Thursday, December 19, 2013

REVIEW: GOING HOME AGAIN, BY ABBY CAVANAUGH

Going Home Again


 Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Publication Date: 8/27/13
Format: ebook
Pages: 300
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3.5 stars



In high school, it was doubtful Michael Day knew Alyssa Jones existed.

Twenty years later, when the now-famous pop star returns home to coastal North Carolina, Alyssa gets a second chance to make a first impression on Michael.

On sabbatical from his failing marriage, Michael agrees to an interview with Alyssa, a journalist for the local tourist magazine.

When the chemistry between them ignites, Alyssa and Michael are hit with the harsh reality that he isn't yet free to love her.

With Michael's wife and son still very much in the picture, can Alyssa hold out until he ends his marriage for good? Or will she risk it all for a second chance with the one who got away?



First Impression ....A story about a woman who falls in love with her high school crush-turn rock star. I'm in.

The Story... Twenty years after he became her crush, Alyssa gets the chance to interview rock star Michael Day for her magazine when he returns to his home town. Instant chemistry sparks between the two. Good news, considering Alyssa gets to live her long-time fantasy. Bad news, considering  Michael is on a break from his marriage and considering divorce. The attraction is intense, and won't be denied. Michael and Alyssa must struggle through the difficulties of ending a marriage, and beginning something new, all in the media spotlight.

The Characters ... I've struggled with this, and have had a hard time reconciling being objective, and my personal thoughts on Alyssa and Michael's actions. Alyssa and Michael were both likable enough characters, considering their actions. I get that they shared an instant chemistry, but being a wife myself, I'm a hard sell on the cheating part. Yes, I got that Michael's marriage was by all intents over, but his wife didn't know that. And even though she was portrayed as a shrew, I felt more sorry for her than anyone else. I've kind of beaten myself up over my feelings for Michael and Alyssa, but then realized that I have read books in which I've felt more empathy for the cheater. I could feel what drove that character to the actions. I can say from an objective standpoint that it makes for a very interesting story. But from a personal angle, I was never on the either main character's side. Feeling so conflicted makes it difficult to review, but also shows that it was a story that made me think.


The Writing .... Was nice and easy. I will say that the first half of the plot felt rushed. Michael and Alyssa reconnected, began their relationship, and fell in love in the span of under two weeks (I think). I know it's possible, sixteen years ago my friend has married a guy she knew six days, they are still married. I was told it was there, but I didn't feel this intense bond that wouldn't be denied. Besides that, the story is really sweet. And the dual point-of-view provided insight into Michael's life and experiences in his marriage, along with Alyssa's long-held feelings for him. I mean, who among us never dreamed about meeting and falling in love with a famous rocker? So that part, I really enjoyed. It's like a great wish-fulfillment for the teenager in all of us. Besides the whole "wife" bit.

Could I Put Going Home Again Down? ... Because of the nice, fast pace, I never struggled with finishing. I wasn't consumed, but I was curious how it would all go down.

In the End ...
I enjoyed Going Home Again, though I struggled with Alyssa and Michael's  actions. It took me back to a time when Jordan Knight was my #1 guy, and that's never a bad thing.


Favorite Quote:

  I slid my fingers into her hair and let my thumbs caress her face as I kissed her again. She fell into me and we held each other tighter. Something about the cold rain drenching us and the warmth of her body next to mine as we literally kissed and made up, made me realize this was one of those moments I was going to remember for the rest of my life. And I silently thanked God once again for bringing Alyssa into my life.    ~79%
Purchase Going Home Again


About the author
Abby Cavenaugh is a writer of romantic women's fiction and YA paranormal. She is a newspaper editor by day, but dreams of someday retiring to the North Carolina coast to write books full-time. She lives near Charlotte with her twin sister, also a writer, six-year-old niece and crazy cat, Gus, and is driven by dreams, Diet Coke and chocolate.


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16 comments:

  1. The cheating aspect is always tough. It has to be portrayed in just the right way or it makes it hard to like the characters. Glad you still enjoyed for the most part. Great review.

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  2. Cheating is one of my deal breakers. Like you, I've read a few that I can handle (like Covet) but it's rare and this sounds like one I couldn't handle if the wife isn't aware that it's over. Portraying her to be a shrew isn't going to win me over.

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  3. I think you hit the nail on the head here, Andrea - sometimes a writer can make us root for or at least have empathy for a cheater...that you didn't feel it here is telling. I'm glad the story made you think and that you enjoyed it despite the cheating element, though.

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  4. I of course think cheating is wrong, but I do like when a book makes me think past that. I know it's fake which makes me think about it so much more. I know cheating is wrong and disgusting, so is killing and you know how I feel about those books :)
    And whoa, I totally can see that guy's junk on your sidebar!
    And you have to read Georgie!!!

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  5. I can see how reading about cheating can be difficult to understand for some people...but if the author writes well enough, I can handle it fine.

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  6. I can see where you are coming from I'd have a hard time justifying their actions as well, which is unfortunate I guess but there are subjects I do find hard connecting with.

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  7. Cheating is a delicate theme, I think Scandal is the only story where I root for the mistress.

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  8. Nope, I won't be able to get past the cheating, over or not. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  9. I'm okay with insta-love, I believe people can fall in love in a matter of hours, but like you said, you have to FEEL that. I think if we get enough 'moments' between them we can feel that but it sounds like that was kind of missing. It sounds like a book I might like but the fact that the romance isn't 'felt' so much I'm not sure.

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  10. Oh boy, I am def not a fan of cheating books and have only found ONE that did it right (Crave by Tracey Garvis). Like you, I do get that he's separated from his wife, but the way you're making it out, it's still cheating. Ugh, guess I won't be picking this one up. Great review!

    Vi
    AKA Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

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    Replies
    1. ACK! I meant Covet by TGG, lol. My bad!

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  11. Sounds like something I've been dealing with lately myself so I'll probably pass but great review!

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  12. I am so glad I read your review before deciding on this book. It is so helpful. I would be completely in with the high school crush turned rock start theme to, but I am not a fan of cheating either. I guess it depends on the situation in the book, though I've only seen a few where I was for the cheater and not the cheatee (that's not a word I know).

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  13. Hmm...not sure on this one. Maybe. Jordan Knight is still dreamy.

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  14. I'm not big on cheating either. I'm not sure how I'd feel in this situation. Guess I have too many other things to read to consider. Great review.

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  15. Cheating is difficult for me to get past, especially with the wife not even knowing that their marriage was over. I think I would probably have an instant dislike for the main characters. Also, it's hard for me to get into a book where I'm told there is a connection, but I don't see it myself. I'm glad that there were things you enjoyed about the the story through. I love how analytical your review was! Great Job!!!!

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