"I loved this delightful romance about makeovers of old homes, old personas, and relationships that never had a chance to launch. A sweet, charming reminder of what you can build with a strong foundation." - Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Two Ways
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.
“Thank you, Erin Hahn, for making me laugh and swoon and cry sweet, happy tears. Can I live in this book?" - Jen Doll, author of Save the Date and Unclaimed Baggage
Transitioning from young adult to contemporary romance, Hahn (Never Saw You Coming) delivers a second-chance love story against the backdrop of home improvement television—with entertaining, if somewhat shoddily constructed, results. Former child star and pop singer Shelby Springfield imploded in the public eye after a messy breakup with her on- and off-screen boyfriend, Lyle Jessup, who cheated on her and blamed the infidelity on his suspicion that she never got over her true first love, their mutual costar Cameron Riggs. Retreating to small-town Michigan and picking up furniture refurbishing, Shelby is content to stay out of the spotlight—until Lyle, now a producer, offers her a gig hosting his new home renovation show alongside Cameron, who's willing to learn home remodeling if it means spending time with Shelby. Hahn never really justifies why Lyle would want to work with his ex—or why he goes on to gently sabotage the shoot—making the very foundation of the plot feel unstable. Still, Shelby and Cameron's chemistry is sweet, and getting to know Shelby's friends (all also former famous people who randomly settled in Michigan) will make readers excited for more in this series. It's a bit of a fixer-upper, but it has plenty of charm.
Fun, flirty and full of surprises!!
Shelby and Cameron were child stars who fell in love at eighteen but when Cameron went off to college, he left Shelby heartbroken and all alone. She threw herself back into the LA scene but after a bad breakup, she begged Cameron to come back to console her which he did, without hesitation. Once he arrived he knew he couldn’t stay so once again, he left her and went back to his real life. There was only so much rejection a girl could take so Shelby packed up her belongings and moved back home to Michigan, where life was simpler and where she could get on with the next chapter in her life. The Hollywood lifestyle was behind her or so she thought, until she was offered the chance to be the star of a different kind of show.
Shelby was proud of her new life and if doing the new show would also help her father, she just knew she had to do it. But how would she react when she sees Cameron again and will they be able to recreate the onscreen chemistry they once had? Does he really want to leave his coveted job with National Geographic to work with the one woman who has ever really owned his heart? How will Lyle, the third player in the drama treat them, and what tricks does he have up his sleeve to make their lives miserable?
Shelby and Cameron certainly have a chemistry that was built to last!! They fell in love as innocent teenagers who had been thrust into the spotlight of a popular TV show. Ten years after their last scene together, they are once again in front of the camera but this time, Shelby is calling the shots and Cameron is right there by her side. They are a charismatic, but humble couple who have a second chance to entertain their fans, old and new, one room and one house at a time.
Home Renovation and Romance
Four and a half Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭒
Built to Last by Erin Hahn is a second-chance romance for two characters who were teenage lovers, and now face each other again, years later.
Shelby Springfield was a child actor during her formative teen years, she was one of the three main characters on a sitcom called The World According to Jackson. Her two co-stars were Lyle Jessup and Cameron Riggs. Cameron and Shelby fell in love while filming the sitcom, but when Cameron left suddenly for college, she turned to Lyle.
When Shelby calls Cameron after her breakup with Lyle, he comes running, but he doesn’t stay. He goes back to his job as a National Geographic documentarian, where he flies around the world 11 months a year. After a public meltdown after her breakup with Lyle, Shelby leaves Los Angeles to live with her father in Michigan and learns the home renovation and furniture rehabilitation trades from her dad.
When Lyle asks both Cameron and Shelby to do a home renovation show, with him as the showrunner, both are skeptical at first, but they eventually agree. Will spending time together working on a reality show spark up the flames they used to have for each other?
I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at making a reality show, especially a home-flipping reality show. I felt like the author really understood child actors and the issues they face. Each of these three main characters were child actors and they each had different reasons and a different support system when they were on the popular tv show.
I loved this second-chance romance between child stars. When they first became an item, they were so young, and it makes sense that they both had to go and grow up a bit before they could have a real relationship.
I enjoyed this book from the very first page. Shelby was a bit difficult to like at first, but I did warm up to her quickly. I loved her dad, and could totally understand why the tv show people didn’t want him in the show! Shelby’s mother was your typical stage mother, and I could understand Shelby’s desire to lead a “normal” life.
I recommend Built to Last to anyone who enjoys romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.