Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Book: Come Home to Me by Brenda Novak

Presley and Aaron's story, Come Home to Me, was sweet and was a pretty fast read. I didn't really connect the names at first, not until I was done reading, actually, and now that I'm looking at it, the names are a bit cutesy for me, but...

Presley and Aaron were fuckbuddies for a while before she left town, and even though they're both still hot for each other, Presley does her best to resist him, not just for herself, but for her son. Before she left town, Presley was apparently the town bad girl/daughter of a town pariah, and she's since mended her ways. Most of her backstory is told in allusions to things that happened, snippets of mentions in her conversations with her sister, or other characters' internal monologues.

I didn't have much trouble connecting to that, having been there, done that, in some of the same ways. I would have liked for there to be more concrete references to it, though. Most of her backstory was told, not shown, (and not really told very explicitly) and I think it might be more difficult for someone who's never been hungry or desperate to really understand how far Presley's come in just two years. Her recovery, her growing up, just didn't mean a whole lot, because there was no real glimpse into what she'd been before. Some flashbacks at opportune moments could have helped with that, I think.

I liked the semi-slow way they worked their way back into each other's lives, or more accurately, how Aaron imposed himself back into her life, little by little. There wasn't much insight into why Aaron kept pushing, thought, no real reason for him to, other than he was just irritated that his former fuckbuddy was back in town and trying to avoid sleeping with him, and thinking about dating someone else into the bargain. He sort of had the attitude, 'It was good once, so why are you trying so hard, Presley?' He didn't get it, and I didn't really get him, either.

I did like that it took something major for him to figure his feelings out, but the build-up to it was bigger than the resolution, and that was a bit disappointing.

I loved the way Aaron connected to his son, Wyatt.

The secondary story, Presley's "sister" Cheyenne and her husband Dylan, was odd, and I just know that is going to come back and bite everybody in the hindquarters, and I'm not sure how that's going to get told, since Dylan and Cheyenne are already married. Not too many romances get written these days about people who are already married and in love with each other. As a B story, it took up too much space, space that could have been better used to beef up Presley and Aaron.

I did like the way Presley was upfront about her business with some of her potential clients - "This is a legitimate business, and there's not gonna be any shenanigans, so just get that right out of your head," to paraphrase it. I also really liked that the bits of family she'd created around herself were supportive, not judging. She had issues with who she used to be, but other people were pretty much taking the new Presley at face value.

I think I might've gotten more out of this book if I'd read Dylan and Cheyenne's story (assuming it exists), because there are probably bits of backstory in the two sisters' interactions in that. However, this story mostly stood on its own, and I enjoyed reading it. I hope to read more in the Whiskey Creek series.

I did not notice any mistakes or typographical errors while reading.

I was given a digital copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Come Home to Me is available for Kindle or in paperback.