Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Rebecca Norinne’s Homecoming begins with the perfect combination of elements: a woman returns to her hometown in the shadow of her divorce from her controlling narcissistic husband, a handsome, hunk of a hero lives in the carriage house on her family property, and they engage in a fake relationship to thwart her mother’s matchmaking attempts only to fall madly in love with each other.
Here’s the thing. Homecoming starts out strong and feels sluggish towards its end. Once her hero, Preston, falls in love and commits to a real relationship with the book’s heroine, Rosalie, the story loses a bit of its forward motion. Norinne tries to remedy it with some last-minute tension between them, but, for me, it feels manufactured at best. Preston and Rosalie are fated, and they are the best combination. Both of them have been deeply hurt in past relationships, so they are reticent to leap into another relationship, but Norinne develops their chemistry so well that their pining is the perfect foreplay, kindling a fire that eventually is acted upon.
See, that’s the thing with this story. You will adore Preston and Rosalie together. There is no moment that feels too heavy for these two. Yes, there is the requisite set-up reticence to falling for each other, but they become friends first and lovers eventually. When they encounter trouble, as the reader, you feel unhappy for a fracture in their friendship, but Norinne remedies it quickly with a deep conversation and forgiveness (usually on the part of Preston).
There is a dastardly ex-husband to contend with, but as is the case with most romance, he gets his comeuppance. Rosalie’s mother is the comic relief of this story, and her wily ways of pushing these two together will make you smile big.
While Preston and Rosalie’s story is a sweet one, you will see the cracks of the story at various points. However, Homecoming is another great addition to the Speakeasy world (even if its connection comes fairly late in the story). I recommend this book for its connection to the Speakeasy Taproom series. It will keep you connected while you feel all the love for Preston and Rosalie.
In love and romance,