Review: Back Home by RJ Scott


Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Signal Boost Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

RJ Scott is one of those authors who I don't have to think twice about when an opportunity to read something of theirs comes along--with the only reason possibly being if it's part of a long-running series that I haven't read yet and I'd be pressed for time to read everything before the one that's about to be released. Disappointment is a rare feeling when it comes to this author's work, and once again, she's left me more than satisfied with Back Home, which was originally published in April 2011 and was re-released late last month. This was a beautifully told story about coming home to family and first but forbidden love and how time can bring understanding and absolution.

The decision to leave his hometown and not just head to a different state but a different country altogether for college was what Kieran Addison believed was best, what with him having fallen in love with his older brother's boyfriend. Only returning once to be by his family's side after his brother died, Kieran's made a life for himself in London with his best friend by his side. But one call from his sister has him heading back, and after learning about his father's failing health as well as the state their family-owned construction company is in, he knows he's home to stay. Now if only the twenty-six-year-old architect can find a way to keep his feelings for Jordan Salter in check.

One would think that with the less than two hundred pages that this book has, you would get a protracted love story, but nope! What we have here is a well told tale with a fair amount of development for both main characters whose story line goes beyond their fledgling, hesitant romance. There's quite a bit of faltering after Kieran and Jordan see each other again, as is the case with the cache of mixed feelings swirling between them. There's guilt for both--Kieran for the feelings he's had since he was sixteen for the now-twenty-nine-year-old Jordan and Jordan for the sad events that led to the death of Brad, his best friend and long-term boyfriend and Kieran's older brother.

As expected, this book does contain some angst, but it's the kind of angst that's necessary in order for the reader to have a better appreciation for everything that's led to the point Kieran and Jordan find themselves in. The thing is, the angst never felt contrived--the kind that's meant to manipulate your feelings--so I empathized with both Kieran and Jordan and even found myself contemplating what I would have done had I been in their shoes. I liked that while Kieran had feelings for years, Jordan was truly in love with Brad the whole time, although I suspect he harbored a crush of sorts of Kieran. The whole one-sided aspect was something new and made it more interesting.

The other thing I loved about this book was that it was also about family. Jordan may not have been born an Addison but he was truly a part of the family, and since Kieran had upped and left for eight years, he was the surrogate son to Kieran's parents and brother to Kieran's sister. Quite a bit of the story didn't play out the way I thought it would--and that includes how much face time, or in a book, page time, Evan Owens got--which in this case was a good thing because not only did RJ Scott manage to take me by surprise but she also gave this book her own creative touch. Kieran Addison's story of going Back Home to Cooper's Bay was a five-starred favorite for me. ♥

Date Read: 14 June 2017

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