Buchanan House: Book One
Eric Allen, thirty-three-year-old line cook, moved in with his grandmother, Jewell, after a disastrous coming-out when he was in middle school. She raised him, and he cared for her when she fell ill. When Jewell died, she left everything to Eric—angering his parents and older brother. The inheritance isn’t much, but Eric and his bestie, Nathan, pool their money and buy an abandoned hotel on an isolated stretch of the Central Oregon Coast. The hotel isn't far from Lincoln City—a town with its own Pride Festival and named for a president—so they christen it Buchanan House after James Buchanan, the “confirmed bachelor” president with the close male friend.
Eric and Nathan need a handyman to help them turn Buchanan House into the gay resort of their dreams. Eric finds Tim Tate in the local listings, and over the months leading to opening weekend, Tim reveals himself as a skilled carpenter with many hidden talents. Eric falls hard for Tim, but before he can see a future with the gorgeous handyman, he has to get over twenty years of being bullied and shamed by his birth family. It would be much easier if Eric’s brother Zach wasn't trying to grab part of the inheritance or ruin opening weekend.
THE FIRST raindrops fell as Eric tossed a handful of dark, rich earth into the grave. He watched it fall, along with the smattering of rain, and darken the plain wooden coffin. Some of Grammy Jewell’s friends had dropped flowers. Eric hadn’t planned to drop anything at all. He felt that would be tantamount to throwing something at her, but tradition won out in the end. He’d relied on Nathan to help him stand and navigate the three steps from the folding chair to the edge of the hole—the final resting place of his favorite person in the whole world, the one he could always count on for unconditional love.
Nathan’s arm circled Eric’s waist, gently urging him away from the gaping hole. “Come on and sit back down.” Nathan’s implied “before you fall in” came through loud and clear.
“No. It’s over. Let’s go?” He leaned against Nathan and slipped an arm around him. Eric wished the funeral had literally come to a close, and he and Nathan were the only living souls in sight. He didn’t want to cry in front of everyone—again—but he felt the walls breaking down regardless of how he worked to shore them up. It wasn’t a matter of if, but when more tears would fall.
“You got it.” Nathan kissed the top of Eric’s head, tightening his grip on Eric’s waist as he started them walking. “Where are we going?”
Before Eric could answer, a familiar, and unwelcome, face appeared in front of them. “We need to discuss Jewell’s estate.”
“Mrs. Allen.” Nathan’s contempt for Eric’s mom—for his whole family, at least those among the living—was evident in his tone. “Tex will be handling—”
“I wasn’t talking to you. Eric, come with me.”
She reached out and Eric backed away. The rain had increased, but he knew it wouldn’t hide anything. Eric wished he had worn his glasses instead of contacts. At least then his view would be obscured by water clinging to the lenses. He could only hope the rain would drive the rest of his so-called family away so he wouldn’t have to deal with them all, one by one. To be subjected, three times, to the belief that the estate should be divided four ways instead of one.
“You’re a thirty-year-old man. Can’t you keep from crying for five minutes?”
Nathan pulled Eric against his chest and embraced him, and spoke to Mrs. Allen over Eric’s head. “If you have any questions about the estate, contact Ms. Worth. She’s handling everything. If you want to talk to Eric, you’ll have to be nice. Since that’s obviously not possible, you’ll have to leave him alone.”
Eric allowed himself to be steered through the orderly cemetery, past the tasteful plaques fading demurely into the manicured lawn, and on to the parking lot.
Grammy would hate the neat symmetry here.
He wished he could’ve turned off his thoughts, or at least his hearing, so he wouldn’t have had to listen to everything all over again. His mother loved to opine that a real man wouldn’t be seen crying or hanging all over another man…
He might if the man was tall, blond, and handsome, like Nathan.
…and that Jewell’s indulgence didn’t mean his perverse lifestyle was right.
True perversity is to be unkind to one’s own child.
That Eric should be more like his brother.
A bully and philanderer.
He’d heard it all before, but it felt worse without Grammy Jewell’s loving, rational responses to balance it out. His own feeble attempts barely made a dent.
It was bad enough his own mother couldn’t remember his age. Since she’d undershot it by three years, Eric had no intention of correcting her and was glad Nathan didn’t either.
I love this book, and I took to sweet Eric right off, I love it when you fall in love with a character quickly, it is a testament to the author, and their ability to bring a character to life!
Poor Eric was raised by his grandmother after his family didn't agree with him coming out in middle school, as much as I love Eric is as much as I dislike his family! When his grandmother dies and leaves everything to Eric, he and his best friend Nathan (whom I love also) decide to buy an old hotel and turn it into a gay getaway, this is how Eric meets Tim.
I love the chemistry between these two, and Eric deserves more than anyone to be happy, but will his family let him be at peace, yeah not likely! What will happen when Eric's brother pulls a dirty trick on opening weekend? Can Eric and Nathan overcome Zach's spitefulness and make their dream a success? Will Eric get the Happy Ever After he so richly deserves?
Oh man you guys gotta read this one, you will get wrapped up in the story just like I did! Thanks Charley, for giving us a book and characters we can fall in love with!
This book was such a joy to read. I enjoyed everything about it, the characters were well rounded and the plot quite fun.
I am very familiar with the Oregon Coast and I was able to picture everything and really wish there were such a place as Buchanan House. The closest I can think of to resembling the House is the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport a hotel for readers. No phones, television but a great library area overlooking the beach and sea. I could stay at Buchanan House!
My first read by Charley Descoteaux and it will definitely not be the last!
Eric Allen with his best friend Nathan work to create a gay friendly resort much to the dismay of Eric’s family who wish to interfere. The local handyman Tim helps fix the issues the house has while falling for Eric.
The beginning of the story leaves you wanting to know more. The author’s voice was distinctive and imaginative. By the end of the first chapter, I could not wait to finish the book. The world the author created was easy to picture in my head. The author’s writing helped convey a sense of place and time frame and pulled the reader into the story. The pace of the story was a very steady pace, not too fast or too slow. The characters were fascinating and electric. Both Eric and Tim were not perfect, each had faults. This make both of the more realistic and lifelike.
The point of view is third person mainly focusing on Eric. I would have liked to know more about Tim faster than we did. The main conflict of the story is Eric’s creating a gay resort while developing a relationship with the local handyman while dealing his family. The level of conflict while a bit complicated was a bit light. I would have liked a little more to the story than what was there. The dialogue between the characters was open and distinguishing. The characters voice seem to match not only the setting but the overall personality of the character. I would like to see this story turned into a series. Their seems to be many secondary characters that I would like to know more about.
Review by Victoria
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