Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Relationships
Approximate word count: 85-90,000 words
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“Claire Ashby was born and raised in the heart of Atlanta … She resides in Austin with her family and a pack of wild dogs.”
When You Make It Home is Ms Ashby’s debut novel. Learn more about her at her website or check out her Facebook page.
“Meg Michaels, a bookstore owner, has already walked away from two cheating exes. She’s learned her lesson and has her mind set on success—until she gets knocked up. Embarrassed and unwilling to discuss her situation with friends and family, she wears layers to hide the pregnancy.
When Meg gets sick at a party, she’s mortified. Even worse, Theo Taylor, the guest of honor, discovers her secret. Theo, an Army medic wounded in the war, agrees not to reveal her condition, and the two forge a bond of friendship that blossoms into love.
Theo is soon filling all of Meg’s late-night cravings—and not just the pregnancy-induced ones. But can their love overcome all the obstacles that stand between them and creating a happy family?”
Meg has dealt with so many disappointing relationship issues in her life she has built a wall around her heart. She is plagued with abandonment issues that started when her mom left her and her twin brother at a very young age and continues with all the men she has ever had relationships with. When she ends up pregnant with an ex-boyfriend’s baby, who was separated from his wife at the time, her life spins out of control.
When Meg meets her best friend Ellie’s brother-in-law Theo, who has just returned from Afghanistan minus one leg, an unconventional bond starts to form between them. Theo is angry and bitter but trying to cope with his “new life.” He refuses to be a burden to anyone and has a lot of admirable qualities even though his rehab is not going smoothly. The dialogue between Meg and Theo is realistic and genuine as their relationship develops into more than either one of them bargained for.
The story is mostly told through Meg’s eyes as she deals with telling everyone about her pregnancy and has to explain that the baby daddy is not her ex-fiancé who she broke up with two or three months before. She is also dealing with the real baby daddy, her own father who has left her stepmother (who Meg never really bonded with), and running the family bookstore with her twin brother. She also feels the maternal need to find her own mother to learn why she abandoned her and her brother before they were two years old. There were a lot of relationship dynamics explored is this novel. It was a huge undertaking for a first time author to take on. I felt like the timeline didn’t quite work out for me in a couple of places, mainly concerning the pregnancy, and this threw me out of the story for a while.
Meg’s emotions were all over the place, which is normal, because of the hormonal changes women’s bodies go through during a pregnancy. I loved this quote from Meg during one of her inner dialogues giving herself a pep talk while trying to control her emotional turmoil. “I wanted to know the pleasure of someone holding me up. But maybe some of us were meant to hit the ground. Otherwise we’d never learn to bounce. I could bounce.”
Theo’s dialogue and actions had a way of melting my heart throughout the story. He had to chisel his way into Meg’s heart. At one point when Meg released all her fury at his actions, I feared for their relationship. However, I was proud of Meg for finally owning and expressing her feelings. In my opinion this should have led directly to the climax of the story. As it is… I was left wanting with a certain unresolved story arc, which made the ending feel rushed. I felt cheated that Ellie and Jake were not included at the end. Ellie was an important friend that was there through the whole story. We shared the drama with her pregnancy problems and celebrated her baby along with Meg’s when they had a dual baby shower. I felt like this oversight was unforgivable and took away a star.
When You Make It Home, is an emotional rollercoaster. I have no doubt that it will make you laugh, cry, and warm the coldest heart.
I would consider this an Erotic Romance with adult sexual situations that may not be suitable for all audiences.
I was given an Advanced Reader Copy. Other than the timeline issue I found no significant editing or formatting issues.
Rating: **** Four starsa Rafflecopter giveaway