Cover Image: Built to Last

Built to Last

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Member Reviews

To be honest, I had a few false starts reading this one. Once I got into the real story instead of those initial flashbacks, it was really good. But the beginning did not really draw me in.
I thought that the MC's, Cam and Shelby, had great chemistry, and I enjoyed their second chance romance with a bit of the Hollywood/ famous actor trope sprinkled in. It was nice that it had that element, but was removed from the actual LA setting by taking place in Michigan, where they both grew up. It made it less angsty than you often read when there is an MC who is somehow famous.

I felt like there was mostly good character development throughout this book. However, both MC's had some major family issues that I felt like were just left hanging in the end. I wish there had been more of a resolution there, but I suppose it doesn't really matter since there was an HEA for the couple.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

This book was seriously so sweet. I really enjoyed the dynamic between Shelby and all of the friends she made after moving back home to Michigan. I also enjoyed the romance and the whole reluctantly going back into the spotlight aspect of the book.

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I read this last year and am not sure why/how I haven't submitted my review.

Second-chance romance is my least favourite trope but I remember liking the HGTV aspect of the book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin's Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you, St. Martin's Press.

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Intense pining!

Built to Last by Erin Hahn is a stand-alone second chance romance that centers on Shelby Springfield, a former child star that started a new life rebuilding furniture and homes. And Cameron Riggs, also a former child star from the same show as Shelby, a NatGeo journalist. It’s been ten years since they went their separate ways, and they once again find themselves doing a show together with their other old co-star (and Shelby’s ex), Lyle Jessup, as the producer. As the show starts filming, the two characters start reliving and moving on from their past lives.

This book is lovely and thoughtful. I love Shelby and enjoy reading how she made a whole new life out of her former toxic celebrity life. You get the sense of her pride and pleasure over her newfound talent and profession. I also adore Cameron, who is such a good-natured guy, and his profound commitment to doing his projects, even temporary ones, with utmost care. I was worried his character would be one-dimensional, but thankfully isn’t.

This is a slow-burn book with agonizing pining from both characters. Given what they went through in their lives separately and together, I find this book's “will they, or won’t they?” aspect reasonable. I really like the progression of their individual growth in this book outside of their romance, and I’m pleased with how it ended.

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Thank you St Martin Griffin and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. I was really excited about the premise of this story. For me the execution was not as good as the summary. The characters lagged and I got to the point where I really just didn’t care what happened with them. Not the best showing for this genre.

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Shelby and Cameron have a past of childhood stars and childhood sweethearts. When they are forced to work together years later on a home remodeling show, sparks fly. Somehow I lacked the connection and though I like ve a good second chance romance, I was kissing something. Overall it was a good book with likable characters. Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange of an uneasy review

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A quick little contemporary romance. This one was a like but not love for me - cute and just what you need when you are looking for something light.

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I really enjoyed this second-chance celebrity romance, Built to Last by Erin Hahn. Shelby and Cameron were child stars together, growing up in the bright lights of LA. Now, the nearly-thirty year old Shelby refinished furniture with her house-flipping dad and loves being out of the spotlight. A reality show, though, could ensure his early retirement, as well as show everyone she’s no longer the party-girl she was. The only catch is that the studio wants to bring in Cameron as her co-star. Her first love who has twice abandoned her-how can that possibly work?

Hahn does a great job making these two feel like real people. This book is pretty low-angst, they’re basically gone for each other from the start (in the best way). Very sweet with some spice, definitely recommend. Hahn is also (I hope) tee-ing up Shelby’s best friend’s story and I can’t wait to read it!

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Q: Do you enjoy home renovation shows?

Okay. I love home renovation shows and I love this book. This second-chance romance between two former child stars who are then (somewhat) forced to team up for a home renovation show was exactly what I needed to read. I knew I was going to love it in the first couple of chapters and had to keep myself from laughing out loud while I read it on a plane. Erin Hahn does such a wonderful job of filling out these characters and giving us their histories without it feeling like a huge info dump.

Shelby is such a badass. She worked so hard to rebuild her life (lol) after leaving Hollywood and her relationship with her dad is adorable. Also, I love that SHE is the one who is the super talented restorer and not the man. Just saying. Cam is just a big old gooey cinnamon roll who would literally do anything for Shelby (and does) and I adored them both. They both have messy family dynamics that they works through, which I felt the story did justice to. Sometimes side plots like that feel like they either take over too much of the story or are not given enough depth, but Hahn does a great job managing it all. Lyle sucks. That is all.

This felt like a very low-stakes romance, so if you need something fun, spicy, without a third act breakup and with the added benefit of home restoration/renovation...this is for you.

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If you need a good easy rom-com, this one’s for you! Similar to Talk Bookish to Me, this novel follows Shelby and Cameron - young actors who the entire generation who watched them grow up in screen, roots for. When Shelby’s marriage to Lyle, a producer, takes a public defaming, and her ex leaves her for her (also) ex best friend, she moves home and finds her passion in refurbishing things for the places her dad reconstructs.
When she has the opportunity to start a home makeover tv show, with, you guessed it her ex husband as producer, and her ex boyfriend, Cameron as her right hand man.

I thoroughly enjoyed this!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you St. Martin and Netgalley for an early copy of Built to Last. This was my first book from Erin Hahn. It definitely will not be the last. I absolutely loved this book! I am excited to read her other books and any new ones she writes.

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I’ve really enjoyed Hahn’s YA books and this one didn’t disappoint. She writes characters that are so genuine and good and easy to root for! This was a charming stories of childhood friends to lovers. First love, second chance sweetness. It’s set in a charming midwestern town with a fun group of supporting characters. The only part I didn’t love was the overly cliched snake Lyle Jessup. His part in the story felt cheesy and and like a one-dimensional romcom movie villain. The love between Shelby and Cam was sweet and pure though. Hahn’s storyline are often about redemption and embracing who you are while navigating who everyone thinks you are. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC to review!

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We no longer own a tv, I never watched home improvement shows (except while sitting in a doctor's waiting room) or reality tv, have no interest in the private lives of celebrities or read gossip, so I did not connect with parts of this book. But I have always loved Shirley Temple, and can sympathize with the main characters being child actors growing up in LA. And I really, really, really like Shelby and Cameron. I have also never read a book by Erin Hahn before, but will read more in the future as I became engaged from the beginning of the story.

Shelby Springfield. and Cameron Riggs starred with Lyle Jessup in a tv teen comedy, until Cameron went off to college. Shelby was lost without him and Lyle took advantage. Finally she escapes the LA scene and goes to her father, a contractor in Michigan. There she learns that she loves working with her father flipping houses, rehabbing old furniture and finds satisfaction and contentment. Several years later she receives an offer for a home improvement show, with money that would help her father pay off some medical bills, but it involves starring with Cam and dealing with Lyle. Meanwhile Cam had also been trying to find himself, exploring the world, filming documentaries for National Geographic. He jumps at the opportunity to be with Shelby and they get their second chance, despite Lyle's attempts to mess with them both. I look forward to reading more from this author.

I read an ARC proved by the publisher via NetGalley.com. This is my unbiased and voluntary review.

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Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy.

I absolutely loved this book. It’s the first book I’ve read from this author and it won’t be my last. The second chance sweet romance was beautiful. Cameron and Shelby were great characters that had flaws and made mistakes along the way, but managed to overcome through those obstacles. The bad guy/ex/ friend was laughable but was needed. I definitely recommend this story.

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I couldn't put it down and I didn't want to. This book lived up to every ounce of hype that I had experienced for it. This book is beautifully written; a gripping storyline with strong characters. It ticked all the boxes of my expectations. I would definitely recommend it to others.

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I guess I should start off with my personal drama first. In late 2020, we began researching an addition to our house which turned into an entire house remodel. I won't go into the details of how we landed on the contractor we did, but, the contractors themselves had been the financial backing for other projects but not done the work themselves. They hired workers and subcontractors. The workers for their actual crew had experience, but they didn't care enough to do the job right. And well, why would they when their bosses couldn't tell the difference? They could frame a wall, but not have it plumb. They could install a new door, but again not plumb or level. They could cut and nail trim work to the walls but not without 1/2 inch gaps in the corners that required large amounts of caulk. They could lay flooring but had no idea what to do around doors or transitions. They could hang cabinets but not level. They could install an island but not account for the swing of the refrigerator door. And the list goes on. So for me to believe that Cameron had a crash course apprenticeship under a skilled contractor within 2 weeks and actually came out capable of handling a TV show renovating houses, I scoff. There's so much more that goes into contracting than you think. At least in order to do it right. It helps that Cameron had the desire to do a good job. And, of course, Shelby's dad and others were a part of the team, so it is a little more feasible. But I feel sorry for anyone who gets a contractor who only has 2 weeks of experience behind them.

