Title: The Carpenter (Workplace Encounters #5)
Author Name & Publisher: Serena Yates
Publication Date & Length: June 17, 2015 – 120 pgs
Tom Halderson is a carpenter in desperate need of a big project to save the financially troubled construction company he inherited from his father. Tom is a better carpenter than a businessman, and worse yet, Tom’s estranged brother suddenly demands his share of the inheritance. When Matt Langford hires Tom to renovate his house, things begin to look up. A safari guide, Matt plans to restore and sell the home his grandfather left him and return to his exciting life in Africa. He is not about to let his sudden—and powerful—attraction to Tom persuade him to settle down—not after infidelity destroyed his own family. But adventurous Matt is exactly what Tom’s life is lacking, and Tom is determined to show Matt what could be between them.
A struggling builder falls for his client. Add an evil scheming brother, a homophobic father and past domestic abuse and a simple plot becomes rather complicated.
I really liked Matt as a romantic lead, battling to help Tom. I find period home renovations fascinating and this offered up some great property porn. I didn’t really warm to Tom, though, and this is really his story. The combination of his abusive relationship and the way Derek treats him made Tom more victim than romantic lead for most of the story.
I also felt that the Derek storyline was a little overblown. He wants the company so he destroys it? It didn’t make much sense to me.
Beyond the drama, this is a simple romance. The men are hot and the sex is hot. Although the relationship feels rushed in parts, the connection between the two men is sweet.