Title: The Carpenter’s Apprentice (First Time Gay Romance)
Author: Van Barrett
Reviewer: Larry / John
Release Date: March 3, 2016
Genre(s): m/m Gay Fiction / Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 256 pages
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
The Carpenter’s Apprentice by Van Barrett
Blurb: A summer job that changed his life.
Ethan was more shy computer nerd than skilled & studly handyman when Jake took him as his apprentice, but a few years under the manly carpenter has this late bloomer about to blossom and show his true colors.
Ethan’s on-again, off-again girlfriend isn’t crazy about his career, and she’s made big plans to move half-way across the country. She wants Ethan to come with her … but only if he agrees to leave carpentry behind and go back to school.
Ethan’s head is reeling with questions and doubts. He loves spending time with Jake — and the thought of giving that up makes him sick to his stomach. Can Ethan pry himself away from Jake for a relationship that’s not built on a solid foundation? Will he discover another reason why he finds Jake so magnetic?
Still waters run deep.
Jake found out too late that he was actually into guys. Tough luck for him — between raising his daughter and running his own business, he’s got his hands full. Love will just have to wait. Not that he has any idea where to find it in the first place …
He knows his crush on his apprentice Ethan is totally inappropriate, not to mention hopeless and stupid. Sure, Ethan’s a cutie — but he’s also totally straight! Hell, he’s got a girlfriend that he’s willing to move half-way across the country for!
But when Ethan and his girlfriend unexpectedly run into some problems and split up, Jake invites the younger apprentice out to his country home for some “guy time” … and sparks fly. Did Jake just do something incredibly unprofessional — or could Ethan actually be curious about getting with another guy?
Review: I enjoy reading about self discovery and overcoming personal obstacles, especially when it’s well written. Barrett traced the lives of two people living with similar yet very different past issues. Ethan, the young man who is torn between the life he enjoys and the life his girlfriend wants for him. Jake, whose life revolves around his carpentry and his daughter from a failed marriage. Both of their lives need that missing something, yet neither of them know what it is, and are not ready to accept it when it appears.
Barrett did a great job taking me down both Ethan and Jake’s paths as they traversed the boulders, walls, and landslides that tried to stop them from finding inner peace. His development of their inner fears, and conflicts was excellent – he had me feeling for each of them, yet wanting them to wake up and see what was right in front of their eyes.
By the end of the book, I was saying things like Yes, it’s about time or Stop being so self destructive to the characters. But Barrett kept my interest as he helped Jake and Ethan work through their demons.
If you enjoy reading about people who find themselves, find happiness, find their path, then The Carpenter’s Apprentice is a good book for you. Give it a try, you may just like it.
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