We've met Jack Pecker in the previous installment "Taboo For You", he is Luke's best friend and though he thought he could find his HEA with Luke, it wasn't meant to be.. so though he had a rough time getting over Luke he is truly over it and he is happy for Luke and Sam being together. Though he might be a bit jealous, especially since he's living with them now until he finds another house to renovate. This is what he does, he works as a carpentry teacher but his main job and income is living in a house needing renovation, saving up for his dream house. His TRUE love is a house he already has the full funds to buy, but the owner who is somewhat of a friend (considering they have been dancing to this song for YEARS) is reluctant and Jack isn't really sure why..
Ben McCormick might be just 24 years old, but he has been charged with caring for Milo his 11 years old brother for the past year ever since their parents died in a car accident. They currently living in a small cottage on the property of their family home. Ben wants to sell the house as he is unable to even go inside it. But the place needs a bit of care if he wants to get a decent price.. That's where Jack comes in and though Ben THOUGHT about it when he met Jack, the matchmaker is actually Milo who REALLY wants to go back to living in the house. he hopes if the house looks better, Ben would accept living there instead of the tiny place they share now.
Ben is TRYING to do the right thing, trying to raise Milo as best as he can, but he isn't that far from his school days and it's not like he was a good obedient student.. It doesn't help that the head master and Milo's teacher remember him ad his shenanigans TOO well. Milo's teacher is a hateful woman, she might put up a front of someone who "wants to help", but it's easy to see she is just high handed and like people to dance to her music. Ben is really offended by her. I was heart broken at how much her words affected and hurt him. He was TRULY doing his best, and while his methods might not be in the "parents' handbook" he is learning "on the way", doing his best and while he isn't always "successful" he and Milo share a close and loving relationship. Losing their parents broke them, they need time and each other to heal and it's not something either of them can rush.
As Jack moves into the big house (while Ben and Milo stay at the nearby cottage) they form a sort of friendship. Jack knows being with Ben is a MAJOR no-no, he is Milo's teacher, it's unappropriated to say the least.. and he is also 15 years older than Ben so.. yeah.. better keep his fantasies to himself even though Ben is a HUGE flirt but he too knows a relationship is problematic. Yet as they spend more time together and get to know each other they find themselves playing "house" together quite unintentionally. It more than works. But underneath the friendship, the easy dinners together, playing games and honest conversation there is the realization on both their sides it's MUCH more than just friendship and as their time together nearing it's end with Jack almost finishing the renovation and waiting for an answer about his dream house, they need to make a decision and as Luke points out, it's not just about them, there is also Milo to consider.
I loved how everything was resolved, even Ben's conversation with Milo's teacher. He FINALLY stood up to her and said his piece, it was short but beautiful and I loved even more the scene faded to black without getting HER side. I REALLY don't care about HER. I care about Ben and Jack and Milo and what they have now together. They both lost their family, but now they have one another and they can have everything they dreamed of (and the epilogue! ~swoon~). I also loved the way it played with Jack's dream house. It was clever and also sweet.
I read this book almost in one sitting. Ben and Milo's dynamics was hysterical and a bit all over the place but it was also SO funny engaging. Add Jack to the mix, they easy banter / flirt turns to serious conversations and true friendship and I was a goner for this book and our main MCs. I LOVE the slow burn, I haven't realized how much I'm into this genre up until recently! I'm so much more about the buildup and less about the big bang ;) I have my guess about the next book in the series, there are two characters mentioned who might take the slot - a new teacher and one very unsuccessful date of Ben's.
Yep, another HIGHLY RECOMMENDED book by Anyta.
5-6 May 2019