A Better Man by Jaime Reese is her first novel as a stand alone author and what an incredible story it was. I’m not going to rehash the blurb here for you as it speaks for itself in outlining the story. I’m going to try and add some things that give a little insight on what makes this story one that you should pick up right away. I have always been drawn to stories where the MC’s are damaged or are the underdogs. I love to watch them find their footing and grow to be the person that they knew they could be. Julian, or J as he likes to be called, and Matt are your main characters in this story. They both are damaged in one way or another. They both have struggled, not only with their family life but with their personal choices as well. Matt is a wonderful, kind, good natured man who only wants his family’s approval. He feels he has let his parents down and failed them in a way that he may never get back. He was left some money from a deceased aunt and he sees this as his way to make something incredible and give back to his community. To make a difference for others who have fallen on bad times.
Julian also has a damaged soul from a not so good childhood, and he finds it nearly impossible to open up to anyone. He’s down on his luck with no job in sight until one day he sees an ad for a handyman. “Why not” he says. It’s not like anyone is beating down his door handing out anything better. He decides to check out what this handyman job entails and he meets Matt, the owner, of a house that needs to be restored. They don’t exactly get off on the right foot, but they come to an agreement as Matt needs a contractor, and Julian needs a job.
The author does an incredible job of putting these two men together, allowing them to work off each others strengths and forming a friendship held together by a tight bond. Their friendship into lovers is not a fast paced development. They spend time together, learning each other, about their pasts and what they see as their future. This is a love story between two men who felt they were undeserving of such a thing as love and relationship. They stick up for each other, stand by each other when times are rough. You can feel their connection and the love they develop from each other as days turn into weeks and weeks into months. If you are looking for a sexual based relationship that fill up the pages, you will not find that here. They do have sex, but it is minimal and is not the main focus of the story. I applaud the author for creating a story of love, but instead of sex being the basis of the relationship, it’s emotions and feelings. Jaime Reese done an outstanding job in creating a story that not only kept your attention, but also made you not want to put the story down until you read one more chapter, then another, and another and you find yourself coming up on The End, and you are amazed at how quickly and effortlessly it flowed.
I would recommend this story to anyone who likes to see the underdog thrive. To see the MC’s change right before your eyes into something they can be proud of. It’s time to stand up and fight for what you believe in and what you rightly deserve. This is what Matt and Julian are doing for themselves and for them as a couple. Even though their sexual relationship is not played out strongly within this story, you still know they have one and they cherish those moments together. For this to be Jaime’s first story she does as a solo author, I think she hit it out of the park. Well done Jaime Reese and I will personally be watching for more great works attached to your name in the future.