Everything between Cameron Riggs and me has always felt at once insignificant and extraordinary. We were kids. It was only a crush. It was just sex. I swallow thickly, knowing none of it was that simple.
Were you invested in the Justin/Britney relationship of the late 90s? This book is for you!
First loves are complicated. There always seems to be more questions than answers. Is this love? Is this going to last forever? Are they “the one?” Erin Hahn takes these questions and rolls with them through “Built to Last”, adding a little bit of drama to the plot to make for one very compelling and engaging story about first loves and second chances.
Child stars Cameron and Shelby were each other’s first loves. Life happens. The two actors go their separate ways and grow into their adult selves, but just as in the real world, you can never forget your first love. After a bad public breakup, Shelby calls for Cameron begging him to come be with her. He gets on a very small, very scary airplane, to fly home from Alaska to California to make sure she’s okay. She’s not, as it turns out, but he’s not the one that can help her. She has to help herself.
I’m a simple woman. Give me a bearded man and a sun-soaked early-century Craftsman reading nook and I will love you forever.
Cut to a few years later and Shelby is offered a starring role on a reality TV show, but it’s messy. The network will only give her the show if she works with Cameron, and the show is produced by her cheating ex, Lyle. What could possibly go wrong with this scenario?
I would watch the hell out of this show.
Erin Hahn’s “Built to Last” Playlist
I couldn’t put this book down.
“Built to Last” is teeming with what seems to be unrequited love. There are dual POV chapters alternating between Shelby and Cameron, and each one is layered with lingering feelings, both past and present. For those that have been following me, I don’t usually love a dual POV novel, Erin Hahn makes it work. Chapter by chapter, Shelby and Cameron delve further into their feelings from the past in order to process their feelings in the present.
Cameron seems determined to break down my defenses one mallet swing at a time and he’s doing one hell of a job. He still doesn’t seem to realize how much he doesn’t need to convince me. I’m there, man. I’ve been there. I practically live there. RIP my sanity, send your regards to 1234 Shelby Is Pathetic for Cameron Street.
Shelby, we’ve all been there, babe. Love makes you crazy, and makes you do crazy things.
Don’t let my Shelby quotes fool you, though. Cameron has it just as bad for his girl.
Not that she needs me. She’s not the same hurting Shelby who drunk-texted me five years ago. The Shelby sitting here is a far cry from that girl. This Shelby is fierce and endlessly patient and elegant in the face of Lyle’s bullsh*t. I fell hard for the Old Shelby, but this new version will absolutely destroy me.
Come for the second chance romance and HGTV-themed reality TV show plot, and stay put for the yearning, tension, and desire between rekindled first loves that ripples across the pages. You will not be disappointed.
What’s next from Erin Hahn?
Hahn has confirmed that Maren and Lorelai will be getting their own books, and while I am over the moon excited about this, I would take this one step further and beg St. Martin’s Griffin to offer another multi-book deal to expand this world featuring all of the side characters I’ve come to love: Maren, Lorelai, Beth and Kevin the Viking. Especially Kevin. This lumberjack of a man definitely has some stories to tell.
Built to Last is Hahn’s first foray into adult romance, but it feels like she’s been writing in this lane forever. Probably because even though her previous novels are billed as young adult, her characters are well-rounded, mature, and independent thinkers who navigate conflict just as well, if not better, than the adults surrounding them.
Hahn proves one novel after another that she’s no slouch when it comes to writing. Each new book seems to be a love letter to her craft. They are filled with beautifully balanced prose and dialogue, and layered with creativity. Each of her published novels has something original: song lyrics, playlists, letters, and in “Built to Last” we see a faux news article so authentic it could have come right from People Magazine.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of what I hope is a very long and prosperous career for Erin Hahn, and I can’t wait to read what comes next.
I just realized I never sat down and wrote out a review for what ended up being one of my favorite books that month! This was the perfect blend of friendship, emotional baggage, growth, healing and steam. I flew through it, completely pulled in by the tension that simmered between the two main characters as they weighed their past against their future. I went on to buy a paperback and will be doing a re-read, soon!
I wasn't expecting F bombs right off the bat and for it to be so spicy right away, so I DNFed it. Also just didn't connect to the characters. I should've done my research before requesting, and I will from here out. Thanks.
CW: drug and alcohol abuse (including as a teenager), parental abuse of a child, mentions of cheating
Since a public meltdown, Shelby Springfield has done her best to move on from that image she had left the world with as the child star who had a documented downfall. Finding herself in refinishing vintage furniture.
Shelby finds herself back in the spotlight as one of her former co-stars brings her on board for a home renovation show - along with her childhood crush Cameron Riggs.
