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The Homecoming

The Homecoming

Written by Alan Russell

Narrated by Luke Daniels


The Homecoming

Written by Alan Russell

Narrated by Luke Daniels

ratings:
3.5/5 (8 ratings)
Length:
9 hours
Released:
Jun 13, 2017
ISBN:
9781536667943
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Seven years ago, young Stella Pierce vanished from the face of the earth. Now her grieving, broken family—along with Detective Orson Cheever, who never stopped working her case—is stunned by her mysterious return.

The now-teenage girl claims to have spent her missing years in the company of Travelers—extraterrestrial nomads—voyaging through space.

Despite her family's effort to keep Stella's incredible tale secret, the story becomes a national sensation. Most people want to discount her story, saying it's the result of trauma; only Detective Cheever seems to want the same thing Stella does: the truth.

The enigmatic Stella finds herself in the eye of the storm while vying forces—some visible and some not—swirl around her. Is it her tale that is incredible, or is it Stella? As new questions surrounding the girl gain terrifying urgency, Cheever learns that there is nothing—and no one—he can trust.

Released:
Jun 13, 2017
ISBN:
9781536667943
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

You never know what to expect from an Alan Russell novel other than a good read. His first two books, No Sign of Murder and The Forest Prime Evil, are classic whodunits, whereas his third and fourth novels, The Hotel Detective and The Fat Inkeeper are comedic mysteries. Alan's fifth and sixth novels, Multiple Wounds and Shame, are psychological thrillers, and his most recent works, Exposure and Political Suicide, are both suspense novels.

