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Home Improvement

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  440 ratings  ·  122 reviews
Romance on Aisle Sixteen—opposites attract amid the hammers and screws of the home improvement store.

Gabe Mason became a father at seventeen, and his daughter, Ellie, is the most important thing in his life. But being the parent the courts demand means Gabe has given up most of his dreams—education, making furniture, a gay social life—to be a model dad with a steady, rel
Paperback, 200 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  440 ratings  ·  122 reviews

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Linda (un)Conventional Bookworms
*I received a free copy of Home Improvement. This has in no way influenced my review which is honest and unbiased.*

4.5 stars

Home Improvement was another amazing story by Ms. Lain. I loved Gabe and Jerry, and I think I fell the hardest for Ellie, Gabe's daughter.

The sales person from home improvement and the mega rockstar really hit it off, and their sparks were strong and in all the colors of the rainbow. I enjoyed the fact that Jerry was hiding in Oregon, and how he and Gabe got to know each ot
Gabe becomes a father at 17 and spends the next 16 years supporting his daughter, working at a steady job and making beautiful handcrafted furniture in his spare time. Or as his daughter says "I live with a man who pretty regularly gives up what he wants to do in his life for somebody else, namely me. It's great, but it's not a sustainable strategy." Or as Jerry says: "Gabe gave up his childhood to assure she had hers."

Jerry, wearing a weird beanie and sunglasses, shows up at the ImproveMart whe
Joyfully Jay
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sammy
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars

Please forgive me if I gush a bit about Tara Lain’s latest novel, Home Improvement. I loved this story. From the wonderfully mature and loving Ellie who had her dad’s back, to Jerry who just wanted to be seen for who he really is, to Gabe who has sacrificed everything, including a personal life with a potential partner for his daughter, this book is a sweet and tender romance, as well as a lovely reminder that family is what you make of it and not necessarily what y
Emily Seelye
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, arc, musicians, age-gap
4.5 stars

I really enjoyed this.

Jerry is a famous musician who just wants to take a break from his busy life so he buys a house off the grid.

Gabe is a single father who ends up overseeing the renovation of Jerry’s house. He will do anything for his daughter, including taking a crazy side job.

They slowly fall in love, and I love that the teenaged daughter is a big part of their life.

The only negative part of this is that it takes Jerry too long to admit who he is, hurting Gabe in the process.

Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, 2019, mm, dsp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tara Lain has been on my TBR list for quite some time now and Home Improvement caught my attention with some of my favorite tropes: opposites attract, single father - is home improvement a trope? It really REALLY should be.

It’s a bit predictable - It’s kind of like looking at a map, you know you’ll start at point A and end at point B but its all the roadside attractions along the way. And because this is a romance we’re guaranteed a HEA.

A reluctant rock star. A home improvement store employee.
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
hm ... this review and rating is quite difficult for me ... on one hand I really liked the story. Gabe and Jerry are good together and I really liked how their relationship developed.
but I was a bit annoyed with Gabe at the end with that "yes" and "no" attitude and the end seemed a bit easy.

but it was a very enjoyable read.
Amy Dufera
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tara Lain's Home Improvement is a fantastic romance. There's some mystery, as Jerry's hiding something. He's sleeping on an air mattress, but can pay for handmade furniture. Gabe knows something's up, but it takes a while for him to figure things out.

This romance is fun and intriguing. But it isn't until half way through that things really get good. I was surprised at the difference between the first and second halves. The first part is okay, but the second half is awesome.

Gabe's relationship w
*A copy was provided by the author for free in exchange for an honest review*

Another sweet lowkey read. I really felt for Jerry in his desperation for something real. Gabe I both liked and had issues with. I loved Ellie! The plot is pretty predictable and plays out fairly obviously. I had issues with Gabe's holding Jerry accountable for the assumptions Gabe made. He has a black card that works. He's obviously not broke. It's not his fault you jumped to that conclusion. Don't punish him because y
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Finding your heart and choosing your future theme is beautifully done in this story. Carving our a bit of life for you when the world is demanding so much of your time can be daunting. These MC's both have immense demands on their time and their commitments are important. I really enjoyed the low angst and beautifully crafted plot that moves the reader on a journey that will touch your heart.

