Monday, January 12, 2015


Homecoming Heart by Amity Lassiter
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services (1/8/2015)
Series: Hearts of Three Rivers, book 2
Source: Author
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My Rating:  

Two years and a few dirty secrets stand between them.

For as long as she can remember, Emma Pierce has wanted to leave her sleepy hometown behind. Two years after she finally succeeds, she finds herself back in Three Rivers and face to face with the reason she left - a cowboy she can't resist.

After a family tragedy, Noah Baylor made a lot of mistakes, and letting the girl next door leave him in a cloud of dust ranks near the top of that list. When Emma rolls back into town, he vows not to let this unexpected second chance go to waste.

The only future Noah wants is the one that has Emma in it. But time is running out for him to prove he's a different man before she walks away again and takes that future with her.
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{ review } .

It's always a curious thing to me when books write of families such as the Pierces and Baylors -- how is it that all the Baylor boys see the Pierce girl as a sister, but at some point in time, one of them realizes she's a girl and wants to be with her?
*I have to say, though: I think Noah has always loved Emma. In a memory of their circuit days, when Noah would drive Emma and their horses around the rodeos, Emma recalls a win in which Noah picks her up and twirls her around. While this is a friendly gesture, it screams intimacy to me. And his declaration of love while drunk (which we'll get into in a bit)? They say only the truth comes out when in that state....
I have no doubt that it happens, none at all, but like I said... it's just a curiosity I have. Regardless, I do love these stories. Like Noah says, she's already a Baylor, they just have to make it official...

I love how "normal" Emma is (body wise) -- and that Noah loves how normal she is. You first see his appreciation for her when he notes her "thick thighs". And while body image stories can be a bit overdone, I like that Amity doesn't overdo the negative thoughts. Yes, they're there -- they don't go away over night, or after one naked encounter. When those feelings are there, and you see your partner with others who you feel are better suited for him/more the 'better mold', you're going to have doubts -- it's the nature of the beast. But like I said, I like that it didn't take away from the story. Emma was able to still be her comfortable, joking self with Noah; the self-doubt moments didn't overtake her thoughts and actions, and when they did seep in, Noah helped put them to rest.
When Emma comes back home to Three Rivers, things between she and Noah are fine -- at least on the surface. Both battle emotions and uncertainties where the other is concerned. When Emma left, it was to protect her mind and her heart. When Emma left, Noah's life further unraveled. But when she came back home, the hugs, smirks, and sarcastic comments continued as if the years weren't there. Sure, there were uncomfortable moments:
He straightened, uncomfortable with his uncertainty. He'd never been this far out of sync with Emma in his life.
...but they work through them.
If there is one thing I wish of this book, it would be to have more insight as to the year that Noah screwed everything up. You get glimpses of it, and really, you get the big-bang-finale of the year, but when it's stated that "[t]he process of unraveling the year after she'd left had been long, painful, and not without tears, but they'd holed up in his apartment from the first Friday afternoon he was there until the following Monday morning so they would work it all out, with the promise that neither would leave until it was over, no matter how painful it was..." -- well, I personally want to know everything that he did. However... it isn't really pertinent to the story. What matters is that Noah and Emma found their way back to eachother and while things could have been awkward, they worked things out.
When Emma's rolling out of bed, often, in the middle of the night to bail Noah out, you know she cares for him. And while it was a drunk declaration, you know that Noah means it when he tells her he loves her that first time. Yes, Emma was right to try and ignore it; she's probably right that he says it because he wants/needs her to stay... but she needed to experience the world away from Three Rivers.
In the end...
I really loved HOMECOMING HEART. This is definitely a re-reader. Were there things I wish filled the book out more? Sure. But what was given worked for me. I hardly noticed I was lacking 'pieces' until after I sat back, digested, and thought. During the reading process, though... I was thoroughly content and enamoured with these two.
I cannot wait for Finn's second chance at love in SECONDHAND HEART. The synopsis sounds great. I can't help but wish I'd "gotten a chance to know Sunny, and Gavin (& his wife), too" -- I put it in quotes, because obviously I can't meet them, but wish as a reader, we had more than character memories of the three of these people. They were obviously well loved.

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