The third book in the Domestic Gods series, published December 2009.
Rich, the epitome of "anti-domestic," can't cook to save his life, and his idea of cleaning his apartment is to invite his mother over. But he's ready to settle down, and he can't stop thinking about the ex-girlfriend who got away. When he notices that his soon-to-be-married friends cooked and cleaned their way into their women's hearts, he asks his friend Becca to help transform him into a nurturing man to win back his ex.
Rich is the only guy who's taken the time to know Becca for herself. She decides she'll give him the makeover he's asking for, though she'll be damned if she's going to turn him into a domestic god for another woman. She wants Rich for herself, but how can she convince him that her kitchen and her bedroom are the only domestic locales he desires?
The first book in the series was about Rosalie Ronaldi, who found her Romeo. When she married Nick, she rented her apartment to her sister, Annabelle Ronaldi, who then found love with Nick’s best friend Mike. Now Rosalie has rented her apartment to her brother Richie, and Annabelle rented the same apartment to her best friend Becca (also the half-sister of her husband).
So when Becca finally arrives in her new apartment with her luggage and three-legged cat named Tripod, she finds a mess. The mess only a man can make. Leftover food containers, beercans and clothes strewn across the floor. And a naked man in the shower, singing. Becca doesn’t hesitate, grab the baseball bat which is conveniently next to the front door, and confronts this man. And the battle of wills begins. Neither wants to give up the apartment, and they both need it badly. So, grudgingly, the decide to share it. It will only be for a short time, as Becca is here to see to the restoration of the brownstone she will be sharing with Annabelle and Mike shortly.
Now Richie has a problem. His Dean asks him if it isn’t time to settle down with a woman, especially after the little scandal that made him quit his last job. And Richie thinks it is time indeed, so he proposes to his girlfriend Gina. But she will have nothing to do with him anymore. When they had a long distance relationship, everything was fine, but she is not interested in more with him. He is not relationship material. Heck, his mother is still doing his laundry and cooking for him! So Richie thinks the only way to win her back, is to become a Domestic God, like his two brothers-in-law. How hard can it be? (And that from a guy who cannot even make coffee). So he persuades Becca to teach him how to do household chores. Cooking and cleaning and doing laundry. He is not a stupid man after all, he has three degrees. He is a teaching professor in psychology.
Becca doesn’t like Richie at all. O he is incredibly good looking and al that, but he is a player, and she is not interested in him. If only she wasn’t attracted to him either … Having the bad marriage of her parents as an example, she is not interested in a long term relationship. She loves her BOB and the occasional date, but that is it. Becca is a sculptor and sometimes painter, and she wants to make a name for herself in the artworld, without having help from her father, her family name and pedigree, or her money. She wants to make it on her own merit, and I admire her for that. So besides keeping an eye on the renovation, she is cruising the gallery’s trying to get them interested in her work. Also her father, whom she has given up on having a normal relationship with years ago, is wanting to start over again. After all, he has found the love of his live again, and she surely mellows him. But Becca isn’t so sure that is what she wants. After all the neglect of her 27 years, she doesn’t need him anymore.
When one week after the start of his lessons, Richie tries to persuade Gina to take him back and go to the benefit dinner with his dean, she flat-out refuses him. She has a new boyfriend, and is no longer interested in him, although the sex was great. So what is Richie to do now? He has already told his dean he is in a relationship and is bringing her. So again he turns to Becca. Will she try to act like they are in love and go with him? After al, they are already living together so it won’t be all a lie. And Richie sure is interested in Becca for more than the platonic relationship they have going.
It is a good story, I liked Becca. She is very unsure about herself. She was not a pretty child or teenager, and her mother always told her down. So that Richie finds her beautiful is not something she can believe. She has small breasts, and is way too tall. But she is a very good artist, and Richie truly admires her work. And after a bad start, he even likes her cat Tripod, whom he feeds everything wrong for a cat to have. Like coffee, icecream and such.
Now Richie truly is a spoiled boy in a man’s body. I cannot fault Gina for dumping his lazy ass. He cannot do the simplest household chore and is a total slob! And is not really interested in learning to fend for himself either. He thinks his mother likes doing all those things for him. So now he has to, and almost burns the house down while doing the laundry.
His first self made breakfast in bed for Becca consisted of instant coffee, heated in the microwave, and a package of store bought cookies. But finally he did learn to make real coffee, and toast, and such, so he did got better in all those chores.
But although he promised Becca to do everything in the apartment that needed to be done, she is still cleaning up after him, helping him. She should have been more, I don’t know, sterner? Telling him more what to do, instead of doing it herself. And Richie turns his attention from Gina to Becca in record time. Of course Becca fits him better, but he never was in love with Gina to begin with, so why did he contemplate marriage?
There are the usual secondary characters, mainly the scary aunt Rose, and Vinny who gives all the men advice on their love lives. And of course the Faery Godfathers living in the same building, taking care of things when needed.
All in all a good book, but I like my heroines a little bit tougher.