One post. That’s all it took to destroy the care free, glamorous life of pro golfer Reed Stewart. One tiny post on the Internet.
Then again, it’s not like Reed’s been winning many tournaments lately, and his uncle isn’t the only one who says it’s because of the unfinished business he left behind back home in Bloomville, Indiana—namely Reed’s father, the Honorable Judge Richard P. Stewart, and the only girl Reed ever loved, Becky Flowers.
But Reed hasn’t spoken to either his father or Becky in over a decade.
Until that post on the Internet. Suddenly, Reed’s family has become a national laughingstock, his publicist won’t stop calling, his siblings are begging for help, and Reed realizes he has no other choice: He’s got to go home to face his past . . . the Judge and the girl he left behind.
Becky’s worked hard to build her successful senior relocation business, but she’s worked even harder to forget Reed Stewart ever existed—which hasn’t been easy, considering he’s their hometown’s golden boy, and all anyone ever talks about. It was fine while they were thousands of miles apart, but now he’s back in Bloomville. She has absolutely no intention of seeing him—until his family hires her to help save his parents.
Now Reed and Becky can’t avoid one another…or the memories of that one fateful night.
Can the quirky residents of Bloomville bring these two young people back together, or will Reed and Becky continue to allow their pasts to deny them the future they deserve?
This warm, thought-provoking book, told entirely in texts, emails, and journal entries, is as much about the enduring bond of families as it is about second chances at love, and will delight as much as it entertains.
ebook, 400 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Two and a half stars: A nice second chance romance, but the book doesn't work because it lacks depth due to the narrative being told entirely via texts, emails etc.
Becky tries to ignore the gossip about town. Judge Stewart and his wife were recently arrested at a local restaurant because they tried to pay their bill with a postage stamp. The rumor around town is that the Judge is no longer in his right mind. Then Becky hears that her high school boyfriend, Reed, is coming back to town to help sort out the mess with this parents. Becky immediately begins to try to convince herself and others that she is fine. She is happy in her life, her relationship, and she has no issues with seeing Reed after all of this time. Secretly, her heart beats faster at the thought of seeing the boy who once stole her heart and kept it. Can a second chance romance rekindle?
What I Liked:
- The Boy is Back was a book that I had high hopes for. I have heard wonderful things about the author, and I was hoping for a light, humorous romance. I did get a nice romance, with a dash of humor, so if you are a fan of this author and you want a sweet, easy romance, this is one to try.
- The second chance romance is the highlight of this story. It features a couple who fell in love during high school, and then were torn apart due to familial issues. For ten years, both parties have secretly kept a torch burning for one another, but neither was brave enough to act. When Reed is finally forced to return home to face his past, the romance takes root. I liked that it was simple, straightforward and there wasn't all of the unnecessary drama and such that befall contemporary romances. It was so refreshing to read a simple, clean romance for once.
- There is plenty of humor in this one, and I liked how Reed especially learned to make light of the serious situation regarding his parents' mental stability and their hoarding. I also liked the email interactions between Carly and Marshall, Reed's brother and sister in law.
- The ending was neat and simple. No drama, loose ends or cliffhangers. This wraps up neatly, leaving the reader content.
And The Not So Much:
- Sigh.... where do I start with this one. I really wanted to love this after reading some positive reviews and having heard wonderful things about this author. Unfortunately, the biggest turn off for me was the format. I usually enjoy books that are told via unique methods, but this one was a big miss for me. I think mainly because the author utilized emails, texts, product reviews and small journal snippets. The majority of the story is via emails. I didn't like that the entire story was told this way. It didn't allow the reader to connect with the characters, and I felt like important parts of the story were sacrificed. I also felt like sometimes the author had to stretch with this format to make it work such as using supposed reviews for products which were written by one of the nieces and the grandma. They came off as ridiculous. A journal or something would have been far more realistic. I thought the reviews were absurd. I hated that I had to constantly wade through email headers and footers, and cell phone screen headings etc. to get to the conversations. All the extraneous details were unnecessary and distracting. Finally, when it came to expressing feelings or telling the story, so much was left out because of the format. I was not a fan of the narrative with this one at all.
- I hated that I didn't really get to experience all the feelings and emotions because you are never really in the moment with the characters. Instead the big moments are retold via messages or emails. I also hated that when I got to the big revelation at the end regarding what happened to the Judge's finances, there wasn't more. I wanted all the details.
- Finally, I couldn't stand Trimble, the sister. She was downright awful, and I wanted someone to call her out on her bad behavior. That moment sort of happened, but again because of the format, the reader didn't get to experience it, and the recap was cursory.
The Boy is Back was a book I picked up wanting a sweet, light, fun read, but what I got was a bit of a mess. This book features a narrative that is told completely via texts, emails, and some journal entries. The format limited the story and it caused me to detach from the characters. I know other readers have enjoyed this, but if you are someone who doesn't like books that are gimmicky, this is one to skip. It wasn't for me.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.