A MelanieM Release Day Review: Rebuild My Heart (Lexington Lovers #4) by Ariel Tachna

Standard

Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Lexington Lovers

A love built to last.

When Derek Jackson is hired to renovate the LGBT bookstore that’s also Owen Hensley’s home, opposites attract. Derek is a big burly blue-collar guy, about ten years older than slight, sweet, and bookish Owen. As they spend time together, it becomes clear that each handsome outside leads to a beautiful interior. Far from the shy twink he appears, Owen has a rock-solid foundation that helped him put himself through college and start his own business. Behind Derek’s strong façade waits a tender heart that’s been battered by a rough family past—something Owen understands.

After Owen’s runaway nephew lands on his doorstep, it throws a wrench in their plans. Derek can’t ask Owen to choose, but he doesn’t think he can take second place with his lover the way he always has with his family. Can they find a way to keep their romance standing?

As much as I have enjoyed each story separately, I find that the more the author releases new novels and builds a community that all the couples reside in, relate to and repeatedly connect to one another, that my fondness for and delight in this series has grown with each installment.  That has happened again with Rebuild My Heart, a book that offered up some wonderful new characters, showed some old ones in new light, and had the readers watch as this small corner of Lexington grew a bit larger in population and heart once more.

I love that cover because that is Owen Hensley to perfection.  Ariel Tachna will stretch out the reveal of Owen’s actual name and history to give the developing romance and his character depth and new elements not often seen in romance.  Authentic to the south, harsh and dark in the reality, I almost wish Tachna had spent more time on this aspect of the story instead of that bit of frippery with Owen’s ex which really came to nothing.  Owen’s background has the feeling of bedrock, the bit with the ex that of cotton candy.  And it took away from the story.  Unless of course, it will figure on down the line.

Derek Jackson’s background is, not lopsided, but maybe less filled in for the reader.  His family comes from the wonderful third story , Stage Two. All those characters are in attendance here to my complete gratification and happiness.  They are in many ways his family, although it will take the entire book for Derek to figure that out, much to my frustration with him.  The other part of his “real family” is one we hear about but never see.  It makes them less than realistic, it also makes the demons in his head due to the pressures they lay on him , perhaps less believable because we don’t see it in action.  I don’t know, this portion of the story and Derek’s doesn’t come across as it should for me.

What I do love is their romance, the boys Kit and Phillip, their dynamics with Derek,and then Owen, and finally Ephah.  That was so amazing and pulled me in.  Those boys were boys!  The dialog often hilarious or poignant or whatever the boys were into.  And the slow evolution of one man’s thinking, actually two was beautiful to read.

So yes, some things that bothered me but on the whole, many other elements that offered depth and additional pleasures.  I love seeing the same characters continue to appear in book after book, as I said they continue to form a community I look forward to visiting in.  Now to see who is coming next.  Especially since there is an opening into Owen’s  past .

I recommend this series and definitely Rebuild My Heart (Lexington Lovers #4) by Ariel Tachna.  At some point Kit will need his story too.  But not yet.  Too soon.  So who is next?

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza, yes, that’s Owen alright, down to the pink hair. Love it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner PressAmazon

Book Details:

ebook, 240 pages
Expected publication: February 5th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781644051429
Edition Languagev English
Series: Lexington Lovers #4

Lexington Lovers Series

Unstable Stud

A Matchless Man

Stage Two

Rebuild My Heart

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Stage Two (Lexington Lovers #3) by Ariel Tachna

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

 

Love has a steep learning curve.

Assistant high school principal Blake Barnes has everything he wants—a chance to help troubled students and an outlet for his passion for theater. Well, almost everything—he still goes home to an empty apartment. Then his high school crush explodes back into his life, the unexpected guardian of two boys in Blake’s care.

Thane Dalton has always been a bad boy through and through. Not much has changed, including his mistrust of authority figures, and no amount of institutional bureaucracy will keep him from protecting his nephews from the bullies terrorizing them. If that means butting heads with Blake, so be it.

Blake and Thane have lessons to learn: that they both have the boys’ best interests at heart, that the tension between them isn’t just confrontational, and that sparks can fly when opposites come together.

Stage Two by Ariel Tachna was just an excellent all around story, that it happened to include a romance was a definite plus as well.  It was as much about two young teenagers adjusting to the loss of their mother, making a new home with their uncle, dealing with, frankly, a very scary bullying situation in their new school as it is about Blake and Thane finding each other.  That it all happens under stressful conditions realistically portrayed here by the author is one of this story’s strengths.  Everyone becomes more grounded and believable when faced with the situations and relationship dynamics dealt with within this story.  And it’s a guarantee for us to connect with them all.  I deny anyone not to feel the pain and loss that these boys are going through. Its comes pouring out so vividly here that you want to comfort them yourselves.  In tandem with those boys grief is their uncle’s confusion, bewilderment and anger. Thane too has lost his sister, he’s trying to deal with being a guardian to two boys in mourning in a new situation and unsure he can handle it all.  That his go to method of dealing is anger and all too often his fists to settle situations?  Well, I think we have all met people like Thane as well.

Blake is a joy of discovery, for the reader and all the main characters within the novel. I’m including the boys in with their uncle Thane since they are so much a part of this story.  New facets of Blake’s personality unfold to the delight of the reader, Thane and the boys as the narrative moves forward and all the characters find themselves in different situations inside and outside of school.  I found myself eager to know what new side of Blake was going to come forward and show itself.  And each time it did, the author managed to make it happen in such a way that I should have seen it all along.  So should have Thane.

This is a story of long ago attractions that come rushing back, but no real instant love.  Everything else is handled in a way that feels adult, responsible and yet, doesn’t rule out passion and romance.  And the fact that there’s two young men counting on both Blake and Thane.

As much as I adored the first two stories in the Lexington Lovers series, this is by far my favorite.  I recommend the entire series but they can all be read as stand alone tales so pick this up first.

Cover Artist: Bree Archer.  I really like this cover, from the background with the curtain to the model, just so well done.  Warm and inviting.

Sales Links

Book Details:

ebook, Dreamspun Desires #33, 224 pages
Expected publication: May 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1635331498 (ISBN13: 9781635331493)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Lexington Lovers