Gabe and Jerry are wonderful characters that i found touchable and was rooting for them to find their wa
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely book. I've enjoyed Ms Lain's books for a long time, and I predict that this will be another hit. Gabe (works at a hardware store, gay dad to a teenage daughter) and Jerry (Uber famous rock star) come together in this sweet love story.

A charming romance, but also the two guys struggle to see how they can work together. Despite this, the story isn't dripping in angst and is quite a happy love story throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed reading how Gabe and Jerry's love grew, and also how
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a charming, fun romance to read. I thoroughly enjoyed Home Improvement by Tara Lain.
Gabe and Jerry seem like they could not be more unsuitable for each other yet they are exactly what the other needs.

Add in that one is a single dad and I'm sold! Tara has such a wonderful ability to show the heart of her characters. As a reader you become invested in their HEA!
Brandee (un)Conventional Bookworms
*4.5 Stars*
I thought Home Improvement was fantabulous! TLain delivered on everything I've come to expect from her - complex, genuine characters, a compelling story, and a few messages and food for thought. :)

Full review coming...
Z. Allora
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tara Lain is always one of my go to authors, but when my real life is tough. She gives you want out of a romance and more. I know Tara Lain's characters and stories will soothe and remind me life can be magical. I adored the complexity of these characters. I highly recommend this book. Hugs, Z.
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy to read and review for Wicked Reads

I loved this book. It was sweet and low on angst. I fell in love with Gabe instantly. I connected with him on all levels because I became a mom at 17. I knew right away what Jerry's big secret was but that didn't stop me from enjoying the book. I loved how Ellie was a huge part of the story too. I wish this book came with pictures so I could see Jerry's house and Gabe's furniture. This was a sweet love story with a few minor bumps in the road
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was a pretty sweet story, but a reminder that secrets can hurt.
Jerry is trying to keep himself hidden. He goes into a home improvement store looking for stuff to renovate his new home, but really has no clue where to start. But meeting Gabe, who works there, has settled Jerry in a way he really never had been and he wants to hire Gabe immediately to renovate his home. Gabe has no clue with most of the stuff but knows people who do and they get started. Pretty soon the house is looking like
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What I wouldn’t give to have this book be a movie! It has everything I would love to see: a wonderful single father, the shy awkward guy who needs help bringing his house back to life, drama, and two guys slowly falling in love. 

Gabe is now on my favorite Single Dads list, because of his dedication to raising his daughter and keeping her in his home instead of with her mother. I adore everything about this story.

Jerry was cute and shy and I loved him and wanted more. I loved his home as well - I
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Here it goes....this story is really cute. Yes, I said cute. Gabe is a single dad doing his best to raise his daughter. He has given up some of his dreams to give her a stable life. His ex-wife is a constant source of tension in their lives. Gabe doesn't date because he is aware that his ex is likely to use his dating as a cause to change the custody arrangements. And then Gabe meets Jerry and his world is turned upside down. Jerry is an incredibly awkward dude. He stops in at the home improveme ...more
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: MM Sweet and Cute fans
This was a contemporary MM standalone rock star slow-burn romance with a HEA.

What a pleasant and enjoyable read! It was one of my favourite category aka sweet and cute, definitely for me. Here it worked very well. So well written in the usual style I enjoy a lot. Both guys are so cute and so about each other, awww ♥️

The main characters are Jerry and Gabe. The story starts at Gabe living quite happily with his teenaged daughter and working in a hardware store while dreaming about being able
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a sweet romance, a true Tara Lain story with easily lovable characters and an enjoyable story.
Gabe is the best father he can be to his wonderfully smart teenage daughter, working a steady job and staying away from dating to prevent any possible backlash in his custody of her. He definitely didn't bank on Jerry. He's so freaking adorable right from the start with how nervous he is around people and with such an innocence about him. His immediate attachment to Gabe makes for some fun times an
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hits on Every Level

What a surprise, and what a beautiful book this is! Cover man Gabe Mason is a 33-year-old single father of 17-year-old Ellie which sets the stage for the entire plotline and romance.

