Title: Come Back to Me (Lost and Founds: Book Five
Author: Edmond Manning
Length: 400 Pages (Kindle)
Category: Gay Fiction, Romance
At a Glance: You must now grab this book and read it for yourself. I can guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: After years of lying, scheming, and dangerous manipulation, Vin Vanbly finally gets what’s coming to him: love.
How can he survive unstoppable, uncontrollable love when his very nature demands he control everything? Clues about his one true love—tantalizingly hinted at in each of the books in The Lost and Founds series—come together in four life-changing stories.
In No Kings, a sex hookup with a parking lot stranger reveals more about Vin’s life as a Lost King and his destiny than he could have dreamed. In King Fitch, Vin meets the last king in his long legacy, one final weekend before he withdraws from the world to an anonymous Latin American jungle. The Lost Ones recounts a terrifying kidnapping by street thugs from Vin’s past. In King Malcolm the Restorer, Vin’s mysterious relationship with his older brother—and the soul-crushing secret which drew them together—is finally revealed.
Through it all, Vin Vanbly struggles to survive. But what if he is destined for more than mere survival? Is he finally ready to embrace the truth and remember who he was always meant to be? Once there were a tribe where every man was the one true king and every woman the one true queen…
Review: When the rumblings began to surface that Vin Vanbly’s real name was going to be revealed in the next installment of author Edmond Manning’s Lost And Founds series, I was intrigued. When there were further ripples in the kinging pond that readers might also find out more about Vin’s past—who he really was, how he came to be the guy that kinged others but never felt he himself would ever be worthy, I moved toward cautious excitement. Finally, when the waves crested and it was nearly verified Vin might actually discover his true love and maybe, just maybe, have a happy ever after? Well, it was then I began to beg to review this novel. I am happy to report that much of the above is true—I did get to review this book, we do find out Vin’s real name, and we do learn more about his past…the love bit? Well, I can’t give it all away, but suffice it to say that the underground movement that has been entreating Mr. Manning to please give Vin at least a moment of happiness in one of these installments—yeah, he heard them, and then some.
If you have read Edmond Manning’s Lost And Founds series, then you will have no difficulty following this book and remembering some of the many side characters that move in and out of the various chapters. If you haven’t read any of the others, then I fear this book will not have the impact it could have, and that would be a shame. I am not going to give the store away in this review. Rather, I am going to highlight why this book, like the others in the series, manages to grab hold of the imagination to the point where you become personally involved in the lives of each person that comes across its pages.
Vin is not just some character; he is your long-suffering best friend who deserves so much more than life has dealt him thus far. To understand this man is to realize that he lives to help others discover who they were meant to be, who they have always been and the only way he can do that is to love them with a single minded devotion while systematically breaking them down.
“Your beauty is that you see men for who they really are.”
These words uttered by soon to be King Fitch, aka Kevin, sums up exactly who Vin really is and why those whose lives he touches love him in return. It takes a selfless man to pursue bringing out the beauty in those around him. Don’t get me wrong, Vin has his fair share of flaws, perhaps the most noted is his inability to see his own self-worth. However, when you are single-handedly bent on restoring a lost King to greatness, your own needs often fall to the wayside. Vin is continually warring with his desires—not the least of which is to love and be loved, and to be found…worthy. The beauty of Come Back To Me is that we finally get to see that happen—love finds our Vin and it is so very sweet. Unfortunately, along that journey we are also made privy to the most intimate moments of Vin’s dark and quite often horrible past. And because of that we, are able to love him even more.
There are three distinct stories in this book. First there is a kinging—the aforementioned Kevin. Then we have Vin falling in love…more on that in a moment. And finally, the revealing of Vin’s past and how he came to have an older brother, Malcolm. The kinging is classic Manning style, just slightly condensed and yet no less captivating. Fitch (Kevin), is a man who has been used to loving and leaving a host of men, all while maintaining a perfect physique and a shallow heart. His glorious finding is a king’s story worth reading.
The story of Vin’s past is the most difficult to read, not just because there is violence and rape that is heard but not visually seen or described in the text, but because we learn of it while Vin allows his brother Malcolm to reveal that–plus so much more–to the man Vin has fallen in love with and yet is certain he will lose. Vin is sure in that idea because he is a person used to loss, from a very young age. It is a terrible thing when a man feels he has no family—no real place to call his home. You see, for Vin, four walls (which he does indeed own) do not make a home. Love does that, being “found” does that, building a life with someone does that. And until this novel, all that seemed to be beyond Vin’s grasp. Which leads me to the man who finally sees Vin—truly sees him and the scared young boy lurking inside. I can honestly say Vin being loved by Mark is the most exquisite writing I have ever read. The humor, the tenderness, the crazy role-playing and the premise of their initial meeting make Mark and Vin the most enjoyable partnership to read about. But remember this is Vin we are talking about—the guy who is certain he will never be found, never be good enough, never deserve the happy ever after he so desperately wants.
So, does he get it? Does Vin actually find love and keep it? I will give you one clue…cake. There, I have said enough. You must now grab this book and read it for yourself. I can guarantee you will not be disappointed. Edmond Manning is a consummate storyteller, and in my opinion this is his best novel yet. And honestly, what more could you ask for—a writer who continues to grow and excel in his craft? Come Back To Me is a novel that will exceed all your expectations and affirm the truth that sometimes the underdog gets the win—deservedly so.
You can buy Come Back to Me here: