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If You Build It...

May 25, 2023

There are a lot of tropes in the world of romance. Bakers. Sexy Scottish lairds. But I had no idea that home renovation had become one of them. And yet, here we are. Back when I had real cable, I loved me some HGTV. Property Brothers. Chip and Joanna. I was here for most of it. And these books take me back. If you need a little love, or house rehab—check these out.

Um yes please. The only thing I can say bad about this one is that the show here is completely fictional. Which makes me sad, because I could watch it all day. Two childhood costars/friends/first loves reunite to rehab a house? Count me in. Shelby and Cameron starred together as kids on a Disney-esque show. The two were always flirty and inseparable until Cam left to go to college. When the Hollywood thing didn’t end well for Shelby, she returned to Michigan to work with her dad renovating homes. When Lyle, other former costar and all-around bad guy, comes up with the reunion idea, both jump at the chance to work together again. Even if they have to deal with Lyle. I loved it. I read it in one day. I didn’t want to put it down and you won’t either. HGTV has nothing on these guys.

I had no idea I needed more YouTube house flipping in my life. (BTW, is this a real thing? I’m not the biggest YouTube aficionado, but I may have to explore. What else am I missing?) Maggie Nichols, huge YouTube home reno queen, arrives small town Idaho for her next project. She has a mission and a plan. What she needs is a decent landscaper. Enter Silas. He’s cute and good with plants. Now Maggie has a problem. Does she explore this relationship or stick to the very successful but exceedingly dull and lonely plan? Again this was a captivating read and I didn’t want it to end. Ugh, why are these shows fictional?!? Sigh.

I didn’t know this was the second book in the Bright Falls series until I was about half way through. Usually this would drive me nuts, but I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. Astrid Parker has one last chance to save her design business. Pru Everwood asked her to update and modernize their local inn, The Everwood, as an episode of HGTV show Innside America. (I get the joke, but not gonna lie, that spelling bugs me.) Anyway, Pru’s granddaughter, Jordan, is in town to be the lead carpenter on the project and needs a little rehabbing herself. The Everwood sounded really cool and at first I thought it would be fun to stay there (you know, if it wasn’t fictional). But sadly, it is haunted by the Blue Lady, which means it is a no-go for me. The story was enjoyable though. I might even go back and read the first in the series: Delilah Green Doesn’t Care.

So those are my best renovation reads. Maybe it’s time to do a little work on the house.

Happy rehabbing…

:) Amanda

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Amanda is a classically-trained pianist who loves to read. Like any good librarian, she also has two cats named after Italian cities. Amanda spends her free time sitting in Nashville traffic, baking, and running the Interlibrary Loan office at the Nashville Public Library.

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