Monday, 29 October 2012

Great Restorations, Libby Drew

Great Restorations

A wonderful story about a closeted man who struggles against small-town bigotry, evil relatives and a bit of mystery to finally embrace who he is when he finally meets the man worth stepping out for.

- Review by Cindi

Marc Wynn lives in small town America.  He has a thriving business, Great Restorations, a loving yet eccentric aunt and a small group of close friends and employees.  No one knows that he is gay and he plans to keep it that way.  He has no desire to ever be public with his sexuality nor will he act on it.  He is casually dating a local woman, Rachel, and as long as he continues seeing Rachel no one will ever suspect that he would prefer to be dating men.  He's not happy with his choice to stay private but he feels that he has no choice.  The thought of his aunt looking at him differently or treating him differently is not worth the chance of telling her about his homosexuality. She raised him from the time he was a small child and he feels that he owes her for everything.  Then there is the town he lives in.  Everyone knows everyone's business and he's not willing to rock the boat, so to speak.  So he keeps quiet.

Then he meets Sawyer Calhoun and he is shaken to the core.

Every Saturday morning Marc takes his aunt to estate sales.  During one of these excursions, they go to the home of man who recently passed whose grandson is selling off antiques from the estate.  The grandson is Sawyer.  The moment Marc meets Sawyer he wants him but Sawyer refuses to be someone's little secret so he pushes Marc away.  Sawyer is not ashamed of his sexuality and he will not have a relationship with someone who he can't be with publicly.

Sawyer wants to restore his grandfather's old house.  He makes a visit to Great Restorations not knowing that Marc is the owner.  Sparks fly (again) and they have a difficult time staying away from each other, especially after Marc's company is hired to do the total restoration of the home.

This kind of went back and forth and I found myself wondering if Marc would ever get up the nerve to finally embrace who he is and be with Sawyer.  It takes a tragic event for this to happen and when it does, it's not done by Marc's choice.  Though the revelation is unexpected and probably not wanted at that particular time, Marc does not shy away from it and he begins being more open with not just Sawyer but with everyone.  I was very impressed with how that played out.  As it was happening I was thinking "Oh no!" and wondering if Marc would run away or deny.  He didn't and I was glad.  The cat was out of the bag (so to speak) and instead of denying and running, he stood up and showed all who he was and that yes, he was gay and that he was involved with Sawyer.

There is a little bit of family drama with Marc's horrible absent parents.  Marc's father is the perfect bastard and his mother is the perfect "stand behind my man regardless of who he hurts"  helpless woman (you'll want to slap both of them before it's over).  The secondary characters are all wonderful.  Marc's aunt is hilarious.  He has a small group of employees and friends who are all written well.  Sawyer's best friend is a treat. He is a character that I would love to see have his own book (perhaps with Rachel?)  Speaking of Rachel, she was not written as the horrible female who is dating Marc.  She is a true friend and her character was written perfectly.

Overall, this is an excellent book.  There is just enough drama and angst to keep it from being overly sweet.  Marc and Sawyer are perfect in every way... and for each other.  One tiny thing bugged me but it's something that others probably will not even notice so I won't mention it. 

I highly recommend this.


  1. Sounds interesting, Cindi. I struggle with closeted characters, I can understand it, but.... Glad he saw the light.

    1. I struggle with them too and I admit to having a few issues with this one as a result because it didn't look like he would ever come out of the closet but he did and the way it was written was perfect.

      It seems like most of the books I've considered reading lately have one of the MC's deep in the closet. Where are all the books where they are out and proud? :)