Thursday, May 18, 2017

Pre-Release Day Review: Michael, Reinvented by Diana Copland (Guest Post, Review + Giveaway)

Title: Michael, Reinvented
Series: Delta Restorations: Book Two
Author: Diana Copland
Release Date: May 19, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages 220

Dreamspinner Press   ~   Amazon

Cute hipster and interior designer Michael doesn’t do love—not after his ex screwed him over. Sex is a different story, though, and the gentle giant who’s painting the mural in the old mansion they’re restoring might be perfect hookup material. Gil is just Michael’s type with his solid muscle, wicked sense of humor, and the hazel eyes that seem to see into Michael’s soul.

Trouble is, Gil does do love. He wants romance and forever, and he’s set his sights firmly on Michael. Michael’s not going there again.

Yet when Michael is the victim of a vandal who’s been plaguing the men working for Delta Restoration, Renovation, and Design, Gil is the first person he tells. No matter how he fights it, it’s becoming harder and harder to deny he’s crazy about the guy—even if that thought terrifies him. But the true fear sets in when the criminal behavior escalates, and Michael realizes he might have lost the chance to tell Gil how he feels—forever.

Hi!! Thank you so much for allowing me to share some new details about my main characters in ‘Michael, Reinvented’, the sequel to ‘David, Renewed’.

In ‘David, Renewed’, Michael Crane is David Snyder’s best friend and his assistant at A.F.Interiors, the corporate design firm where they work.

Gilbert Chandler is a close friend of Jackson’s, David’s love interest. He first appears in the novel when he sells David a houseful of classic craftsman style furniture that belonged to his mother and dad.

Michael is a hipster in his mid-twenties with dark hair he wears in a faux hawk and large gray eyes. He wears dark framed glasses and skinny jeans, and favors styles that show off his slender build and long legs. He lives in a studio apartment with exposed brick walls and sleeps on a Murphy bed that pulls down from a mid-century modern style armoire. In fact, every piece of furnishing Michael owns is in the sleek, 1960’s style. He loves the bright colors and the stark lines, and even though his home is only one room, it looks like something straight out of Architectural Digest.

The only child of a socialite mother and business executive father, Michael grew up with parents too busy to raise their pretty, precocious child. They turned him over to a series of nannies and tutors, and the only thing he recalls from his childhood is his mother occasionally reading to him from ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ when she wasn’t shopping or playing tennis. Michael knew very little about his father other than he appreciated all of the luxuries the money he made provided. At fifteen he still had no idea what the man actually did for a living, other than that it had something to do with banking and investments. When Michael came out at sixteen he had to make an appointment with his father’s social secretary in order to tell him, and all he got in return was a glib statement that ‘he hoped he was smart enough not to catch something that might kill him’. Michael started his freshman year of college more than happy to move out of his parent’s house. Some of what he learned at the University of Washington would change him would leave scars.

Gilbert Chandler grew up in the medium sized Eastern Washington community where he still lives. Six three and a solid wall of muscle, Gil was always bigger than other kid his age. Now in his early thirties, he keeps his head shaved close and usually dresses in paint spattered long sleeved t-shirts, jeans and work boots with an apron over the rest. His eyes are hazel and his cheeks dimple with his ready smile, and he laughs easily and often.

Gil’s family was close when he was younger. His mom and dad were both teachers, and they raised their three children in a craftsman style bungalow in the heart of the older part of town. He and Jackson became friends in middle school, and were both so good at hiding the fact they were gay that they didn’t realize the other was until they were nearly out of high school. Their home town has always been conservative; being secretive about their orientation probably kept them from getting beaten up behind the bleachers.

Gil majored in fine art in college, but rather than moving to a place where he might have made a living with his paintings he heads back to the town where he grew up. He takes on the responsibility of taking care of his parents when their health begins to fail and paints houses for a living. His younger brother and sister aren’t really interested in being caregivers, and when his mom dies and his dad begins to show signs of dementia, they make themselves scarce. He and Jackson run into one another on a Friday night at the local gay bar, and it takes no time at all for them to renew their close friendship. Jackson introduces Gil to his assistant, the blunt spoken, soft hearted Vern.

Jackson is taking care of his mom who was recently diagnosed with MS, and can commiserate with Gil’s dad’s condition. When the senior Chandler takes a turn for the worse and needs to be placed in a facility for Alzheimer’s, Jackson offers to help Gil sell his dad’s lovely furniture to a man he’s just met named David. Gil can tell there’s something special about David just by the way Jackson says his name, and knowing Jackson’s recent history with heartbreak, he wants to check the man out for his friend. When David arrives with Jackson, he brings with him about the cutest little twink Gil has ever seen, and the more the younger man talks, and gripes, the more infatuated Gilbert becomes.

