Review: Coming Home by Lydia Michaels

Review: Coming Home by Lydia MichaelsComing Home by Lydia Michaels

Series: #3 Surrender Trilogy
Genres: Erotic Romance
Published by Berkley on December 2, 2014
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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three-half-stars  

Gird up your loins, people! This one get off to a very angsty, rocky start. Is this a surprise for anyone who read the last book? Probably not! But for those who, like me, run and don’t walk from emotional leakage then the fall out and putting together of the pieces that must go on make it tough not to get twitchy about shutting the book and pushing it away. Evelyn ‘Scout’ Keats has been betrayed by the two most important men in her life or so it seems to her and she refuses to let either of them get close enough to explain. She’s barely holding it together and its easier to think of them both as monsters than to consider that part of her issues are that she had opened up and began to feel. Feelings, love, commitment- those things weren’t allowed.

This is the story of Lucian, a ruthless, domineering man of wealth, prestige and power willing to humble himself and do whatever it takes to win back the heart of the woman he loves. But more so, it is the story of a woman who is lost, broken, proud, but so, so tired. She fights her circumstances, she fights Lucian, she fights all the hateful people who look down on her because of where she came from, and she fights even herself to continue toward her dream of independence and making something of herself. All the movers and players are present in this last book that brings everything to its culmination.

And at this point, I’m going to warn of potential spoilers ahead as I present my thoughts for anyone that hasn’t read the previous books. These books must be read in order. Book one can actually function as a standalone, but the next two don’t work out of order or alone.

My thoughts and feelings on this book are mixed. I’ve actually retyped this part twice now and realized that all the examples of my displeasure that I was waxing on about in detail that I decided to spare you boil down to one thing. Books two and three could have just been book two. It had moments where it just soared, but mostly it just plodded. There was a lot of introspection particularly for Evelyn- and took up about 75% of a 400+ page book and my eyes glassed over in the process. Much of this book was predictable so there wasn’t much to break up the slow meandering pace. The first third was Evelyn giving vent to her feelings about what happened at the end of book two. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty and she’s lucky Lucian is a very tenacious man (though I have to say, that scene with the skank was priceless. Evelyn ate her up and spit her out).

Okay, just a pause in the previous train of thought for a little excursion down the bunny trail here as I make the observation that Evelyn and Lucian both get way harsh about mistakes and forgiveness several times in this book (You made a mistake? I rip you to shreds with my words and cut you out of my life. No second chances). I just sat there and blinked a few times about the ‘judge jury executioner’ attitudes and found it extreme considering the motives behind the mistakes weren’t evil or vindictive, but just misguided. They’re going to end up alone without friends as every member of the human race makes mistakes at some point. Yeah, call those people on their screw-ups, but if they try to explain and make right maybe give them a chance like you would want if you screwed up? Whew, yeah, anyhoo…

Then the rest of the book was just baby steps for Evelyn hanging back and the reader along with Lucian, the oh so patient man, far in the distance waiting for her to get her epiphany (hey, he really did do all that stuff including the devil’s deal with Parker to save my life because he loves me beyond anything) and catch up.

There was something incredibly tenuous about their reunion, something Lucian feared could shatter at any moment. Always so strident and sure in his endeavors, he was man enough to admit, for the first time in his life, he’d found something he coveted so much it terrified him. She was so much more than a possession. It was what she gave him. A soft security that never took tangible form, yet he felt it everywhere in her presence. What they had, he treasured beyond measure, and it was changing him in ways he didn’t understand. p. 165 Lucian from Coming Home

She had nothing to offer him other than herself, but that was all he ever truly wanted from her. Over the past weeks, she understood more about who he was, and for the first time, she saw herself.

She was no longer a girl, but a woman. No longer was she racing against all the odds to find the security she always coveted. She had everything she needed right there in the arms of the man she loved. p. 366 Evelyn from Coming Home

I don’t want to give the impression that the book is awful or that the characters are awful. I liked them and I liked the plot, but I was bored with the snail pace to get there. There were some really tender scenes, some scorching hot scenes and one really dangerous one that almost made up for the rest. And I’m going to contradict myself because for the record there was one unpredictable twist for me that left me so sad.

And that reminds me, another thing buggy about this one is that it wrapped up Lucian and Evelyn’s story, but left almost everyone else high and dry. After detailing out the lives of the support characters through the series particularly those that were in relationships or on rocky ground in their relations to Evelyn or Lucian, their romances weren’t neatly tied up and the reader is left with a few unrequited loves and a shaky relationship along with stuff that just seemed to fade away. Picky of me, but if someone gets significant page time, I want at least a strong hint of where their story line is headed because I’m nosey that way.

Alright, so to wrap it up, I was happy where this last part of the story took things, but I was very impatient or even bored through more than half the book. The romance is turbulent, sweet, and scorching hot in turn. I would recommend this one to erotic romance fans particularly those who enjoy a long, teased out story of character growth and development.

My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Oh, I think it’s not a book for me, great review Sophia !

    • Yeah, I really loved the first book. The second one was good and now this one…just okay for me.

  • LOL your opening line so made me smile. That’s a shame it wasn’t quite as strong as the rest but yay for it still being an enjoyable read overall 😀

    • That’s probably just exactly it. The first book hit it out of the ball park and the others missed it. Not bad necessarily, but mediocre in comparison added to the fact that the author’s writing style led me with such broad hints that I knew exactly what was coming.

  • I’ve had that happen where subsequent books could have been broken down into one book which would have made it a better read.

    • Yep, I don’t mind a bit of introspection and need to step back or slow down, but for me these last two just dragged and I knew exactly where it was going so that didn’t help. Not bad, but I wanted more.

  • Oh I get what you are saying about the drawn out angst and stuff being made into one book instead of two and your opening paragraph ..hilarious my friend!

    • Thanks, Kimba!

      I thought I was prepared for how she would responded when the secrets were revealed, but I wasn’t and then stuff just dragged on and on. Whew! I don’t like to skip, but I did just to get to a place where the story moved forward. Oh well, maybe next time.

  • Kate S.

    I think that a tot of romance falls into this issue when it tries to go into sequels….

    • It did for me, Kate. I loved book one, but the contents of the next two would have done better for me if they were all in one book instead of stretched out so long like that.