Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review: Finding Home by Lacey Wolfe

Title: Finding Home
Author: Lacey Wolfe
Release Date: May 10, 2012
Publisher: Ruby Lioness Press
Category: Sweet Contemporary Romance
Type: Kindle

Book Blurb:

An unexpected pregnancy brings Julie Miller home to Clearwater, Wyoming to get guidance from her mother. But when she returns to the home she grew up in, her mother isn’t there. Instead Julie finds Mark Thomas, who is renting the house while her mom travels the country. If that isn’t bad enough, a blizzard hits the town, keeping her locked in with the hunk who happens to have a secret of his own, which Julie just has to know.

Book Excerpt:

       The sun shined brightly through the windows. Julie wished now she had noticed the blinds were open last night. Pulling the sheets over her face, she closed her eyes for a few more minutes as she tried to wake up.
       Finally, after battling with herself, she climbed out of the bed. She put her jeans back on and then pulled her hair up in a ponytail. A sudden urge to use the restroom took over, and she rushed toward the bathroom. This was something new—no bladder control. She didn’t expect to already have to pee so much.
       She quickly brushed her teeth then made sure everything was tidy as though she hadn’t been there. Grabbing her suitcase, she left the room. She expected to find Chloe up front, but she was nowhere to be seen. So she stopped by the front desk and scribbled a note, thanking Chloe for the stay and saying they would talk soon. After all, she was going to need someone during this process. As young girls, she and Chloe had always gotten along.
       Outside, the sun was bright. There was a chill to the air, however. The few clouds in the sky were thick and fluffy. She bet there would be a light snow shower before the day was over. In fact, she was surprised to not see any snow on the ground yet. It would be anytime now.
       The drive to her mother’s house was short. She lived on the older side of town, and it was unchanged except that the trees had gotten taller.
       Julie was excited to see her mom. It had been almost a year since she’d seen her. Julie had flown her out last Christmas to visit her in New York City. She’d taken her mother everywhere, showing her every tourist spot there was to see. Her mother had loved it and said it had always been a dream of hers to travel. Julie hoped one day her mother would get to. Her father had died about ten years ago, and her mother had never remarried. She had a few close friends, though, and maybe one day they would all get together and travel.
       But for now, Julie needed her mom. She couldn’t wait to have her mother embrace her and hold her tight, telling her it would all work out.
       She pulled up to the house. It looked the same. A small ranch-style home painted a light blue color. It was time for a fresh coat of paint, that was sure. Perhaps she could get someone out here in the spring to spruce the place up. Her mother’s car wasn’t in its usual spot but instead pulled over near the picket fence. A pick-up truck sat where the car was usually parked. Maybe something was wrong with the vehicle, and she was borrowing the truck.
       Climbing out of the car, Julie could smell bacon. A smiled crossed her face. Her mom was cooking breakfast. Shutting the car door quickly, she went up the front steps two at a time. As she turned the doorknob, she found it locked. Groaning, she dug through her purse until she found the key to the house and let herself in.
       Loud music blared through the house. It was set to a local country station. This was so unlike her mother. In fact, as Julie looked around the living room and saw how untidy it was, she wondered if she was in the right house.
       Following the smell of food, she stepped into the kitchen. Julie froze. A half-naked man stood at the stove, flipping pancakes. It was as if he sensed he was no longer alone. He turned, and Julie thought she was going to faint.
       “Hi,” the man said.
       “Who the hell are you, and where is my mother?” Julie demanded.

Dialogue Highlight:

            Mark knew exactly who stood before him looking slightly frightened. It was Julie, the daughter of Margaret Miller. She was even more beautiful in person than she was in the pictures all over the house. Her dark blonde hair was pulled up into a high ponytail. She had deep brown eyes that, at this moment, were very wide. He’d have loved to let his eyes wander and check our her body, but that didn’t seem appropriate at the moment.
            “I’m Mark Thomas,” he said as he set the spatula down.
            “Where is my mother?” she asked again.
            “Good question. Perhaps there will be a postcard in the mail today.”
            “What do you mean?” She was confused, he could tell.
            “Your mother is out traveling the country.”
            “She’s what?”
            “Her and some friends bought some RV they found for sale. Decided they were taking off. I think they were heading south for the winter,” he explained.
            Julie didn’t say anything. One hand moved to her mouth, and she nibbled on a nail. It was cute. Most likely a habit she’d always wanted to kick but never would. He wished he had something more to tell her but there wasn’t.
            “Why are you here then?” she asked.
            “Your mom didn’t want to leave the place empty. I had just moved into town and was looking for a place. The price was right and, well, here I am.”
            She paced the length of the kitchen. “This makes no sense. She didn’t tell me. Why wouldn’t she?”
            “I don’t have an answer for that.”
            Julie shot him a look, and he knew to just be quiet. In fact, as he took in a deep breath, the smell of something burning caught his attention. Shit, it was the pancakes. Grabbing the spatula, Mark quickly flipped the pancake and wasn’t at all surprised to see it black as night.
            “You hungry?” he asked.
            “Actually, yes, I’m starving. I rushed over this morning for breakfast with Mom.”
            “I can’t promise it’ll be as good, but it’ll at least fill you up.” Taking the opportunity now, he looked her up and down. She was lean and had a few curves to her. She could probably use a few more pounds, nit that he was complaining.
            She excused herself, and he took the chance to check out her backside. That was a sight he could get used to. But now he had to return his attention back to the breakfast he was preparing.


