Review – Homecoming by Meredith Daniels

Homecoming_MeredithPublisher: Samhain
Publish Date: Out Today
How I got this book: eARC from publisher

Broken in body, mind and spirit after a botched mission in Kuwait, elite Special Forces operative Jack Dresden returns to Devotion, Georgia, both dreading and longing to face his past. He left town on the receiving end of a wicked right hook thrown by the only person who ever made him feel he was right where he belonged.

Dillon Bluff was never good at pretending. Coming out right after high school, it hasn’t been easy dealing with the stigma of being gay in a small, Southern town. When he stumbles across Jack in the throes of a panic attack, one touch reignites the smoldering, hidden torch he’s always carried for his former best friend.

Jack knows he’s messed up, and the last thing he wants to do is hurt Dillon again. But Dillon is determined to take control and show Jack’s heart the way back home.

Warning: Contains a sexy, scarred Delta Force hero with the hots for his tattooed photojournalist prone-to-skinny-dipping ex-best friend. Threats of creative rope use and plenty of manly loving may leave the reader craving a cigarette and a man in uniform.
*Blurb from Goodreads*

I’m always on the lookout for a new m/m book to rock my world, and reading a second chance love story seemed like a perfect read for me.

Jack is on leave after a disastrous mission, dealing with lingering PTSD, and being back in his hometown might be more than he can handle. Having to come face to face with the only man he’s ever loved, Jack is worried that his life is going to come crashing down even further than it already has. He and Dillon didn’t part of the best of terms, and being around the man is turning his insides out.

Dillon always loved Jack, but never got the chance to tell him. Now that Jack is back in town, Dillon knows he needs to risk his heart and find out once and for all if anything could come of the attraction he’s always felt toward his best friend. But Jack is dealing with more than Dillon expected, and a relationship might not be what Jack needs to get back on track.

While I really enjoyed this story, I was desperate for more. This novella was only about 90 pages, and I wanted so much more. More development of Jack and Dillon as individuals, more development with their romance, more time explaining Jack’s PTSD and his recovery. I wanted so much more!!

I did really like Jack and Dillon. Jack was an extremely conflicted and broken man. He is depressed after a botched military mission, having to go back home and stay with an asshole father and overbearing mother. He still wants Dillon but is worried that he doesn’t have his shit together enough to take the chance. The internal conflict was incredible, and I wish it would have been explored on a deeper level.

Dillon was great as well. I loved the fact that he was so torn between his feelings for Jack, and the guilt that came with knowing his sister and Jack dated in high school. I loved the way that Dillon was able to see past Jack’s facade of being fine and healthy, and into the depth of his pain. I thought it was a wonderful twist to see Dillon really care for Jack, despite the fact that Jack was a hardened military man.

Again, while I wanted more development, I did really enjoy the progression of Jack and Dillon’s relationship. I liked the way that they were both so unsure of where they stood with one another. Both Jack and Dillon made mistakes in their past, and both were scared of how the other perceived their shared history. I liked that Jack stood up for Dillon to the bigoted people in town, and how they were able to rediscover their friendship. While I really loved the slow burn they had (well, as slow as you can go in 90 pages =D), I thought that the relationship needed to be a bit more developed at the end, to really cement my belief in their happily ever after.

All in all, I enjoyed this novella from Daniels. The foundation of the story was strong and the characters were so likeable. My only complaint about the story was that there wasn’t enough of it to really whet my appetite.
I give Homecoming a B-

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