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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Building Us by Rick Bettencourt is a compelling romance with an irresistible appeal for LGBTQ fans. Evan and Dillon have been married for five years and their marketing business has been doing well until they find themselves in crisis with marketing proposals not bringing in clients. When a movie company offers to feature their dog Detritus in a film, they welcome the offer, hoping to make some extra money, plus there might be a small part for handsome Dillon, who seems to have the attention of the film’s leading man. With their conflicting personalities, can Evan and Dillon save a marriage that is already threatened with financial constraints when someone famous has his eyes on Dillon?
The prose is gorgeous, just like the characters, and Rick Bettencourt’s gift for plot and character makes this narrative a hard-to-put-down kind of book. The characters have depth and the singularity in their personalities comes out through the narrative. Themes of love, family, and financial success are explored with skill and intelligence. The novel begins with a general, realistic statement that grabs the reader’s attention immediately: “In the truest sense of the word gay, our marriage doesn’t smack of happily ever after. Life reaches forward and slaps you upside the head with what’s important — health, love, friends — and alters your course.” This statement introduces the themes and one of the key characters, Evan. The story is told in the first person narrative and alternating between the key characters, hence allowing readers to enter into dialogue with the characters. The conflict in Building Us is highly emotional and the psychological depth of the story deepens the sense of humanity infused in it. Loved every piece of the story as it moved from one challenging moment to the next.