Title: My Hometown
Author: S.J.D. Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 7th 2015
Page Count: 200
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.6 stars out of 5
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.
When Jimmy finds out, he sends Oliver packing, not knowing Oliver is vengeful and maybe even teetering toward insane. Soon Jimmy and Eric are fighting to take back their hometown, while Eric finds it more and more difficult to hide his attraction to his best friend.
My biggest issue is the plot and the way certain scenes are handled. Maybe that’s on me; after all, the blurb does mention a self-centered, cheating boyfriend. But still, Oliver, the boyfriend, takes up way too much page time, which diminishes the romance between the MCs.
I never understood what Jimmy saw in Oliver. Oliver’s attitude grates on Jimmy’s nerves, and he’s even irritated with Oliver during sex. We learn that Oliver has cheated on Jimmy repeatedly and was once even caught in the act. Yet Jimmy still chooses to bring Oliver to his hometown to live with him.
At first, I was fine with this. Many people stay in a relationship that, in retrospect, should have ended sooner. But the bad boyfriend melodrama continues for half the story.
There is no romance between the MCs until 62%. Apart from unspoken feelings and thoughts from both parties, there is no romantic interaction at all. And when the men do finally get together, the boyfriend (who by now has become “vengeful and maybe even teetering toward insane,” as stated in the blurb) keeps popping up.
The breakup scene between Jimmy and Oliver really bothered me. Jimmy is right, of course, but the way he reacts is childish, immature, and out of character. The whole scene read like a joke. Jimmy and Eric listening to Oliver whining on the phone and laughing at him reminded me of high school boys, not grown men. By this time, Oliver seemed like a caricature to me, and I wasn’t sure what purpose his character served.
Jimmy and Eric do finally end up together, but the incident that led to this seemed manufactured to me.
This may well be a case of “it’s not you; it’s me.” Other reviewers are sure to have a different opinion of the story. If you don’t mind a book that’s heavy on the angst and relatively low on the romance, you might enjoy this one.