Handyman by Claire Thompson
Samhain Publishing
Contemporary/First Time (M/M)
ISBN: 1-60504-180-7
Reviewed by Sabella

 

   

 

Will Spencer has it all at thirty years old: a high powered job, all the money he wants or needs and a multitude of men for the picking.  However, when he sees his boss drop dead at his feet due to stress, Will decides to take a sabbatical.  In the process of reorganizing his priorities, Will buys a house that needs some TLC to bring it back to its former glory.  That’s when Will comes across Jack, the handyman, a seemingly straight man in his forties that makes a living with his hands and is completely unimpressed by the things Will is used to seeing have an effect on other men.  But despite all the things that make them different, Will finds himself forming a fragile friendship with Jack, with undercurrents of attraction that he believes Jack shares.  But can Will entice this shy and reticent handyman to take a risk and explore what they might have between them?

Jack Crawford has always considered himself a simple man, whose life was dictated early on by choices not entirely under his control.  He married right after high school, to his sweetheart Emma, even though Luke, his best friend, made his heart beat faster.  But a man takes responsibility for his actions, so when Emma turned up pregnant, Jack married her and built a life with her for over 20 years, never wasting time thinking of what might have been or chances lost.  However, becoming a widower at forty-two has unexpectedly changed his life – giving him options he had thought outside of his reach.  So when Will enters Jack’s life it’s like an emotional tornado for Jack – suddenly memories and feelings long forgotten or deeply buried are coming to the surface making Jack face a truth about himself he has long ignored.  But will Jack be brave enough to face this truth and have enough faith in Will to be there at the end of this freefall?

Handyman is a one of the best romances I’ve read in a long time that touched my heart and made me feel for the characters, yet the story had a strong thread of “reality” in the reactions of Jack and Will.  Although Will and Jack make for the most unlikely pair, Will being a playboy and Jack an older man discovering his sexuality, their romance is sweet and fraught with the uncertainties and insecurities of new-found love.  It was gratifying to watch this pair grow from friends to lovers and to see, at least the beginnings of acceptance from Jack’s family.  Between Jack’s serious introspections, to Will’s ability to laugh at himself this story will keep you glued to your seat and turning the pages well into the night.  If you are a fan of Claire Thompson’s Handyman is a must have for your library, but if you’ve never read her work this is book that will surely make you a fan!  I Joyfully Recommend Handyman for all m/m lovers; pick up Handyman the next time you are in the mood for sensual and enchanting story about first-times and unlikely love – you will not be disappointed!

     

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