Title: The Bricklayer (2nd Edition)
Series: Workplace Encounters 04
Author: Serena Yates
Length: Novel (136 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (15 April 2015)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts
Blurb: Mike Brown has been a bricklayer working for the same construction company since leaving high school at eighteen. While building a conservatory for a Victorian house northwest of downtown Baltimore, Mike meets Ash, the landscaper hired to restore the gardens, when Ash distractedly stumbles over some of Mike’s equipment. Mike offers to take Ash to dinner as an apology, Ash hesitantly agrees, and the two men start dating. Then Mike is pulled away from his next assignment of building fireplaces by a promotion he doesn’t want, only to be fired for incompetence two weeks later. Three of the fireplaces have collapsed, one seriously injuring a cleaner. With Ash’s support, Mike must figure out who sabotaged his work, and why, before he faces a lawsuit.
Review: The Bricklayer is the third book in Serena Yates’ Workplace Encounters series. However, none of the books are related and are stand alone stories. This is the second edition of The Bricklayer, with Dreamspinner Press re-releasing the whole series. I read the first edition and could not tell the difference for the most part (my memory is a tad dodgy, though). I could not find exactly how the word count has changed on this new edition.
The plot of The Bricklayer is enjoyable. However, this also has the same problem of the previous books: the writing style is not going to be to everyone’s taste. Sometimes the wording was a bit clunky and some of the details that I wanted to know about Mike and Ash was lost in the words. Another thing that I’ve realised since reading other books in the series that the general plot that is followed is very similar. One or both the MCs are closeted and somewhere along the line, an MC faces losing their job (or business). Considering there are no characters to connect the books I’m not going to consider this to be a major issue.
I like both Mike and Ash – they are great characters with great chemistry. Mike is a mason, he works his butt off and he loves his job. He is close to thirty and still in the closet because he is terrified how his family would react (again, understandable but I love the family’s reaction). In general, Mike is just really sweet and relatable. He is a lot easier to relate to than Ash. Ash, on the other hand, is a landscape gardener who has been hired to work on the same house where Mike is contracted. The guys literally bump into each other, which leads to a rather awkward dinner which may or may not be a date. Ash is a kind of stand-offish characters – or he’s just really shy. But when Mike needs the help, he steps up and things start to fall into place.
I figured out pretty quickly what was going/the direction of the plot. This is a light and enjoyable read, especially if you’re in the mood for something that you don’t need to think about too much as you go along.