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The Summer He Came Home (Bad Boys of Crystal Lake) (edition 2013)

by Juliana Stone

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387298,882 (3.96)None
Member:Deserie.Comfort
Title:The Summer He Came Home (Bad Boys of Crystal Lake)
Authors:Juliana Stone
Info:Sourcebooks Casablanca (2013), Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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The Summer He Came Home (Bad Boys of Crystal Lake) by Juliana Stone (Author)

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
cozy ( )
  Talthor | May 4, 2014 |
2.5 stars

This was the first book I've read by Ms. Stone, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I enjoyed the characters she created--especially the group of "Bad Boys"--but I can't say the same for the heroine, Maggie. I never really connected with her character, and it was hard for me to believe her sincerity in her actions, considering the things that had happened to her in her life.

And I guess that was the main problem I had through most of this book. Of course it's fiction, so not everything has to be perfect and a mirror of real life, but unless it's a fantasy, I want my books to be realistic, and I just didn't think this one fit the bill.

I also found the storytelling to be repetitive and a little boring. Their feelings were talked about ad nauseum, and the back and forth was exhausting. I was skimming huge chunks of text because...I just didn't care. I don't care what the trees look like with the wind blowing through them. I don't care what everyone is wearing or what highlights they've put in their hair or what make-up they're wearing. I found this book to be bogged down by details that were completely unnecessary to the plot.

Instead, I would've rather read more about the conclusion. It was this huge climax (one of which I'm sure you'll see coming from 15% into the book), and then it was wham, bam, thank you ma'am, and we were done. I still had many, many unanswered questions--for important pieces of this book.

What is Cain going to do? Is he planning on staying in Crystal Lake? What about his career? The author went on and on about how much playing to a crowd means to him--how he lives for that. I don't think playing the dive bar in a town of five thousand is exactly what he had in mind.

Besides that, the "resolution" with her husband was lack-luster. All that build up--and entire book full of her fear--and then...that's it? Also, it was hard for me to buy her battered wife on the run story when she wasn't more careful about what she allowed her son to do. Through half the book, she didn't even know who he was with, just being passed off to different people for them to watch him. And you have three deadbolts on your door, but you let your seven-year-old son open the door to whomever? Nope, not buying it.


In the end, while this could have been a cute read, it just didn't have enough realism for me, was bogged down with inconsequential details and didn't focus on the pieces of the book I think this really could've benefited from fleshing out.

That said, she did create an interesting group of guys, and I am intrigued to read their stories. I'll probably give book 2 a go, hoping the storytelling has gotten a little better. ( )
  CreativeJunkie | Sep 23, 2013 |
Reviewed by Kim
for Read Your Writes Book Reviews

The Summer He Came Home is the first book I've read from Juliana Stone. The book is full of characters you will fall in love with. You gotta love a story about close friends. That's what you get with this book. The Summer He Came Home is the first book in the Bad Boys of Crystal Lake series. The book centers on Cain Black, who now is the frontman for the band BlackRock. (To make Cain even more irresistible, he was inspired by Jon Bon Jovi and Nikki Sixx.) Awww. Sorry.. Back on point. Ten years ago, Cain was known as one of the "Bad Boys of Crystal Lake, Michigan". The other guys making up the group included: Luke Jansen, now a paramedic; Mackenzie "Mac" Draper, now an architect; and twins Jacob "Jake" Edwards and Jesse Edwards, both of whom went on to serve in the Marines.

After being gone for ten years, Cain and the guys return to Crystal Lake for the funeral of Jesse, who was killed in Afghanistan. Upon returning, the first people Cain encounters are seven-year-old Michael and his mother Maggie O'Rourke. Maggie is a single mother who has recently moved into town.

For Cain, the attraction for Maggie was pretty close to immediate. The same can't be said for Maggie. She has a past that she's trying to hide from. One that she is doing her best to protect. She needs to stay under the radar and not draw attention to herself. Of course, for a guy like Cain, this isn't going to work. You gotta love a guy who does whatever he can to make you fall for him, like taking care of your child so you can get some rest. And doing whatever is necessary to protect you and your son.

There are so many things to like about this book, I don't know where to start. You have friendship and love; people who have each other's backs without any questions being asked. I will however, say that I wasn't prepared for Maggie's secret. And when that secret came to a head, it had me wanting to skip over a couple of pages. But I managed to get through, even though I forgot to breathe. I'm MORE than glad I survived. I loved the swoon worthy ending....

Source: Publisher via NetGalley ( )
  ReadYourWrites | Aug 3, 2013 |
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. ( )
  SharonR53 | May 27, 2013 |
Rising rocker Cain Black returns to his small Michigan town for the first time since leaving ten years ago, to attend the funeral of one of his boyhood best friends. He meets and falls in instant lust with housecleaner Maggie, who has a charming young son. This is a romance novel; things develop as expected.

I'm not sure why this one didn't grab me, it just didn't. ( )
  readinggeek451 | Apr 13, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Book description
Sometimes the best place to find love is right back where you started...

Falling asleep in a different bed every night has made it easy for Cain Black to forget his past. It's been ten years since he packed his guitar and left Crystal Lake, Michigan, to chase his dreams. Now tragedy has forced him home again. And though Cain relishes the freedom of the road, one stolen moment with Maggie O'Rourke makes him wonder if he's missing out on something bigger than fame.

For Maggie—single mother and newly settled in Crystal Lake—love is a luxury she just can't afford. Sure, she appreciates the tall, dark and handsome looks of prodigal son Cain Black. But how long can she expect the notorious hellion to stay?

The last thing either of them wants is something complicated. But sometimes love has its own plans.
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"Sometimes the best place to find love is right back where you started... Falling asleep in a different bed every night has made it easy for Cain Black to forget his past. It's been ten years since he packed his guitar and left Crystal Lake to chase his dreams. Now tragedy has forced him home again. And though Cain relishes the freedom of the road, one stolen moment with Maggie O'Rourke makes him wonder if he's missing out on something bigger than fame. For Maggie--single mother and newly settled in Crystal Lake--love is a luxury she just can't afford. Sure, she appreciates the tall, dark and handsome looks of prodigal son Cain Black. But how long can she expect the notorious hellion to stay? The last thing either of them wants is something complicated. But sometimes love has its own plans."--from cover, p. [4]… (more)

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