Monday, 18 January 2016

Book Review: Handy Harry by Erin M. Leaf

Handy Harry
by Erin M. Leaf
M/M Contemporary
Novella
Eevernight Publishing
5 Stars
First Reviewed at the Romance Reviews:
http://glbt.theromancereviews.com/viewbooksreview.php?bookid=19651

Blurb:


Reclusive artist Rufus Ward’s house needs repair, but he hates demolition and dust. However, when handyman Harry Hande rings his doorbell, Rufus lets him in. He’s everything the famous painter likes in a man: young, sexy, and somewhat confused about his sexuality. Rufus thought he was done with dating, but Harry is hot enough to push him from loneliness into love.

Harry’s sensible demeanor disguises desperation. His brother is a jerk and he needs to move out, but his fledgling business isn’t quite ready to support him. Rufus is supposed to be just another client, but when they meet, all of Harry’s preconceived notions of attraction are demolished. Lust launches him into the dare of a lifetime. Will letting Rufus draw him nude destroy him, or will his true nature come out?

Review:

A short but engrossing tale with two adorable male leads, who are awkward but soon get over it. Rufus Ward is a reclusive painter who hasn't dated anyone in over five years. He's mostly dated women, but is bisexual and just doesn't want the hassle of trying to explain it to all and sundry. His house is falling down around his ears, but he barely notices, so engrossed is he in his art. It's up to his sister to arrange for a handyman to come and fix those odd jobs that he never seems to get around to. Rufus is annoyed and opens the door to give the hanydman a piece of his mind, but the words dry up when he sees the handsome man standing there.

Harry Hande is young to have his own contracting business, but he's good at his job and he needs the money so he can move out and away from his older brother who does nothing but complain--about his job, his life, everything about Harry's life. Harry has always considered himself straight, but that was before he came face to face with Rufus Ward, the painter whose art Harry has loved for years and even managed to buy some prints.

Working on the house is very disconcerting, especially when Rufus stares at him with such intensity and then comes the day when Rufus asks him to model for him...

Sometimes a reader might feel cheated when they read a short story or novella, but that certainly isn't the case with Handy Harry. Ms. Leaf has written a complete story with deep characterization and engaging leads. Harry and Rufus are both so awkward around each other at first and I have to admit I do have a bit of a soft spot when it comes to characters who are a bit unsure. Not everyone in the world is confident and outgoing and it is wonderful to see less confident characters get their happily ever after, too.

The book has a bit of unresolved sexual tension before Harry and Rufus finally get together and when they do, it is even hotter due to the build-up over those few weeks when they yearn from afar. The love scenes themselves are erotic and explicit, but without being coarse. You get the connection between the two characters, there is emotional depth as well as the physical acts. Rufus and Harry are both wonderful characters and I for one wouldn't mind a longer adventure with these two.

If you like a slight bit of angst before the happily ever after, give it a try. You'll be glad you did.


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