Tuesday, August 30, 2016

3 stars--Homecoming (Boys of Fall #3) by Shannon Stacey

Homecoming was all about Jen and Sam who had a hot and heavy night months earlier during a town fundraiser. And now he's back in town to help the local football team whose coach is out on medical leave. And all that hot and heavy passion and attraction? Still sparking strong even if it's the last thing either of them thinks they need since he's only there temporarily and she's not looking for a short term fling...

I did really like these two. They give everything they have to the kids at the school. Making sure they're on the right track and have a solid presence in their lives to talk to when they need it or have a babysitter for their "pumpkin-babies" from health class. They're good people and have nice chemistry. It was kinda fun seeing them insisting they were just "having fun" but actually falling in love.

This was more of Sam's journey. Jen's pretty solid on the home front and with her job but Sam's pretty much up in the air with everything. I liked seeing him come home and start to mend the very broken relationship with his mother. It had me tearing up a couple times as they dealt with the pain from the past and tried to move forward as a family.
"Before I go back to Texas, I'm going to get you a better phone so we can talk and do videos and stuff, okay?"

She looked nervous again. "I'm doing okay, but I don't know if I can afford that."

"I'm going to add you to my plan."

"A family plan."

He understood why she said the words in such a quiet voice. It was a stupid thing most people probably took for granted, but for them to share the word family--even if it was just a cell phone plan--was profound. "Yeah. We'll have a family plan."
While I liked a lot of things in this one I did have some trouble. I'm used to the slower speed of the series but this one felt even slower than normal and dragged a bit. My big issue, though, was the drama that was inserted into their relationship towards the end and made out to be an insurmountable issue...when really it wasn't. I didn't buy their meltdown and what was causing it. It never should have been an issue and took this down from a 3.5 to a 3. highlight for spoiler: he got a job in the next town that's 45 minutes away and that was just a deal breaker because no way could either of them drive the 45 minute commute (they claim weather in winter) and not once did anyone suggest how about find a house halfway between so you each have a 20 minute drive. I just couldn't accept that as an instant break up.

So. Some issues but not a bad read overall. I do think the series as a whole is well worth the read. I loved watching a town in crisis start to mend itself and the people who call it home. It's not always an easy story to read but it's heartwarming watching them all come together to save their town and heal their relationships. It's a slow moving series but it's very touching and has been a lovely time I think. And it's not all doom and gloom. There are wonderful friendships that add a good bit of laughter and smiles in as well. So worthwhile even if this wasn't the strongest of the series.

Sam Leavitt has two goals when he returns home to Stewart Mills to fill in for Coach McDonnell: to keep the school from finding a permanent replacement while Coach gets back on his feet, and to reconnect with his mother. As substitute coach for the high school football team, Sam must work hard to keep the boys on track, and that means spending time with the sexy guidance counselor he shared a hot night with months ago.

Jen Cooper knows what she’s looking for, and it’s not Sam—he wasn’t even supposed to come back. She wants a cultured, romantic soul, not some rough-around-the-edges guy with calloused hands—and a hard, muscular body. But seeing him every day forces Jen to question what she really wants out of life. And as Sam begins to deal with his past, Jen discovers there’s more to him than she imagined.

*covers link to Amazon

Challenges: Pick Your Genre (contemporary) | Goodreads

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