You can see what is likely to happen as Gabe, who is a customer service person at a home improvement store, gets snookered by the mysterious mid-20s slacker-like Jerry Castor into taking over the complete renovation of an incredibly stunning, yet decrepit, mansion in Ashland, the tony town up the
Faye K
❤ A good start as Gabe 33 yrs meets a lost customer looking for handles in a hardware . Hidden behind dark glasses where a blue & green eyed sexy man. An shy Jerry 24 needs help with fixing up his huge house. An adorable story for these guys. Jerry comes off as shy and nervous around people but not around Gabe. Both hot for each other but there's a mystery surrounding Jerry and his money for the house.
Gabe juggles his work at the store and his 16 daughter and now a new part-time job. Fitting in
This was pleasantly sweet, a little unrealistic, and a different take on the whole “rock star” trope.

I’ll start with what I found unrealistic, which begins with the blurb. I don’t know of any court that would demand a parent give up pursuing an education, because an education (read, degree) means better job prospects and better job prospects are win-win for families. That rankled me.

The book also flipped between saying at 17, Ellie has a voice in the court system, to no, she would arbitrarily
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review An Alisa Review:

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This was an adorable story. Gabe has focused on being the best father he can since Ellie was born, which means he put his own life on hold a bit for her, but he would never regret the great women she has turned out to be. Working for Jerry seems like a great opportunity to earn some extra money for Ellie's college fund but turns out to be so much more.

Gabe and Jerry's first meeting was a little strange as were th
Jacquie Stewart
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was just lovely. A whole host of great characters support a simple but sweet story.
Gabe became a father young and put aside everything to be not only a good role model, but a stable parent and provider for his daughter.
Ellie is nearly 17 at the start, wise beyond her years but so well rounded. She loves her dad and they have the best relationship. Often the kid gets kind of pushed to the side in stories like this but Ellie has some sweet bonding moments with Jerry and she really champions t
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Home Improvement by Tara Lain is a sweet single dad romance that I just adored. Gabe Mason is a gifted carpenter but there isn’t a big market for custom furniture where he lives so he works in a home improvement store and makes do so his daughter can see her mother. I loved Ellie the daughter. She is smart, gifted and a terrific kid. It took me a bit to warm up to Jerry but by the end I loved him just as much as Gabe and Ellie. This story is guaranteed to warm the cockles of even the hardest hea ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mm
3.5 stars. A cute story, but it didn't wholly work for me. Jerry at the beginning was too big a contrast with Jet and the development of the relationship went too fast from just interested to forever love. And just like in Knight of Ocean Avenue the sexy times had a bit of a weird vibe. I loved the inclusion of Ellie and the family feeling the three of them created though. ...more
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very standard story of rock star meets ‘common man’. You can see the plot coming from miles away. But because Tara Lain writes it well, it’s very enjoyable. The storyline with the ex was a bit weird, that could have been done better (I always have a problem with a character suddenly doing a complete 180- it always feels like it’s done because it’s necessary for the plot). Also there are not a lot of sexy times.....
Leelah🍁♋️ Orion
What a cute story. I love that one of the MC’s were shy/ nerdy type. That there was a famous person which also happens to be a fave of mine. Double the fun.
This was a sweet book that kinda moved fast, but was ok. I loved both MC’s and adored the daughter. Perfect story with an even better HEA
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such an amazing story. I love Gabe and Jerry! Gabe is such an amazing dad to Ellie even though he had her when he was a kid himself. The Jerry I just wanted to wrap up in a hug. He is so shy and awkward but has a secret. This is such a sweet story and I love that it's a friends to lovers slow burn romance. I just couldn't stop reading.
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Tara Lain believes in happy ever afters - and magic. Same thing. In fact, she says, she doesn't believe, she knows. Tara shares this passion in her stories that star her unique, charismatic heroes and adventurous heroines. Quarterbacks and cops, werewolves and witches, blue collar or billionaires, Tara's characters, readers say, love deeply, resolve seemingly insurmountable differences, and ultima ...more

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