primary caregiver for his brother Milo after their parents’ death. A year into the job, he’s totally got the hang of it. Mostly. Sort of. Not at all?
Defeated and thoroughly chastised for his lack in parenting skills at teacher-parent night, Ben slumps away with the resolve to finally get his life sorted: be a better role model, and sell their parents’ house for a fresh start.
But first, he needs to spruce up his house to hit the market. He’s no DIY king, but Milo’s hot-as-hell woodwork teacher is…
Jack wants an old home to fix.
Thirty-nine-year-old Jack Pecker is waiting for the home of his dreams to come on the market in the summer. What better way to wait the interim months than working on a small renovation gig?
Only trouble is, the gig is for the McCormick brothers. And working in close quarters to red-haired Ben McCormick won’t be easy. Not with the attraction that simmers between them. Attraction Ben makes no effort to hide.
But Jack’s professional. Dating a parent is highly discouraged at Kresley Intermediate, and he’d never cross the lines…
Ben and Jack. Two guys searching for a home –
– a home that might just be where their hearts lead them.
It is no secret that Anyta Sunday is a favorite author of mine and it is characters like Ben, Milo and Jack that reinforce that for me. Ben is big brother to Milo, age 11, and they lost their parents a year ago. Ben is doing his best to make a stable home for Milo, even as he is grief-stricken himself. Ben is 24, works at a museum with a fairly unsympathetic boss, is addicted to orange Fanta and has some interesting, to put it kindly, parenting techniques. He also has some very lovely worded t-shirts.
The one issue between Milo and Ben is their parent’s house. They are living in the guest cottage, too small and cramped, because Ben’s heart can’t handle the hurt of being in his parent’s house without his parents there. You really feel for both of them because they may be grieving in different ways but they are both so wounded. Ben is trying so hard to be a good parent and he beats himself up when he misses things. “I’m the one who should be sorry. I should’ve seen it, Jack saw it, while I blindly ignored the signs, too caught up in myself. In what I wanted.” Yet, he’s so good. I could go on and on about the loveliness of these characters.
Jack, the handyman who is going to renovate the parent’s home for resale, is also a teacher at Milo’s school. Despite being attracted to Ben, the fourteen year age difference is nothing compared to the unwritten rule about not dating caregivers of the students. Add in that he’s been waiting eight years for his dream villa to be for sale and the owner of said villa is uncle to the principal of the school. There can be nothing between them. Nothing.
Watching these guys try to do what’s best for each other, try to be a family with officially being a family and yet still sharing fun and love was such a great ride. I so appreciated that Milo acts like an eleven-year-old. He talks like one, is bratty like one and responds to love like one. There were so many moments I wanted to hug them all. The fact that it is Milo who brings things to a head worked perfectly for me. “He whispers, “For someone who claims to love us, you’re really stupid.” He’s so young and so smart. “I have four words for you, Mr. Woodpecker.” I brace myself for them but they plough guilt through me. “Shortcuts never end well.”
The fear of driving Ben has after losing his parents to a car accident was real. The grief they both feel about it was real. Jack’s story of his family, unfortunately all too real.
We get to revisit Sam and Luke from Taboo For You here and I was reminded just how much I love Luke. Loved him in that book, love him here. Awkward situation when Jack was living with Sam and Luke, definitely. But they are the greatest friends. “But with every sunrise comes a fresh start.” So true, Luke, so true.
Some favorite moments: “Farts wouldn’t smell so bad if we moved to the main house. The extra space would thin them out.” What Milo saw on the computer. “If life gives you lemons…” What Jack thought Milo and Ben were looking at through binoculars. Jack explaining to Milo why Ben is the best. Most of all, the brother love that just shines through the whole story. They aren’t perfect, no, but they love each other and are trying. “I take you as my brother for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health until death do us part. He rolls his head up and looks at me for a long beat. “I do.” Love.
The not so favorite? Mrs. Devon. “Is she about to tell me I’m doing a bad job raising Milo? Tell me anything else. I can’t hear that. I’m afraid I’m doing a bad job too.” So that the last parent conference was with her was very fitting. I am assuming the next book is about another not-favorite character, Felix. Is he closeted? Experimenting?
This was a great follow up to Taboo For You and I loved it.
Cover art, showing Jack and Ben snuggling is sweet and fitting.
Sales Links: https://www.anytasunday.com/projects/made-for-you/
Kindle Edition, 258 pages
Published May 1st 2019 by Anyta Sunday
Edition Language English
Series Love and Family #2