Book Title: All Screwed Up
Author: Beth Bolden & Brittany Cournoyer
Cover Artist: Cate Ashwood Designs
Release Date: November 6, 2020
Genre/s: Contemporary m/m romantic comedy
Trope: Enemies to lovers
Themes: Starting over, learning to work together
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: 55 000 words
It is a standalone story.
Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited
All’s fair in love and remodeling.
Griffin Caldwell can’t wait to make a fresh start: new job, new town, new house. He’s even realized the lifelong dream of owning his own home. Except when he arrives, nothing is what he expected, and Griffin’s celebration turns from triumphant to terrible.
Not only is his “cute bungalow” a derelict heap, it needs major remodeling work to be livable. And it turns out there’s only one person in town who’s even willing to commit to the project.
The first time David Webber talks to Griffin about his disaster zone of a house, he’d like nothing better than to hang up the phone. But he’s stuck. All his grumpy behavior has gotten him is a whole stack of bad reviews online and no clients.
From the moment they collide over a busted toilet, sparks and snark fly. The only thing that might be hotter than their mutual animosity is their intense chemistry.
Neither of them wants to admit it at first but as the project evolves and their lives intertwine, maybe what they’re working on isn’t just a house. It might even be proof that a caring partnership can build a strong, long-lasting foundation–and an even fiercer love.
“What are you doing?” he asked when he stepped inside and spotted David ripping into a wall.
“Baking a cake,” he responded dryly before muttering to himself, “what does it freaking look like I’m doing? Knitting a damn sweater?”
“What flavor?” Griffin asked, choosing not to respond to the rest.
“The best flavor—chocolate.”
“I beg to differ. Chocolate is good, but nothing beats a super moist red-velvet cake with delicious cream cheese frosting.”
David stared at him, crowbar in one hand, sledgehammer in the other. “Are you saying chocolate cake can’t be moist? Because if so, you’re having the wrong cake.”
“No, not at all. I’ve had some decent chocolate cake. It’s just more dense than other flavors.”
David snorted. “Was there anything else you needed? Or did you just stop by to tell me my choice in cake is dense?”
Griffin crossed his arms over his chest. “You brought up the cake conversation, not me. All I did was ask what you were doing.”
David sighed and looked toward the sagging ceiling, as if searching for a way to respond to Griffin. The ceiling was another thing that had given up in that house. The entire thing looked like it’d just had enough standing up in the battle against the elements, animals, and trespassers. And had definitely gotten tired of doing so alone—since it’d sat empty for so long. It’d given up, finally waving the white flag as tree roots took over and the crushing weight of snow had caused certain parts to cave in. The thought of seeing the house in such despair and feeling the sadness among the walls hurt Griffin’s heart, and he hoped all the time, money, and arguments with David were worth breathing new life into the house. It deserved a chance to shine in all its glory, and even though it didn’t look like much now, the bones were still solid. It just needed some love.
“When I get asked a question where the answer is obvious, I can’t help but respond with sarcasm.”
“What was that?” Griffin asked, startled by David’s voice. He’d been so lost in thought about his depressing home that he’d forgotten he was in the middle of a conversation with David.
David sighed loudly and muttered under his breath again. “Did you need something? I’m a bit busy here.”
He waved his arm around the room, the one Griffin intended to be his master bedroom, to indicate the piles of drywall he’d ripped down.
“Just wondering if you need any help.”
“We’ve already had this conversation more than once, Griffin. Right now, it’s best if you stay out of the way until I have the basic demolition finished.”
Griffin pursed his lips as he tried not to stare at the way Griffin’s sweaty T-shirt clung to him like a second skin and his jeans hugged his thick thighs like they were drawn on him. Jesus. He could crack walnuts with those thighs.
Even though it was still fairly early in the morning, the sun was already high in the sky and the humidity was even higher. And just walking outside to collect the morning paper would cause sweat to bead on your upper lip and temples. And while Griffin hated it, he had to give his thanks to the weather gods since David had taken his shirt off more than once while doing work. And Griffin couldn’t help but accept the gifts in the form of his bulging, sweating muscles, eagerly. It’d be rude not to, after all.
~ * ~ Jo‘s Review ~ * ~
Sometimes, when you see an author combination, you can’t help yelling, “Hell, yeah,” because you know it’s going to be great. That was definitely my reaction when I saw Beth Bolden and Brittany Cournoyer had gotten together, and boy was I right. This book is a blast from start to finish. You can’t help but read it with a smile on your face, and plenty of “awws” and “that’s hot” thrown in.
This is a story of how opposites attract. Griffin is the light, bubbly owner of a complete disaster of a house. Making a fresh start, he makes the mistake of not viewing the house before signing on the dotted line. Determined not to return with his tail between his legs, he begins to look for a contractor to take it on. The problem was, the only one willing to touch it is David – who was grumpy and opinionated. He couldn’t cope with customers making stupid decisions, and told them so. The sparks between Griffin and David are immediate. It was fun watching them slowly realise that it’s not their heads they want to be banging! The authors do a great job of showing us both their public face and emotional hearts, making you quickly fall in love with their quirks and foibles. It’s sweet how quickly they’re in a relationship, without either even realizing it. David’s soft side, especially with the kittens, is adorable.
As I said, this is such a fun book, but it has a solid emotional heart at the center. That’s a perfect combination in my book, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
* Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. *
Griffin was so happy to move to a new town with a new job and the house he just bought; too bad he didn’t check it out before buying it sight unseen. When he tries to find a contractor to help him fix the house, he finds himself getting turned down by everyone he calls. David is in a bind. He took over his father’s business, but his stubbornness is losing him clients. Griffin’s call comes at just the right time. They strike a deal, David fixes the house and Griffin writes a good review for him.
I loved how optimistic Griffin was once he got over the shock of the state of his “new” house. His determination to fix it was admirable considering no one else believed it could be done. David definitely needs to learn to temper his stubborn streak and let his customers make their own choices about things. However, despite his stubbornness, he grew on me. Having seen what Griffin could do on his own, I could totally understand why David tried to keep Griffin out while he remodeled the place. I liked that Griffin didn’t back down from David, and that the two of them kept each other almost balanced. The angel, and devil, on David’s shoulders made him more likable, and gave a better feel for what was going on in his head (you’ll see what I mean if you read the book).
Overall, I enjoyed this story. Griffin is a bit impulsive, which causes all manner of issues for David to sort out, but when they work together they do great. This story has a small town feel, and while there were a few things that bothered me (like the seemingly quick turnaround of Griffin’s mother’s attitude), I suspect that I will be adding this one to my re-read pile when I need a story with quirky characters and a feel good ending.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***
About the Authors
A lifelong Oregonian, Beth has just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive husband and their sweet kitten, Earl Grey. Beth still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to be just as weird in Raleigh.
Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published twenty novels and six novellas.
Brittany was born in Enterprise, Alabama and moved to a small town in Indiana when she was thirteen. And, even though the town is named Kokomo, it’s nothing like the Beach Boys song. During her free time, she loves to read amazing books, watch mindless television, and spend time with family and loved ones. Oh, and squeeze in writing some time throughout the day as well. She is also the mom to an adorable, yet precocious, Border Collie named Delilah. When not doing any of those fun-filled activities, she works at a hospital as a switchboard operator.
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