Two former child stars with a complicated past move from Hollywood to home in Erin Hahn’s Built to Last.
Shelby Springfield used to be Hollywood’s It Girl. Now, she refinishes furniture in her Michigan workshop while flipping houses alongside her dad. Cameron Riggs, her former co-star, works behind the camera making documentaries with National Geographic, never staying in any one place long. Their third co-star, Lyle, is still playing Hollywood’s games. When Shelby tries to get a home reno show greenlit to fund her dad’s retirement, she’s surprised to find Lyle is the showrunner. She’s even more surprised to find he’s tricked both her and Cameron into meeting with him. Lyle agrees to produce the pilot…if Cameron and Shelby will flip the houses together.
This delightful novel is the perfect balance of heart, humor, and home renovation.
These characters are interesting and engaging, and will stick with the reader after the book ends. The secondary characters are just as fun and well developed as the protagonists, making this reader cross her fingers for a sequel starring Lorelei (hint hint, Erin Hahn!). I loved seeing the numerous positive friendship portrayals, especially when contrasted against a toxic friendship. The theme of found family is always a winner with me, and is beautifully done here. Add in laugh-out-loud funny dialogue and internal monologues and, well, this book was just a treat to read.
Shelby and Cameron’s complicated past ups the ante. The way both characters found healing after their time in the limelight– and by contrast, the way Lyle didn’t– makes their romance sweeter and more believable. The romance is certainly an aspect of the book, and a strong one, but it’s also full of found family, healing, finding your place in the world, and home restoration. The mix of personal life with work life, all supported by an excellent cast of characters, adds depth to the story. These characters care about the world they live in, and that makes their story a delightful one to read.
The slow burn romance paired with the forced proximity trope works so very well. Just as a small warning: these pages pack some spice, bedroom-wise and language-wise. The payoff for the slow-burn romance is fiery!
Built to Last is an excellent choice for fans of Emily Henry, as the character development, spice level, and humor are all on point. It’s a wonderful lighthearted read, as it has depth and compassion in a low-stakes package, but the reader still cares about the characters.
Thank you to author Erin Hahn, NetGalley, and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced e-copy such that I could share my honest opinions.
Built to Last is out now! You can purchase from Bookshop.org here. Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org. I will earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you click through and make a purchase.
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