Title: Returning Home (The Call of Home #2)
Author: Alexa Milne
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release Date: July 26, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Suspense
Page Count: 174
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
You can never escape from yourself.
When Darach McNaughton returns to his home town, the one thing he isn’t looking for is love. But when he meets the mysterious Brice Drummond, his investigative instinct isn’t the only thing aroused.
After a gang beats Brice Drummond, leaves him for dead, and needing to use a wheelchair, he ends up in a witness protection program. His only company is a beautiful cat aptly named Princess. He creates stunning pieces of art, but allows no one into his life—until a handsome policeman appears out of nowhere.
On a snowy night, Darach McNaughton returns a crying cat to its owner and is immediately curious about the beautiful man with the tattoos. Bit by bit, Darach uncovers the shocking truth about Brice’s history. Can he get past what he discovers? Can Brice let someone into his life? Or will the past catch up with them both and tear their fledgling love apart?
Please note although “Returning Home” is the second book in Milne’s “The Call of Home” series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone.
Darach McNaughton returns from Glasgow to his Scottish home town after a devastating break-up with his cheating boyfriend and finds himself intrigued by Brice Drummond, an artistic recluse in a wheelchair. As Darach unravels Brice’s heartbreaking story, he finds himself falling in love. Although Darach and Brice’s relationship is pretty much an insta-love, I thought it worked well and their chemistry, while not sizzling, felt honest and real. Sadly, Brice believes that Darach will ultimately grow to despite Brice for what he has done:
You’ve seen the dark side of people, Darach. You want to be the white knight on his steed come to save me from the bad things, but you can’t. I am the bad thing.
This story held my interest throughout and while there are some subplots, they did not distract or hinder the flow of the book. When Brice’s past catches up with him due to betrayal from an unlikely source, it brings heartbreak and sorrow to the small coastal village. The ending pulls everything together nicely, albeit a bit quickly, and I thought there was an odd last-minute discussion about BDSM.
But, compared to the first book in the series, Choosing Home, “Returning Home” had a compelling plot and felt more cohesive.