Title: Back Home
Author: RJ Scott
Publisher: Love Lane Books
Length: 214 Pages
At a Glance: A fluid story, filled with intensity and angst, culminating in an utterly satisfying ending.
Reviewed By: Taz
Blurb: Falling for his brother’s boyfriend broke his heart. Now he’s back home and falling in love all over again.
One birthday kiss, given on a dare, and Kieran realizes he is in danger of falling for his brother’s boyfriend, Jordan. Leaving for college, then moving to another country is the only way to ease the ache in his heart.
But, when his father becomes ill, and his sister begs him to come home, Kieran returns for good. He finds the family business nearly bankrupt and Jordan, the man he ran from, beaten down by despair and guilt.
Friendship is what they promise each other as they work to repair the business, but it could never be enough for Kieran. When secrets spill, and there are vital decisions to be made, Kieran realizes two things; he’s back home, and he wants to stay with Jordan for good.
Now he just needs to convince Jordan.
Review: Back Home is exactly the kind of story I love to read. It is centered on two men struggling through emotions, to come together and find their happily ever after. True romance, through and through. What Ms. Scott has done, in her masterful way, is weave a tale that explores the history and emotions which both entangle themselves in matters of the heart, and complicate the road to bright, happy futures.
There is a lot of haunting in this story. Kieran is haunted by his love for Jordan. From the beginning days of his living as a gay man (well, teen), he’s loved Jordan, his brother’s boyfriend and later, partner. When circumstances bring Kieran back home, he is haunted once again, this time by the memory of someone who could potentially serve as the one obstacle neither he nor Jordan could overcome, even from beyond the grave.
Jordan is haunted for far different reasons. His guilt plagues him from even before the story begins. Not only had the Addison family taken him in when he was all but orphaned at six years old, but he harbors feelings for his lover’s younger brother, strong emotions he can’t deny—the fact his lover was the eldest son of the very family who took him in, and the Addison’s should have ejected him from their lives, something they did not do. Learning to accept that kind of unconditional love is difficult for a man who’s experienced that loss, and is the natural result of opening his heart to let someone in.
What Ms. Scott provides us is a beautiful journey of pure and honest connection. Whether the connection’s generated from anger, happiness, excitement, sorrow, or any number of other emotions, the narrative remained viscerally raw and very, very real. The power of the interactions between Kieran and Jordan is undeniable and compelling. With each new secret revealed to the other, each admission which took massive amounts of courage to share, these two men form a foundation that is unshakable.
There is an underlying plotline that serves as a backbone to move the story along, and I enjoyed watching the cast of characters interact. Whether sharing heartfelt moments or planning out a business strategy, each character served a purpose. And that purpose was creating a magnetic family unit, grounded in love and understanding. Adding the passion both Kieran and Jordan share for building things, and tossing in a deliciously hateful villain, there were moments when I found myself wishing bad things for the venomous character. This backdrop and side stories added to the ebb and flow of the story, providing breaks between deeply emotional scenes.
When two people have legitimate reasons to question the reasonableness of pursuing a relationship, it takes a skilled writer to manage the very real skepticism readers would naturally have. Authors must be sure to anticipate what is believable to their readers and provide scenes which help us to understand character motivation and actions. Ms. Scott has achieved this with seamless and beautiful language.
You can buy Back Home here: