Series: Thunder Point #6
Published by Harlequin MIRA on 2014-08-26
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Source: the publisher
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Also in this series: The Wanderer, The Newcomer, The Hero, The Chance, The Promise, One Wish, A New Hope, Wildest Dreams
Also by this author: My Kind of Christmas, The Wanderer, The Newcomer, The Hero, The Chance, The Promise, 'Tis the Season, One Wish, Never Too Late, A New Hope, Wildest Dreams, What We Find, The Life She Wants, Any Day Now
In a small town, reputation is everything. In her latest novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr explores the burden placed on a young man returning home to face his mistakes—the first step in claiming the life he was meant to live.
At the age of nineteen, Seth Sileski had everything. A superb athlete and scholar, handsome and popular, he was the pride of Thunder Point. Destined for greatness, he lost it all in a terrible accident that put an end to his professional football career when it had barely begun. The people in his hometown have never forgotten what might have been.
Seth has come to terms with the turns his life has taken. But now he's been presented with an opportunity to return home and show his father—and the people of Thunder Point—he's become a better, humbler version of his former self.
Winning over his father isn't the only challenge. Seth must also find a way to convince his childhood neighbor and best friend, Iris McKinley, to forgive him for breaking her heart. With his homecoming, will Seth be able to convince the town, his family and especially Iris that he's finally ready to be the man who will make them all proud?
I can always count on Robyn Carr for a good, solid small-town romance, and she delivers again in The Homecoming. Seth is a new character for the series, though we’ve briefly seen his family in previous books. Seth is finally back in town after over a decade away. He’s taking Mac’s place as the town policeman, while Mac has been promoted and will be working in a larger town not far away. Seth is very conscientious, spending a lot of time learning what has changed in the town, where the potential trouble spots are, etc. He’s a really good cop and a fundamentally good person, and I fell for him immediately.
Iris McKinley is good at her job, too; as guidance counselor at the local high school, she deals with everything from hurt feelings and withdrawal after a friendship blows up, to bullying and domestic abuse. When she and a fellow teacher begin to suspect a student is being abused, they have to report it, which gets Seth involved as well.
Best friends in their childhood and teens, Seth and Iris had a falling out in their senior year of high school, and Iris hasn’t wanted anything to do with Seth since. For a guidance counselor, she’s really bad at dealing with her own feelings, and she’s not able to forgive and move on. She has just cause to be upset – more so than Seth knows — and I could totally understand how she felt, but I still wished she could put it behind her. Yet despite her anger and bitterness, she’s never really gotten over Seth, and she knows it.
Seth comes across as the more mature of the two as the book begins — and he has certainly had reasons enough to grow up. He made a dreadful mistake in college, one which cost more than his football career, and he took responsibility and grew from the experience. For all that, he’s initially clueless about his real feelings toward Iris. All Seth knows is that he really, really wants to be friends again, and he’s not taking “No” for an answer.
As is often the case in a small town, almost everyone knows or is linked to everyone else in some way, and the results aren’t always comfortable. Besides the past that Seth and Iris share, Seth’s high-school ex-girlfriend lives in Thunder Point, separated but still married — and very much still interested in Seth. Her daughter attends the high school where Iris is a guidance counselor. Iris used to date the teacher who spotted the possible abuse, and he’s still interested in Iris. The sometimes awkward connections make Seth’s and Iris’s jobs, and especially working out their personal relationship, a bit more difficult.
Watching Seth pursue Iris, first as a friend and soon as a woman, is a lot of fun. He’s persistent, he has a good sense of humor, and he’s not afraid to admit when he was in the wrong — all characteristics he needs in his effort to persuade Iris to give the adult Seth a chance. Iris has some healing as well as growing up to do; luckily she gets a nudge in the right direction from a friend.
Some of Carr’s books deal with current issues, and in this case, it’s physical abuse, as Iris, Seth, and others try to determine who is abusing a young student and ensure her safety. But Iris, in her anger at Seth, hits out at him more than once during the course of the story. It’s presented matter-of-factly and as somewhat of a continuation of their childhood relationship, but it really bothered me; violence is just as unacceptable from a woman toward a man as the other way around. However, I was pleased to see that both Carr and Iris address the issue in the end.
The Thunder Point series in order:
- The Wanderer (review)
- The Newcomer (review)
- The Hero (review)
- The Chance (review)
- The Promise (review)
- The Homecoming (review)
- One Wish (review)
- A New Hope (forthcoming)
- Wildest Dreams (forthcoming)
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- COYER Summer Vacation 2014