I was in the mood for some m-m romance so I downloaded the sample for Coming Home (Rock Bay #1) by M.J. O’Shea last night. My eyes were too tired to read more than what was included so I started the full version this morning. You could say I had difficulty putting it down!
The Prologue gives the reader a taste of the torment and bullying James “Lex” Barry suffered as a freshman in high school at the hands of senior Tallis “Tally” Carrington. It was brutal and excruciating to say the least.
The story picks up several years after high school. Lex still lives in Rock Bay and owns/ runs his own coffee shop. He is out despite the trouble it has caused in the small community. His best friend, Amy, is a lesbian and an ER nurse at a nearby hospital.
Tally Carrington returns to town to live with his grandmother after he hit rock bottom in Seattle. The horrible teenager has changed. After events with his father – let’s say scandal with a capital “S” – his name is a black spot for the community. He finds out just how hated he is when he tries to find a job in town. The one person who barely cuts him a break is Lex. Tally can’t place Lex and wonders why he gets such warm and then downright frosty vibes from his new boss.
As time progresses, they realize the other is gay; this leads to a steamy kiss in Lex’s car. One that Lex insists can’t be repeated since Tally has vowed to leave Rock Bay as soon as he is back on his feet. No way does Lex want to risk the hurt that would come from Tally leaving him.
Their agreement of “friends for fun” (very much like friends with benefits) doesn’t last long. They both fall in love with each other even though it takes some time from them to verbalize the words.
It is after this profession that I would have ended the story. Happy ending, right? Well, the author continues on, creating angst and hurt thanks to Tally’s old high school friends, one of whom is still a homophobic asshole. The way the book is ended didn’t leave me with the nice feelings I had after their mutual professions of love. I won’t go into specifics, but I’m not sure why the need to continue.
The supporting characters added to the book. I liked Travis and Tally’s Grams. Drew even redeemed himself at the end.
The book would have been 5 out of 5 stars if it would have ended earlier. As it stands now, I’ll be generous and give it 4 in honor of Tally turning himself around.
4 out of 5 stars