RELEASE DATE: 14th January 2014
BLURB: Matthew Doner is starting over. After a five-year prison term that alters every aspect of his life, he receives a bequest from his aunt with the stipulation that he use the money to make things right. Breaking free of the long-standing role he’s played and inspired by the few who support him, he decides to create a safe place where people like him can find purpose and start a new life.
Julian Capeletti likes challenges. He is confident, brash, stubborn, and just what Matt needs. Desperate for work after a downturn of luck, he accepts the job to renovate Matt’s crumbling building.
Over the course of a year, romance simmers between them as they restore the house. But there’s a bigger renovation that must take place in their hearts. To become better men, they need to learn to trust each other even with secrets and painful memories they fear may rip them apart.
A Better Man is the first story in “The Men of Halfway House” series. This is a tender, sweet, heartbreaking and heartwarming story about two guys who are rebuilding and renovating an old building to create a safe place for people who need a clear start, a second chance. While they are working together they slowly get to know each other and they are falling in love.
Matt is definitely a better man than I am. After five years in prison and dealing with a mother like that, he is so not the person you would imagine. He is caring, gentle and patient to a fault… Oh no… I wouldn’t have been able to listen to a mother like that every month. Just no way. That woman almost made me stop reading… I loved JULIAN even more when he worded my boiling anger. I was also glad to see how Matt finally stood up for himself. However, I found some parts of the book a little too sweet. Everything seems too tender at times, every lovemaking too perfect. Although the writing is solid, the characters are just too perfect, and a bit unrealistic, especially Matt.
I enjoyed the steps in Matt and Julian’s relationship. The awkwardness, the building tension, Julian’s constant teasing all lead up to a connection so worth fighting for. By the time they accept their attraction, their emotions are involved as well. They fall in love while getting to know each other. This is totally my kind of story from the connection point of view. The relationship is cemented and there is no question about it. All the angst and excitement is rooted in outer sources, family or the past and not about their feelings for each other.
If you enjoy real feel-good stories, this is a great read for you!