Sophia 's Reviews > Coming Home

Coming Home by M.J. O'Shea
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Jul 08, 12

bookshelves: contemporary-romance
Read in July, 2012

I think this story will easily be one of my favorite m/m romances because I found it such an enjoyable read for the plot, the characters, and even the author's voice (feel of the story).

It could have been this sad 'woe is me' type of tale because Tallis Carrington's life has hit rock bottom. He is forced to return to his home town from where he went from Crowned Prince in High School to social pariah. He now lives with his grandmother, drives a beater, and is forced through no one else hiring him to take a job with someone who seems to look on him with pity and disgust. Hey, the whole town still remembers the past well and can't stand the sight of him with the exception of his former cronies. But Tally has some backbone in him and is determined to show everyone- including the handsome man he works for- that people can change and that change can be for the better.

Lex remembers the days when Tallis Carrington ruled the school and made him his favorite victim. Lex was tortured by Tallis' pranks and endured so much misery even while he looked on the golden boy as the most attractive guy who he fantasized about. Now that very same guy stands humbly in his coffee and bake shop asking for a job. Lex can tell that Tallis doesn't recognize him as the chunky freshman he used to bait for kicks and Lex can also tell that unhealthy attraction he had for the guy still exists. Against his better judgment, Lex decides to give Tallis the job.

They story continues at a steady pace with the dual plots of Tally growing and proving that he is changed and it is the gradual growth of a relationship between Tally and Lex. The story is no fairy tale with everything working out just once the guys get together. They both have baggage that they bring into the relationship, there are family issues, the past won't leave them be, and there is hate because of who they are. Can they build something strong enough between them that will weather the storms they face?

The story was told from both Tally and Lex's point of view. I really liked them both and was immediately sympathetic with both of them. I knew at the very beginning that Tally had been a real jerk and wounded Lex terribly with his bullying. Bullying can leave even deeper, longer lasting scars on the inside than just beating someone up and I was intrigued to discover how MJ would bring the bully and the guy he bullied together and make me like it. But it did work because she told present tense, but gave glimpses into the past. It helped that Tally owned to his past and was willing to accept the fallout from his past actions even while he worked hard to prove that he had changed.

Recommend to those who enjoy Small town Romances that slowly build!
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