Review ~ The Summer He Came Home by Juliana Stone

TheSummerHeCameHomeBook: The Summer He Came Home

Series: Bad Boys of Crystal Lake #1

Author: Juliana Stone

Format: e-book

Page Count: 277

Published: Sourcebooks, Incorporated, 2013

Source: Own Library


I find that for a long while now, almost all the series-first books I’ve read fell just a little short and gained four stars from me. I’m not one to usually be picky about my five stars, but I look for that something that makes me come back to the book after a break. For a while after the start of this book I thought it was a four star read but then, about halfway, things got really intense and interesting and I had a hard time putting it down.

Cain Black is the famous rock star of small town Crystal Lake-what a marvelous name!- and he comes back to his hometown for his childhood friend’s funeral, after years of being away building his famous career.

I found Cain to be a very dependable guy. Sure, he lived the life of a rock star, or so the author kept saying, but somehow I didn’t buy into that. He came back to town for a sad affair for once, so there wasn’t much chance for him to show us his wild ways-and it’s said they have been pretty wild back in the day, I mean, this series is not called The Bad Boys of Crystal Lake for nothing. But I think the constant reminder of his past character was a way for us to see just how much he’s grown over the years since we had no chance to get to know him in his youth. Not only was he the right choice to introduce us to these Bad Boys, but he ranks quite high on my hero-I-wouldn’t-kick-out-of-bed list. He was very considerate, he was naughty and sexy, and very protective and thoughtful too. I swear it’s not something I do on purpose, I mean I don’t particularly try to think this, but in most cases, the hero in the first book of a series lacks something for me compared to the rest. And I feel this even before I read the rest! This book was a happy exception, one that put me at ease regarding any hard feelings I might subconsciously have towards series-firsts.

When a story involves a child, be it an unborn baby or not, I become extra smitten. And here the heroine, Maggie, had a seven year old boy, Michael, who was an adorable little child. Although the circumstances vary, when a single mother or father falls in love with a new person, I think more caution should be taken. Everyone loves a good romance, steamy scenes, but since it’s a contemporary romance, I also look for a little dose of reality. And when I say I enjoy a child’s involvement in the story, I don’t mean it just as a background storyline, I want the kid to be a part of the story, of the relationship of the hero and the heroine. This book, again, satisfied me in this front too. It blended Michael’s existence very nicely into Maggie and Cain’s relationship.

What kept me coming back to the book in general was not just the characters or how well the story was written, but there was also a very thrilling subplot that involved the heroine, which I won’t spoil here. The start of the book was interesting, with the introductions, but then things intensified and I read the final one third of the book at the edge of my seat even though I knew this was a happy ending kind of book.

The only little criticism I might have involves the storytelling in the beginning of the book. It felt to me like for a few scenes, I could feel like it was the author who was telling me the story and not the characters’ point of view, like when you go see a movie in a theater and you know you’re watching a movie, you just don’t get into it as much as you want to. This was short lived though, after a while there was an easy rhythm to it all and the characters took over.

A good start to a new series, it hooked me already that I’m moving right to the next one. There are even more complicated relationships than the one Maggie and Cain had, and more hardship on the horizon for the Bad Boys of Crystal Lake.

I’m adding a nice 5 spoonfuls of this story into my hodgepodge.


Bad Boys of Crystal Lake series by Juliana Stone:

  1. The Summer He Came Home
  2. The Christmas He Loved Her
  3. The Day He Kissed Her

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