I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Homecoming by Shannon Stacey
Published by Penguin on August 30th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, General
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The New York Times bestselling author of Defending Hearts returns to small-town New Hampshire where a substitute football coach and a guidance counselor tackle love.
They were the golden boys of fall: Stewart Mills High School’s legendary championship football team. Fourteen years later, they’re back to relive their glory, save the team—and find themselves again . . .
Sam Leavitt has returned home to Stewart Mills with one goal: to fill in for Coach McDonnell and lead the high school football team to the championship. He doesn’t have time for distractions or commitments—but he’s unable to resist falling for the sexy guidance counselor he shared a hot night with months ago.
Jen Cooper knows what she’s looking for long-term, and it’s not Sam—even though the night they shared was explosive. Now, with Sam back in town and working by her side, picking up where they left off is too great a temptation to resist. But before long their fun fling is looking like a future together. And as the championship approaches, Sam is faced with a big decision that will either break them apart—or help them find their way home.
I struggled a bit with how to rate this one as I had issues with the heroine until close to the end of the book. She’s a counselor but it felt like she spent a big chunk of the book judging our hero which started to annoy me as I LOVED Sam.
Jen is looking for Mr. Right for Life not Mr. Right Now. She wants something she didn’t think she’d ever want… something like her parents but the man she shared a single moment on the hood of her car holds more appeal to her than anyone she’s ever met. He isn’t right for her because he’s not going to be in town for any longer than it takes Coach to recover. She decides that she’ll just explore the chemistry between them but nothing more. No relationship… just fun… then she’ll work on finding the man who will be her partner. She’s quick to judge his reaching for her as a coping mechanism and just as quick to write him off but does finally realize that something has changed between them as we get towards the end of the book. I liked her but she isn’t my favorite SS heroine.
Sam is just yummy! He’s got a lot to work thru and it comes in stops/starts as he works out his issues with his past. I loved how he recognized how badly he wanted Jen and even as he tried to deny that she was who he wanted for the rest of his life he didn’t completely fight it. His issue wasn’t with her but more his denial that this small town was the place that was his HOME. I got why there was a struggle and appreciated it as he tried to do something with his life that kept him in the region he felt most comfortable in. He really didn’t understand what his question meant to Jen but the fact he owned it in the end made me happy. I felt for him because a crappy childhood can cause you to equate the location and actions of others suspect with an incredibly difficult ability to trust that staying is a good idea. He’s such a great guy that I think it colored my reactions to Jen which isn’t fair but is what it is.
I think you’ll like this story and may have the same struggle with Jen that I did but they really are home for one another so stick with it. She’ll prove herself and he will make things right… I mean that is why we love romance! HEA.. HEA… HEA…