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Reviews

What people think about The Homecoming

3.6
8 ratings / 10 Reviews
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Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    I was gifted three novels from this series. I like Carr's writing style and how she develops her characters, but I wish she didn't have so many characters jumping into bed with each other before marriage. Also, in the 3 books I've read, 2 have had bullying/abusive high school boys as secondary characters--and this is a small town!Iris and Seth were childhood friends, but their friendship soured when Seth got drunk and took advantage of Iris then didn't remember it (because he was drunk) and went back to his cheating girlfriend whom he'd made up with. Seth returns to Thunder Point for his job and hopes to rekindle his friendship with Iris and is devastated when he learns what he did to her but vows to make it up to her. There's also a side story about high school dating and abusive dating relationships, as well as looking in on other beloved Thunder Point residents.
  • (3/5)
    Another enjoyable story by Robyn Carr. Strangely, however, this did not feel connected to her other books in the Thunder Point series. Occasional mention was made of other folks in town, but the overall feel of this book felt nothing like the others.
  • (4/5)
    I'm finally at the point with the Thunder Point Novels that it feels like visiting old friends every time a new one comes out. The series is progressing amazinging and The Homecoming is a great addition. I loved the mini little shout out to Virgin River.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent story of redemption and second chances. Seth and Iris had been best friends all their lives, up until their senior year in high school. They played and teased and talked, sharing all aspects of their lives. By the time they were in high school, Seth was the popular football star, while Iris was the shy nerd with the huge crush on him. They were still friends, though it was hard on her when he came to her with his girl problems. Then one night he got drunk after breaking up with his girlfriend and Iris came to his rescue before his parents could see him like that. He was lost in an alcohol haze when he put the moves on her, with things progressing as they usually do. He also promised to take her to the prom, a promise that was forgotten along with all the other events of that night. He broke her heart when he made up with his girlfriend the next day, and never understood why she was so furious with him and ending their friendship.His football career sent him to the pros, but a terrible car accident ended that career very early on. He then decided to go into police work and has become the new deputy in charge of the Thunder Point office. This gives him the chance to come home and try to repair his reputation with the town, his father, and especially Iris. He has never forgotten her, and really wants a chance to make things right with her.Iris became a school guidance counselor and came home to work at the local high school. She is great with the kids, especially since she still remembers what things were like when she was in school. Iris has never forgotten what Seth did. Having him move back to Thunder Point brings back the hurt every time she sees him. She tells him flat out that she doesn't want to see him or talk to him, and is frustrated when he ignores her wishes. She finally blows her top at him and lets him know exactly what happened all those years ago. He's horrified, and determined to make things up to her. Iris just wants him to leave her alone because she's discovered the old feelings are still there. She doesn't want to risk falling deeper for him and having him walk away again.I loved Seth's determination. He has finally realized that Iris was the one for him all along, but he has to convince her of that. He starts out by trying to repair their friendship, somewhat awkwardly but very sweet. There are some pretty funny moments as he tries to show her how he's changed. I especially loved the sweetness he showed when she was sick and he was taking care of her. He slowly works his way back into her life, but then has to figure out a way to move beyond friendship. That scene ended up being one of the funniest in the book.I got a little frustrated with Iris because she would not let the past go. She has spent seventeen years thinking about what happened and being mad at him. She knows she is being stupid about it, but doesn't seem to be able to stop herself. As their friendship is slowly rebuilt she falls the rest of the way in love with him and is afraid of what will happen to her when he walks away again. I liked the way that she finally worked up the courage to lay her feelings out for him and what happened when she did.One of my favorite things about the book was the transformation of Seth from the cocky kid to the kind and caring man that he is now. He was obviously very happy in his new profession and it showed in everything he did. There weren't too many events showing him at his work, but the ones that were there were fantastic. The first one, where he broke up the fight between the two men showed Iris as nothing else could just what the new Seth was made of. Another facet of the new Seth was his friendship with Oscar and what it said about his sense of responsibility. Seth was also determined to repair his relationship with his father, and that seemed to be the most difficult task of all. Even that event had its moments of laughter.I loved the romance between Seth and Iris. Though it had it rocky start, because they had been friends for so long it really didn't take long for it to develop. Being with Seth gave Iris the sense of family she hadn't had since her mother's death. Seth had family, but Iris gave him back his feelings of being part of something special. I really loved the way that they could talk to each other about anything and just be there for each other when they'd had a bad day. I loved seeing Iris get involved in trying to help Seth with his father.There was a secondary storyline that had Iris dealing with a case of suspected abuse of one of her high schoolers. She was really worried about this young lady and the best way to handle the case while keeping her safe. She agonized over it, especially when she discovered the abuser was not who she expected it to be. There were some very tense moments as the situation was dealt with and the final confrontation was really scary.
  • (3/5)
    Seth returns to his hometown as the new sheriff and gets the cold shoulder from his childhood buddy Iris. All about small towns, friendship, redemption and second chances.
  • (4/5)
    Really enjoyable read but I think the story could have used a little extra punch. The new sheriff, Seth Sileski, is a local returning home. He is happy to be back to be close to his parents but he also wants to right the teenage friendship gone wrong with local Iris McKinley. In her usual straight talking flair, Ms Carr writes a great romance but the reconciliation was easy and without much drama. Still, I definitely recommend this one.
  • (5/5)
    I love this author and everything about this book, the action, the pace, the relationship, the friendships, the humor, the issues. I was totally absorbed and can't wait for the next book. Seth returns to his hometown as the new sheriff and is determined to find out why his childhood buddy Iris avoids him.
  • (4/5)
    Another enjoyable addition to Carr's Thunder Point series. Carr tackles issues facing teenagers and weaves them into an entertaining story.Review based on an ARC from NetGalley.
  • (4/5)
    5 STARS I love Thunder Point. The Homecoming did not disappoint. It was full of drama, romance, heavy issues and a community of characters. I love the characters. There are always a main couple and a whole town of secondary characters that some are old friends and others are new characters. Seth Sileski is back home. He is the new deputy that has taken Mac's place. He grew up in Thunder Point. Now he is home. He is single. Made some errors in his past. Wants to keep the town safe. He also wants to be friends again with Iris. Iris is a guidance counselor at the high school. Seth and her were best friends till their senior year. She is still hurt from it. She has no family left. She still lives next door to Seth's parents house. Some of the issues that this book deals in is speeding and distracted driving how it took things away from two families. Abuse and other issues that effect teens. I did not put the book down till I was finished reading. Robyn weaves stories that make you care about the people and makes you think about helping others, and reaching out to those around you. I am always sad to put the book down and say good by to new friends till her next book is out. There is a couple of love scenes that I skipped over. The setting for Thunder Point is a small coastal town in Oregon around Coos Bay area. Good pacing of the story. One scene in the book that I loved was at the medical clinic. When Seth needed stitches. Dr. Scott's kids were their telling Seth it would only hurt a little. They wanted to watch him get the stitches. They were so cute. I would read more of Robyn Carr's books in the future. I was given this ebook to read and in return agreed to give honest review of it.
