Reviewed by Heather C
Title: A Better Man
Author: Jaime Reese
Series: The Men of Halfway House #1
The Heroes: Matthew Doner & Julian Capeletti
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: 69,034 words
Publisher: Romandeavor, Inc
Release Date: January 16, 2014, 2nd edition
Available at: Amazon, All Romance eBooks & Barnes and Noble
Add it to your shelf at: Goodreads
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.
Anyone who really knows me, knows that I hardly ever reread a book. To this day I can clearly remember when I first read and loved the original version of Matt and Julian’s story…I even purchased it and read it on the first release date (my bestie Ang and I read it together!). So, for the last year and a half I’ve been patiently waiting for the second book in this series to come out. Then I found out it was being revised and re-rereleased by one of the original coauthors, Jaime Reese…and guess what! I didn’t even think twice about rereading it!! (Imagine Nikyta’s surprise) That should tell you how much I loved this book!
After spending five years in prison for a white-collar crime, Matt Doner’s dream is to build a halfway house to help those men in need of reestablishing themselves into society. The problem: nobody wants to help him with the dilapidated building he is trying to bring back to life; that is until cocky Julian Capeletti walks through the door looking for a “Boner” needing a “handyman” (hehe). Julian comes from a rough life and there’s something about Julian that tells Matt he is the perfect one for the job.
There’s some goooooood sexual tension as Matt and Julian work closely together on the house each day, trying to keep their relationship strictly professional. Of course that not gonna happen! Then there’s a few secrets neither man is ready to share…it causes a few problems, but, honestly, this story is more sweet than angst. Eh, all the angst really revolves around the crazy mother storyline, poor Matt. Matt and Julian are such likable characters, how could anyone NOT cheer for their HEA. Thank goodness they totally get it!
So, as I said before, this is a rerelease with some revisions. I was even high-fiving myself when I recognized some of the additional scenes and the one big significant change. I definitely think the little changes have enhanced the story from the original version. I get to know Matt and J a bit better and can better see how the fell for each other. The story still covers the span of a year so some of the months are a little brief, but over all, this version has more “meat” of their relationship.
It’s still a perfect “feel good” book.
Now that I’m all refreshed after the reread, I can sit back (again) and wait for Cam’s book. It’s past time for his second chance. I’m ready!
Overall Impression: I Loved It!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*