Reviewed by Ami
Title: David, Renewed
Author: Diana Copeland
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 244 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 21, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: When interior designer David Snyder buys a beautiful century-old house in eastern Washington, he is reeling with heartbreak and looking for somewhere to put down roots. Unfortunately his new home comes with a laundry list of problems: electrical, plumbing, heating… things David knows nothing about. When his mother offers him the business card of a local handyman, David pictures an overweight, balding man in his fifties. But Jackson Henry couldn’t be further from that stereotype.
Dark-haired, muscular, and handsome, Jackson left a large construction firm in Seattle to take care of his sick mother. However, his hometown still has an active “good old boy” network, and finding employment in construction is almost impossible for an openly gay man. Determined to persevere, Jackson takes odd jobs as a handyman. He’s exactly what David needs—in more ways than one.
David isn’t ready for his attraction to Jackson, not considering the way his last relationship ended. But as the two men get to know each other, it becomes clear that the heart often knows best, and it rewards those willing to listen.
Review: I loved Diana Copland’s previous books – after being on hiatus for the last couple of years, I was happy when I saw that she had a new book coming. For the most part, I really liked it. However, there were also too many things that diminished my good mood and disrupted my enjoying this book in its entirety.
Let’s see with what I liked best…
The romance between David and Jackson worked well for me. Despite the instant sexual attraction coming from David – he couldn’t help ogling Jackson’s gorgeous body (and ass) when he first saw the handyman – but the actual relationship itself moved at a rather slow-just-right pace. David was still handling the trouble that his cheating-ex was giving him regarding their property and Jackson also juggling with responsibility of taking care of his sick mother.
So there were no instant burning sheets here. It took time for David and Jackson to even have their first kiss, despite the sexual tension the two were throwing in each other’s paths. There were dates and learning about each other’s lives that made me pretty happy that both men didn’t just jump into sexual intercourse right away.
We also had a very good potential of a series because as David and Jackson grew closer, both men also seemed to gather their friends into their inner circle. So we had a group of single gay men with potential love stories to tell. Yes, I couldn’t help but think there MUST BE follow-up to this because I wanted them to get their happy endings as well. It will be too cruel if not. *pout*
Unfortunately, like I said before, there were other things that I disliked. First, the blatant stereotyping that “Republicans are bad and homophobic”. I was quite annoyed with it. I mean, really? Can’t we rise above that kind of behavior? I don’t think that all Republicans are bad. Just like I don’t think all non-Muslims are evil. A lot of times I hear about the need for diversity in romance – so why not have it also include different political views? I am sure there are a lot of good, polite, not-homophobic human beings out there. This felt like a personal political view from the author and I didn’t like it.
Then, what was with all of the other people outside of our gay men group – save for David and Jackson’s mothers, David’s sister, and Jackson’s sister in law – that are portrayed very negatively? The siblings were assholes, who seemed to only want reputation or money. Then we had a seriously bad case of ex-es: David’s and Manny’s (one of Jackson’s friend). It was too much drama for my personal taste.
I prefer my romance to be quite balanced when introducing bad seeds of the world. I didn’t like how Copland wrote those ‘villains’ here, and it smeared the good feel I had about the main romantic relationship. It was still a good read but not my favorite of hers.
Trigger warning: Mention of domestic violence for secondary character
Overall Impression: I liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*