As manager of the charming Greyfriar House Hotel, Melanie Marshall loves her job and spending time with her young son. But she can never forget what she ran away from: her late husband’s crimes and her own terrible guilt. Though lonely, Melanie can’t afford to let another man into her life.
But when her boss, gorgeous hotel owner Jack Summers, returns from his supposed wedding without a ring or a wife, Melanie discovers there’s more to him than she ever thought. For one, the ex-soccer star is her son’s idol. But the closer she gets to Jack, the more she pulls away. She can’t share her past. Ever.
For too long, Jack’s protected his scarred heart by letting gold-digging women make him think love didn’t matter. But a sweet single mother and a soccer-crazy little boy change everything. He knows Melanie has secrets. Secrets she’ll have to share if he’s to help her realize she’s finally home.
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I have a confession to make. The cover of this book absolutely positively drew me into looking further into the blurb, and I thought that it sounded like a charming story.
Melanie and her son are living in a small town where she can manage a small hotel and not have to deal with the scorn of people who remember her husband’s sins. All she wants is to live in peace with her son, give him a stable life and happy home. The last thing she ever wanted to was fall in love again, especially if that falling involves her boss Jack.
Jack never thought Melanie would be the one for him, but there is something about her that he can’t quit thinking about. It’s not just her son that he adores, but there is an undeniable chemistry between the two of them. Although Jack knows that there are secrets in Melanie’s past that she doesn’t want to share, he is hoping that as they grow closer and closer she will finally open up to him and consider his home her’s as well.
While this blurb sounded wonderfully sweet, for me, there was something in the execution that just wasn’t there for me. The book was well written, but there was an emotional punch that was missing for me. That made it difficult for me to really get into the characters and the story. Instead of feeling like I was a part of their lives, experiencing their romance along with them, I felt as if I was an outsider the whole time – emotionally unattached and removed.
I did like the back story about Melanie’s husband, and the stress that she and her son went through during that time in their lives. I thought it added to Melanie’s character well, and the overall romance worked around that aspect of her past so well. Once Melanie was able to face her past and realize that things had changed over time, I liked seeing the way that was handled. That whole sub-plot was probably the best aspect of the book for me.
The romance was something that I felt fell flat. Not only was it a little weird that Jack used Melanie as a way to get out of getting married, but the way their relationship developed just didn’t work for me. It was a slow building relationship, but I never really felt like Melanie was in it. She seemed to be so emotionally unattached to everything except her son, that her time with Jack felt like it was more a passing of time between friends, instead of a budding relationship between potential lovers. While I could somewhat see Jack’s desire to be in a relationship with Melanie, I just never felt any kind of connection between the two of them, and that put a bit of a damper on the romance.
All in all I wasn’t super happy with the romance of this story. While I liked the one sub-plot of Melanie’s history, it wasn’t enough to pull the book together for me. I felt like both Jack and Melanie were somewhat lack-luster as characters and never connected with their romance or desire for one another.
I give Finally Home a C-