Author: Alexa Milne
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Length: 181 Pages (Kindle)
At a Glance: At times it seemed as though the author was telling us the story instead of letting us experience it, but the plot keeps rolling and the secondary characters are refreshing.
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: You can never escape from yourself.
Zac McKenzie is an ex-professional footballer with a secret he gave up his career to protect. Several years ago, he fled to his home in the North East of Scotland to avoid being outed as gay. Now, he owns a successful hotel and restaurant, but is it time to finally come out into the open?
Seth Pritchard feels he’s damaged goods. He comes to Scotland to escape memories of the accident that left him injured, his bullying stepbrothers and a life of lies.
For their whole lives, Zac and Seth have denied who they truly are to themselves as well as others. When they meet, each man is forced to confront his fears and tear them down one by one.
Reader advisory: Dubious consent. Recollections of physical abuse, emotional/mental abuse, torture and drug abuse. Profanity.
Review: This series of Alexa Milne’s is about so much more than being true to yourself. It is about persons with disabilities and how they cope with that, written in a brutal and honest way; it’s a look through their eyes into what they deal with every day.
Zac McKenzie is an ex-professional footballer. A back injury, a failed marriage, and a closeted relationship are all in his past. The marriage gave him his kids, and the money from soccer gave him Moray Lodge (his hotel located in his home country of Scotland). Zac has been fooling everyone around him—at least he thinks he has—for so many years that he doesn’t see the need to come out as gay anymore. He has his reasons, they are good ones, or at least they were at one point in time. He’s happy, for the most part. Life has become livable again, if a little lonely.
Seth Pritchard is a broken man. A horrific car accident has ruined his leg, but at least he can still walk. His old girlfriend is now paralyzed and Seth is wracked with guilt. A victim of abuse as a child, Seth hurts in so many ways its tragic. He’s run to what he considers the boonies of Northern Scotland to escape his life for a while, heal in body if not in mind, in a place he can be alone with his thoughts.
These are complex men with complex lives and Alexa Milne hits those issues head on with both Zac and Seth. These men have baggage, lots of baggage, but the plot keeps rolling and the secondary characters are refreshing, so the storyline doesn’t get bogged down by it all. At its heart this is a romance. A hardcore, deep, abiding romance. And even though the story can be uncomfortable at times, the slow burn of the attraction Zac and Seth have for each other, and their individual indomitable spirts, shine through. I will say, though, that at times it seemed as though the author was telling us the story instead of letting us experience it. There is an emotional detachment at times, but I liked the storyline enough not to let it bother me. I understand when Alexa Milne says that it was important to get all the details in this one, though, so that we see the world through the characters’ eyes.
I cannot wait to read Returning Home, which is the second book in this series. Choosing Home is a wonderful read, but take your time with it. Let the story take you where the author would like for you to go, which is to a better understanding of people with disabilities and how love can conquer all.
You can buy Choosing Home here: