Title: A Restored Man
Author: Jaime Reese
Narrator: Greg Trembley
Released: 2nd August 2016
Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
Genre: M/M (contemporary)
Cole Renzo thinks his greatest challenge is to behave for the remainder of his term at Halfway House. Until he meets his new boss, Ty Calloway, a man who ticks off every box on Cole’s list of interests.
A sought-after restorer and customizer of exotic and collectible cars, Ty had enough confidence to command what he wanted in life, until one fateful night changed everything. Almost two years later, he’s slowly rebuilding his life with great control. He’s defied the odds and works tirelessly to be the man he once was—but he still feels broken.
Cole’s candor and unfiltered personality awaken Ty’s barely-remembered desire to greet each new day with a smile, while Ty’s unwavering acceptance of Cole’s quirks and brash humor makes Cole feel as if he fits in for the first time in far too long. When a nemesis threatens Ty’s personal restoration and the things he holds dear, Cole is determined to protect their relationship, even if that means sacrificing everything he’s worked so hard to achieve.
But Ty will have to let his guard down, surrender control, and admit he needs Cole first, even if that puts himself at risk of breaking beyond repair.
Well, I did something here that I have never done before. I listened to an audiobook of something that I had already read a while back. The danger? Audiobooks are great but I never usually listen to a book after I’ve read it, especially if I loved that book. More about this later.
The story is as enthralling as ever. I got to fall in love with Cole all over again. I loved him the first time round and this time even more facets of his character came to light for me. If ever there was a guy that can be so misunderstood it must be Cole. Outwardly he’s always upbeat and the eternal optimist. Inwardly he’s insecure and has his emotional baggage to carry, especially in regards to his eldest brother. He has a bit of a motor mouth which can get people’s backs up if you don’t know how to take him. He just says it the way it is without thinking first which can cause offence but in this lies an inherent naivety which is absolutely adorable. Almost childlike in his honesty with what he says. OK, so his mouth goes into overdrive before his brain is in first gear but he is a loyal to a fault with whoever he falls in love with and is looking for that someone special that he can love and cherish for a very long time if not for the rest of his life.
He gets his first job on parole and starts at a garage / workshop that specialises in restoring and customising cars. This is Cole’s wet dream for a job and he is committed to not messing up. Although he did a stint in prison when you get to know his back story he is by no means a hardened criminal. Just a guy who has a passionate love for cars, who made a mistake as he was just a little misguided, but definitely no nasty person by any means. What he doesn’t reckon with is his new boss, Ty.
Ty is a seriously broken character, physically as well as emotionally. He has just been existing the past two years and has distanced himself from everyone around him. Cole is exactly the kind of medicine that Ty needs to bring him back to the land of the living, at least on an emotional level. This story is how two complete opposites can compliment each other totally. Cole’s cheeky, outgoing and hyperactive personality needs someone who can ground him. This is where Ty is perfect for him. A little older and mature than Cole, but his solid steady nature manages to ground Cole which he desperately needs. However, Ty is attracted to Cole’s boundless energy and optimism for life. Even though Cole is not without his own underlying issues he can bring the joy back into Ty’s life.
This is a slow burn romance and it wouldn’t be right to have it any other way. There are so many obstacles to overcome before they get to their HEA, but once the commit to each other you can see there will no separating them ever again. There are a myriad of wonderful secondary characters, all playing an important role in each of their lives. Cole’s family alone would be intimidating for most with so many siblings, but you could feel the love of how close they are as a family. You know they would be there for each other no matter what. Ty only has one older brother who is a detective sergeant on the force. Although he cares for and about Ty being the older brother it’s been difficult due to Ty distancing himself. It warmed my heart to see how Aidan could see Ty coming out of his shell. All of this is Cole’s doing.
Anyway, I’m going to stop waxing lyrical about this book and it’s characters otherwise I’ll be here until next week. I can talk about this book forever. It is really one of my favourite books in the whole series. If you want to read more, then Macky and I reviewed the book together last year and Cole came with Jaime to visit Sinfully for the afternoon. It was absolutely hilarious, a complete blast and I loved every minute of it. Want to read what Cole got up to on his visit? Then just go –> HERE!
OK, now this is the part that was either going to kill it or make it for me. Here the danger lies within. After you have loved a book and its characters so much, you have your own version of their voices and how they sound in your head, then to hand this over to someone else is a high risk. Well, I took that risk. Thank goodness Jaime got Greg Trembley to narrate and to be honest there would only have been a handful of narrators I would have trusted to do this book justice.
YES! Greg caught Cole’s cheekiness, upbeat and optimistic nature perfectly. Exactly how I imagined him to be. So for me this book and its characters were brought closer to me as I listened to Cole retelling his story while driving to work. It was if he was sitting right next to me in the car. I’m sure he wouldn’t have been impressed with my car either – lol! However, Cole does have a number of more emotional and sombre moments and these were also beautifully handled by Greg. This takes a great talent when you can hear the shifts in mood of the characters through the speakers. It is acting in its own right, you just to don’t get the visual, that’s all. Also Ty sounded suitably broken, stubborn and impossible at times which seems to be the thing with the Calloway brothers.
So once I heard Cole for the first time after waiting with bated breath, I could breathe out a sigh of relief that yes, this is the Cole I know and love. From here on in I could sit back and enjoy the rest of the narration.
Men of Halfway House Series
Connect with Jaime Reese
Jaime Reese is the alter ego of an artist who loves the creative process of writing, just not about herself. Fiction is far more interesting. She has a weakness for broken, misunderstood heroes and feels everyone deserves a chance at love and life. An avid fan of a happy ending, she believes those endings acquired with a little difficulty are more cherished.