Michael, Reinvented, by Diana Copland
Series: Delta Restorations, Book 2
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 19, 2017
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Cute hipster and interior designer Michael doesn’t do love—not after his ex screwed him over. Sex is a different story, though, and the gentle giant who’s painting the mural in the old mansion they’re restoring might be perfect hookup material. Gil is just Michael’s type with his solid muscle, wicked sense of humor, and the hazel eyes that seem to see into Michael’s soul.
Trouble is, Gil does do love. He wants romance and forever, and he’s set his sights firmly on Michael. Michael’s not going there again.
Yet when Michael is the victim of a vandal who’s been plaguing the men working for Delta Restoration, Renovation, and Design, Gil is the first person he tells. No matter how he fights it, it’s becoming harder and harder to deny he’s crazy about the guy—even if that thought terrifies him. But the true fear sets in when the criminal behavior escalates, and Michael realizes he might have lost the chance to tell Gil how he feels—forever.
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Friends to Lovers
Well… if ever there was a sequel that didn’t live up to the first of the series, this book is the one.
Let’s start with the good. For readers interested in David & Jackson, the MC’s from the first book, the first 25% of this book is really focused on giving you the complete ending you deserve.
The next 50% of the book is Michael repeatedly shutting down Gil’s flirting. Gil was a nice guy, part of the business the group is trying to start, who took a liking to (I know, I’m my grandmother now) Michael the second he laid eyes on him in Book One. (You may remember Gil is the painter from whom David purchased his father’s furniture.)
From what I can gather (still my grandmother) the two have been spending time together as part of the group, and when they drink Michael sends mixed signals because he becomes affectionate, they’ve kissed, etc. We are only told this, so I for one had a hard time seeing Michael in a positive light. What I saw was a man who shut down any attempt from Gil and thought, based on their business relationship, Gil needed to stop.
Then an “incident” occurs similar to in Book One, when Michael is pet/house sitting for David, who’s gone out of town. The graffiti artist from Book One returns, complete with homophobic slurs and car damage. While I understand that this person had yet to be caught, it once again provides the opportunity for Gil to swoop in and provide the safety that Michael needs. For me this was basically a repeat of Book One, and I felt myself eye roll. Even at this point there is no real relationship-building in my opinion. We don’t see much interaction between the two unless it’s Michael shutting Gil down, and then bam… sex. I was meh about it to be honest. Michael knew Gil wanted a relationship, and even though the guy is like, “I’ll take what I can get,” Michael knew damn well Gil was hoping it would progress into relationship territory. At this point I needed someone to be the grown up.
BUT THEN… the accident happened. At this point I was basically done with this book. We get Michael’s full story– which, while I understand his hurt, I believe a decade had passed and he knew Gil was nothing like his ex. For starters he was “super out”. The whole business is based on everyone knowing the crew is gay, so logically he had nothing to worry about with Gil.
In my opinion there wasn’t enough on the page to make me understand how the two got from “Michael being a firm no, and going so far as to call Gil’s constant flirting unprofessional-bordering-on-sexual-harassment” to “I love you”. But you read it, maybe you can explain it to me.
Diana Copland began writing in the seventh grade, when she shamelessly combined elements of Jane Eyre and Dark Shadows to produce an overwrought Gothic tale that earned her an A- in creative writing, thanks entirely to the generosity of an indulgent teacher. She wrote for pure enjoyment for the next three decades before discovering LiveJournal and a wonderful group of supportive fanfiction writers who encouraged her to try her hand at original gay fiction. Born and raised in southern California, Diana moved to the Pacific Northwest after losing a beloved spouse to AIDS in 1995. She lives in eastern Washington with four horribly spoiled cats, near her two wonderful adult children who swear she doesn’t embarrass them. She thinks they’re so cute.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.