It just wasn’t meant to be….DNF Review: Come Back to Me by Sharon Sala

Posted September 14, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 20 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

It just wasn’t meant to be….DNF Review: Come Back to Me by Sharon Sala
Come Back to Me


Series: Blessings Georgia #6
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on August 39, 2018
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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DNF’d at 25%

Ah yes, I do love this writer’s style, the world of small town Blessings, Georgia she created, the heartwarming romances and friendships, and the engaging people.  I’ve laughed and cried and sighed with happiness over nearly every book I’ve picked up.

So, why the sudden need to DNF (do not finish) a book in the series?
Well, this is on me.  The whole trouble I’m going to relate is personal preference- at least, I’m pretty sure it is.  I apologize to author and others for not just skipping this one knowing my preferences.  The blurb does a good job of telling the reader what they can expect.  I pressed forward because of all the things I mentioned in the first paragraph, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a hot button issue that is my own taste.

One of my big nope to the tropes is secret baby.  Unless that guy is an ax murderer or has left no way of finding him, I will never be okay with a mother hiding the fact that a guy has a kid.  It’s not fair to the kid and not fair to the guy.

At first, I thought this one was going to be okay.  The guy’s family sold up and left town so I figured it would be one of those where she couldn’t find him, but it wasn’t like that.  I let myself get really steamed before I closed the book and knew that, no, I wasn’t going to be good with her reasoning.

Instead of telling you to stay away or that I can’t recommend the book.  I’ll just share my synopsis on what I read and let you decide since I know this trope doesn’t bug some people or doesn’t bug them to the same extent.  No worries if you love it and this makes you want to dash out and grab it as soon as it hits the stands.

There was an arson fire in the town and the hero, Aiden’s dad gets blamed for setting it for the insurance money and at the same time, accidentally killing the heroine, Phoebe’s dad who was next door at his own business.  There’s no evidence, but the town and Phoebe do a judge, jury, execution and make it pretty rough on Aiden’s dad and Aiden.

Meanwhile, the Aiden’s mom dies of cancer and evidence comes in that his dad was innocent.  The Aiden begs Phoebe to let him comfort her and help, but she tells him to never speak to her again and leave her alone.  She keeps it up for weeks when he tries a few more times even through his own grief for her dad, her family, his own mom is dying and the stress on his own family.  People (Phoebe) know they were wrong, but its gone on too long and they won’t apologize and ask forgiveness.

Just as Aiden and his dad, grieving and hurt, are leaving, Phoebe gets her head on straight enough from her own grief to realize that he’s really leaving.  Now, she tries to get him to stay or at least come back with teary-eyed ‘I’m sorries’.  It’s too late and his dad needs him and he was still stinging from the betrayal of knowing that she’d known his family for years and claimed to love him, but never gave him the benefit of the doubt especially since there was no evidence.  So, he leaves and moves on with his life with one glance back of regret.

Twenty years later, Aiden comes back to settle his granddad’s estate and discovers he has a son that Phoebe kept quiet about and the granddad agreed to keep quiet about too.  They had decided between them that Aiden would only get to know about his son if he tried to check on her- come back for her like she begged, in other words.  Phoebe raised the boy to believe his dad was a great guy and the son accepts this arrangement because he loves his mom and hopes for the best with his dad.  She’s never going to love anyone else and he’s never found anyone else.  Ahhhh… but no.

Phoebe’s a cutie and a hard worker and a great single mom, as described.  She’s sacrificed and endured to raise a good kid.  Bless her heart. Yes, I’m being a little facetious because it didn’t have to be like this.  There are tons of single moms who would boot her in the butt for living on little because of that sort of unwarranted hurt pride that wore well on a teen girl, but not a thirty-something.  She chose it because she makes this rule that he has to come back for her before he gets to know that he has a son.  She took 20 years from them because of her stubborn insistence that he had to come back to her or at least ask about her.  And the grandfather went along with this even while coming out to visit him and not allowing him to know about his own dying or funeral until afterward to keep him from spending his granddad’s last days with his grandson because the secret.  Sorry, I couldn’t get on board with her reasoning and it didn’t strike me as romantic at all.  She claims all along that she loved him.  That behavior is not love for Aiden or their son.  It was selfish and all about her even if she didn’t badmouth him and turn his son against him.  Then I have to deal with her acting all mad and self-righteous when she springs Lee on him, conveniently forgets about all those weeks twenty years back of denying the guy until he’s pulling out of the driveway, and still spouting her ‘you never came back for me’ one-trick pony act.

Lee is well adjusted and Aiden is thrilled.  Shocked, hurt that she did this, but he doesn’t lose it on her or toward the boy when she just shows up spitting nails at him ‘you have a son and he wanted to meet you, but I don’t ever want to see you’.  He’s generous and kind and wants to be around them both.  He regrets and tells her so, but she’s not having it and stays angry.  Why is he the one doing all the bending and apologizing here????

