The Book Gourmet

Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.



Professional Reader Reviews Published

A Basic Renovation by Sandra Antonelli

A Basic Renovation - Sandra Antonelli

**ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley***

Sixteen years ago she'd been the frumpy nondescript woman who's apparently ruined his younger brother's life and convinced Dominic's live-in girlfriend to abandon him and their nine-month-old son. His family has been blaming her for everything from that point forward...Oh, and she's a lesbian (though his mother expresses herself more harshly in that regard).

And she's back in town, renovating a house, and stirring all kinds of feelings (and other stuff) in Dominic. As if he doesn't have other problems on his mind. Like keeping his sixteen-year old from earning enough money to buy a car...

It doesn't happen often that I stumble upon a decent read in the "ReadNow" section on NetGalley. But this one was a great respite from other not-so-stellar attempts. It had humor (as Kyle observed, bickering adults resemble teenagers), a feisty heroine, a drool-worthy hero (that often came through as a jackass, very realistic, I believe), a wonderful 92-year old grandpa in search for love (he had more luck in that department than his granddaughter), a very believable romance, a small town, two crazy families, a resilient house and loads of rats.

If that doesn't make any sense, I guess you'll just have to read it.

What I appreciated the most was the age of the two protagonists. They weren't teenagers or a foxy lady and a hunk in their twenties or thirties. He was going on fifty and she was pretty much close behind. I love it when authors decide to make their leading couple more mature. It shows us that love and romance truly is possible at any age. Which doesn't happen a lot in Romancelandia (unless you're reading a paranormal romance with vampires or long-lived werewolves).

The pacing was good, the story never got boring, the supporting cast was just right (with that 92-year-old GP the greatest of them all, and the fact he swore in Italian made him even more endearing)...The only hiccup that prevented me from giving it 5 stars was the final hurdle the two mature lovebirds had to go through. It seemed a bit too much in the end, a bit over the top, and seemed like it didn't really belong there and was added just so there could be more drama.

Otherwise everything fit just right.