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Ratings and Reviews (3 3 star ratings
3 reviews
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4.7 out of 5
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    This book is full of feels, I loved it.

    While I have several books by Kelly Jensen in my humongous digital library, Building Forever is the first one I've read. What a great introduction to her writing! Simon and Charlie! I loved this couple. The two of them seemed so real to me and the struggles they dealt with also seemed very believable. This is a book that captured me with the blurb and then completely engaged me with the full story. Charlie's life didn't really go as planned. Being a father and husband before age twenty wasn't what he wanted, neither was being a widower 12 years later. He loved his wife very much and has no regrets for getting married and having a beautiful daughter. After his wife's death he had to stay strong for their daughter. When he feels the pull of attraction for the beautiful man who moved in next door he finally had to face something he's known for many years, he's bisexual. Simon moved to Bethlehem to get over a breakup from a 12-year relationship and to do the kind of architectural work he really wants to do; he's certainly not looking for another relationship. But something about his neighbor, Charlie, has him forgetting his resolution to not get involved with anyone again. I loved how these two men related to each other. I loved reading about Charlie's struggles with his writing and reading the bits of the stories that popped into his head. Simon has no real interest in science fiction stories but reads Charlie's anyway and loves them like he eventually loves the man that wrote them. Building Forever has a rich cast of characters and it made me laugh – Charlie is such a funny, sweet guy – and it made me cry when things got so hard they nearly broke Charlie. Then I cried tears of happiness when everything worked out and Charlie and Simon got their HEA (I love books that move me to tears). I'm really looking forward to reading the upcoming books in this series. An advanced copy of this book was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author. ***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***
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    Sweet, realistic, sexy romance between adults

    I would rate this 4.5 stars Charlie is a widower with a teenage daughter and a crush on his neighbor. Simon is on the rebound and rebuilding his life in a new state at a new job. When Simon's ex Brian steps back into the picture, and Charlie needs to prioritize his daughter Olivia over his love life, things get complicated. I find that I like the dual POV in alternating chapters approach rather than the willy nilly style some authors have. Seeing their relationship unfold from both sides made me care about each of them and I never struggled to figure out whose thoughts were whose. Charlie is adorable. His admitting he was bisexual and sharing that with his friend and daughter was handled in the confident way of someone who is honest with themself and others while still showing his doubts and anxieties. Simon is more serious and cautious, taking longer to think things through. I laughed out loud a few times; I felt weepy a few times too, and cringing--there was definately cringing. They burn up the sheets, but in a way that is real and human. They connect in that way that people do when they are actually honest when getting to know each, other instead of just putting on a face. Their story is engaging with interesting side characters that give it richer layers: Simon's friend Frank, Charlie's friend Phil and his neighbor Cassie, Simon's new business partner Aurther, even Charlie's daughter Liv are all there to show us different facets of the MCs. The difficult part about being in love and staying in love is the daily decision to--the decision to stay when things hurt, or are not fun and easy, but still confront and fix them. To think about what someone else needs even if they don't communicate well or ask for help is part of building a partnership. Stressful things can either pull people apart or bring them closer together, and that's a choice too. Sometimes I feel like I judge books too harshly, like I'm being mean, but then I read a book like this and I know that all the books I gave a lower rating to are missing what this book has, and I feel fine about it. This is the kind of romance I want to read, regardless of genre.
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    Moving tale of loss and new love

    Kelly Jensen writes empathetic characters you can relate to in this moving tale of loss and new love. Charlie lost his wife to cancer 5 years ago, leaving him and his now 17 year old daughter to navigate life without her. He knows he should think about moving on, but it's hard. He's a full time writer working on his latest science fiction novel and dealing with teenage angst, with memories of his own experience as a teenaged father not far behind. Simon is looking for a fresh start in Bethlehem, a small town far from his city experience. After breaking up with his serial cheater boyfriend of 12 years, he too knows about grief and loss though in a different form than his neighbor Charlie. For quiet and reserved Simon, cheerful talkaholic Charlie is a breath of fresh air. And when the attraction between them becomes clear, it leads to some exploratory moments. Is it the right time for both of them to finally move on - together? What a lovely, sweet and sexy romance! It's a tearjerker, I'll warn you now, as there are some difficult moments for both characters as they deal with their careers, their desires for the future, and their pasts. Ultimately it draws them together in a common goal - to have a happy life together. Charlie is bisexual and this is his first time being with a man, having been faithfully married to his wife who died of cancer brought on by having been pregnant - a teenaged pregnancy that resulted in their daughter Olivia but also left Charlie with a sense of guilt over his wife's death. Sex is therefore somewhat complicated for him, though with a man it's not about pregnancy, just about him being willing to embrace that side of himself. Charlie is close with his wife's brother and her family, though his mother-in-law still blames him for her daughter's death which is another burden he carries. Having someone new in his life though, someone who doesn't have the history of being in their town and who clearly likes him is a boon to his soul, and sparks a feeling of possibility and hope. Simon is gay and open about it. After his previous relationship he's hesitant to get involved with anyone though the sparks between him and his offbeat neighbor aren't easy to ignore. It helps that his partner at his new job, an architectural firm, is also gay. He has some close friends, one in particular, Frank who helped him with his move and encourages him to work through some problems with Charlie that pop up later in the story once it's clear that it's not just a fling. This story looks at all sorts of relationships - friendship, parent/child, and ex-partners in a moving, gentle and romantic tale. I've always been a fan of the author since first reading her science fiction Chaos Station series with her co-author Jenn Burke, and once again, she's proven herself a step above the rest. I can't wait to read more of the series!
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