Tuesday, February 17, 2015

ARC Review: A Restored Man (The Men of Halfway House 3) by Jaime Reese


Cole Renzo thinks his greatest challenge is to behave for the remainder of his term at Halfway House. Until he meets his new boss, Ty Calloway, a man who ticks off every box on Cole’s list of interests.

A sought-after restorer and customizer of exotic and collectible cars, Ty had enough confidence to command what he wanted in life, until one fateful night changed everything. Almost two years later, he’s slowly rebuilding his life with great control. He’s defied the odds and works tirelessly to be the man he once was—but he still feels broken.

Cole’s candor and unfiltered personality awaken Ty’s barely-remembered desire to greet each new day with a smile, while Ty’s unwavering acceptance of Cole’s quirks and brash humor makes Cole feel as if he fits in for the first time in far too long. When a nemesis threatens Ty’s personal restoration and the things he holds dear, Cole is determined to protect their relationship, even if that means sacrificing everything he’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ty will have to let his guard down, surrender control, and admit he needs Cole first, even if that puts himself at risk of breaking beyond repair.

Dani's rating:

COLE:  motormouth and mechanic extraordinaire; bossy top; loyal friend; loves speed, exotic cars, and Ty.

TY:  kind, stubborn, professional, lost; feels damaged and guilty; carries a torch for car restoration and one feisty mechanic.

Cole and Ty complement one another well. Cole makes Ty laugh and brings Ty out of his self-imposed shell.

When we met Cole in book 2, he was a lovable, flaky kid, itching to steal another car, just bidding his time at the Halfway House. Meeting Ty forces Cole to grow up. He loves his job at Ty's shop and doesn't want to mess up a good thing.

Cole reconnects with his large, loving family, letting go of past hurts and resentments. And he pursues Ty with relentless drive. Because he's Cole, and he doesn't give up.

I loved take-charge Cole. His acceptance and unwavering trust help Ty heal in so many ways. As much as Cole talks, he also LISTENS.

Ty grounds Cole, and his steady presence is a balm to Cole's going-120mph-at-all-times brain.

Ty is in a dark place following an accident two years prior. He drowns in guilt and works too hard. His relationship with his brother, Aidan, seems beyond repair.

Aidan, the dark, broody police officer, and spontaneous, snarky Cole are like oil and water, but their back-and-forth interactions are hilarious.

Aidan half smiled. "[Ty's] your Kryptonite?"

Cole looked up. "Huh?"

"Your Kryptonite. Superman?"

"Nah, man," Cole said with a laugh. "I'm like Popeye and he's my spinach. He makes me stronger and I just want to gobble him all up."

Aidan rubbed his temples . . . "Do you hear yourself?"

The sexual attraction between Cole and Ty is instantaneous, but the smexy times are slow in coming. Cole and Ty dance around each other. Cole keeps telling Ty he's going to get him into bed, but Ty is hesitant and self-conscious.

Waiting for the steam made the passion burn all the hotter. The weekends the MCs spend together are tender and sexy; and their teasing and easy affection, highly addictive.

There's nothing quite like your man cooking you breakfast wearing nothing (nada!) but an apron that says Kiss the coock .

Ty is into pulling off Cole's ever-present beanie and tugging at Cole's wild, unruly hair, and Cole gives Ty all kinds of silly nicknames, including Ty's favorite: My-Ty.

Cole smiled. "I think you have a hair fetish."

Ty's cheeks heated . . . "I think I have a Cole fetish."

Julian and Matt (the MCs from book 1) are fairly present in this book, especially at the beginning, and I liked seeing their relationship going strong. Plus, growly, possessive Julian is all kinds of hot.

A Restored Man is not as angsty as the first two books. It's lighter but still intense.

While the majority of the book is focused on the relationship between Cole and Ty, there is an action-packed driving sequence at the end that made my breath catch.

And that moment when Cole finally tells Ty what he's wanted to say all along?

Pure. Fucking. Beauty.

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