Aside from that completely unbelievable aspect, Built to Last had a lot of language. Why are so many f-words needed? I know some people love curse words. I'm convinced it's only because those people like to buck convention. Or they can't stand being told what not to say. I'm sure they argue that they're just words. Meh. I'm not one to moan about one or two, but sheesh. It felt excessive to me. Also, I'm coming off Georgie, All Along that was full of political statements, so I found some in Built to Last as well. Thankfully, they were more subtle and didn't try to take over the story. But annoying nonetheless.

A few of my complaints out of the way, I like how the story started with Cameron. Usually dual narratives begin with the female perspective. Starting with Cameron helps the reader to be sympathetic to him from the start whereas we might have had a skeptical reaction if we'd picked up with Shelby's perspective.

Shelby and Cameron were child/teen stars. They worked together on a TV show along with Lyle from the time they were about eleven until eighteen. Shelby and Lyle were the main stars, and Cameron played Lyle's character's best friend. We begin the book, as I mentioned, with Cameron coming the second Shelby calls him after breaking up with Lyle. Shelby is a wreck. She's not sober, and even though she comes onto Cameron, he stays strong and leaves without letting anything beyond some kissing take place.

Five years pass. Then we move into the now. Cameron has been working for National Georgraphic filming documentaries. I got the impression he was doing the camera work, but honestly, I don't think it was spelled out. Shelby is helping her dad flip houses, but mostly she restored furniture. Shelby attempted a reality TV show with her dad about the home renovation they do together, but her dad didn't have the star quality the network was looking for. She feels pressure to make sure he's taken care of, so she attempts to do the show but without her dad being her co-star. The network and show runner (namely Lyle) think Cameron would be the perfect fit for the co-host with Shelby.

I couldn't quite figure Lyle out. In some ways, he seemed angry at Shelby and Cameron. The characters seem to think he's out to get them. And I can see why. Yet he seems to spur both Shelby and Cameron into reconciling with each other and with some other broken relationships. Was he being manipulative and seeking to hurt them? Or was he playing puppet master and trying to force them into fixing past hurts? I don't feel like this was clear.

And I guess that's another complaint. I felt like I was missing information in more than one piece of the story. Cameron's involvement in the renovation process versus his involvement in the show as co-star and co-host. The business side of the show and what different people were trying to accomplish. And although I hate to do this, I've finished 3 books since I finished this one, and any time I read more books before writing my reviews, I start to forget things I wish I hadn't.

Favorite quotes:
-The sound strikes me right in the solar plexus--where I collect all my inconvenient feelings...

-"I can't be contained by a mere belt."

I guess ultimately for Built to Last I had more complaints than I have found positives for. Even though I liked Shelby and Cameron. I liked how both had past they had to work through to move forward. I liked how miscommunication and words not said between them caused problems. But I didn't like the language, descriptive scenes, subtle political statements, or story elements that were unclear. I guess I finally land on a 3.5 Star rating. Have you read Built to Last? What did you think? Let me know!

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Shelby is a former child star, along with Cameron & Lyle (she dated both of them). Years later, she has gotten into renovating homes. Lyle wants to film a pilot staring Shelby & Cameron and the three of them are reunited again. Drama, twists and love ensues. This is a cute book that made me want to keep reading and find out what happens next.

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Unfortunately this one just didn’t work out for me.

▪️ This moved a lot slower than I personally like, and the extreme slow burn compounded the issue further. The delicious tension usually present in slow burns was missing in this.

▪️It was very predictable and I kept hoping more was going to happen to keep me engaged.

▪️Though Shelby insisted she was more grown up I felt like there was no change from her past 18 year old personality and her present 29 year old personality. Same.

This made a great effort, but just wasn’t as enjoyable for me as I had hoped.

Thank you to Netgalley fir providing this ARC

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Built To Last follows two former childhood stars that once starred in a television series together. Year later when they are in their late twenties, they reunite for an upcoming restoration and fixer upper show. There's a bit of insta love between the two after being apart for many years. The characters were likeable and plot was steady.

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This sounded like a super cute read but unfortunately I had to DNF at around 20%. The characters and the writing seemed juvenile compared to what the age of the characters are supposed to be. I don’t mind YA fiction at all, if know what I’m getting myself into. If the characters has seemed older I would have greatly enjoyed it! Thanks anyway!

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