Author ~ Alexa Milne
Publisher ~ Pride Publishing
Published ~ 26 July 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
You can never escape from yourself.
When Darach McNaughton returns to his home town, the one thing he isn’t looking for is love. But when he meets the mysterious Brice Drummond, his investigative instinct isn’t the only thing aroused.
After a gang beats Brice Drummond, leaves him for dead, and needing to use a wheelchair, he ends up in a witness protection program. His only company is a beautiful cat aptly named Princess. He creates beautiful pieces of art, but allows no one into his life—until a handsome policeman appears out of nowhere.
On a snowy night, Darach McNaughton returns a crying cat to its owner and is immediately curious about the beautiful man with the tattoos. Bit by bit, Darach uncovers the shocking truth about Brice’s history. Can he get past what he discovers? Can Brice let someone into his life? Or will the past catch up with them both and tear their fledgling love apart?
Reader advisory: Dubious consent. Recollections of physical abuse, emotional/mental abuse, torture and drug abuse. Profanity.
There’s a saying that ‘home is the place that if you have to go there they have to take you in”, which is a bit of a bleak way to look at it. Personally I find the call of home very strong, even after many years and moves and in the absence of those who would, as it says above, have had to take me in. Luckily the welcome in the case of this book is much warmer.
Returning Home is the second book in The Call of Home series by Alexa Milne, but can be read as a standalone. I read it as such and feel inclined to read the first in the series, even though the heroes of that book have only the barest mention in this book.
Part romance and part whodunnit – or who will do it if they get the chance – Returning Home features Darach McNaughton, a tough city policeman who is looking for a complete change of pace after a series of incredibly distressing events, both in his professional and his private lives. Betrayed by his lover he takes a job at the little police station closest to his parents’ home and is welcomed into the embrace of his family and old friends. Battling his sad memories and regrets, he settles back into the community, but not before meeting a stranger that he can’t quite get out of his head.
Brice Drummond is striking – platinum blond, heavily inked and in a wheelchair. He has no intention of getting involved with anyone, and especially not a member of local law enforcement. His secrets are many and if they get out the consequences could be lethal. But circumstances combine with loneliness to force his hand and he and Darach embark upon a surprisingly sweet and tender romance. I say surprising because neither man has any reason to expect anything good to come of it. Darach is still smarting from the way his last relationship ended and Brice doesn’t seem to have ever had anything like a healthy relationship. But that’s love for you. The attraction between them is immediate but they are wary in acting upon it, as is proper under the stressful circumstances. I particularly liked the thoughtful way Darach reacted to Brice’s situation – sensitivity training ftw Strathclyde Police! But then he was a well brought up boy from a loving family.
There is a large cast of secondary characters, not least Darach’s family who have their problems but handle them and each other with care and kindness. Darach’s friends, too, are a force to be reckoned with. I also really enjoyed the rural setting and the little details of Darach’s job, and especially that a policeman can’t always dash off to be a hero, no matter how much he wishes he could.
Maybe the romance turned from lust to love a bit speedily? I dunno, for me that little quibble was outweighed by the mystery plot which I really enjoyed. Good fun and I understand that there’s another in the series under construction, which is good news.
Meet Alexa Milne
Originally from South Wales, Alexa has lived for over thirty years in the North West of England. Now retired, after a long career in teaching, she devotes her time to her obsessions.
Alexa began writing when her favourite character was killed in her favourite show. After producing a lot of fanfiction she ventured into original writing.
She is currently owned by a mad cat and spends her time writing about the men in her head, watching her favourite television programmes and usually crying over her favourite football team.