Wednesday, March 26, 2014

REVIEW ~Come Home to Me by Brenda Novak~

Title: Come Home to Me
Author: Brenda Novak
Series: Whiskey Creek #6
Release Date: March 25, 2014

My Rating: 4 Stars
Home is where her heart is...

When Presley Christensen returns to Whiskey Creek with her little boy after two years away, she has completely changed her life. She's made peace with her past and overcome the negative behavior that resulted from her difficult childhood. Now she's back in the small town that was the closest thing to "home" she ever knew—the town where she can be with the sister who's her only family.

There's just one catch. Aaron Amos still lives in Whiskey Creek, at least until he moves to Reno to open a branch of the Amos brothers' auto body shop. And no matter how hard she's tried, Presley hasn't been able to get over him. Seeing him again makes the longing so much worse. But she hopes she can get through the next few months, because she can't fall back into his arms…or his bed. She's come too far to backslide now. And there's a secret she's been guarding—a secret she'll do anything to protect.

I've got a conundrum where Come Home to Me is concerned. On one hand, I devoured it. Ate up every bit of heart-wrenching and sometimes frustrating drama. On the other hand, I can never, ever condone some of the characters' actions. The easiest way to explain this book is that I hate to love it. But it's true I loved it. I don't often devour 400 page books in a 36 hour span, when I worked 16 of those hours, and slept a good chunk of the others. This may have been my fastest reading to date, and I consumed every single word and couldn't wait to get to the next. I don't know what it is about Ms. Novak but, even when I disagree with a character's actions, she can still make me glued to every aspect of their life. 

Come Home to Me is the second chance story of Presley and Aaron. After two long, hard years away from Whiskey Creek, Presley has finally decided to return home. Dependent upon Aaron's impending move to Reno to expand the auto shop he runs with his brothers. However, Aaron decides to stick around a lot longer than anyone is expecting. That throws a huge wrench in Presley's plans. She's got a big secret she's hiding from everyone, except her sister Cheyenne, and Aaron trying to pick up where they left off isn't helping her resolve of keeping that secret. Cheyenne doesn't ease matters when she propositions Aaron to help her and her husband... without her husband's knowledge. Side note: Cheyenne's husband, Dylan, just so happens to be Aaron's brother. So as the web of lies and secrets grows, some slip through the cracks and even more mistakes are made. All boiling down to the reveal of Presley's secret that will shatter Aaron's reality, and has the ability to affect Cheyenne and Dylan's future and happiness as well. But let's not stop there. Let's also include the ordeal Cheyenne has Presley and Aaron roped into... and this just can't end well for someone.

This book blew my mind. Cheyenne crosses lines, that I could not even begin to fathom. I'm hoping for some kind of happy and honest conclusion where her story line is concerned, but I don't see that happening. As for Presley and Aaron... well they just have a big old mess on their hands. Part of me couldn't stand Presley, but looking at the big picture she won me over in the end. You can only hold someone's past against them for so long. Aaron on the other hand, went with the flow much more willingly that I had expected. Despite his jealous tendencies, I saw him as a bit of a rockstar. He fought so hard, and just wanted Presley to accept the changes in him, as he had for her. I think my biggest point of contention with this book is Cheyenne. If I extricate her story line from the book, I loved it. But when I remember her actions and what she pulled Presley and Aaron into... it kinda spoils things for me. However, I still devoured this book. It reminds me of a soap opera, not necessarily in a bad way. When I watch one, although I'm not a frequent viewer but, when I do, I just can't stop watching. I want to know everyone's back story, who's cheating on who, this couples history, etc. It's all so fascinating to me. That's how I feel about Come Home to Me. Was it a Grade-A romance? Probably not, BUT it was a Grade-A book! I think what'll make it better is if I just imagine Dylan and Cheyenne's story ended in their book, and the Dylan and Cheyenne in Come Home to Me were on an alternate plane of existence. A little far fetched, but it let's me love this book without feeling a little wigged out. In terms of Presley and Aaron's story though, big thumbs up!

Happy Reading!
*ARC received by the author in exchange for an honest review*

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