This sounded so cute and I was ready to buckle down with some HGTV vibes and relax. Built to Last gave me just that with some childhood romance.
The nice thing about this romance is that the drama is all external. Shelby and Cameron are solid and all that drama really brings them closer together. They talk things through and there is no build up to anything where you are expecting that late break-up before they figure things out and get back together. I truly enjoyed that.
Where I struggled with this is that they were so in love with each other the whole time that there was never that build-up for me. We didn't get enough background from them to have that sickening sweet story that make you look goofy by sitting there with a smile on your face as you read it. I would have loved a little bit more tension in the build-up to really connect with them.
If you are looking for a romance that's sweet with childhood sweethearts who never stopped loving one another, I would recommend this one!
What! I absolutely loved this book. It was so adorable and fun, while also sneaking in some more “real-life” hurt and trauma, in a way that didn’t feel too overwhelming or harmful to me as a reader. I loved the idea of teen heartthrobs moving into a home improvement reality series as a way to take care of the people they love. I don’t really watch much reality tv (scripted or not), unless I’m at the doctor’s office or the car dealership service department (why are these places always playing HGTV??), so I think I may have loved this book even more if I was into that kind of show. BUT I did grow up in the era of Disney channel teens falling into poor lifestyles (or at least being publicly perceived that way), and as an adult have seen those same celebrities shift paths, so it felt very familiar in that sense. While there were a million different shows their teen drama could have reminded me of (and even Boy Meets World was mentioned), this felt very Dawson’s Creek to me, which is sort of how I imagined it while I read.
I loved the lifetime of love Shelby and Cam had for each other, and I loved Shelby’s relationship with her father. I was immensely stressed during the scenes of unnecessary drama developed by the antagonists, but I think that’s actually because the story was so good and the emotions while reading were so raw.
The chemistry between Shelby and Cam was so unreal, and I mean that in the BEST WAY! I loved their relationship so much and thought they were so perfect and sweet together. This was such a great, heartfelt story that I just really appreciated and enjoyed.
This was a cute story with very likable characters. Overall it was well written and engaging. It had a sweet vibe to it and it felt very NA which, neither, are really my thing. It's probably a me issue, not a book issue so please check out other reviews
*ARC provided through Netgalley*
This book feels like a combination of "Maggie Moves On" by Lucy Score and "The Reunion" by Kayla Olson. Childhood co-stars and ex-lovers, who are still friends but haven't seen each other in years, are forced to reconnect. Shelby and Cameron were each others' teenaged first loves and co-stars, and now years later, they are reconnecting to film an HGTV-style home renovation pilot. Even though Cameron is the one who left Shelby (twice), he has never let her go, and this might just be the opportunity he needs to make things right. But Shelby's ex, and another of the childhood co-stars, is not making it easy, doing all he can to bring tension to the new show.
Both Shelby and Cameron were in love with the other, and if they would have just talked about things earlier, they wouldn't have had to spend years apart. And Shelby basically admits that she didn't like being with Lyle, even though she dated him anyway...that annoyed me. But overall, this childhood friends to lovers, second chance romance was sweet! I did appreciate that most of the conflict was outside of the couple/relationship!
A super quick + cute rom com featuring a second-chance romance between two childhood stars who find themselves working together again on the set of a home renovation reality show. This book was very sweet (and surprisingly spicy!!). A bit heavy on the insta-love for my personal tastes, but their shared history helped bridge the gap a bit. I especially appreciated the distinct lack of a third-act breakup, which seems like a crutch for a lot of recent romances. I had so much fun listening to this story (dual narration!), and would definitely recommend for anyone who is looking for a light and happy HEA.
I really enjoyed this one. Hahn's choice to not only go with dual points of view but first person in both was interesting and made me connect easily to both Shelby and Cameron. Both characters had good character development, Cam's being more in the moment while Shelby's was more about putting what she'd learned over the previous five years into action. It felt equally strong on both sides.
On the romance end, this was a different take on the second-chance (third-chance? fourth?) trope though the friends-to-lovers is very strong. All around, it was a pretty unique relationship when I think about the dynamics of it but I really ate it up. The ending was so satisfying and, I'm happy to report, that the third act was super low on angst. (You are a romance reading veteran if you know what third act plot device I'm referring to here!)
The writing is light and casual but still well-written and the pacing (done by the POV switches) kept me engaged so that I read through the whole thing pretty quickly. All in all, a solid love story that was a joy to read and that I would certainly recommend to other fans of the genre. I look forward to more from Hahn in the future!
Note: I received a free electronic edition of this book via NetGalley in exchange for the honest review above. I would like to thank them, the publisher, and the author for the opportunity to do so.
