Cover Image: Built to Last

Built to Last

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I wasn’t I totally sold on the premise of this book, but holy cow did the author pull it off! It’s second chance love, and it’s so swoony and romantic and mature and all of the wonderful things. A fantastic adult rom-com debut from the author, and I hope we get to revisit some more characters from northern Michigan in the future!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
This was simple, sweet rom com with lovable characters and a fun home renovation reality show theme.  Both main characters are sweet and I liked that the majority of the conflict wasn't based on misunderstandings or miscommunication.  I'd recommend this to any contemporary romance reader.
Was this review helpful?
I’ve been in Austin this weekend for a nice, warm getaway before the chilly Northeast weather breaks through, and I am so happy that while I was here I decided to read Built to Last, the adult romance debut by Erin Hahn that publishes next month.
Maybe it’s due to being in the land of live music, but I’ve had two songs continuously running through my mind while reading - or maybe it’s because each chapter of the book shares its title with a song! I keep hearing The Chicks' Without You because of the LONGING between the main characters (told in dual POV) who were teenage sweethearts and after many years apart are finally working together. And, since the plot centers around home renovation and furniture restoration, I also heard Maren Morris' The Bones, the title of the final chapter that was in my head far before I got to it.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading Erin’s previous YA novels, let me tell you, you are in for a treat to discover them along with this adult romance. Her writing efforts bring out the best, and she doesn't shy away from a challenge, such as writing country lyrics for You’d Be Mine and exposing toxic purity culture in Never Saw You Coming. I was so excited to be offered a widget to read Built to Last from St Martin's Griffin and St Martin's Press via NetGalley and it more than lived up to my expectations. I can’t wait for others to check it out October 18th - if you’re a fan of HGTV I am willing to bet you’ll enjoy this second chance romance with former child star actors filming a pilot house flipping show in Michigan. I was reminded of my summers working at an overnight Girl Scout camp in Michigan. Thank you, Erin - and I can’t wait to read Lorelai’s story!!
Was this review helpful?
⭐️: 4/5

Shelby, Cameron, and Lyle grew up together as the stars of a wildly popular kids show, until Cameron left the show to go to college and try to lead a normal life. Afterwards, Shelby, who was left heartbroken by Cameron’s departure, begins a tumultuous relationship with Lyle, until a public and embarrassing breakup prompts her to leave the public eye as well and return home to flip houses with her dad. Years later, a still jealous Lyle brings Cameron and Shelby back together as the prospective stars of a new house flipping show, HomeMade. Shelby wants the world to see that she’s grown up from the messy party girl she used to be, Cameron wants to find a place that he feels comfortable enough to settle down in and call home, and Lyle can’t help but cause issue after issue due to his jealousy. 

I’m in the minority here, but there’s something about animated cover art that I really don’t like. I truly do try not to judge books by their covers (or titles) but sometimes I can’t help it. That being said, I found this little second chance romance story to be really cute and heartwarming, if a little tedious at times. All three characters had such intensive backstories that it was kind of hard to keep straight at first, and with all the explaining and reiterating of past events that have shaped the present narrative, it felt like honestly not much happened in the book plot wise. I was really expecting something bigger to happen towards the end, in the vein of the 11th hour breakup that predictably occurs in rom-com books. However, nothing of the sort happened, and the whole book was just kind of caught in one long, drawn out miscommunication trope storyline. I enjoyed the story and reading experience a lot more than what I just said may imply, but reflecting back on the book as a whole, it was really just…lacking something. I think it really does suffer from having too much of a backstory to explain, and the lack of a satisfactory explanation on WHY the main characters were acting the way they were acting. As a result, we as the readers don’t get the feeling of closure that comes from following along with the main characters overcoming some obstacle. It was just a sweet love story with no real teeth.

