California Homecoming by Casey Dawes
California Homecoming (Crimson Romance)
Pregnant and alone, Sarah Ladina wants to regain her independence and do what’s best for her soon-to-be-born baby, but buying a run-down Victorian for an inn wasn’t her brightest idea. An inability to cook or fix a leaky faucet will make the job even harder. When a friendly golden retriever, disabled vet, and potential cook show up on the first day, she knows her life is going to get a lot more complicated. When her ex tries to get back into her life and her doctor orders modified bed rest, Sarah wonders if she’ll ever be able to stand on her own.
After returning from duty in the Middle East wounded in both body and spirit, Hunter Evans is in search of employment and a home. Finding a job has been tough and housing doesn’t come cheap in Costanoa, the town that he loves most on the California coast. His prosthetic leg allows him to run, but keeps him from his childhood passion, surfing. With a low-level job and a transient motel for a home, Hunter isn’t sure life is worth living.
But spring is coming in Costanoa and love is in the air. With the help of good friends, Sarah and Hunter may be able to get beyond the painful past and complicated present to find the love and respect they want and deserve.
*Note I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
I really wanted to like California Homecoming. It sounded like a great story, I liked the idea but unfortunately the execution left something to be desired. I didn't really connect with any of the characters and Sarah really annoyed me most of the time.
Sarah is pregnant and trying to fix up an old house to turn into an inn before she gives birth. This is it for her. For some reason if this doesn't work then she has nothing....only not really. Sure she wouldn't have a way to make a living for the moment, but she has family and friends who would help support her until she got back on her feet. She approached this inn as the only thing left for her and I am not sure why she decided to take all of this on when she is pregnant. For some reason she just had to.
So where is the baby daddy in all of this? Well he ran out on her as soon as he found out she was pregnant. He sounds like a real winner, blaming her for the pregnancy and ruining everything. Great guy that one. Well now her mom and everyone keep trying to get her to go back to the ex and work things out. Why? Because the child needs a two parent home! Who cares if one of the parents doesn't want them, it would be better for the baby. Well Sarah keeps telling everyone it is over, she doesn't need anyone especially a man. She is so stubborn and strong headed. She won't let anyone help. She doesn't need any help! She can do everything herself!! She needs no one!!
Hunter has come back from overseas with a prosthetic leg. He still has issues with his time in the service, things he can't get over so easily. He is a carpenter, but has a hard time finding work because of his leg. He wants to buy the house Sarah is fixing up as it used to be his childhood home. She is adamant about selling, so he thinks maybe he could just stay there (he needs a place to live) and he could be a handyman. Sarah is also adamant that she doesn't want him to do that. She doesn't need anyone!! Especially a man who knows what they are doing with the electrical and plumbing and such. Much better to try and do it yourself and not know what you are doing, make more work, ruin things, etc. Much better than accepting help from a stupid man! Men are horrible, she doesn't need men! She was ridiculous and I didn't get her.
So Hunter and Sarah do eventually start to grow closer, until her ex shows up. What does she do when he does? Promise to try and give it another try with him, even though she knows she doesn't love him anymore and they can't seem to go an hour without fighting. He also isn't really going to be around much since he still wants to do whatever he wants and will not compromise on anything. Like I said he is a real winner. Why does Sarah try? That's right - the child needs a two parent home! It will be so much better if the child is raised in a home where their parents are fighting all the time! I know kids often look back fondly on things like that...Sarah was just so....She didn't need anyone, then she just lets her ex back in instantly? I didn't get it. She annoyed me so much. The rest of the book was a lot of her internally debating on what to do. Stay with the horrible ex she doesn't like or not. On and on about how the child needs a two parent home, how she should make it work with the ex, how she doesn't love him, how they fight all the time, how he tries to take over everything and make it his dream not hers, how he doesn't really seem to care or know her. It was...I grew tired of it. It was like she would complain about him in her head, but yet still be with him. It was....I didn't like it. And it is not like she didn't have other options for a male figure in her child's life. She knows Hunter still likes her, but what if it doesn't work out with him? Well I can tell you right from the start it wasn't working out with the ex so...at least Hunter is a good guy. No, better try and make it work with the guy you argue with every two seconds. Much better for everyone involved.
So everything does work out in the end, but it was a bit rough getting there. I didn't like Sarah and her whining all the time. She is too stubborn with most people, but not with her ex. She just didn't make much sense to me. It is like she cannot see what is right in front of her, and she cannot accept help. Hunter on the other hand I never really connected with. Yes, he was much better than the ex, but I never really felt like I knew him. The way he was written was just...like it was a bit too fluff, even though he had issues. I don't know. I couldn't connect with him, was frustrated with her all the time, and was just glad when I got to the end. Not the worst book I have read, but not a great read either.
Rating: ★ ★