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Come Back to Me: An Origin Novella

Rating: 3 Stars

"Because that's how our love was. It was hot and passionate. It was intense and electric."

A fixer-upper cabin. Two strangers. One summer we'll never forget. For the past five years, I've saved every dime to buy the dilapidated cabin sitting on the outskirts of Maple Ridge, Colorado. Even then, it's not enough. Just when I think I've got to say goodbye to my dreams, a tall, handsome cowboy strides into town. He may talk funny, but he's saying all the right words to not only get my heart swooning, but get my body revved up too. Leo Moretti was only supposed to be my date for my best friend's wedding. Until he makes me an offer I can't refuse: buy the cabin with me and help me fix it up. Then he returns to his family ranch in Texas at the end of summer. As each day passes, working alongside him in the summer heat, swimming in the creek, and kissing under the stars, we can't deny our instant chemistry. It's electric. It's intense. It's reckless. It's the kind of love that only comes around once in a lifetime. Nothing or no one can keep us apart. Until it does. Family obligations. A country at war. In a whirlwind, steamy summer romance in 1969, my life-and future-is altered forever.

So this was a nice little predictable story and a quick read. Both of our main characters are in their early 20's, and somehow still act like they are in high school. So I struggled a bit with the characters. The story starts out in the present day (no idea when) and Giana is reflecting on her life and the one love she had this epic summer. It then transitions back into the summer of 1969. I really struggled with the characters because they felt more high school seniors than adults. Giana has no desire for a relationship because she's fiercely independent and then Leo comes to town and it all shifts for her.

I struggled some with the timeline because it would be like a day and then all of a sudden 4 weeks and then at one time it was 2 years that had passed. It just wasn't very clear until someone said something, which made understanding the development of the relationship complicated, because it all felt even more rushed than insta-love usually does. The book taking place during Vietnam only becomes significant in like the last 3 chapters of the book; it's not even really mentioned until then. For me it just read like a plot point that was able to cause some type of extra conflict and drama for the story.

Both of our characters are virgins, which, cool and all, but I would have expected a little more awkwardness initially. And that didn't exist. We just jump into the steamy scenes like they are both extremely experienced. So that was hard to wrap my head around also. It was also weird that the language shifted so dramatically during these scenes compared to how they talked any other time. I just felt like some of these things could have been handled differently for a more authentic story.

Overall, this book kind of reads like The Notebook summer. They have this intense time together with nobody else, and then some big complication tears them apart. The story was highly predictable, but I mean it is still a cute little romance if you just want a sweet small town story. Most of the issues I had were personal. I think the story is really cute. It could have benefited I think from being a full novel instead of a novella, just so the timeline didn't feel so rushed. But if you want a quick and sweet read you should give this one a shot.

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