We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Zach left home of Emile City after graduation, and has been living a party lifestyle for 10 years in California. He has decided not to believe in family or happy ever after, despite his older brother, Dean, trying to reestablish contact. However, he does decide to come home for his mother’s funeral, in part to make a point about who he is.
Aaron has been friends with Dean since college, first as friends, then helping him, his wife Kim and eventually, their three kids, as well as Kim’s veterinary practice. He has been looking for someone to share his own life and believes Zach is the one.
The story is told from Zach’s point of view.
This is the first book of the Home series, second edition, and my first introduction to the Home series!
I quite enjoyed this book, at first I was not sure because Zach tries so hard to keep his image intact, knowing full well that some of his actions are self sabotage – and he feels the guilt of that after some of things he does. His father died when he was young, his mother remarried but neither Zach nor Dean got along with him, Dean was old enough that he could leave for college, leaving Zach behind to deal with his mother and stepfather. While you could write off Zach as a brat with some of his actions, when you realize how he was treated after Dean left and why he felt he had to take off, you realize why he has chosen the façade he has. And it is a cover, to keep him from hoping.
Aaron seems almost too good to be true in that he genuinely likes and wants to help everyone and gives up his own time to babysit Dean and Kim’s three children. He works in the vet clinic Kim and Dean own and Zach is convinced that while he is gorgeous, he is likely also straight and a redneck! Well, I hope it’s not a spoiler to say there would not be a story if he was, now would there?!?
I thought this was a well put together story, there were some scenes that almost read in a stilted manner, but they seemed to fit the scene they were in, so perhaps that was intentional. For me, that just added to the overall feel of the story being quite real. I will say that while I thought things Dean did to help him in his relationship with his brother were really good, overall, Dean and Kim were sometimes a bit much! I believe they were grateful for Aaron and all he does, but as can happen in those situations, they still managed to sometimes take him for granted, they bounced between the two, so I was glad for Zach’s attitude in some of those instances where he pushed Aaron to say no!
This book is quite a journey for both lead characters, with some cringe worthy scenes, particularly at the beginning, but I thought it was worth the ride. Some supporting characters are introduced and then not returned to (Zach’s childhood friend Luke), which is unfortunate as you’d think there would be some growth there as well, but you do meet characters that will be part of the upcoming books in the series.. the most notable being Clark, a friend of Zach’s from LA.
I would recommend this book for romance lovers who like characters with more to them than what seems on the surface, as well as some hot scenes for when these two get together!