Monday, February 13, 2017

AotM ~ Thomas Elkin Series by N.R. Walker

The Thomas Elkin series blurb
A successful New York architect, forty-four year old Thomas Elkin almost has it all. An esteemed traditional draftsman, he thought he knew everything about architecture, about life.

Cooper Jones, twenty-two years old, is about to take the architect world by storm. Talented, professional, driven, and completely infuriating, Cooper is the definition of Generation Y.

Generation versus generation, traditional versus contemporary, these men are about to learn a lesson in architecture, egos and love. Can they prove to the world that the old and new can be the perfect design?

Elements of Retrofit. Book one in the Thomas Elkin series

Generation versus generation, traditional versus contemporary, these men are about to learn a lesson in architecture and love. Can they prove that the old and new can be the perfect design?

A successful New York architect, Thomas Elkin almost has it all. Coming out as gay and ending his marriage before his fortieth birthday, he needed to start living his life. Now, four years later, with his relationship with his son back on track, and after a few short-lived romances, this esteemed traditional draftsman thinks he knows everything about architecture, about life.

Cooper Jones, twenty-two years old, is about to take the architect world by storm. Talented, professional, driven and completely infuriating, Cooper is the definition of Generation Y.

Starting an internship working with Thomas, Cooper is about to knock Tom’s world off its axis. Tom can teach Cooper about the architecture industry, but Cooper is about to teach Tom what it means to live.

Clarity of Lines. Book two in the Thomas Elkin series
When some lines blur, others become crystal clear.

Absolutely smitten, Thomas Elkin and Cooper Jones have decided they’re prepared to give a relationship a try.

What they’re not prepared for is the reaction from their families, who try to force them apart.

Both men are about to learn that there are lines that define us. Sometimes the lines blur, sometimes the lines become crystal clear.

Sense of Place. Book three in the Thomas Elkin series

Designing homes is easy. Finding home is something else entirely.

Thomas Elkin and Cooper Jones finally have the support of their families, and their love grows stronger every day. Now living together, they think nothing can stand in their way.

But there are outside influences trying to pull them apart.

Cooper encounters a man, closer to his age and with connections high up the property development chain, who wants Cooper as his own. Tom encounters discrimination and a hidden agenda from a fellow senior partner who’s trying to take him down.

No matter what the world throws at them, Tom and Cooper are the real deal. Age differences aside, Tom has finally found his sense of place. His one true center, his home.

5+ Retrofitted Stars!!!

Elements of Retrofit is book 1 in the Thomas Elkin series, which should be read in order. 

Thomas Elkin is a very successful New York architect, but for as successful as his professional life is, his personal isn't as much. After coming out to his family and getting divorced before his 40th birthday, now at 44-years-old, his life finally seems to be getting back on track and his relationship with his son is on the mend. The last thing he expected was to be so attracted to Cooper Jones, one of his son's best friends and his new intern at the firm he works at. Cooper is half Tom's age, talented, driven, more mature than his years suggest and he won't be deterred when he wants something. The chemistry between the two is undeniable and the last thing Tom wants is not to give in, especially when he realizes how much more alive he feels when he's with Cooper. 

I absolutely loved both Tom and Cooper, although I have to admit that my favorite in this first book was Tom. There's just this vulnerability about him that drew me to him. Cooper is the epitome of the Generation Y, and as such, he takes the lead in many of their personal interactions, which balances out the age gap and their professional relationship as intern and boss. They were really hot together and it was amazing to see them go from intern/boss to lovers, it was such a natural and seamless transition for them and it was lovely seeing how they presented a united front to others right from the start.

In Clarity of Lines, book 2 in the series, Tom and Cooper are working apart now, but their relationship couldn't be more serious and now they're both ready to share it with their respective families, which might not work as well as they'd hoped. 

I adored this book, it was the more emotional of the three. I cried so much in the second half of the book, but it only showed me how much Tom and Cooper belonged together and how perfect they were for each other, despite their age difference. I loved that even if their families weren't all in favor with their relationship, this was such a non-issue for them. They were together and they wouldn't let anyone interfere in their relationship, standing up to anyone who tried and they both dropped everything to be with each other when they were needed, especially Cooper there in the end. 