And, then yeah, her dander’s up so when some jerk lips off to her, she punches him and breaks his nose.  Now, I got no issues with a jerk getting a comeuppance, but she’d already poured beer on the guy and told him off.  The hitting was just one more thing.

So, that’s about it.  I stopped at that point.  A couple of teens have tragedy enter their lives and they are too young to weather it as a couple, but now they get a second chance as adults.  Go for it or don’t.  No worries.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca 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.

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2 years ago

Like you, I absolutely adore Sharon Sala, and have a ton of her books on my shelf, but there are certain topics I can’t go with either, and include the secret baby, or when a woman fakes a pregnancy. So despite really enjoying all her books, I’m not sure I would have picked this one up. As always, you give a really great review despite bot being able to finish it. Hugs and Happy Friday! RO

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  RO

Yeah, I wanted to read it even though I don’t like that trope b/c it was her book, but I ended up just getting upset so I stopped. Fake pregnancies are another one that I find a cruel trope and I won’t read that one, either.

Hugs back and stay safe down there from Hurricane Flo, Ms. Ro!

Carole Rae
2 years ago

Boo bummer. Sorry this was a DNF. I always have a smudge of guilt when I DNF but if it is needed, it is needed.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Yes, I feel a little bad about that particularly when I probably should have just skipped even if I do like the author. But, I’m addicted to her books. 🙂 Oh well, next one.

Mary Kirkland
2 years ago

I can definitely understand why you would have problems with this one. The fact that the grandfather kept it a secret too is just crazy.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Yes, that is the part I just really couldn’t wrap my head around. Why would he think that was such a good idea? Ugh.

Kimberly Caffeinated Reviewer

Yes, I won’t read this trope on purpose and have rarely seen it done where I could accept it.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I should have stuck to my own rules even if the author is a fav. Live and learn. 😉

2 years ago

Don’t blame you at all. I was frustrated just reading that. And that was only 25 percent? No, I totally understand. I actually used to read her, but quit after my own problem with a series she wrote awhile back.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lorna

I should have gone with the instinct that told me to skip it and wait for the next release in the series. I’ve done that before with others, but was hoping there would be mitigating circumstances- but no…

Truthfully, I was disappointed a little with the book before this one, too. I’ll give the series one more try.

Melanie Simmons
2 years ago

That is something I’m not a fan of either. I actually have a family member who did this. They say he wasn’t a good person. I don’t think he could be that bad (and I don’t think she’s that great either). But my feelings are to take it to court. If he is really that dangerous, the court will give you full custody. Unless, like you said, the guy is crazy and might steal the kid. Sorry this one didn’t work out for you. We can’t love them all.

Melanie @ Hot Listens & Books of My Heart

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

The author wrote Lee as a well-adjusted guy who accepted what his mom chose and didn’t feel abandoned by his dad, but in my experience as a family case worker, that is not how a kid would think.
I’m with you about letting a person have a chance to be involved with their kid if they aren’t dangerous or destructive so yeah… I don’t want to read a romance centered around the opposite.

Mary @StackingMyBookShelves!

I don’t blame you for the DNF. It sounds like an angry book and when I read…I don’t want it to be like that. Ughh I had one that was so bad I was like WTF was the author thinking…Thanks for the heads up on this one.


Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Yeah, I thought I’d give it a try in case it went in a direction I could accept, but no, this was an angry one. I do wonder sometimes when a writing choice is made.

2 years ago

I am not a fan of the secret baby trope either, but I also know that sometimes I still give books a try with tropes I don’t like. Sometimes it works out and others times not. Sorry to hear this one didn’t work for you and it ended up being a DNF for you. That does sound weird with her having that rule that he doesn’t get to know his son unless she bothers to check it with her, that’s just mean to steal so many years from them to get to know each other. And then with him apologized… Read more »

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lola

That was my thinking to just give it a chance since I like the author and the series. If the storyline had gone a different direction like she couldn’t find him then I probably would have been okay.
And, yeah, the punching was just the end for me. She had too much anger in her when it was pretty much her own fault for letting things go the way they did.

Shari Delighted Read
Shari Delighted Read
2 years ago

I am not a fan of a secret baby trope unless the father can’t be found or is such a bad person it isn’t right to have them in their lives. Now this pisses me off. She knew his family wasn’t responsible. She knew where they were going. She is the one who turned her back on him first. So when she found out, she should have had the decency to at least tell him. The grandfather – that just ticks me off even more. I have read anything by this author so I am hoping this was just one… Read more »

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

As I began, I was hoping that it would be an issue of him leaving and her not being able to find him, but no, it was not that. I really didn’t like the choice to write the set up this way because there was no way that this wasn’t going to make me mad and you caught all the reasons why.

Anna@herding cats&burning soup

Noooope! That’s a lovely cover but a huge nope. I cannot stand this trope and always think less of the author after they do one of them. Not fair maybe but eh. lol

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Yeah, I normally shy away from this trope, too. I confess that I might still read others in a series, but it does make me hesitate when I go to pick up the next one.