Thank you to @netgalley and @stmartinspress for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I'm going to call this one 3.5 stars.
I loved the premise of this book, a second chance romance between child stars who are reunited to film a new Chip-and-Joanna-style home makeover show. It had a lot of promise, and I thought the main characters, Shelby and Cameron, were wonderful, especially together, but some aspects of the premise fell a little flat to me.
Shelby's time as a child television star was dominated by an abusive mother and a manipulative co-star/boyfriend, and for some reason it's this same ex-boyfriend who uses his role as a producer to manipulate Shelby into filming a home renovation show that she's originally not that keen on, and he's constantly throwing roadblocks in her way, from pressuring Cameron to serve as her co-host to bringing her manipulative mother on set unannounced and generally trying to create drama on what is otherwise shaping up to be a thoughtful, carefully considered renovation show. Erin Hahn never presented the story as a love triangle, which I appreciated, but the ex-boyfriend loomed too large for my taste.
Both MCs had a lot of family drama to work through as a result of their time as child stars, not to mention the work that needed to be done on their own relationship, and it was these relationships that drove the plot. I especially liked seeing the life that Shelby built for herself post-child stardom: her friends were great, her furniture-making was great, her business with her dad was great. She was presented as competent and thriving, and although ultimately she's happy to make a new go of it on television, it seemed like she didn't need it, especially once her dad was pretty much cut out of the show.
Of course, the new show serves as a convenient plot point to bring Cameron back into her life, and the lives of his family members. He's been a National Geographic-type filmographer since their childhood show ended, and again, the show seemed more like a plot point than a logical career progression for Cameron too.
Nonetheless, the MCs had great chemistry. I loved the scenes on the weekend flea marketing trip, I loved how impressed Cameron was by Shelby's competence, and I really appreciated that the third-act conflict was pretty much entirely external, rather than internal.
On that note, the ex-boyfriend really didn't get enough comeuppance for my taste. But overall, it was a very enjoyable read, and provided a tantalising set-up for Shelby's friends to get romances of their own.

CW:
-emotional and financial manipulation of a child by a parent (in the past)
-alcoholism (in the early flashback)
-emotional and situational manipulation by an ex who is producing the show the MCs are working on
Was this review helpful?
i feel so beyond grateful to have read yet another advanced copy of an erin hahn novel <3

erin hahn has become one of those “auto-buy” authors for, she never disappoints !!

friends to lovers is such a good trope the ANGST

OKAY FIRST OF ALL, i love how most of her books have some kind of music element, it makes the whole experience so much more fun

i adored this book and it’s characters so so so so much. i adored the friendships the most. 

when previous characters were mentioned >>

i am so beyond excited for lorelei’s book!!
Was this review helpful?
I'm a romcom lover so when one comes my way I always give it a chance. I believe this author usually writes YA so I wasn't sure when I heard she was going to have an adult book btu i'm soo glad i took a chance! I really really enjoyed this story and it was such a nice palette cleanser when I needed one. I loved the characters and I loved that I was engrossed in this story. 10/1o would recommend!
Was this review helpful?
Gone are the days of the damsel in distress romance stories!! I love these modern love stories with strong women, and Built To Last didn't disappoint. Based on the book synopsis alone, I thought this book might be iffy, especially considering it involves celebrities and reality TV. BUT, I was pleasantly surprised! It has just the right amount of down to earth charm, thanks in large part to being set in Michigan flipping houses. I thoroughly enjoyed the main characters and how they navigated what came at them in an authentic way. Again, pleasantly surprised and I would absolutely recommend this book!
Was this review helpful?
I loved the premise of featuring a home improvement show as the underlying setting for this story about rekindled love and second chances.  After 10 years since the end of their run as child stars on a TV sitcom, Shelby and Cameron are reunited with another former child actor, Lyle (and ex-boyfriend of Shelby) to make a reality show on flipping houses featured in Michigan.  As child actors, Shelby and Cameron had the sparks fly between them but it was Shelby and Kyle who became boyfriend and girlfriend until he cheated on her.  Five years in, heartbroken and messed up, she reached out to Cameron who encouraged her to flee, to get out of LA, where she then fled to Michigan to be with her dad.  Now 5 years later, she is a well-adjusted adult with a career in refurbishing furniture and flipping houses with her dad.  Cameron is flying around the world filming documentaries. Kyle puts them together to make the reality show but with ulterior motives of his own, that is to undermine their success and get his revenge.  But Shelby and Cameron succeed in spite of Kyle, and finally find love with each other as adults. There are lots of hot sizzling scenes with perhaps too many details that can easily be skipped. But the underlying passion between the two, their genuine support of each other as they deal with demons from their past and as they come to embrace who they are, makes this a heart-warming read.  You can’t but help to root for the success of their endeavor but more so for Cameron and Shelby to make it as a couple.  they are so lucky to have friends who are undyingly loyal and have grit.  I would have liked to see the demise of Kyle though who is quite the sleazebag.  I also liked Shelby’s dad, who is a wise soul. 
Many thanks to #netgalley #builttolast #erinhahan #st.martinspress for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Was this review helpful?
This was the embodiment of "fine." Not bad, not good, just eh. The characters were charming, the setting was interesting, but the writing was just....not it. It was a lot of telling, no showing; a lot of "yadda,yadda"ing over pretty important parts; a lot of odd details (Shelby's dad's car crash?) that just weren't needed. This would have made a solid and sweet novella, but it's just not enough meat for a novel. It's a quick read for sure, and there's very little I can say against it - it's just a feeling that I will forget I even read this book in under a week. There's just not much to hold on to really. That being said, if you want a quick, sweet read and can tolerate an omnipresent toxic ex, this is a fair choice to pick up. 

**Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the eARC**
Was this review helpful?
I love love loved this book. This is my first book by Erin Hahn, which I have also come to learn this is her first adult romance. Erin, it’s safe to say I will read any future adult romances (& probably your YA romance too) going forward. 

Built to Last is told in dual POV, with second chance romance, forced proximity & reality tv. It hits so many different tropes & is just so good. I couldn’t put it down. 

Shelby & Cameron were child stars, with a history, who gave up stardom to figure out who they were. They each set off to fill their own cups, Cameron travelling the world & Shelby heading home to Michigan. When a new TV opportunity comes up, Cameron & Shelby end up being costars once again. With their history, they have a lot to work through in order to make the new show successful, for not only themselves but for their friends, family & community. 

Shelby is hilarious, laugh out loud funny. She is so tough & can handle a lot, even if she is super emotional. Cameron is such a delicate, clueless soul. Together, they will be a power couple with the type of love everyone dreams of.
Was this review helpful?
I don't think it's the book, I think it's me. I honestly believe that I'm just not a good fit for Erin Hahn's books for whatever reason; this is the 3rd book by the author that I've tried to read and just couldn't (all three have been DNFs). I was hoping since this was Hahn's adult debut that I would enjoy it better but I just couldn't connect with the characters, unfortunately. I don't think I'll be giving any more of her books a try...

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The first chapter, I was skeptical and not entirely sure what I was getting into. Kind of over the drinking drugs rock bottom trope. But then 5 years later. We see former childhood stars turned strangers reconnecting for an HGTV-esque house flip pilot, the looming first love chemistry hanging over them before finally leaning into their feelings. 

Let's get it out of the way first. Lyle is the absolute WORST!! Shelby and Cameron showed so much growth through the story, both separately and together, and I was pleasantly surprised with how the author weaved in a different type of third act break up. From the beginning, even when they were tiptoeing over the awkward we haven't seen each other in ages, didn't end on any terms and weren't anything (YET) they felt like MORE. Like yes longing and pining was referred to but wasn't highlighted because they were already more, even when they were leaning into anger or frustration. I loved how Shelby's dad took Cameron under is wing, both personally and professionally, the reconnecting with family and friends throughout the story was just oh so sweet. And the music video at the end 🥰. I loved the flashback moments and oh my goodness the teaser to the one bed that wasn't 🤣.

This was such cute story of growth and the longevity of love, grab some cookies and your favorite reading nook and enjoy! 


Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC in exchange for my review!
Was this review helpful?
This was my first Erin Hahn book and it was too good!! The depth of the characters and their relationship was fantastic. I never felt like there was a lull in the narrative. I couldn’t put it down.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this, and it makes me really excited to read more adult romance by Erin Hahn! I read her early YA (thoroughly enjoyed her country music romance YA, You'd Be Mine, which I felt touches of in this beyond the early mention of Annie) but have fallen behind on her newer work. I really hope this book is followed up by Lorelei and Maren's stories, as they were such fun friends - I mean, a Chicks-esque disgraced country star turned third grade teacher and a former pageant girl and park ranger?! 

