Like most people in the United States who don’t have a crafty bone in their body, HGTV is basically crack to me. No surprise, then, that I would dive into a contemporary romance featuring a fake relationship and a renovations YouTube channel (also, my parents are doing work on their house and I’m tired of looking at paint samples and pictures of lighting fixtures). Even better, I immediately fell in love with Cooper and Nine, even before they recognized that they had feelings for each other. Luckily, this book is light on the angst as Cooper and Nine quickly get their acts together in an excellent duo dynamic that I wish I could be following on Instagram for real.

I have previously complained in reviews that authors fear describing their characters outside the three obvious (gay, bisexual, and straight). I was delighted that Lennox broke this trend, as Nine discovers and identifies with demisexual and graysexual. And Nine is as far as you can imagine from a modern hipster kid who lives on Tumblr, which leads to excellent conflict within the story as Nine commits to his relationship with Cooper despite pushback from the well-meaning people in his life.

Nine is nearly too good to be true, and Cooper is both aware of this fact and appreciates it. Usually, the settled “gay” character in these friends-to-lovers romance variations doesn’t do much character development. However, Lennox shows us via Cooper how dreams don’t always jive with reality and that goals can always change and allow them to live their best lives.

This book is an excellent stand-alone romance with the perfect amount of angst, wonderful characters I wish I could befriend in real life (or at least follow on social media), and a perfect happily ever after. (I don’t even mind how cute the dog is.)

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

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