Review: Building Forever by Kelly Jensen

Posted October 15, 2018 by Lola in Contemporary, Review, Romance / 10 Comments

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Building ForeverBuilding Forever (This Time Forever #1)
by Kelly Jensen

Rating: 5 stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ MM romance

Charlie King is doing fine. Sure, he’s a widower raising a teenage daughter who just got her first boyfriend, his book series isn’t writing itself, and he has a crush on his new neighbor — the guy next door. But everything’s just fine.

Simon Lynley is doing better. He moved to Bethlehem to fall out of love and rebuild his career. An affair with his neighbor isn’t part of the plan, but the attraction between them is too hard to ignore.

But when Simon’s ex follows him to Pennsylvania seeking reconciliation, and Charlie’s life starts to feel like a video on repeat, everything comes apart. Charlie worries that he’s failing as a father, and Simon is a distraction he can’t afford. Meanwhile Simon doesn’t know if he could survive being left again, and he hasn’t come all this way to make the same mistakes. But despite their fears, it’s only together that they’ll find the strength to slay old foes and build the forever they’ve been waiting for.

My Review

I received a free copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed it.

Gah I loved this book. From the first scene it pulled me in immediately and it kept my attention for the whole book. Literally every single reading session lasted anywhere from a few to multiple chapters longer than I had planned, every single time I picked up this book I read longer than I had planned to, which doesn’t happen often at all. I just had such a hard time putting this book down. I just wanted to know what would happen next and read more about Charlie and Simon. The romance was so well done. And I just loved these two characters and how well they fit together.

After I read To See the Sun by this author earlier this year I knew I had to read more of Kelly Jensen’s work and Building Forever caught my attention right away. Even tough normally I avoid stories that have widowers in them, as I find it too sad, everything else in the blurb sounded awesome and I am glad I decided to pick this book up. And luckily it wasn’t too sad and the topic of his loss was handled well.

The story is told from dual point of view of both Charlie and Simon. Which worked great for this book as I felt I got a good feel for both Charlie and Simon’s personalities and what attracted them to the other. The build-up was one of my favorite parts, I loved every interaction between these two and how they kept trying to think of excuses to visit, it was adorable. These two were so sweet together. And then the part where they finally give a relationship a try was awesome too and I liked how even in the sex scenes there were tender moments and it was just so obvious these to were perfect together. They were caring and attentive to the others wants and needs. And just made for a great couple.

Charlie is a single dad and a widower. But while he might have his struggles and hard times he is a burst of happiness and sunshine most of the time. My favorite parts were how he would ramble on and on and couldn’t stop talking at times, it was adorable. But there are also scenes were you see the hurt he still carries with him and the doubts about whether he is doing this whole parenting thing alright. And it’s that hurt and doubt that him feel even more real. And that scene where Simon finds him in his garden one day and his hurt shines throughout and Simon is there for him was so touching.

While I liked Charlie instantly it took me only slightly longer to warm up to Simon. Simon moved across a state line to get away from his ex and ex business partner and is ready for his new start. The house next door and his new neighbor catches his attention right away, but he still has his own hurdles to overcome as well. He has his scars as well and at the end of the book when you figure out the real meat of the matter about why he stayed with his ex as long as he had made me so sad for him and so happy he now had Charlie who proved his belief were wrong. I also liked his love for architecture and there are some scenes where he gets all excited about architecture things which was great to read as most of the time he is very quiet. So the scenes where he talks a lot seemed to carry even more weight then.

These two were just perfect together. And I don’t mean that in a way that their romance was perfect, as it wasn’t. There were some hurdles to overcome and things they had to work out, but it all felt realistically. They were perfect in the scene how well they fit together. They both were so caring and thoughtful. From the gifts, to the sex, to their conversations. It was just awesome to see them together and I completely loved reading about them and their romance. They had obvious chemistry, but it also was so clearly much more than that. I also liked the contradiction between how talkative Charlie was and Simon more quiet.

This book also has a colorful cats of side characters. There is Olivia or Liv, Charlie’s daughter who is a very important part of this book. She just has her first boyfriend and Charlie struggles to deal with it. I sometimes felt bad for her as Charlie could be a bit overprotective at times and wanted to shield her from making the mistake he did. But they also had a great father daughter relationship in my opinion. It was obvious Charlie cared for her and there are some great scenes with them, as well as a some funny ones.

Then there is Phil, Charlie’s best friend. I liked Phil and I appreciated how he was there for Charlie. They were really close and it was fun to see they bond they had. Simon’s best friend Frank I didn’t like at first, but that’s because of something that happened early in the book, after that I quickly warmed up to him because he was a good friend and cared about Simon. And it seems the second book in this series is about Frank. So I am curious about his story.

To summarize: this was an awesome read. This was such an awesome romance and I loved both Charlie and Simon, but the part I liked most was seeing how they interacted with each other. They were so caring and thoughtful and this book is full with amazing scenes. I loved seeing them grow closer and then take that leap into a relationship. The tone of this book is pretty light and happy most of the time, but it also touches upon some topics like single parenting, loss, moving on and discovering one’s sexuality. Both Simon and Charlie were characters I really liked and they came alive with their vibrant personalities, strengths, doubts and flaws. There are some great side characters as well. This is one of the best romances I read in along time and I can’t wait for the rest of the series and I am so glad I discovered this author as I really like her writing style so far.

5 Stars

Riptide Publishing

You can also read my review on Goodreads and Amazon.

What was your last 5 star read?

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10 responses to “Review: Building Forever by Kelly Jensen

    • I am currently reading the second book. I hope you get around to reading these eventually :). And how fun you did an interview with the author! Will have to keep an eye out for that.

  1. It sounds a lovely romantic read – no wonder you gave it 5 starts, Lola:).

    My last 5 star read was J.K. Rowling’s LETHAL WHITE a.k.a Robert Galbraith in the Cormoran Strike series, which is the best of the lot so far.

    • It really was an awesome romantic read.

      I haven’t read any of Rowling’s books as Robert Galbraith, but good to know you enjoyed them 🙂

  2. Yay 5 stars!!! Those books where you’re immediately gripped and know it’s a great book, those are the best. I’m glad you took a chance and that it paid off and wasn’t too sad. The guys sounds sweet and especially cute together as a couple. I love when you find a couple that just seems to fit perfectly. I don’t know if I’ve read any books about a single parent from the parent’s POV. That’s nice he had a good relationship with his daughter. This sounds like a great book, and I’m happy for you that you loved it so much!
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Book Recs: 10 Lesser-Known M/M Vampire BooksMy Profile

    • Yes it’s the best when a book grabs you immediately like that. I am glad I took a chance on this one. The guys were really great and made for such a perfect couple. I think I’ve read a few other romances with a single parent, it can add some interesting dynamics. I am glad Charlie’s relationship with his daughter was so well done in this book. I just got a copy of book 2 in this series, so I hope to get to that soon.

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