Title: My Hometown
Author: SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages
At a Glance: Just because My Hometown didn’t hit the mark with me, doesn’t mean other readers won’t enjoy it. Give it a whirl.
Reviewed By: Lynn
Blurb: Jimmy Brink and Eric Halter grew up together in a small country town. While Eric has always been content with life as a rancher, Jimmy wanted more and moved to Chicago early on to pursue a medical career.
Life has a way of coming back around. When Jimmy’s parents decide to retire in Florida, Jimmy returns to his hometown to finish his residency at a local hospital. Flamboyant boyfriend Oliver in tow, Jimmy bumps into his old friend. Eric quickly takes a disliking to Oliver, though, and for good reason. Oliver proves he’s not only self-centered but also a cheater.
To complicate matters, Eric finds it more and more difficult to hide his attraction to his best friend. When the opportunity arises, he needs to decide whether to risk their friendship to pursue his feelings… but maybe Jimmy will see there’s more for him now than ever before in his hometown.
Review: I’m a huge fan of this author so I jump at the chance to read her books. As always, the writing is top notch and I enjoyed the storyline. The friends-to-lovers stories are always a lot of fun to read—the pent up frustration, the realization that yes, I might be in love with my best friend, etc. I love all of it. Unfortunately, My Hometown just felt a little flat to me.
I waited a couple of weeks after reading this book to finally sit down and write the review. First, let me say that I loved this story. It was everything a friends-to-lovers story should be. The one friend, Jimmy, comes back to town after being away at college, reuniting with Eric, the friend who stayed behind. One is gay, the other straight. The straight guy realizes he has feelings for his gay best friend, so on and so on. This story has all the ingredients for being a great read: the writing is outstanding, the characters are amazing, the pace and tone are spot on. It was the same story I’ve read before. Different setting, different characters, but all in all, just the same.
So why did I feel this book fell flat? I prefer a plot with a little bit of an unusual twist to set it apart from other books with the same trope. I feel Ms. Peterson tries to do that with Oliver, Jimmy’s over-the-top boyfriend. As the scenes unfold, we know where the story is going, and Oliver feels like a filler. Seriously, he wasn’t needed. I think he was an attempt by the author to set My Hometown apart from other books, but his storyline just didn’t go anywhere. Sadly, a missed opportunity.
I’m one of those readers that must be grabbed in the very beginning of a book, and SJD Peterson does that—I was hooked from the first page. But while I enjoyed what I read, there was no spark. Are my expectations too high? I don’t think so. I feel if an author tackles a storyline that’s been done ad nauseam, it should have something that makes it different from anything else out there. This one just didn’t have that.
I’ve mentioned before this is a well written story. I loved Eric. He was an uncomplicated, true to himself, genuine character. I loved being inside his head as he’s dealing with these new-found feelings for his best friend. Seeing the emotional roller coaster he dealt with at times was amusing, thoughtful and just fun to read. Kudos to the author for giving us that. It took me a while to warm up to Jimmy, he felt a little self-absorbed to me, but in the end he definitely proves himself worthy. Having the POV’s of both men throughout made the story move along seamlessly.
Now, all that being said, will I recommend My Hometown? Absolutely! Just because it didn’t hit the mark with me, doesn’t mean other readers won’t enjoy it. Give it a whirl.
You can buy My Hometown here: