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The Rebuilding Year

(The Rebuilding Year #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  4,585 ratings  ·  573 reviews
Losing nearly everything leaves room for the one thing they can’t live without.

A few excruciating minutes pinned in a burning building cost Ryan Ward his job as a firefighter, the easy camaraderie of his coworkers, his girlfriend, and damn near cost him his left leg. Giving up, though, isn’t an option. Compared to the alternative, choosing a new profession, going back to s
ebook, 1st Edition, 323 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
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Kiri Fiona It's available again now :) Kaje Harper re-released it about a week ago, so here are the links...

Amazon US:
It's available again now :) Kaje Harper re-released it about a week ago, so here are the links...

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Amazon DE:

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,585 ratings  ·  573 reviews

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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*Re-released now, and on sale EVERYWHERE for only $0.99!!!*

**4.5 stars**

This was dangerously, dangerously close to being all time favorite read of mine. So close, Kaje!! I loved the first 60% or so of the book so much that I spend most of the night reading it. But the mystery that came to a head near the end just didn't work all that well for me.

Let me start with what I liked (which is pretty much everything!). This book is just... SQUEEL... just such an awesome GFY. It was the holy grail of GF
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, kaje-harper
Review completed December 18, 2012


After having endured a severe accident in a burning building, Ryan lost his job as a firefighter as well as his girlfriend. Ryan is not a quitter though. Hence, it’s time to evaluate his options--time for his rebuilding year, that is. He decides to go back to medical school. Due to his injury his knee never gained back its full strength. Isn’t it amazing what can happen when you’re falling down a couple of stone steps and a kind and gorgeous guy is there to h
Blacky *Romance Addict*

 photo tumblr_mah25rAUql1rgqh2lo1_500.jpg

"It was just like it had been. Except it wasn’t. There was that edge of tension that never went away. In the past, he might have bumped up against Ryan, if both of them were going for the fridge at the same time. Or he would have put out a hand to the man’s elbow, if some move shifted Ryan’s weight onto the bad leg wrong. Because the fool refused to use his cane around the house. Now, though, there was a careful few inches of space between them at all times. And yet he was always aware of exa
Re-read June, 2015:
Loved this even more the second time! The secondary plot about the crimes on campus made a lot more sense to me now. I guess the first time I was just so anxious to hear about the men's budding romance that I saw that storyline as bothersome. But in hindsight, it was interesting and was able to facilitate that awesome rescue by Ryan. Now on to the sequel!!

This GFY tale was frustratingly close to perfection! MC John Barrett is living a mostly solitary life as a University gro
Kaje Harper
May 14, 2012 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
ETA - both this book and the sequel are now available again in ebook as indie publications, with a wrap-up novella now also available. Book 1 is in print, Book 2 is going back into print at Create Space very soon. And Gomez Pugh brought The Rebuilding Year into audio with great skill. I hope to do the other two books in audio, when the finances allow for that.

Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**

***4.25 Let It Happen Stars***

Ryan and John,

Let's start with my ramblings, shall we?

Ryan is a 30 year-old ex firefighter who sustained a serious leg injury in the line of duty. He's decided to finally pursue his dream of being a doctor and has moved to the Midwest to attend medical school.

John is a 37 year-old divorced, father of two who works as the groundskeeper at the university. He used to be a suit working at a large landscaping architectural firm, but moved to the Midwest to be closer to
Dec 16, 2012 rated it liked it

Wow. A TRUE double GFY book…one where neither man had ever even considered or been attracted to or had an inkling of other men before… a rarity.

I am a big fan of Kaje Harper. This, however, was not my favorite. I think the GFY angle was hard for me to embrace. Taking two very broken, very lonely men and having them find companionship and eventually love with one another…ok, I can see it happening. But, having them totally embrace the change (f’ing like rabbits, I tell ya!) and barely blinking tw
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ by: Cory
3.5 stars

There was a quiet intensity to this book: two lonely men in crisis meet and fall in love.

John is a divorced father of two whose bitchy ex-wife won’t let him see his two teenage kids. He is also the head landscaper at a local college campus where he meets Ryan, a former firefighter and current medical student, whose badly damaged leg forces to walk with a cane. Ryan falls, and John is there to catch him (literally and symbolically).

This was a double GFY/OFY, as neither man had been wit
Oct 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

It was nice.
The story was nice.
The characters were nice.
Nothing mindblowing.
Fairly mundane ... No way was it more than 2.75 stars for me!!!

Have no interest in continuing the series, really!!!
Dec 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent m/m romantic suspense about a firefighter who was seriously injured in a fire a year ago and is now going to med school. When he falls down some stairs on campus, the head groundskeeper comes to his rescue and they slowly become friends. What made this book so amazing was how it felt organic to me - the story slowly built and grew and developed... and that worked really, really well. Recommended.
3.75 to 4 Stars

John Barret meets Ryan Ward for the first time when he spots Ryan struggling to get up after taking a bad fall at Bonaventure University. Ryan is a first year Medical student at the school where John is Heads Groundskeeper.

They hit it off from there and become friends. Ryan is a bit older than the average first year Med student, and does not know many people. After a crippling injury working as a firefighter for the SDFD he decided to give Medical School a try. He's a little bit
3.5 stars
While I still finish this in practically one sitting, I have to admit that this is not one of the 'better' stories from Kaje Harper, in my humble opinion. Let me explain this on the "what works for me" and "what doesn't".

What works
I don't mind the rather slow pacing, to be honest. Some of the books I like has that regular day-to-day vibe, and so is this one. We have our two MCs, Ryan (he's a 30 year old ex-fire fighter, who was injured in a job, and now going back to College as med stud
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, john-s-shelf

Alright, short and sweet on this one. Rating 4.5 stars.

Did I like the book?

I thought the developing of a double GFY was paced very nicely and not rushed at all. The author did an outstanding job building their relationship from a casual friendship to a romantic one. Loved the MCs and secondary characters- I LOVED John's kids! Story had a nice flow and has left me wanting to read more from this author.

My only thing and why I rounded down and not up, was the end. I kind of felt cheated out of get
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Rebuilding Year was a really interesting concept. As a GFY/ friends to lover story its one of those that really works. The growing attraction between the two ( straight) main protags - John and Ryan- is very nicely handled. John is divorced and the college gardener, Ryan a mature med student, ex fireman injured on the job. Ryan is not happy at his shared apartment and John needs a lodger to help with the cost of the big house he bought before his divorce and over a few weeks of meeting every ...more
3.5 stars!

I listened to the Audible versionsand enjoyed the narration.

I really liked this story. It was so sweet and tender. The double GFY was hard to believe, but aside from that it really was straight up romance.

I was sad to see book 2 isn't available in audio.
Amy Lane
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was my very first Kaje Harper book and I enjoyed it immensely. I think she's a master at "two guys, working shit out!" without being overly angsty or overly analytical, and I think these two guys were engaging protagonists. John was just... sweet. He was a family man, in his heart, a quiet artist, a good samaritan. Ryan was a little more extroverted, but also intense and dedicated to setting his life on the path he had planned originally--with one little wrinkle. Both these guys were intere ...more
Mar 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime

3,5 stars for an entertaining but not perfect GFY book.

It's about medical student Ryan and college groundskeeper John, who become housemates and grow to love each other. Ryan is an ex-firefighter who left his job after terrible injuries. John is divorced and is struggling with his ex-wife and the lack of access to his two children.

They share more and more time with each other and realise that they feel more than friendship for each other. A romance begins and two men who have never contemplated
I found that this is a wonderful story. I loved Ryan & John. I also love Mark and Torey. Let the haters fuck off! lol!

My issue was I felt disconnected on some important scenes, like their first kiss and sex. And I wanted more struggle in their feelings for each other. I don't think the whodunit was needed here.

But I really like this! And as you know, I'm off to Book 2! More of them!!! :D

3.5 STARS.
Heather C

I really liked this story! Ryan and John were really sweet together. I've seen that a lot of people had issues with the gfy in this book, but not me. I really, really liked that part. (Yeah, I'm weird I guess). I liked the friends-to-lovers and all the sexual tension.  Plus, all the sex was HOT! But, yeah, they were both totally straight and then all of the sudden they were perfectly ok with being gay for each other. 

I thought it was a little slow in the beginning, but understandable because Joh
My bad, for buying yet another 99-cent sale book without sufficiently understanding its contents. This story is about parents and kids, and if there's anything I don't want to see in a romance -- other than torture, slavery, rape, prostitution, imprisonment, abuse, addiction, yadda yadda yadda -- okay, so obviously there's LOTS of stuff I don't want to see in a romance -- it's parenting. I'd rather sit alone in an empty room and stare at the walls than finish this book. At least then I'd log som ...more
Jason Bradley
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ccr, ebook, m-m
This author is amazing. She writes so flawlessly that I feel like I am watching a movie. I get so caught up in the story, so invested in her characters, just perfect!
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m

enjoyed this story a lot, very well written and my first book by this author. Ryan is starting his life over after a bad accident while he was a firefighter. He has gone back to college to me a doctor and trying to share apartment with a much younger and party animal guy. John is the gardener at the college and also trying to get his life together after a divorce and missing his kids.

