Caulky, by K.M. Neuhold

dith_kusu's review

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This was my first read by this author, and it was a lighthearted fun smutty time which was fine by me, good intro first book to a new series.

The premise is of Ren, a technical manual writer with a beekeeping hobby/side gig having been broken up with and wanting a rebound, and him flirting with a bear of a man in the resident gay bar and getting a friends with benefits regular hookup situation started. Said bear is Cole, who co-owns his own successful construction business (Four Bears Construction, wink wink get the blatant sex pun?) with his brother and two best friends, who has always been commitment avoidant and never had a serious relationship before.

On top of their connection at the bar and weekly hookup starting, Ren remodels his bathroom and serendipitously, Cole is the guy he hires to do so! The other coincidence topping the cherry is Ren signing up on a gay online dating app and ending up messaging Cole (CaulkyAF) as Rebound, and them striking up a chatty more intimate anonymous online friendship. So basically this story is just them hooking up, discovering they are doubly matched with the universe really throwing them together, usual slight conflict with commitment levels near the end, then deciding to date for real, and in the end them settling into blissful domesticity.

Ren and Cole had chemistry, and the sex stuff was fun and cute- I did laugh at Cole checking off the bingo for seeing a sex toy out in the open during client site visits. Who hasn't run into this cutesy scenario before, complete with half asleep caught off guard protagonist opening their door to the porn premise of hot contractor coming into the house to... fix and build and hammer things?

Ren's side business of making honey and related products was cute here, and the other guys to later on have their own books in this series were good here too. Cole's brother who is twice divorced and always searching for love, the single dad seemingly only straight in the group who would probably end up bi or pan in his own book, the one who just moved into a fixer upper and will end up with his conflict-starting neighbor. Fun concept that these are men in their early forties, which I haven't read about as much in romance aside from age gap romances, and they're burly bears men in construction. It's like a Sex and the City vibe for older buff gay men.

nicholewrites's review

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funny lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


ssejig's review

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Ren just broke up with his boyfriend. Or, more technically, he found a moving slip on the kitchen table that indicates his boyfriend is about to break up with him. So he decides to go out and drink at the local watering hole. There, he meets the most amazing man. But Cole, the king of hook-ups, isn't interested in a hook-up where the guy isn't able to make a sober decision. So he drops Ren off at home. Cole does tell Ren that he's at that same bar every Thursday night so if he wants to come find him later....
Cut to Ren opening his door half-dressed for the contracter who's going to be redoing his bathroom. It's Cole! Even worse, as Ren is texting with his best friend, he realizes that he left something of a very personal nature in the bathroom.
Even though the two are still attracted to each other, Cole is loathe to start something, especially while Cole is still working on Ren's bathroom.
The romance in this book is a slow burn (even if the sex isn't). It is just a super fast read but fun and fluffy. I liked the way the characters were built and how Neuhold opened the door for more romances. I immediately downloaded Nailed.

bfdbookblog's review

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This started off a little slow and took me longer to get going than it should have but once the story picked up, I had a hard time putting it down. This is a low angst, super sweet story with great characters and a good start to what should be a great series.

Ren and Cole have amazing sexual chemistry but being a serial monogamist who has had his heart repeated broken and a serial hook-up guy, neither of them wants a relationship. They actually have entertaining, endearing banter too…they just don’t know it. I’ll admit I was a little worried about how that was going to play out, but I loved the way it was handled and how it continued to work! So CUTE! These guys are not perfect but are perfect for each other.

There is no lack of or miscommunication. I think that may be my favorite thing about Cole…he is no-nonsense and lays it out like it is without apology.

I loved each of the other 3 ‘bears’ who are Cole’s work partners and look forward to reading their stories!

morgan96's review

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4.5 stars

Can I get myself a Cole ? For someone who was the kind to sleep around I really appreciated that he was portrayed as someone really mature. He slept around not because of a big fear of commitment but because he simply had never found someone who interested him enough, neither did he feel the need to actively look for a relationship. It's such a refreshing thing to see in a romance book and I loved that. He wasn't someone who needed to be tamed like you see in so many romance books. When he realised his feelings and who Ren was he was a 100% into the relationship and if not for him we would probably have fallen down the usual trope. He was there to reassure Ren, to support him and give him the little push he needed to believe in love again and also in himself to achieve what he wanted.

Even if there's quite a lot of smut very few of them were full on sex scenes which I think was for the best, it might've been a little repetititve at times but them being a little shorter instead of seeing them doing everything everytime stopped it from being too much imo.

I can't wait to see what's gonna happen with the 3 other guys. 2 of the eventual couple are heavily hinted at but I have to admit it's Everett I'm the most curious about, even though I'm not the biggest fans of stories with kids xD

harleyann's review

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Caulky by K.M. Neuhold ****/*****
#AudiblesSale #Reviews

Triggers: M/M Sex
Troupes: One Night Stand, Both Heros in their 40’s, Construction Owner and Bee Keeper (?)

