The Perfect Homecoming
By Julia London
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Despite an inability to speak anything but the unfiltered
truth, Emma Tyler has found a niche in the events planning business which she
fills so successfully that she has become a vice-president in one of Los
Angeles’s top events planning companies. But when a part of her private life
that she keeps carefully hidden impinges on her professional life, she resigns
and heads for Pine River, Colorado, and Homecoming Ranch, the debt-ridden
inheritance her worthless father left her and her two half-sisters. Damaged by
a mother whose expectations she could never satisfy and a mostly absent father whose
betrayal was a defining moment in her life, Emma arrives in Pine River
uncertain why she has come, what she will do there, or how long she will stay,
but she finds unexpected purpose and friendship in volunteering to help care
for Leo Kendrick, a young man terminally ill with a motor neuron disease. But
Emma’s past is not so easily left in California.
Cooper Jessup, partner in a company that provides adventure
and extreme sport experiences and occasionally performs other tasks for those
who can pay for them, has been hired at an exorbitant sum by a Hollywood power
broker to find Emma and reclaim an item of immeasurable value which Emma has
stolen. Emma and Cooper have a brief history, having met at a bat mitzvah for a
spoiled Hollywood brat, and recognized a kindred spirit in one another. Although
Emma, convinced she is unlovable and terrified of being known by a man like
Cooper, cuts their conversation short, Cooper cannot forget Emma’s startling
beauty or the warm, real woman he met who seems very different from the
promiscuous bitch that others describe. Having grown up with an older brother
who was a lawbreaker from an early age, Cooper is skilled at detecting lies,
and he knows Emma is lying when she denies having the object he is seeking.
What he doesn’t know is why she stole it or why she denies having it.
Determined to return the stolen object to its rightful owner, he also falls in
love with the beauty of Pine River and becomes more and more fascinated with
the complicated woman that is Emma Tyler.
Emma has spent a decade trapped in a cycle of increasingly
self-destructive behavior. Her self-loathing is so great that she cannot
conceive of anyone loving her. She takes her physical beauty for granted, but
she sees nothing but ugliness beneath the surface. Only when she can believe in
the woman Leo, her sisters, and most of all, Cooper see in her will she be
whole enough to give and receive love.
The Perfect Homecoming
is the conclusion to London’s Pine River
series, a trilogy filled with romance, poignancy, and themes of
self-acceptance, redemption, and the triumph of the human spirit. It packs the
greatest emotional punch of the three novels, both because Emma is the most
damaged and emotionally fragile of the three sisters and because Leo, a
scene-stealer throughout the series, plays a larger role in the story even as
his personal story draws to its inevitable conclusion. Emma and Cooper
separately and together touch—and sometimes break—the reader’s heart. Fans of
the series will enjoy seeing more of Maddie and Luke (Homecoming Ranch
) and Libby and Sam (Return to Homecoming Ranch
), including glimpses of Maddie and Luke’s
wedding. But for me,
the real star of the series has been
Leo. I admire London’s courage in not just including a character with a motor
neuron disease in the trilogy but in making him a vital part of the stories
with all his bravery, humor, and humanity. She gave romance fiction an
I highly recommend this novel. It is an intense and moving story on many
levels. And if anyone gives an award for the highest hanky epilogue, I think The Perfect Homecoming
has it won.
You hooked me. Thanks; adding it to my list.ReplyDelete
WOW! That's a powerful review and recommendation!ReplyDelete
I finished this one last night, Janga, and cried my eyes out. I have loved this trilogy so much and I'm going to miss the people of Pine River. Especially Leo.ReplyDelete
I appreciated how she tackled heroines who weren't particularly likeable. Not that they didn't have their moments, but none of the three sisters was what you'd call your conventional romance heroine. And of course Emma was the toughest of all.
I'll be thinking about these stories for a long time.
It really is an extraordinary series, Manda. And I so agree with your comment about the heroines. I hope more readers discover these books.They deserve to be more widely read.Delete
Thanks for the great review!ReplyDelete
Another for my to buy list!!!
Thank you for the excellent review! I have this series on my list. I hadn't expected it to be so emotional, but I'm in!ReplyDelete
I enjoy her books and will have to get this series. She seems to include things a bit different from the norm in her books which makes them all the more worth reading.ReplyDelete
thank you for the review.