I admit one of the first things about a book that draws my attention is the cover. I love a good book cover and for me that means that the cover is reflective of the story and this cover is probably one of the best examples to come my way in quite a while.
'The Rebuilding Year' is a story about two mature men who are each in the process of rebuilding their lives and when I look at this cover I can easily picture those two men as the ones on the cover.
The first thing that I really, really loved about this story is the fact that the MCs were mature men and they acted like it. It was nice to read a story where being mature wasn't equated with being boring and stodgy and thus resulting in our MCs behaving in embarrassingly juvenile ways.
I loved that John got to be the good and responsible ex. A man who paid his child support without constantly complaining, a man who divorced his wife and not his kids. So often in stories we see the ex-husband painted as the bad guy and while I do understand that this happens more often than any of us would like in the real world, it was still really nice to see a different side to this story because in this case it was John's ex-wife who was the nasty, piece of work that I disliked.
I also loved the fact that the mystery that was part of this story for me never overpowered the main plot of the relationship that was developing between Ryan & John and the fact that Ryan and John weren't given to us as perfect men who never made mistakes or did anything wrong. I felt like either of these men could be my neighbour, someone that I knew. Ms. Harper gave them a depth of realism that is sometimes very lacking in books.
My biggest and only real issue with this story and I fully acknowledge that it is from a purely personal perspective is how John and Ryan's sexuality was dealt with. I felt like both of these men were definitely bisexual but apparently that was not the case as this was intended to be a double GFY and I'm cool with that.
What really bother me was that a couple of instances that touched on the issue of bisexuality implied that being bi meant that you weren't capable of committing to a relationship as strongly as someone who is straight or gay. I'm choosing to ere on the side of caution here and believe that this was not the author's intent because as the mother of someone who identifies as bisexual and is celebrating his 10th anniversary with their partner this year that would truly offend me. Since one of the things that I've learned from my son is that being bi doesn't mean you love and commit to someone with less than anyone else it means that you have the ability to love the person without regard to the package they come in. I'm really hoping that book #2, Some Assembly Required, will show me that my faith was not misplaced.
In spite of this one little niggly issue I loved this story and look forward to seeing where the next part of this story takes us.