Title: Staying Home (The Call of Home #3)
Author: Alexa Milne
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release Date: November 22, 2016
Genre(s): Gay contemporary romance, second chance at love, priest
Page Count: 192 pages
Reviewed by: Natosha
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
You can never escape yourself.
It has been a year since the death of Brodie ‘Tosh’ Mackintosh’s husband, Harry. Unable to face all the memories of their life together, he moves into the house of his best friend, Darach McNaughton, and is comforted by the local Church of Scotland minister, Sam Carmichael, the middle of the five Carmichael brothers.
Sam Carmichael has always been a bit different from his siblings. He’s the only blond in a family of redheads, and the only one with religious beliefs. He also has more than one secret.
Can these two men overcome the events of their pasts and find truth and comfort with each other? And, when all their secrets are revealed, will they be forced apart or be able to plan on staying home together?
I am torn about this book. I finished reading it last night but I could not make myself write a review right away because I wanted to sleep on it and my feelings towards this book.
In some ways I did like this book. But then there are other things that I really did not care for about this book.
So I am going to start with what I did like first. I liked the storyline behind “Staying Home.” The two main characters Tosh and Sam was stronger characters in this book. My heart broke for Tosh because he lost his husband Harry to a senseless murder that involved Tosh’s best friend Darach and his fiancé Brice. For the past year Tosh has been lost without Harry and in some ways he blames Darach and Brice for his death. The one person that has been there for him through it all was Sam. Sam has been the one to listen to Tosh when he needed to vent, the shoulder he used to cry on, and the one to offer help when Tosh needed it the most. Tosh even found himself enjoying going to church on Sunday to listen to Sam give his sermons and felt a sort of peace he had not felt since the night Harry was killed. Over the past year Tosh and Sam have gotten closer and now Yosh is starting to see him in a different light.
Sam has fallen for Tosh and he does not know what to do about it. Not only is he in the closet with his family and church members but he has a secret that could change everything. Sam also worries that he he is letting his feelings cloud his judgment where Sam is concerned. He worries that it is too soon to think that Sam is ready to move on from Harry so he fights with what is right and what is wrong.
Tosh realizes that Sam has an attraction to him and decides it is time to start to move forward and the first step is to act on his attraction with Sam. And so it begins. But not without consequences and truths and realities. Both of these men have a lot to face in the upcoming months if they want to be together and they have to decide if the consequences is worth the effort.
That was the part of the storyline that I really liked. I loved how it took effort for these two men to find their happiness together. It was not easy and they had to decide if fighting for what they have together is worth the battle. I also liked how it is a second chance at love book. After losing a husband Tosh did not think he would love again but he did find love and he took the chance at opening his heart to it.
Now the part that is what kept bothering me about this story is the part where Sam revealed that he has an incurable illness that can be passed on to others. I understand that this is a serious illness and that it should be taken seriously but I felt Alexa Milne made this out to almost be a death sentence when it should have not been made that way. Yes I believe that any character that has this illness needs to take precautions and they need to take the illness seriously but at the same time it is something that anyone who has it can still lead a normal healthy life with and also a healthy sex life with also. Yes someone with this illness needs to take extra precautions and do more to keep their partner safe but when this came to life in the book it was like that was all the book was about from that point forward. I felt like it took away from everything else that was going on up to that point and it made the characters especially Sam seem like he could not lead a normal life because of it. I understand that Alexa made Tosh’s character try to encourage Sam that everything would be ok with extra precautions but I don’t know something about the way it was always front and center made the book less in my eyes.
With that said, I still liked the book and love the series and I do look forward to the next book in this series.