A Basic Renovation
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A Basic Renovation

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  118 ratings  ·  60 reviews
When it comes down to it, rats in the oven trumps Lesley’s desire to never set eyes on another Brennan family member. So Lesley, a pro at property redevelopment, scrambles to Dominic Brennan’s hardware store for supplies. Dominic knows poison — rat and otherwise — and he sees it in Lesley. The woman ruined his brother’s life. Now that she’s back in town, Dominic’s afraid s...more
Paperback, 333 pages
Published February 1st 2013 by Escape Publishing
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Shelley (Goodreads is All About the $$$)
3 Stars

Ok, this started out as a very solid 4-star read for me but it ended up 2.5-stars for lack of sufficient grovel.

Lesley's Family - her 92-year old grandfather was my favorite secondary character. He is Sicilian and has a foul mouth and is insulting and bossy. However, he has developed a crush on an Irish lass who not only sits in front of him during mass but frequents the same senior center. His pursuit of her was so funny and so cute and sweet. Her mother and father were very funny as wel...more
Jenny Schwartz
The voice is what grabbed me from the first page. Clear, fun, ironic and real. All the characters live, breathe and step out of the kindle to share your life. I got so caught up in the story that I cried.

And GP maybe stole the show :)
4.5/5 - fun debut novel. Will definitely be looking for more from this author!
I am so happy I found this book! I'm thrilled to say that in A Basic Renovation, not only are both leads in their 40's, but the book itself is fun, sassy, sexy, smart and emotionally intense. The pace is sharp (no saggy sections), and the author's voice is clear and strong and reminds me of two of my current favorite contemporary romance authors, Ruthie Knox and Julie James. I picked the book up with few expectations, so it was doubly sweet to discover such a great read, completely out of the b...more
Ally  Cakes
A copy of the story was supplied by NetGalley for an honest review of this book.

This book was like a bad episode of the Jerry Springer show. All the characters were comical, asinine and unlikable. The lead male character was a jerk at his best and a dull and insecure bore at worst. The female lead was like a 20-year-old stuck in a mid 40-year-old body. She was unsure of her self or her feelings for the story's jerk face lead, which was supposed to be the hero story. The cast in this book was su...more
Elise Ackers
Excellent book. Complex characters, wonderful subplots, and the first mature-aged romance I've read. I look forward to Antonelli's next book.
I was expecting a basic contemporary romance, and what I got was something that was a little more complicated! A Basic Renovation is a charming book, but hardly simple. Plenty of interesting characters, witty dialogue and twist and turns that elicited chuckles, belly laughs and yes, even a flood of tears. The heroine's Sicilian grandfather is a riot, and the hero and heroine are well-matched (although I do think she forgave him too easily in the end). You'll get plenty of book for your money (le...more
I'd actually give this 4.5 stars, but am limited to whole stars on Goodreads!

In A Basic Renovation by Sandra Antonelli Lesley has come back to her hometown for two reasons...to visit her family and to renovate and flip a fire damaged house she's bought. She has no desire to stay in Los Alamos...besides the memories and her controlling parents, life is just too dull there compared to Chicago. Lesley is a 40 something woman, comfortable with herself and her life as it is. She doesn't expect to fin...more
6/1 - Alrighty now, back to normal reading/reviewing schedulesafter the craziness of Christmas.
The argument over the tweezerson page 34 got me laughing and in a romance that's always a good thing. The line "No! What do you mean no?!" in response to a request for a particular item is always funny (for me), it's like the literary equivalent of slapstick comedy. Keep the laughs coming, please. To be continued...

27/1 - Unfortunately this was one of a number of Netgalley books I didn't get finished i...more
Ivy Deluca
**ARC provided by Escape Publishing - Harlequin Enterprises, Australia Pty Ltd from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

The Premise
Lesley returns to her old hometown, where her family still resides, to flip a house and along the way, she runs into Dominic, her former brother-in-law, who runs a hardware store. Lesley has a long, twisted and uncomfortable history with the Brennan family and would be more than happy to never see another one of them again. The feeling’s mutual with Dominic,...more
Cate Ellink
This is a big story set in a small town (well, I think it's small!) in the US, Los Alamos. Lesley grew up in the town but escaped, only now returning to renovate a property she can't resist.

Dominic Brennan is the hardware store owner, who was a physicist when Lesley was married to his no-hoper of a brother. Dominic has a son, Kyle. Dominic's ex-wife had been friends with Lesley, just to complicate things further.

Lesley is a fun, feisty, independent heroine who has lived life. She's no twenty-ye...more
Very enjoyable book! Loved that the main characters were more "mature" than the typical "20-somethings" in most romance novels. I'd love to read more about the characters "back story." The book is full of interesting characters and I really hope she writes more books centered around the characters in this book.
***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 s...more
Jo Ann
Great characters and a well crafted story. Loved the banter between Dominic and Lesley. Secondary characters were charming. Really looking forward to more from Ms Antonelli!!! (We need a HEA for John!!)
I received a copy from Netgalley and publisher for an honest review.

A Basic Renovation was a total surprise. Not the usual fair in the romance section. Leslie and Dominic are 40ish. Cursing in several languages, crazy senior citizens, and a totally FUBAR family dynamic. I found myself irked by almost everyone except Dominic's 16 yr old son. However, I was sucked in and found myself teary eyed in the end.

