"The most wonderful of all things in life is the discovery of another human being with whom one's relationship has a growing depth, beauty and joy...it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of divine accident." ~ Sir Hugh Walpole
Mike Brown of 'The Bricklayer' by Serena Yates, in general enjoys his work; but the jobs he gets the most satisfaction out of are the ones in which he can use his artistic side. He especially likes Victorian renovation and is happy with the conservatory he's building. Mike meets Ash, a landscaper, who has been hired to plan the gardens at the same project. Mike and Ash find that they are both interested in historic preservation and have the same philosophy about how it should be done. While working together, they are also interested in learning more about each other.
Mike knows he's attracted to men, but has never had a relationship, only one-time hookups, but they are not what he wants. Mike loves his family, but is getting tired of them 'waiting for him to bring a girl around' hoping he will settle down. Mike wants to meet someone he can care for deeply and build a life with, but that doesn't seem to be happening. Mike loves his job, but yearns to get away from the cookie-cutter work. When his boss throws him into a supervisory job, with no training or experience, he can't help but be resentful. The men working under him are resentful as well which makes the job even harder; but Mike does the best he can under the circumstances. Mike's relationship with Ash is great, but he has other problems. He is accused of something he didn't do, but has to find out who the culprit is in order to prove his innocence and clear his name and Ash is with him every step of the way, giving his love and support.
Like Mike, Ash loves his job at the family nursery, but wants to get into more creative landscaping. However, his father is one of those people who believes “if it ain't broke, don't fix it.” Ash, just as stubborn as his dad, goes ahead with his plans on his own, determined to convince his father that expanding may be a good thing. Ash is lonely, wanting a man to share his life with, but, as with Mike, he's not had any luck. When he meets Mike for the first time, he's totally bewildered by his reaction. Ash reasons that, yes, Mike is good-looking, but ...um...so are a lot of men. Ash can't figure out why he's so befuddled. He is far from calm and collected when they actually introduce themselves to each other. Mike finds it mildly amusing, but he is also assaulted by the same strong attraction Ash feels. Ash and Mike start dating and find that they fit together unbelievably well and have so many of the same values and philosophies about things. Ash and Mike are both concerned about rushing things, but finally give in and admit that when it feels right, it's right.
Serena has created an endearing love story, with two awesome men and put them together with brilliant results. Mike and Ash are easy to love. Their love affair is more romantic rather than erotic, but it works wonderfully well for them. Mike and Ash are good-hearted family-oriented men, with most honorable intentions toward each other. Although their relationship did develop with lightening speed, it didn't seem that way. Meeting each other was like two puzzle pieces coming together, making all right with the world. There was some conflict, but Mike and Ash worked it out using the same straightforward honesty by which they lived. I've loved many of Serena's men, but Mike and Ash now have a special place in my heart as well. The ending wasn't quite what I expected; but it was even better. If you enjoy a romantic story containing affection, honesty, double-crossing, family support, and two of the nicest men you wish you could actually meet, you will love this book. Thanks, Serena, for introducing me to these two magnificent men.