And the rest, as they say, is my new book, ‘Michael, Reinvented’! I hope you’ll enjoy the continuing story of the men of Delta Restoration, Renovation and Design!

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

Michael, Reinvented is the second book in Diana Copland's Delta Restorations series. I absolutely loved David, Renewed and was a little worried that Michael's book would not be able to reach that same level of perfection for me, but it absolutely did! Both Gil and Michael were introduced in David, Renewed. You really need to read these books in the appropriate order since characters and storylines flow from one story to the other.

In David, Renewed, the attraction between Gil and Michael was obvious, but Michael was being difficult. Michael is sassy, snarky and unwilling to give love a chance. He finally decides the only way he can get over his attraction to Gil is for them to have one night together. Gil is sweet, with a sense of humor that can appreciate Michael's level of snark. Gil is looking for a relationship and Michael is who he wants in his life. He's willing to wait for Michael to get himself together so they can have a future together.

I loved both Michael and Gil from their introduction in David, Renewed. All the men and friendships in this book really bring this series to life. The guys work together and are great friends. They're there to support each other when they need it, or to offer a dose of humble pie if needed! They are everything you would want in friends! Michael's character could be a little abrasive, but as a snarky person, he totally spoke my language. And we found out that his snark hid his feelings of fear and rejection. He allowed a past hurt to control too much of his life, but he finally gets himself together and we see how fiercely he can love (not that he hasn't shown that with his love of David!).

This book made me a little sappy! There is a scene between Jackson and David that made me cry at how sweet it is! Then I found myself with tears for Michael and Gil later in the story. In Jackson and David's story, their love just flowed together easily. 
For Michael and Gil, it takes work but it finally happens for them! A large part of this story is dealing with a crime in the first book that went unsolved and it continues in this book. When reading David, Renewed I was a little surprised that it was left unsolved, but now it makes total sense! The author did a great job carrying and escalating this storyline from the first to the second book!

If you have not read David, Renewed yet, please do so and then read this Michael, Reinvented, you'll thank me for it! This is a wonderful series full of love, friendship, snark, and family. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!

Rating: 5+++ Stars

4 Stars!

Michael sooooo needed his own book, and DC totally delivered. Loved him, loved Gil.

This is book 2 in the Delta Restorations series, which can be read as a standalone, but as the leads and other characters from book 1 pop in (a lot!), it's best to read them in order. I loved seeing how David and Jackson's lives (the leads from book 1) were changing for the better, and how their lives were about to be even more enriched, but back to Michael.

Lovely, lonely, loyal, prickly Michael, best friend to David and king of hookups, who happened to like Gil, the gentle giant who'd showed an interest in him from book 1, though he refuses to admit it. That is, until an incident forces him to need Gil's help and protection, and then when the tables get turned and Gil needs him, Michael comes to realise what the guy he nearly lost means to him.

I loved the about face that Michael did, because it felt so organic. I liked that he didn't have to think or have a hissy fit when Gil needed him - his brain and his heart simply engaged and he morphed into True, Kept-Hidden Michael.

This tale for me, unlike much of the MM tales currently out there, had meaning: these guys, the former leads, the present ones and the future ones I am sure I read about here, were a community. A bunch of gay guys who looked out for each other, who experienced prejudice, lost and disrespect, and came together, quietly and for a decent purpose, to rebuild their lives and earn a quiet livelihood. There was no huge pro agenda or con agenda, no overt messages of hate (though the storyline featured a degree of hate coming at them from a, hopefully, isolated source) simply a quiet, underlying one that reminds us that there are prejudices against LGBT people. Prejudices that need to be overcome through education and via the actions of everyday supporters and allies. It was yet another tale that reminded me why it's great to be British, with our live-and-let-live attitude, and the protections that we have for the LGBT community, and that we take for granted. I hope that if the author was trying to convey a message, it gets through to the many US readers who can make a difference.

ARC courtesy of Dreamspinner Press and Bayou Book Junkie, for my reading pleasure.

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  1. Thanks for sharing your upcoming book, Diana. I have to say, since I haven't started the Delta Restorations series before, this post tell what to expect of the book. Congrats on your newest book.

  2. Thank you for the insights into your characters! Bssed on the guest post and blurb, I was ready to buy it. The reviews were the icing on the cake.

  3. Thanks for the great reviews! I have this book on my TBR list.

  4. I enjoyed the post it was so interesting to find out more about the characters in the book. Thank you for both reviews the book is going on my wish list.

  5. It's great to see another book from you, Diana. Looking forward to reading this one.

  6. Great guest post. Thanks for the review.

  7. Sounds great. I haven't read many books involving fake relationships. Probably a handful and just as many movies.

  8. I enjoyed reading the post today

  9. Thanks for the post. I really enjoyed David, Renewed & so am looking forward to reading this as well.