The Perfect Homecoming
By Julia London
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.
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.