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Built to Last by Erin Hahn

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Published: October 18, 2022

St. Martin’s Griffin

Pages: 330

Genre: Romantic Comedy

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Erin started writing her books when her little sister gave her shade about a country music-themed Twilight fanfic. By day, she gets to share her favorite stories with her elementary students. By night, she writes swoons. Erin married her own YA love interest, whom she met on her first day of college, and has two kids who are much, much cooler than she ever was at their age. She lives in Michigan, aka the greenest place on earth, and has a cat, Gus, who plays fetch.

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.

“No ghosts here; only dusty sunbeams and rejection.”

Former child stars Shelby and Cameron have a complicated relationship. Despite having feelings for each other, things never seemed to fit. When an opportunity falls in their laps to cohost a renovation show together, they take the project. They are adults now, after all. But history does have a way of repeating itself.

The plot of this story was different, and it was interesting to read. It took me a while to get into the storyline, though. I didn’t connect with the characters, and I wasn’t overly drawn to their story.

I felt the character development between Shelby and Cameron should have gone a step further. For most of the book, they both came off as emotionally stunted. I know that was part of their development, but in the story’s first half, I found them both kind of shallow.

The development does take off. And luckily, the side characters are all pretty great and add some flavor to the central plot. I think the idea of this book was a complicated theme to focus on because it had to be brought to life in a 3D way.

I did enjoy the sentimentality between Cameron and Shelby, and I enjoyed witnessing their coming together. The redemption they went through was fantastic. I was so glad they got their moment.

I do wish we had more time with Daniel, Shelby’s dad. He was such a fantastic character, and I love his purity. He was the perfect catalyst for the trauma both Shelby and Cameron had.

This was a sweet story, and I enjoyed the unique plot. I loved the way things fell together. Something I really found remarkable about this story was the absolute respect Cameron had for Shelby from the beginning. I love that their relationship was a partnership from the start. They truly brought out the best in each other, and their connection was genuine.

I loved the epilogue. It was the best way to bring this story to a close and give us some finality to this journey. I also like that it almost hinted at a possible spin-off featuring Lorelai and Drake. To be continued?

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