In Sense of Place, the last book in the series, Cooper and Tom are living together, but there are outside influences that are threatening to pull them apart as a younger man makes it clear he wants Cooper for himself and Tom's work starts suffering due to a fellow partner's discrimination. 

It was kind of heartbreaking seeing all these issues being thrown at Tom and Cooper, but it was amazing to see them work through them all together, always communicating, always loving and always there for each other no matter what as they headed towards their HEA.

The conclusion of the series was about as amazing as all the rest, showing that age is just a number and that when two people love each other that much and are willing to work together as one, there's nothing that will pull them apart. 

N.R. Walker's writing was excellent throughout the series and there's no doubt that she's very talented at involving the reader in the story. This is now one of my favorite May-December books, but it's also one of my favorite series, one that I'll likely read several times in the future. 

Highly recommendable!!!

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

The Thomas Elkins series is a three book trilogy devoted to one couple, Thomas Elkin and Cooper Jones.  Thomas is a successful architect that on his fortieth birthday decided he needed to be honest with his wife and told her that he was gay.  It's taken time but he's rebuilt his relationship with his son and is enjoying his life, even though he hasn't found the man to share it with him.  When the new interns are brought into the firm Tom works at, he's surprised to see Cooper, a friend of his son.  Regardless of that friendship, Tom chooses Cooper to intern with his team.  Cooper proves to be a hard worker, talented, passionate and forward thinking regarding architecture.  And Tom is taken aback when he realizes he's attracted to Cooper, a man the same age as his son and 22 years his junior.   Cooper is outspoken, confident and sure of himself.  He has a passion for architecture that he shares with Tom, as well as an attraction.  Though Tom doesn't want to give into that attraction, age is not a consideration in Cooper's world and Cooper will push Tom out of his safe boundaries.  

In the first book, Elements of Retrofit, we get to know the characters and see their attraction and relationship build.  It felt like the chemistry between the two men was jumping off the pages; they are seriously hot together!   I loved both Tom and Cooper, and it takes a great author to make a cocky character like Cooper so likable!  Cooper cannot handle people not liking him, so he puts time and effort into building relationships with those people, and bringing them around to friendship.  It's a beautiful gift that offsets and enhances his cockiness!  Tom was so laid back which was the perfect balance to Cooper.  I loved to see the relationship build between the men, but I also loved to see Tom getting to watch Cooper building his career.  Cooper has some of the same elements of Tom, regarding architecture, so it was like seeing Tom at the beginning stages of his career before he became such a success.  

The second book, Clarity of Lines was even more enjoyable because Tom and Cooper were a couple, but don't think they had settled into boring coupledom!  Cooper kept Tom on his toes and pushed him continuously, though I felt Tom did the same to Cooper.   Tom and Cooper's relationship became more out in the open in this book and though Tom's son knew about his and Cooper's relationship, friends of both men would find out in this book.  I was a little surprised by the reaction of Tom's ex-wife regarding the relationship.  I respected Tom for letting her have her say, but also for sticking up for Cooper and not allowing her to treat or talk badly to him.  It also seem to provide closure to her, to help her move on with her life and realize that Tom wasn't going to come back.  

The final book, Sense of Place, is the perfect ending to this terrific series. Tom and Cooper are settling into their lives together, but life is not going to take it easy on them.  They're ready to introduce each other to their parents, and neither expect things to go well, especially Tom who has never come out to his parents.  Unfortunately, when Tom shows up to his parent's house, his father is being taken to the hospital for a heart attack.  The love and strength of Tom and Cooper's relationship is shown when Cooper leaves a work conference to get back to be the support Tom needs.  And when both men deal with difficulties in their respective jobs, they're there to provide the support needed. Throughout this whole series, you can feel the love between the two men.  And, even though there's a large age gap, it really isn't obvious for the most part.  These are two men who have found their soul mate.  This is a series that I will read over and over again and I don't think these books will lose any of the magic with rereadings!

Rating:  15 stars!! - There are 3 books so a five star rating seems a little unrealistic ;)

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  1. One of my favorite May-December books is Jesse's Diner by Cardeno C. Another is Dom of Ages by K.C Wells and Parker Williams

  2. The Apothecary's Garden by Julie Bozza is one of my favorites. It has a HUGE age gap (42 years!) and I was really weary at first. But it turned out to be such a romantic read!