After reading the Life Lesson series I didn't think I would like any of Kaje Harper's books quite as much - I mean Mac and Tony. And Mac. Come on. Then I saw several people commenting on her blog saying that they wanted more of Ryan and John's story from The Rebuilding Year, so I thought I'd have a read myself. I was NOT disappointed.
Everything that I love about this author is in this book. Her real characters, the great research into the other story lines (fire fighting, medical student, landscaping), the way she writes hard and intense story lines without extra angst that is there just for show and melodrama.
Ryan and John were brilliant characters who become friends and then move into a relationship. I appreciated the fact that, though they were both unsure at first as neither had been with a man, this wasn't dragged into pages of doubt. They tried it, shied away, thought about and then let it happen - this made the story much easier to read.
Kaje Harper always manages a nice balance of drama and romance. The drama came from several angles (children and an ex-wife, an unexpected death, a fire, a shooting) and was well written, it felt like part of the plot and not just written to ramp up the book. The romance, well friends to lovers is my favourite kind of love story and this, wow, it was hot. I also loved the fact that it was a new thing for both of them, neither had been with another man before. Often this doesn't work as a storyline, in this case it totally did.
The fact that there is a new Life Lesson's book out soon has only been trumped (just) by the fact that Kaje Harper has said a follow up to Ryan and John's storyline is on the cards. Yay! This book is absolutely, 100% recommended by me.