Built to Last by Aurora Rey is a contemporary lesbian romance novel and a very sweet summer read. Olivia Bennett is a professor of English at Cornell. She moved to Ithaca, New York a couple of years ago from Atlanta, Georgia and falls head over heels in love with an old farmhouse. The house needs quite a bit of work, but Olivia thinks it has “good bones.” She hires Joss Bauer from Bauer and Sons Construction to remodel the house. Their attraction is immediate, but sometimes their assumptions about each other create static in the connection between their heads and their hearts.
My favorite character is Olivia, which surprised me because I would usually be immediately drawn to Joss Bauer with her tool belts and work boots. My interest was hooked with the description of Olivia in her retro skirts and hair pulled up (good thing I’m not a student where she teaches, I’d have a huge crush). Although Olivia with her hair down, on her hands and knees pulling carpet, is a picture I still have in my mind…
Olivia has a lot going on in her head and her heart that the other characters don’t see, but the author skillfully shows the reader. This made me feel closer to the character and more involved with her story.
The Writing Style
This story was made to be told from both Olivia and Joss’s points of view and I’m glad the author chose to give us both points of view. I like to read stories where I think I know a little more than the characters do and the author gives me little tidbits of info along the way.
The pace is a little slower than I have been reading lately, a bit like when I go walking with a friend who walks slower than I do. At first I was little impatient with the pace. But after I gave myself a minute or two to adjust to the slower pace, it works. Remodeling a house takes time. Sometimes falling in love takes time.
I love, love, love the way Ms Rey writes bedroom scenes and I’m not talking about how she describes the furniture. This is where the slow pace really pays off.
I wanted to hear more about the setting. I wanted the author to tell me what the characters like or don’t like about this place or what makes it unique.
I liked it a lot. This is a wonderful light romance with a slow burn that paid off for this reader. The combination of construction tools, paint, drywall and two really attractive women who are hot for each other was a heady mix for me. There isn’t a lot of drama in this story and that was fine for me. There is a bit of a scandal that involves Olivia at Cornell that throws Olivia off balance and is fodder for misunderstandings all around.
Excerpt from Built to Last by Aurora Rey
Olivia didn’t put herself out there very often, but still. She was unused to the sting of rejection. And this felt a whole lot like rejection. She couldn’t decided whether or not to confront Joss about it.
“Do you need anything from inside the house?” Could she say something more useless?
“Joss’s reply was stilted. “Just my keys. I’ll grab them.”
“Okay.” Olivia stayed outside, feeling unsettled and still a little aroused.
Joss walked into the kitchen and emerged a few seconds later. She looked at Olivia, her eyes full of concern. “I really am sorry. Are you okay?”
Olivia straightened her shoulders, tossed her hair, and smiled. Better to make light than turn it into a scene. She refused to be caught wallowing. “Of course. I’m sorry I pounced on you like that.”
Joss shook her head. “You don’t need to be sorry.”
“I promise I won’t tear at you like a sex-crazed teenager again.”
Joss came up to her and stood very close. “I kind of liked the sex-crazed part.”
“You don’t have to say that.”
“Olivia, I didn’t stop because I don’t want to have sex with you. I stopped because, when I do, I want to do it right.”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781626395527
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Aurora Rey Online
Note: I received a free review copy of Built To Last by Aurora Rey for review. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.