Romancing the Weekends: The Summer He Came Home by Juliana Stone

PJV Quickie: The Summer He Came Home was a sweet, if predictable, contemporary romance that had some lovely scenes between the hero and heroine and her son; add to that some emotional scenes between secondary characters and this reader is ready for the next book in this new series.

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The Summer He Came Home[/frame]

Title: The Summer He Came Home (Bad Boys of Crystal Lake #1)
Author: Juliana Stone
Type: Contemporary Romance
Published: April 2, 2013 by Sourcebooks
Source: Publisher


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Cain Black is the hometown boy who made it big: now he’s living a rockstar life out in LA with his band BlackRock.  He’s dealing with the news that his bandmate/songwriting partner was sleeping with his ex-wife while they were married, and has come back home to Crystal Lake, Michigan, for the funeral of one of his  childhood best friends who died in Afghanistan.  Cain, Mac, and twins Jesse and Jake were known as the ‘Bad Boys of Crystal Lake’, and Jesse’s death has hit them hard.

Maggie O’Rourke is relatively new to Crystal Lake. She moved to the town with her young son and cleans houses for a living.  No one knows much about her past; she doesn’t talk about it. She’s friendly with the locals but doesn’t date.

When Cain takes an interest in Maggie, everyone from his mother to the town doctor warns him off – she’s not the kind of woman you can love and leave, and Cain has a trail of broken hearts behind him.  But Cain is having second thoughts about the way he’s been living his life and maybe he wants a woman like Maggie in it.  Maggie knows Cain’s type, however, and she’s not interested in giving her heart to someone who’s going to walk away with it.


I enjoyed The Summer He Came Home – I like a good bad boy/good girl storyline and the push/pull of Cain and Maggie’s relationship worked for me.  Their relationship moved at a good pace and while there might have been a hint of “instalove”, it really wasn’t enough to make me roll my eyes.  Cain gives good ‘woo’ and I found myself sighing as Maggie fell under his spell despite herself.  I wish we could have had more of Cain’s past between the time he left Crystal Lake and the current story; he’s portrayed as living fast and hard but I didn’t see that at all in his thoughts or actions.

Although I found myself frustrated that she did not communicate well with Cain, Maggie’s devotion to her son makes her an extremely likable character. I do have to say, though, that as the story progresses, Maggie’s secret is predictable and I found myself at each new page wondering if this was where the inevitable happens.

Ms. Stone wrote some some great secondary characters: the residents of Crystal Lake are entertaining.  I loved the other two “Bad Boys”, Jake and Mac, and their stories of childhood antics were fun.  I really, really hope Jake and his brother’s widow Raine have a story because it will be good – there is definitely a back story there.


Fans of contemporary romance featuring a good girl/bad boy story, a single mom with a mysterious past, or return of the prodigal son story line.

Other books that you might like, similar to ‘The Summer He Came Home’:

Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl

How Sweet It Is by Sophie Gunn