Built to Last
Shelby Springfield has spent the last ten years trying to overcome her past, sanding it away like she does the rough spots on the vintage furniture finds she makes over. But as a former child star, it’s hard to forget a mediocre pop career, a meltdown widely documented by the paparazzi, and a huge public break with her former co-star Lyle Jessup. It’s also hard to forget her other co-star and childhood sweetheart, Cameron Riggs — the one who got away.
Anytime Shelby has called, Cameron has come running… And then he runs right off again to chase stories around the world by making documentaries, too scared to admit what he really wants. But when Lyle stirs the pot, getting the two back in the spotlight with a home renovation show, Cameron can’t help but come on board.
There’s something in it for everyone — almost. Cameron wants to come home and set down some roots. Shelby wants to prove to the world she’s not the messy party girl anymore. And Lyle wants to twist the screws on his two childhood friends who had more chemistry than he could dream of with anyone. Sparks and sawdust fly as Shelby and Cameron film the pilot for “Homemade” and battle Lyle’s shenanigans at every turn.
Erin Hahn’s sparkling rom com debut, Built to Last, is a second chance romance sure to have readers falling in love fast.
Two childhood sweethearts find a second chance at love in this adult romance debut from a critically acclaimed young adult author.
I release a long, slow breath, giving myself plenty of time to back out. But I don’t. “Cam, if the whole wide world was on fire and I had to give up everything I owned, I would still have your T-shirt.
*Disclaimer: I am a mood reader. When I first attempted to read an ARC of Built to Last in September 2022, I did not finish it (stopping around 48% in the electronic version). On a whim, because that’s what mood reading is, I picked up the audiobook version this week (May 2023). My review below is based on the audiobook.
Built to Last is a cute childhood sweethearts second chance romance story against the backdrop of a chaotic home reno TV show.
I love Erin Hahn breaking into the adult romance department! She speaks “romance” well, and I’m happy to see her growing her audience from YA to include adult readers, too.
One of the biggest reasons I don’t think this book worked for me initially had to do with the unlikeable nature of the characters at the start. I am very much a character-driven reader, and it took too long for me to connect with the characters. With the audio, I did eventually find that connection, but I assume mood readers like me might struggle and give up on this book, like I did my first go-around, because the characters strongly come off negatively or unrelatable in the first half of the book. In the end, I did appreciate the character growth. Honestly, it was probably its redeeming grace for me…that and the side characters of locals, who were fantastic!
The home renovation show plot was fun. I didn’t always find it plausible, but the romance kept the story moving. I absolutely loved Shelby and Cameron’s chemistry and was so pleased with the way the second chance romance played out.
The book is told in dual POVs, read in the audiobook by Lisa Zimmerman and Erin Williams. For me, listening to the audiobook helped bring the story to life and helped me to move past the unlikeable start quicker.
Overall, I am glad I gave Built to Last a second go! I’d recommend this one to fans of the TV show element and character growth — it might take some time, but it is an enjoyable story.
*Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book. This did not affect my opinion or the content of my review.
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