A Basic Renovation by Sandra Antonelli

Although an older release, Escape (Harlequin’s Australian imprint) offered this title and I am very glad that they did.

This is also part of my NetGalley November Challenges!

Clever and fun, with a title that reflects some DIY as well as renovating relationships and mistaken impressions, A Basic Renovation was the perfect afternoon escape.

Lesley is strong and feisty, with a whole passel of family seeking to change her, even though she is a grown woman.  Her mother thinks her hair is too long and her skirts too short.  Her father despises her Harley, and will go to great lengths to keep her from riding it.  Her grandfather is by far one of the better secondary characters ever: at 92 he says what he wants, when he wants and to hell with the consequences or anyone else’s sensitivities.  Foul mouthed, insulting and bossy, he was delightful to read, although most certainly a pain in the rear to deal with.
Lesley is successful and determined, a business woman with a plan and the skills to get things accomplished.  But, her chance encounter with the brother of her ex-husband  is more disturbing to her than she would wish to let on: even more so because Dominic is ‘indoctrinated’ into the family’s beliefs that Lesley was the only one at fault in her failed marriage.

Dominic has an overbearing and quite distasteful mother, a spoiled brat of a younger brother who was married to Lesley, and is a single father with a teenaged son.  Dominic’s family is most definitely ruled by his mother Peggy, who cossets and spoils her youngest son and is verbally abusive to the women in her son’s lives.  She just needed to go away, with her ‘baby boy’, her character just oozed malice.

Of course, Dominic’s mother and brother, Terry, are interfering in his relationship with Lesley.  From hinting to rumors and outright lying, and even forcing physical altercations they almost succeed.  It’s strange that Terry was away from their little town for years after her divorce from Terry, and yet the attitude of Dominic’s mother and brother were so laden with malice and anger fueled by Terry’s lack of sense and ability to take responsibility for anything that it was literally nauseating.

Peggy and Terry nearly succeed in driving a permanent wedge between the two, until Dominic wises up and realizes his happiness is more important than his brother’s misguided feelings and his mother’s interference.

Snappy dialogue, a female protagonist who is strong and smart, clever secondary characters, a wise-mouthed and quite funny teen to balance the ever-outspoken grandfather and a believable story that features 40-something main characters: this is a winner and the perfect getaway book for an afternoon.

A Basic Renovation by Sandra Antonelli

Title: A Basic Renovation
Author: Sandra Antonelli
Published by: Escape Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 314
Rated: four-stars
Get Your Copy: Amazon Barnes&Noble Downpour IndieBound Audible
See this Title on Goodreads

When it comes down to it, rats in the oven trumps Lesley’s desire to never set eyes on another Brennan family member. So Lesley, a pro at property redevelopment, scrambles to Dominic Brennan’s hardware store for supplies.

Dominic knows poison — rat and otherwise — and he sees it in Lesley. The woman ruined his brother’s life. Now that she’s back in town, Dominic’s afraid she’ll drag up the past, the secrets, and the pain.

They clash immediately, but mix in a teenage boy, a puppy, some white paint, and some loud music, and what starts as cold fury transforms into a nuclear attraction.

This basic renovation becomes a major life refurbishment for them both!

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Sandra Antonelli

I write novels for grown ups and smart asses probably because I'm a smartass--who isn't very grown up.

I’ve been writing since I was a little kid. back then, I wrote stories about older people because, as I saw it, older people had cooler experiences–-they went places, they had jobs, they did stuff that seemed adventurous. They were pioneers and I always liked the word pioneer. I would have been a pioneer, only I'm not what you'd call outdoorsy, and I do not camp. Ever. However, I like to think I'm adventurous. I'll put on Sumo-suit, I'll sit atop a piano and sing, I'll eat that hot chile.

I lived in Europe as I grew up. There I was surrounded by history and amazing old buildings and amazing older people who told amazing stories about the old stuff around them. My novel, A Basic Renovation, a smart-assy contemporary romance/romantic comedy was released by Escape Publishing in Feb 2013. It also goes down that 'old' route, and my next novel, For Your Eyes Only (another smart-assed romance coming out from Escape in September), does too. And like A Basic Renovation, characters in For Your Eyes Only eat hot chiles.

netgalley nov

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