As for Built to Last itself -- I'm such a sucker for a Hollywood romance, and for a second chance romance, but I loved this specific, special twist on the Hollywood story: taking it outside of LA, neither lead caring about an entertainment career, and focusing on a HGTV-like reality show of home renovation. It led to a lot of fun set-ups and, as a fan of home renovation and the daughter of a contractor who did this kind of work, it was both enjoyable to follow and satisfying to see through for Shelby and Cameron. They were such a winning, sweet couple and their journey to come back together for real was well-paced, without a forced third act breakup/fight pushed in there - they had things to work through and didn't need the typical additional drama. They felt like a real couple, even when dealing with problems most of us don't have to. 

I just wish we had seen more of Shelby and Cameron's pasts rather than references, and that there was more closure with people and parts of their lives they forced to face in the course of filming: Shelby's reputation, Cameron's dad and brother, and especially Ada Mae (which was an interesting, surprisingly relevant piece of this book, especially so soon after reading Jennette McCurdy's memoir) and Lyle (who truly deserved more comeuppance than he got). These pieces felt incomplete, when they were often quite interesting, sensitive parts of the book.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book!  I loved the second chance romance mixed with a home renovation show as the background, plus the small-town feel.  Shelby and Cameron first fell for each other as child actors, but quickly went their separate ways.  After time apart, much of which was Cameron running away/staying away from home, they are reunited to film a home renovation show.  Shelby has been working on houses with her father, but Cameron has been off filming documentaries all over the world.  They are brought together by their former co-star, and Shelby's former boyfriend, Lyle, and while Lyle wants to see a successful show, he also wants to have some fun with them as well, or maybe at their expense.  Cameron apprentices under Shelby's father so that he can pull off the renovation on camera, and in the process realizes that being back home isn't so bad.  

The romance was sweet and well developed and the setting was well described, and I especially enjoyed the scenes of Shelby and Cameron antiquing.  I enjoyed reading about the wood working that Shelby does to restore furniture.  Plus, Shelby and Cameron's friends added more to the story, and I could see a future book with Lorelai taking the lead.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read and review.
Was this review helpful?
First off, Thank you to Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read Built to Last before its release.  I give it a solid 5 stars.  A great second chance romance for anyone who needs to hit all of their emotions in one day.  There is heartbreak, regret, perseverance and an awesome HEA!  I do need to know about the next book!  After that ending, there must be a spin off coming ASAP! Maybe involving Lorelai, Craig and Drake? Fingers crossed!!  Also, I need to know if there will actually be a song released called, WHAT THEY HAVE.  I have a feeling that it would be a very popular song.
Was this review helpful?
Very sweet romance. Fans of the childhood friends to lovers trope will surely enjoy this! I found the premise of the two leads being child actors unique! Their relationship was refreshing and mature.
Was this review helpful?
I've enjoyed all the other Erin Hahn books I've read so I had high expectations for this one. I think it just hit me at the wrong time as I had just read another Hollywood actor goes off the map type of story so it didn't feel quite as exciting as I wanted it to. 

I loved the midwest setting and the HGTV vibes of this one and seeing stories set in the Midwest is definitely why I'll keep reading Hahn's books. 

I didn't love the premise and I felt confused about the love triangle aspect. I didn't understand why a former child star/singer would then turn into the showrunner on a home improvement show. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest reivew.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for this Arc!

I love friends to lovers, a one bed only trope and throw in a reality TV home remodeling show??? YES!!!

This was a hit for me.  Shelby and Cam started something at age 17 when their tv/sitcom coming of age show went off the air 10 years ago and now, they are working together again!

This has a great build up to steamy romance and a lot of sweet nothings that left me sighing.  What I especially loved was the attention to details about them as a couple but first and foremost as individuals.   

Cam really had to make peace with his family, especially his father.  He was also struggling with the idea of setting down roots somewhere more permanently than he has been.   Shelby has spent the last 5 years sober and focusing on herself.   My personal favorite thing about this book is that Shelby is a skilled woodworker and works with her dad on renovations.

If your a fan of romcoms then I definitely recommend this!

Out October 18, 2022!
Was this review helpful?