Journalist Alex Buchanan has come home to the remote British Columbia town he grew up in, but only because his estranged father is dying. For Alex, the homecoming holds a mix of memories, mostly bad. The only bright spot is reconnecting with Benji Morning, the childhood friend he never truly forgot. As boys, the strength of their bond had frightened Alex. But now that he’s confident in his bisexuality, he’s drawn back to quiet, soft-spoken Ben.
Ben isn’t the same boy Alex left behind, though. His life has been overshadowed by the disappearance of his sister two decades earlier, and now a new break in the case threatens to undo the peace he’s worked so hard to attain.
As Alex struggles to repair the relationship with his father before it’s too late, he finds himself caught up in a twenty-year-old mystery, a story he never expected, and a shocking truth that could affect his and Ben’s future together.
I delight in a good coming-home set up especially when it involves a second chance romance for childhood buds and a cold case missing persons that gets re-opened. So much to pull me in and I could not wait for it to happen.
Back to You lived up to my eager anticipation. A man who comes home to his small mountain town and after twenty years of running away and anger finally starts to know himself and everyone from his past with more clarity. It was a journey of the soul and I love those types especially when handled well like this author did.
The catalyst to bring Alex home was his dad asking for him on his deathbed. The family was broken for so long with hurt, anger and misunderstanding ruling things. But in the coming home, Alex has a chance to reconnect with his childhood bestfriend and neighbor when he is in a place to deal honestly and truly understand that it had always been something more between them.
The tone of this story is what really captivated me. The author didn’t just create a setting and characters, but created feels that struck a chord in me for Alex and everyone else inter-connected by the town and the past. There is a bittersweet taste to this one and it fit beautifully. Alex narrates in the first person and it was engaging to first not really like him to seeing him work through his mistakes and issues to a better place.
The cold case was a good mystery piece. I had an inkling early on. Not sure why and it stuck with me as things kept adding up. It was nothing I could put my finger on other than getting to know the characters’ well. I liked what the mystery added to the story.
All in all, Back to You was richly-drawn and touched a deep place in me with its atmosphere and emotions that rang true. I definitely recommend this to m/m romantic suspense and contemporary romance or fiction lovers who want something with a bittersweet flavor and strong character-driven plot.
My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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