Thank you to St. Martin’s Griffin and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Built to Last releases October 18, 2022.
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Recommend to Others?: Yes
ABOUT: Erin Hahn’s Built to Last is a sparkling second chance romance about owning what you’re worth and fighting for the one who got away.
Shelby Springfield has spent the last ten years trying to overcome her past, sanding it away like the rough spots on the vintage furniture she makes over. But as a former child star, it’s hard to forget a widely documented meltdown and huge public break up 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 get on board.
There’s something in it for everyone—almost. Cameron wants to set down some roots. Shelby wants to prove she’s not the messy party girl anymore. And a jealous Lyle can’t help but try to get in the way. But for his two childhood friends who had more chemistry than he could ever dream of, nothing is getting in the way of their second chance at love.
REVIEW: I adored this story about two child stars and sweethearts with a messy history getting a second chance at love!
I was wary at first but the story gradually got better with each passing page. There was so much pining and angst between Shelby and Cameron. Even after so many years apart, their chemistry remains undeniable and strong on and off screen. It was a slow burn worth reading about. I was hooked!
I liked that Shelby and Cameron got to reconnect as they worked on the pilot for the home renovation show. Also, I loved how they had each other’s back through the whole process, especially with Lyle (who is the worst, as well as Shelby’s mom) constantly meddling. It’s a rocky slope for the main characters. They have to reconcile with their pasts (as individuals and together) in order to figure out what they most want from life and to have a future together.
I love how interchangeable the theme of renovation is throughout the story. Shelby’s discovered passion for refurbishing things. Mending family ties (or not). Revamping a once-thought lost romantic relationship. Restoring one’s self-worth. And so much more. It’s a well-done, exquisite use of theme.
The interview with the main characters at the end was nice to read. I liked the brief hint to who the next book will feature (please, let there be a book 2!).
Overall, I ended up really enjoying Built to Last. Shelby and Cameron’s romance was so sweet and tender and funny. Cameron was so loyal and charming. Shelby was so strong and passionate. I can’t wait to read whatever Hahn writes next!