I am just gonna dive right in and say that M/M romance is not normally my favorite subgenre. Not that I have a problem with LGBTQ+ anal just really grosses me out (whether it is M/M or M/F) and up until now the majority that I have read have been coming out stories, which is great just gets tiresome after a while. But every once in a while I try a new author in a subgenre I don't normally read just to get a break from my usual. So when I first picked up the Four Bears Construction series I actually started with book three at the very beginning of this year since it fulfilled a requirement for a reading game I was playing. I liked it well enough but it was another coming out story so I figured I’d get around to the rest of the series later on.

Well the time has come to finish this series! So I started from the beginning with Caulky (book 1) I have zero regrets! This one was not a coming out story! Bonus they are both in their early 40’s! And the best bonus of all is that they both don’t have the Ideal 8 pack, hairless bodies that are so popular in romance books. There is a reason the series is named the Four Bears Construction. Ren and Cole are completely adorable together! Ren does get a little annoying at times due to his relationship pessimism but Cole is the absolute best. Like yeah Cole used to be a hoe but there wasn’t any cheating or ex drama which I super appreciated. I think my favorite part of this book was the epilogue. It's really hard to write a good first book epilogue when the series follows a set of friends or siblings without giving anything away about the future books but K.M. Neuhold did it perfectly!

I will be reading the rest of this series in the coming days and really hope that I enjoy the rest as much as I did this book. This is an ongoing series just so yall know. Book 5 came out 3/11 in ebook and 4/26 in audio. Book 6 came out 7/2 in ebook and we are still waiting on the audio.

PS: If you like adult coloring K.M. Neuhold has coloring pages that you can download for free when you sign up for her newsletter but be warned they are pretty graphic.

intheblackout's review

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This had a trope that I don't see that often, but one that I really enjoy. A couple hooking up, but developing a relationship with each other through an app (not knowing who the other actually is). Other books that I really enjoyed, that had a form of this trope is: [b:Scorpio Hates Virgo|36156261|Scorpio Hates Virgo (Signs of Love, #2)|Anyta Sunday||54045919] by [a:Anyta Sunday|5155341|Anyta Sunday|] and [b:Unwritten Law|41638074|Unwritten Law (Steele Brothers #1)|Eden Finley||63475926] by [a:Eden Finley|15036279|Eden Finley|] (this one is a bit different).

[b:Caulky|50715079|Caulky (Four Bears Construction, #1)|K.M. Neuhold||75745499] did this thrope well. The couple was interesting to read about ans the steamy scenes were great (however, there may have been a bit too many of them).

The beginning started out slow for me and I was thinking about dnf'ing it at 12% when I wasn't enjoying it (I'm so glad I didn't!!). That might have been a me problem, not being in a reading mood that night.

I also felt the book was too long, it kind of dragged at points.

Overall a good read! I will be continuing with the sequel [b:Nailed|53189356|Nailed (Four Bears Construction, #2)|K.M. Neuhold||80202894].

leersinlimites's review

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Me fijé en este título en cuanto se publicó hace un par de meses. Quiero decir... con la portada que tiene ¿cómo no fijarse? Me he animado a leerlo ahora que acaba de salir el segundo libro, y siendo tan poco el tiempo de espera, cuento con que los siguientes no tardarán en salir (espero).

Es una historia diferente y al mismo tiempo sencilla. Nos encontramos ante la típica historia de "sin compromiso" que acaba en amor, pero la forma en la que está narrada, la forma en la que se desarrolla su relación sin que ellos apenas se den cuenta, me ha parecido original y muy bonita.

Por un lado están sus encuentros locos, en los que disfrutan de la pasión y la atracción que sienten el uno por el otro. Por otro lado, en cambio, están las conversaciones que mantienen el uno con el otro a través de una app de citas (sin saber quién es la persona con la que están hablando). Es genial ver cómo se van enamorando poco a poco, y la expectativa de que descubran con quién están chateando aumenta de forma estratosférica la ansiedad del lector.

Además del romance en sí, lo que realmente ha terminado de cautivarme es la naturalidad con la que escribe la autora, especialmente los diálogos. ¿Me habré reído tanto como con este libro antes? En pocas ocasiones, la verdad. Hay diálogos muy locos e interacciones y bromas muy inteligentes que no te dejan indiferente.

La premisa de esta saga sigue a los cuatro amigos que tienen una compañía de construcción. Tres de ellos son gays y el cuarto es hetero con una niña pequeña (imagino que no será tan hetero, pero aún no hay indicios de esto XD).

Ya sabemos que el segundo se centra en Stone y en su vecino, al cual se hace mención en este libro y ya promete ser un enemies to lovers!! ¿Hay algo mejor? Sí, la perspectiva de Ollie y Daniel, no sabéis las ganas que tengo de que esa pareja acabe siendo una realidad. Y Everett, claro, no puedo imaginarme cómo se desarrollará su historia y ya tengo una curiosidad loca. Así que, como veis, todos ellos me fascinan y me llaman la atención. No siempre pasa, pero es que son secundarios muy prometedores. ¿Cómo contenerme?

meghannf's review

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I loved that one!!
Very unrealistic (no surprise there), fun banter, cute characters!