Review: The Summer He Came Home by Julianne Stone

Review: The Summer He Came Home by Julianne StoneThe Summer He Came Home by Julianne Stone

Series: #1 Bad Boys of Crystal Lake
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on April 2, 2013
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-half-stars  

I chose this book for a myriad of reasons, but the biggest one was because it’s a ‘home grown’ piece for me.  The setting is right in my own backyard so to speak and it’s a small town romance both big reasons to peak my interest.  I had not read this author before and now that I’ve turned the last page on this story I do believe I will be looking out for more of her work and definitely the other books in this series.

The story begins when Cain Black, rising star in the world of rock music, returns home for a bosom buddy’s funeral.  He left town ten years back to follow his dreams and hadn’t been back since.  So much has happened and he wonders what all coming home will have in store for him.

What Cain doesn’t expect is the cute fiery red head that catches his attention from almost the moment he arrives.  He gets the shock of his life when his charismatic smile and easy words don’t work their usual magic.  In fact, a few people actually warn him away from her because of his reputation and this, along with seeing a buddy die too young makes him really stop and think.

On Maggie’s part, she wants nothing to do with the sexy as sin and attractive Cain Black.  Complications like his need to use her to scratch an itch she doesn’t need.  She’s just got herself and her son settled into a nice town and has a cleaning job that meets their needs.  She knows she’s not Cain’s type, but even beyond that she refuses to let anyone past her emotional guard.  Too much hurt from the past.

Instead of bugging out of town right after the funeral, Cain decides to stick around and let his mom, his friends and his home town help him recharge and also allow him to give it a go with Maggie O’Rourke.

The two of them circle each other warily for a time, but finally Maggie allows Cain to start seeing her.  She and her son are both enchanted with the man who tenderly cares for both their needs surprising her into allowing a little dream for more for the first time.

But trouble comes for both of them and they must both decide how they really feel and in Maggie’s case decide if Cain is deserving of her trust.

The plot on this one sticks mainly to the growing relationship between Cain and Maggie.  Its a gentle romance interspersed with some scorching hot scenes between these two needing people.  They are so good for each other though at first I wasn’t entirely sure what Cain saw in Maggie the way she was all rudeness and prickles.  Maybe it was her refreshingly unique attitude after all the fawning women.  Once Maggie’s story comes out, it becomes clear what all the attempts to distance herself are about.  She’s had a tough row to hoe up until this point.  I loved the addition her son Michael gives to the story particularly with the relationship between Cain and Michael.  It was too precious.  Other minor plot lines involving the other members of the Bad Boys group were interesting and I look forward to reading their stories.  Poor Jake is so messed up!

This brings me to speak of the character development beyond the main characters.  I love it when an author nails the whole small town setting particularly when the characters are just that-characters.  The scene where Cain goes into town to run some errands before his big first date with Maggie had me cracking up so much that I’m glad I wasn’t out in public.  Here’s a hint with a few word clues:  Drugstore, Sweet Old Lady Preacher’s Wife, Cain, Aisle with Condoms and Meds for Jock Itch. What.A.Hoot!

This was a very entertaining read that I can recommend to those who enjoy small town romance that’s jazzed up with a bit of steam between a Bad Boy hero and a woman with a fragile bruised heart.

Thank you to Sourcebooks for providing my ARC review copy.

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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.

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