The Summer He Came Home by Juliana Stone is the first book in the Bad Boys of Crystal Lake series. Although the hero is a rock star you shouldn’t expect any rock star, tour bus antics. This is a small town contemporary romance featuring the town’s bad boy who has come home for the funeral of a friend and he falls for the new-girl-in-town-single-mom.
I tend to have a soft spot for single moms in romance, especially those with a secret. So Maggie might have started off on the right foot with me because of her circumstances, but I really did like her beyond that. She was a little slow to get to know at first but I liked that about her. She was a bit reserved and for very good reason. She came off as sensible to me and I liked that because it made sense for her character.
Cain has returned home under very sad circumstances, burned out and tired of his lifestyle. His marriage to his model wife is over and although he only plans to stay for a few weeks, Cain soon finds that a simpler life agrees with him and his attraction to Maggie makes staying in his hometown even more appealing. There isn’t any indecision on this point. Cain and Maggie have an unmistakable attraction and although Maggie is more reserved, Cain is more forthcoming about his feelings and what he wants.
This is the first book in the series and is a sweet romance with a nice hometown wholesomeness. Cain and Maggie almost seem destined to be together, they just have to overcome a few obstacles first. Their happily ever after, although threatened at times is never really in question. They are that couple you know will make it work. The conflict was a bit predictable but it was ok. I wasn’t necessarily put off by the predictability as I enjoy a good small town, bad boy comes home falls in love, romance. I found both Cain and Maggie very likable characters and I was invested in their romance.
Secondary characters are introduced and there is romance in the future for Cain’s buddies. I’m most intrigued with the possibilities for Jake. He struggles with the death of his twin and his attraction to his brother’s widow. This could prove to be a very angsty story and I am really looking forward to seeing what develops there.
Overall I was entertained and the romance was sweet. There were no big surprises here but I really liked the hero and heroine and I hope we’ll continue to get glimpses into their relationship and how it progresses in terms how things work out with the new blended family and dramatic change in lifestyle for Cain.