Rating: 5 🌈
Here it is. The final story and the end of a series I really don’t want to say goodbye to. Hmmm perhaps the author will give me a path to potentially seeing them all again….
Anyway… back to Drilled . It’s that wonderful best friends to enemies to lovers story we all love to read.
What? That’s not a trope? Sure it is. If not perhaps it will be after this book.
Apollo Day, the scowling brooding hunk at the Four Bears Construction Company has always been a bit of a mystery man. While not above joining in ,albeit quietly at night, in the group’s company many pranks, and in the Friday night Wollsey’s get togethers, he still has managed to remain a bit of a unknown quantity.
Then the newest hire shows up and that threatens to shatter any calm Apollo has demonstrated and the new home he’s building within the company. Not that he’s admitting that.
The new guy? That’s forty year old construction builder Ridgeway “Ridge” Tanner. He’s recently returned to Wisconsin, a place he formerly called home. Still, he’s shocked to see standing in the office of the company that’s just hired him a man he hasn’t seen in 15 years. Behind them a shared past in which they were once so close no one knew the other better then themselves. Until he detonated everything in a single day and they both lost it all.
Mini explosions start the story off immediately as Apollo won’t tell Cole and the rest of the company why there’s bad history between Ridge and himself. Ridge won’t enlighten the crew either. But both are needed on a special jobsite as all the others now have partners/husbands, increasing responsibilities outside of work.
The special work order includes a month long restoration job at a summer camp that both Apollo and Ridge first think is a prank but is in fact an important and large scale camp renewal. At a remote location.
This is a perfect way for the reader and the men to connect/reconnect. Because at first nothing of their former history is mentioned. But the daily construction work and interaction starts bringing up old memories.
Again, the 2 man POV is an intimate format to share the thoughts and feelings of men not inclined to voice their pain and anger , especially of those struggling with their emotions and memories as these two are.
Stubbornness and silence, the need to escape rather then confront an issue, things that seems to be Apollo’s fallback measures. All in full force.Until Ridge’s efforts to make Apollo listen to him finally make the past and the events that broke them apart make sense.
It’s a fine line here between what should be revealed and spoilerville. It’s just not worth it because the central conflict is also a major part of the reveal and a revelation. So it will remain not a part of this review. I’ll just say the anticipation leading up doesn’t disappoint.
All the stories have had such different angles to them. Men needing to earn partners trust who have had been relationships, men overcoming their own mistakes and fears as well as assumptions about true love, men coming out of the closet late in life, age gap, a trans man completely at home in his body but a partner to be who’s not, but all those we’ve basically followed from meeting to HEA. Even Miller and Demetri’s childhood camp past was briefly mentioned but happy mostly , puking incident aside.
But this is the first story where the past severely impacts the men’s present. That their history has caused them both such deep emotional damage over the years becomes obvious. Especially in the stunted romantic areas. Neither has had a committed relationship, and neither has forgotten the other.
Nuehold brings the pain one pleasure of remembered past through so clearly here. It’s in the gestures, frustration that boils over, and the stress and strain of the enforced physical presence of each other. The reader feels it as much as Ridge and Apollo.
When all the secrets are revealed, it’s not the happiest of environment you’d expect. Because then all the What ifs come naturally into play , all the regrets, guilt, and what it all means now in their current lives.
That the reader wants them together is obvious. They are made for each other. But again there’s some very realistic hurdles to overcome here. Do they? Of course, this is the Four Bears Construction series so we and they get their HEA joyous ending!
All the men and their partners/husbands make a showing here. Of course. There’s humor, because this series is full of laughter. There’s animals. Cats this time.
And a HEA finale. No really a link to a story that sees all the couples a few years in the future all together at a birthday party. Simply wonderful way to tie it all up.
I had questions because Nuehold has created some memorable characters here that have lived and moved in and out of the lives of our couples. One has been Porter, a full on vet at the end of this story. Poor Porter, Watson’s bestie, went out on dates with a few of the guys and it never ended well for such a sweet man.
He ends up here swearing he’ll marry the next big, hunky bear carrying a box of abandoned bunnies he sees. Be still my heart. Pls give this man his bear and bunnies.
Plus through Demetri ,West and yes Ridge, we got familiar with Auggie (Dem’s neighbor) and Tallahassee (sometime date of two of the guys) from the Big Bull Mechanics Shop. Great news!
Next up from this author? Yup the Big Bull Mechanics series. Auggie is another great character as is Tallahassee. Can’t wait to see them again and maybe one will be Porter’s bunny man. I can always hope.
So while normally I’d be bereft at having to say goodbye to these amazing people and their joy-filled, sweet, heartwarming love stories, I’m looking forward to the next group of bears and hopefully a sighting or two from these books.
Honestly what a lighthearted, happy reads each one is. I’m sure I’ll be revisiting them at some time.
Because as Stoney would say…
“Nonsense makes the heart grow fonder.”
Nonsense, humor, sweetness, and so so much love.
My heart is so fond of these couples and books it feels huge.
Yes highly recommended. I think they should be read in order because it’s just more fun to see the progression that way.
So here’s the list:
Four Bears Construction series and their animals:
🔵Caulky #1: Cole and Ren’s bees
🔵Nailed #2: Stone and Dare: Rudy and Nard Dog
🔵Hardwood #3, Ev and Watson, Hedgehog
🔵Screwed #4 Ollie and Daniel: Monty the Python
🔵Stud #5, West and Sawyer: Huey, Luey, Duey, Darkwing
🔵Stripped #6, Miller and Dem,
Mars and at the end Shelldon, omg so adorable. Yes tortoises!
🔵Drilled #7 the finale. Apollo and Ridge, cat Log and family. I’ve been waiting to see a cat tbh.
🔵Goats Like Cake Too: Four Bears Construction Series Epilogue- free story linked on Drilled.
by K.M. Neuhold
A month in a remote cabin with the last man I ever expected to see again? I can’t decide if I should punch him or drill him. It might end up being both.
After more than a decade, the last person I expected to see walk into the Four Bears Construction offices as a new hire was Ridge.
He was my first crush, and my first heartbreak when he started dating my sister. When he left her at the altar without so much as a note, I wrote him off for good.
No amount of excuses and explanations can erase what he did. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. But when we end up being sent to a remote campground alone to spend a month rebuilding the cabins, it’s too easy to remember why I fell for him in the first place.
I know the guys are all taking bets on how long it takes us to start playing with each other’s tools.
It’s going to be a long month.
*** Drilled is a forced proximity, best friends-to-enemies-to-lovers, hilarious and steamy, final book in the Four Bears Construction series. It can be read as a stand alone but you won’t want to miss this whole hilarious and hot series. No bear shifters, only the other kind of burly, hairy bears