FINDING HOME is the first book I have read by Lacey Wolfe. I found myself intrigued by the blurb of this story because it focuses on finding joy outside of what should have been happiness. That probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I guess what I mean is that Julie has just found out she is pregnant, albeit unexpectedly, but pregnant none the less. She should be celebrating with her boyfriend and getting ready for the arrival of her baby. Instead, she is heading home to her mother for some needed advice after jack-ass boyfriend drops a bombshell ultimatum: have an abortion or get out. And Mark seems to have been happy at one time, but is now living in a small town and telling very little about himself or his past. Until Julie shows up. Both should have been living happily in their lives, but had to adjust to changes, ultimately stumbling upon that elusive thing called contentment in the one place they least expected it.

And Julie shows up with a grand entrance. Imagine her surprise when she finds a gorgeous man cooking in the kitchen that her mother should be in. To add to her troubles, dear mother has decided to take up traveling with a few friends and failed to mention such details to her. What’s worse? Now she’s snowed in with Mark and she has nowhere else to go. But Mark is quick to offer his hospitality to Julie.

The two connect rather quickly and learn a lot about each other along the way. Come to find out Mark has suffered quite a bit of loss in his life that no one knows about except for Julie. Because of his loss, Mark is hesitant to allow anyone to get close to him again. And Julie, of course, now has serious trust issues to overcome after being blind-sided by her ex-boyfriend. She struggles with being able to decide if what she is experiencing with Mark is true, or simply his way of easing past his own grief. As much as she would love to allow things to progress between them, she knows that she cannot allow their relationship to get any deeper if it is not based on reality.

This novella is a quick read at just about 100 pages. I enjoyed the fact that Ms. Wolfe was able to give the characters some depth within such a limited amount of time. While the end of the story seemed a bit rushed, it did manage to include the major components needed for a good read. Mark’s story of loss wasn’t a huge surprise to me once it was revealed. But I appreciated that Ms. Wolfe kept the reactions consistent on a realistic level. The story didn’t seem far-fetched or forced, but rather a story of real people with real lives and feasible reactions.

I enjoyed that Ms. Wolfe included many aspects to Julie’s pregnancy within the story. As a first-time mother, she is a bit deficient in matters pregnancy-related. Her hormones are all over the place and she oftentimes acts silly or unrestrained. Luckily, Mark, having been through a pregnancy with a family member quickly figured out Julie’s predicament and immediately lends a hand. Also funny is the bouts of jealousy from both Julie and Mark. One of my favorite things in books is the jealousy that rises up; especially when the main characters have yet to acknowledge their own feelings.

The only thing that I didn’t like was that, I felt, the writing could have been tightened up just a bit. Don’t get me wrong because I am not saying it was bad. But there were a few spots in the story where I had to re-read, or would think to myself something like “that could have been written to flow together a little better”. I don’t know if anyone will know what I am talking about. But have you ever been reading and you read a certain section of a book, and while you are continuing to read, you are having thoughts about what you just read? I probably sound crazy. But that is what I do sometimes when I read. Almost like working the story out in my head as I continue to read. And that is what happened a few times as I read and thought about some of the chosen wording. But this is extremely minor in the grand scheme of reviewing this book.

Overall, FINDING HOME is a sweet contemporary romance with very light sexual components. A story of loss, love, and finding out where happiness truly lies. Because happiness doesn’t always turn up where we expect it to. For a quick read to pass the time with a sweet story of two people who find out where home really is, Ms. Wolfe’s book is guaranteed to satisfy.

(EBook copy provided by author for review.)

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