Juliana Stones’ series, the Bad Boys of Crystal Lake, starts off with a winner. The Summer He Came Home tells the story of Cain Black, a rock star who has come home to attend the funeral of his childhood friend. His marriage has broken up and he has just found out his band mate was screwing his ex-wife. After an on-stage fight, Cain finds out about his friend’s death and heads home. Suffice it to say, he is not at his charming best when he arrives. Then he sees Maggie O’Rourke and his life takes a turn for the better.
Maggie O’Rourke is a newcomer in town who works as a cleaning lady. She supports herself and her young son and pretty much keeps to herself. When she meets Cain, she is attracted but wary. She is keeping a secret about her child’s father and has no interest in complicating her life.
Although the story is a romantic classic, bad boy meets downtrodden woman with a secret, it feels fresh in this book. There are several plots going on at once, some with Cain, some with Maggie, and others with the secondary characters. The romantic tension between the two main characters is pretty hot and Maggie fights it pretty hard. I liked that she put her son first before finally letting herself get involved. I also liked the fact that Cain kept his grouchy, “I’m an island” persona for most of the book. It just made the ending so much more satisfying!
There were plenty of hints of the stories that will work into the later books and that just made the anticipation that much more.
Next in the series:
Publication date October 1, 2013