About the Book:
Title: Built to Last
Author: Erin Hahn
Page Length: 336
Publication Date: Oct. 18, 2022
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Synopsis: Two childhood sweethearts find a second chance at love in this adult romance debut from a critically acclaimed young adult author.
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.
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Built to Last is a fun contemporary romance about two child actors who reconnect after a decade to work on a home renovation show together. Cameron and Shelby are both likable and well-developed characters, and they have a chemistry-laden second chance romance.
I liked this romance, but I did find it a little hard to get into. Shelby isn’t the most likable character at the start of the book, and I hated how she used Cam. And the way Cam left her wasn’t a good look either. Fast forward several years, and Shelby is trying to prove she’s not the party girl that she used to be. She goes through a lot of growth throughout the story and becomes more likable, and it’s easy to see why she struggles so much. Dysfunctional family relationships and being in the spotlight from a young age definitely affects her emotional growth and well-being. The second half of the story picked up a bit, especially when it came to the romance and steam.
Shelby and Cam are in love with each other from the start, and I was a little frustrated that it took so long for them to work their issues out. If only they talked about their feelings, they could have prevented a lot of their problems much sooner than they did. Insecurities and lack of communication prove big hurdles for this couple, as do a few other characters.
I liked how the story focused on the home renovation show, and I think it will appeal to readers who enjoy HGTV. Also, some of the secondary characters are great, and I have a feeling several will be the focus of future books. Finally, the story delves into the struggles of child actors and toxic relationships and how both define, influence, and change people. Though these are heavy topics, the story as a whole is pretty light.
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The romance.
- The HGTV-esque setting.
I would recommend Built to Last to readers who enjoy contemporary romance.