I love how their friendship grew gradually into more, both men starting trying to rebuild their lives and suppo
Awilk -never sleeps-
Dear Ms Harper,

Thank you for writing this wonderful book. I loved both of your characters very much. I adored how the relationship built slowly, and how these two lovely men found happiness together.

Now for my review:

John was a groundskeeper at a university. Ryan was a med student at the university, trying to start his life over after being injured at work when he was a firefighter.

This book didn't bring me to tears, but parts were very emotional. These men were a little older, they had lived th
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary, gfy, m-m
Redefining sexual identity was a big theme in this book. Both main characters found themselves suddenly falling in love with another man, while previously same-sex attraction had never even remotely been part of their reality. Now, this might sound off-putting for readers who don’t think highly of the so-called “gay-for-you” plot, but I’d strongly advise against letting that fact keep you off reading this book – you’d miss out on a really well-done story.
For once, the falling in love worked hand
♔ Jaela ♊ Killer ⚔ QUEEN
This was a sweet read about two guys who have been straight all their lives. This books was for a long time on my TR shelf and I'm happy I finally found the time to read it. It didn't disappoint me.

Ryan is an ex firefighter. But his disability (caused from fire), has made him unsuitable for the job. Therefore he's a new med student, despite him being in his thirties. He lives in a dorm, until he meets John and realises that he's too old for the dorm life.

John (ex husband and father of 2 teenage
Tamika♥RBF MOOD♥
4 stars, if only that damn crime wasn't included.

First read 4/2014
Reread 2/2015
Third re-read 12/2015
Fourth read:07/2016
I really really enjoyed these two

I guess it's not my month for books with an ending I'm happy with. Please tell me we get a sequel for this, I need more of Johnny & Ry!! I really adored this book. I though it was a good mm/Cr but didn't think about the thriller aspect, it didn't take away from the book at all. Loved that because it was a GFY, that both MC were grown men and
Audiobook review

Can you say perfection? I loved this book to bits and had a very hard time putting it down. This is what a great slow burn romance should be like.

Ryan, battle scarred from a building collapsing on him is changing direction from being a firefighter to med student. Only, being vain and leaving his cane at home has him landing on his back in the middle of school, helping him from his tumble is the college groundskeeper John. A few weeks later, they run into each other again a solid
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq
I enjoyed that one. It is not often you get a double GFY.

John and Ryan are extremely likeable characters. Neither has ever been with a man, so finding themselves developing feelings for each other is quite a shock..

Facing this novelty of emotions, their openness and honesty are awesome, the way both acknowledge their feelings astonishing (even if Ryan is not as sure as John to start with). I felt their connection, the heat and chemistry between them. Most of all they are communicating like the a
Sammy Goode
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.5 stars

Starting from scratch…never an easy thing to do…sometimes the only thing to do-the only things that will help you survive and even thrive in an impossible situation. Here is where Ryan finds himself at the beginning of his 1st year at Med School. Having survived an almost fatal accident while fighting a deadly fire, Ryan finds himself permanently disabled, often unable to easily do simple maneuvers such as climbing stairs. His firefighting career-a job he had thrown himself into
Camille Adams
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was so good. The pacing of these two straight men becoming friends and then roommates and then lovers and then loved ones and co-parent was really well done. The pacing made this relationship believable and one in which I was invested. It was executed brilliantly and rendered the relationship beautiful. The writing, in successfully managing the pacing, is really strong and a wonderful testament to Romance over bare-bones Erotica where two random people are rutting away at each other before ...more
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BUDDY READ with friends FRIDAY 06/12/15 27 13 Jun 16, 2015 02:10AM  
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I get asked about my name a lot. It's not something exotic, though. “Kaje” is pronounced just like “cage” – it’s an old nickname.

I was born in Montreal but have lived for 30 years in Minnesota, where the two seasons are Snow-removal and Road-repair, where the mosquito is the state bird, and where winter can be breathtakingly beautiful. Minnesota’s a kind, quiet (if sometimes chilly) place and it’s

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“If you do dishes, you can live here forever.” 3 likes
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