This book was just the perfect spring-into-summer read for me. Just something about home improvement just scream spring-cleaning to me and it was just perfect. I also happen to be a huge fan of second change romance so this was just the perfect book to satify that craving. I recently discovered that this is author Erin Hahn's adult romance debut and to that I say congratulations, what an accomplishment. This book just had all of the perfect ingredients that I just love and admire romance - the precise reason why it is my favourite genre. I little bit of suspence and anticipation with a touch of a mean streak in one of the characters that makes you just swoon over our soon-to-be pair. This was just such a fun read with a unique angle on second chance romance that I havent read before.
Super adorable easy listen! Great banter and humour between main characters and also secondary characters. I loved the child star second chance trope. I adored the setting and the home improvement show plot.
This book came together really well and I enjoyed every second of it. The narration was also excellent!
Thank you to the publisher for a gifted copy of this book.
I adored this first adult romance novel by Erin Hahn!! I need more! I binged this second chance, childhood friends to lovers romance and I hope there will be more books focused on Shelby's 2 best friends. Cam's devotion and long time love for Shelby made me swoon. I adored them so much! Do I think it's unrealistic for a natgeo video producer to turn into a general contractor within a day? Yes, but Erin Hahn made it work. If you're looking for a good beach read, pick it up!
This was a great adult romance debut! Former child actors and co-stars Shelby and Cameron are roped into an HGTV-style reality show. As they make peace with their past while working together to renovate a house, a slow burn second chance romance unfolds. Looking forward to more adult romance reads from Hahn!
I loved Erin Hahn’s debut YA novel so I was super excited to read her adult debut.
This book has so much to like, second chance romance, friends to lovers vibes, excellent banter, a home improvement show, and so much more.
I feel like there was just something missing from this being a perfect 5 stars for me. It was very enjoyable and I’d love to read more of Erin’s adult romcoms but this one was just a touch clunky in places for me.
Overall, a solid adult debut from an author that I would continue to read multiple genres from.
Really sweet story with so much heart! Perfect for fans of reality diy fixer upper shows! I was thankful this wasn’t a love triangle and more of a second chance romance
Meh. So slow. The characters weren’t relatable or likable. I really wanted to like this but I just couldn’t get into it. DNF around 40%.
Built to Last was an entertaining read. Shelby has been through things as a former child star who had a public meltdown that she’s trying to get past. She’s now doing something she loves refurbishing furniture. Her ex, Lyle, a pot-stirrer, former flame and co-star decides to head up a house flipping show and wants Shelby and Cameron, former best friends and child costars, to star in the show.
I really liked the natural easiness there was between Shelby and Cam. I was glad that the low-down things that Lyle was trying to do, yet again, to Shelby ended up blowing up in his face. He really was a scumbag. I loved the secondary characters that were in Shelby and Cam’s lives. I loved watching the interactions between Shelby and Cam, how in sync they were with each other and how the unfinished business it felt like there was between them was slowly getting resolved. There were some miscommunications in the past, but I loved the grown-up versions of them who were finally able to start writing their own narratives even though Lyle was right there trying to pull the strings because he was funding the show. Good riddance, dude.
A great read that I enjoyed immensely! Many thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me an advanced review copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
An adorable feel-good romance from Erin Hahn! A story that would be right at home on the Hallmark Channel (well, except for the the steamy parts!). I loved the evolution of the relationship between Shelby and Cameron (#Spriggs) and was rooting for them to get their happily ever after. I also loved getting to know Shelby's friends - and I hope Hahn writes a follow-up, telling Lorelai's story to find love. Thoroughly enjoyed this book and am excited to read future works by Hahn!
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
I was very excited about this title, but I have had difficulty getting into the book. I have currently marked as DNF, but will be reattempting in the future as I am a mood reader. However, from what I did read I really enjoyed. I think the main problem for me was the book didn’t instantly hook me and I felt like I was having to work a bit to get started on this story. I am excited to try this book when I am in a different headspace and will be updating my review.
Built to Last by Erin Hahn. Pub Date: October 18, 2022. Rating: 3 stars. Set against an HGTV-esque TV show, this novel brings together childhood stars into new roles as home improvement stars. There is old baggage between the three, some good and some not so good, and this story follows their journey of self discovery and making peace with their past to move forward into the future. I enjoyed the storylines of how being in the spotlight as a child can be challenging and how some of the characters overcame that burden to be decent human beings in adulthood. And of course, there is a little of forbidden romance that comes to fruition at the helm of this story. It was a cute story, but not unputdownable. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this e-arc in exchange for my honest review. #builttolast #netgalley