Leslie has come home to flip an old house as a working vacation to see family. She fled her h...more
Barb Johnson
3.5 stars ..... A great novel for us older woman. Love strikes when you least expect it. A sweet story with great characters.
Amy Andrews
Freaking awesome book! Best straight contemp I've read in ages!
Roz ~ My Written Romance
Oh. My. God. I love this book. The awesome flies from every page.
Jane Hunt
A Basic Renovation by Sandra Antonelli

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This is an unusual contemporary romance which has lots to recommend it. I like the heroine Lesley she's in her forties, independent and feisty. Dominic also appeals he's a single dad who puts up with a nightmare of a mother. Add in some great secondary characters, an interesting small town setting and plenty of snappy dialogue and it should be a 5* read. Unfortunately for me it drags in places...more
Lily Malone
Sandra Antonelli has done it for me again with A Basic Renovation, I've laughed (lots) and I've cried (not so much), and I've had a wonderful time reading this on my Kindle.
It's hard to describe what I like about Ms Antonelli's writing most. This is the second book of hers I've read, having finished For Your Eyes Only earlier this year. FYEO is a follow-up to A Basic Renovation with some shared characters, but it definitely hasn't affected my reading pleasure by reading them the "wrong" way roun...more
Why I read it: I bought this book a little while back, having heard lots of good things about it.

What worked for me (and what didn’t): Forty-something heroines and heroes appeal to me now in a way they didn’t when I was in my twenties. From my current perspective, it does not seem at all ridiculous or icky to read a romance with older protagonists. I am happy enough to read about younger people too, but there is definitely room in my reading for people my age and older. Lesley and Dominic are bo...more
I have to say that I really enjoyed reading A Basic Renovation. Both lead characters, Lesley and Dominic, are” forty-somethings”, which is a refreshing change from the college age protagonists that are featured in most contemporary romances. I enjoy reading those as well, but it’s nice to venture down a different road now and again. Ms. Antonelli writes with a fresh voice that I loved. The banter between the characters was fun, and they literally stepped off the page and entered my life for a wh...more
Along with Meg Maguire and Ruthie Knox (and doubtlessly many other authors I have yet to discover), Sandra Antonelli is another excellent example of Contemporary Romance that is contemporary not only in its setting but also in its sensibilities. What all three of them share (and what more traditional Romances are often lacking in) are protagonists that are flawed but likeable, heroines that have agency, and plots that avoid clichés but still push enough of the right buttons to trigger that fuzzy...more
I marked this 'American' and 'Australian' because it was set in the US, but written by an Australian and published by an Australian arm of Harlequin. I purchased it because it had 'older' main characters. I won't say they were mature, however. (And might I just ask, if the heroine is supposed in her mid forties, why does the cover have a photo of a girl who looks like she's in her twenties?) The book started out okay, around the middle I was starting to lose interest, and by the end, I really di...more
Shannon L. Gonzalez
A Basic Renovation by Sandra Antonelli

Proof love can be found at any age under any circumstances!

Sandra Antonelli takes heed to many readers voicing they want older protagonists too. This funny, endearing story showcases love at many ages, all the way from 70+ Grandpa (GP) to 40-something heroine Lesley.

It is a wonderful tale of love-gone-wrong with a rascal of man only to find love-gone-right with the correct brother. Not all men can be judged by their family’s actions and not all families can...more
Dawn Dysart
I would rate this 4.5 stars.

I loved this book for its quirky families. GP (Lesley's grandad) was absolutely a riot with his 92 year old set in his old Italian cursing way self. GP would refer to his 7 kids, not by name but by birth order. "Number 5" instead of calling her Gina. Lesley was very close to GP and didn't want to be at her moms house (#5) because of her controlling ways and the way her and her dad put her down.

Dominic has a wack-a-do family as well. Mom that finds faults with every...more
3.5 stars – This book was quite good, but it wasn’t great. I loved the premise of the book and that the characters were a little older, both protagonists were in their 40’s. Unfortunately they both tended to act like they were in their 20’s. I did enjoy watching their relationship grow from barely being able to tolerate each other, to friends, to more. I loved Dom’s son and Lesley’s grandfather; the secondary characters in this book were some of my favorites. Terry (Dom’s brother and Lesley’s ex...more
Although an older release, Escape (Harlequin’s Australian imprint) offered this title and I am very glad that they did. Clever and fun, with a title that reflects some diy as well as renovating relationships and mistaken impressions, A Basic Renovation was the perfect afternoon escape.

Lesley is strong and feisty, with a whole passel of family seeking to change her, even though she is a grown woman. Her mother thinks her hair is too long and her skirts too short. Her father despises her Harley, a...more
Char (1RadReader59)
Lesley was home to work on a renovation flip that she bought over the internet from her home in Chicago. Or at least her home for the past 16 years. You see she use to live in the town where she just bought the new remodel. The town of Los Alamos in New Mexico.
She left there because it held nothing but awful memories of her past. A marriage that was wiped away by the church so that now you can’t really call it a marriage. But trying telling the she devil that which is what I call her ex’s moth...more
I went back and forth on how to rate this and ended up deciding it was a 3 star read. What I liked: main characters in their 40s, not 20s. No one was a billionaire! And no extreme personal issues/abuse. Very refreshing after so many of the current "New Adult" romances out there. Here's what I didn't like: Although the characters are in their 40s, sometimes they behaved like teenagers (perhaps that was why they couldn't maintain meaningful relationships??). I also did not care for the secondary c...more
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I write novels for grown ups and smart asses probably because I'm a smartass--who isn't very grown up.

I’ve been writing since I was a little kid. back then, I wrote stories about older people because, as I saw it, older people had cooler experiences–-they went places, they had jobs, they did stuff that seemed adventurous. They were pioneers and I always liked the word pioneer. I would have been a...more
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