Author Juliana Stone loves the written word and 80’s rock. She sings in an 80’s rock band where her husband plays the guitar. So it’s no surprise that The Summer He Came Home centers around a bad boy rock ‘n roller. This is book one in the series Bad Boys of Crystal Lake.
Ten years ago, Cain Black packed his guitar and left Crystal Lake to chase his dream. The death of one of his best friends forces him back home. He thinks it’s going to be a quick trip to pay his respects, but his heart has other ideas. Cain has learned the hard way that fame and fortune is not all it’s cracked up to be. He finds out his wife (now ex) and best friend (also ex and key member of the band) were fooling around with each other behind his back and he’s also just plain tired of the rock star life style.
Maggie-Grace O’Rourke is a single mom and new to Crystal Lake. She works as a maid and is counting on living in the shadows to hide from her terrible past. The last thing she needs is the attention of a famous rock star. She’s looking for some peace and a good place to raise her 7 year old son.
Cain meets Maggie on his first day back in Crystal Lake. Neither one wants or is prepared for the attraction they feel for each other. The author takes her time in letting their relationship grow. It was fun to watch them get comfortable with each other and Cain’s relationship with Maggie’s son is very sweet. There is drama, suspense, and humor mixed in with a sweet and, eventually, hot romance.
One of the best aspects of the book was the relationships between Cain and the other “bad boys”. We are introduced to Jake, who is the twin brother of Jessie – whose funeral it is that Cain came back for. Jessie was killed in Afghanistan – his death witnessed by Jake. Jessie leaves behind his wife, Raine. Jake not only has issues with his twin’s death, but also what to do about Raine. We are also introduced to Mac, an architect who has his own demons to deal with – namely an abusive father. The author does an excellent job of weaving these characters, and others from this small town, into the story.
This is a beautifully written story of love and friendship with very realistic and likeable characters. I’m looking forward to the upcoming books in this series.