  • (4/5)
    When I discovered that The Homecoming was a friends to lovers romance, I had high hopes that it would finally become another Robyn Carr keeper for me. This is one of my favorite romance tropes and after reading a long string of Ms. Carr's books this year that have been pretty good but not great, I really thought this one was going to break that streak and become a big winner. It started off well, and I really did enjoy the fact that Seth and Iris had been best friends since childhood. During those early chapters, I was eager to get back to reading it every time I had to put it down, but eventually it started to slow down for me, and in the end, it kind of fizzled out. Even though there were few character perspectives outside of Seth's and Iris's (the author seems to be getting away from her trademark multiple POVs), I still felt like there was a little too much focus on other characters and subplots and not nearly enough romance, sexual tension, and conflict to make our main couple truly stand out. Overall, The Homecoming has edged out Wild Man Creek for my favorite Robyn Carr book I've read this year, but it still didn't have quite enough gas to make it to keeper status for me.Iris is a headstrong, independent woman. As a girl and later a teen, she was somewhat awkward and a bit of a tomboy. She fell for Seth when she was quite young and always wished he would see her as something more than his best friend and next-door neighbor. During their senior year of high school, she rescued him from a party when he got drunk after breaking up with his girlfriend. In his drunken stupor, Seth declared that he loved Iris and wanted to take her to the prom, and then proceeded to make love to her. The next day, he was back together with his girlfriend and taking the other girl to the prom, while it was abundantly clear to Iris that he had no memory of the night before with her. At that point, she refused to be friends with him anymore and although they've seen each other from time to time when he came to visit his family, they've mostly been out of touch for seventeen long years until Seth returns to Thunder Point as the new deputy sheriff. Even after all this time and even though they've each dated other people, Iris is still nursing a grudge against Seth. I can't say that I blamed Iris much for being upset with Seth for what he did to her even if he was under the influence of alcohol. After all, she'd loved him since she was just a girl and essentially felt like he'd used her that night, but there were times when I felt like her actions were just a tad immature, especially for a trained high school counselor. I think she was getting a little too caught up in the hurtful memories of her teenage self and not allowing herself to feel as an adult would. She realizes pretty quickly that she's still in love with Seth and never has, nor probably ever will, love anyone else, but she also fears that he just wants to be friends and may hurt her again if she allows him to get too close. Iris keeping Seth at arm's length was somewhat understandable given the circumstances, but it didn't really leave much room for actual romance or even sexual tension to build between them.When Seth returns to Thunder Point, the first person he wants to see is Iris. He deeply misses the friendship they shared and realizes he lost something special when she refused to be his friend anymore. Although he's had vivid dreams of making love to Iris over the years, he doesn't remember anything about the drunken sex they shared that night in high school. He thinks she's still upset with him over not taking her to the prom, so it's difficult for him to understand where she's coming from. The moment Seth gets back, he goes on a single-minded pursuit of Iris, trying to make it clear how much he wants her back, and I had to give him kudos for his persistence in the face of her prickliness. Although it was obvious through his thoughts and actions that Seth wanted Iris as more than a friend, it just didn't quite come out that way on an emotional level. Overall, Seth was a very nice and likable guy, who cared about Iris, his family, his friends, and his town, but he didn't really do anything that made him stand out in my mind. He had no real internal conflicts to speak of. He's simply a man who knows what he wants and goes after it. Even the conflict with his dad over past mistakes that is hinted at in the cover blurb and his scars from the car accident that ended his football career aren't really that big of a deal.As with all of the Robyn Carr books I've read this year, I felt like the weak link was the romance. Don't get me wrong, they were a cute couple and all, but I just didn't really feel the romance all that much. IMHO, Seth and Iris stayed in the friend zone a little too long. I was glad that it didn't take forever for the truth about their drunken teenage love-making to come out, and when it does Seth feels really bad about it. Once this happened, I thought it was opening the door for Seth to make some truly romantic overtures to show Iris just how much she means to him, but this still didn't exactly happen. Admittedly, it was sweet how he brought her food, medicine, etc. to help out when she was sick, but because he doesn't want to get sick too, he keeps at a distance physically speaking. From an emotional standpoint, they both keep each other at arm's length, him because he didn't want to push her too hard, too fast and her because she's afraid he's going to hurt her again. Unfortunately, this made it difficult for me to feel any romance building between them. Even their introspections are lacking any real romanticism or sexual tension. At this point, I couldn't help feeling that anything would have helped: longing looks, friendly touches that wreak havoc on the other's body, a hug, or even a peck on the cheek, but sadly nothing of that nature materialized. Their first love scene was kind of cute and sweet, but it seemed to happen too fast, not in the sense that it was too soon in the story (that actually took a while), but in the sense that I just didn't feel much emotion building up to it. It was a simple case of Iris finally revealing that she had feelings for Seth, him bringing her some flowers, and them falling into bed. After that, everything was hunky-dory between them with no real obstacles to overcome. I simply felt like there were several missed opportunities for the author to deepen this couple's connection that didn't ever come to fruition.As I mentioned earlier, there wasn't a whole lot in the way of secondary POVs. The only ones I remember were Iris's friend, Grace, who now owns the local flower shop that used to belong to Iris's mother, and Iris's ex-boyfriend and teacher colleague, Troy. These two hang out a bit during the story and if the Thunder Point series continues (which I have every reason to believe it will), I suspect they'll become the hero and heroine of the next book. I liked Grace and felt like she was a good sounding board for Iris. Troy seemed nice too, but where I had a bit of a problem with him is that early in the story he's kind of a third wheel. He's still trying to court Iris even though it's obvious he's not the man for her. I think perhaps the author was trying to use him to add a bit of conflict, but IMO, he came off as more of an annoying distraction to Seth and Iris rebuilding their relationship. I also didn't really need to hear how much Iris enjoyed Troy's company, and more importantly, how much she'd enjoyed sex with him. Once would have been enough, if it even needed to be mentioned at all, but she ends up thinking about it multiple times, which only served to further dilute her connection to Seth. It also made Troy and Iris trying to remain friends a rather awkward prospect to my way of thinking.The other main subplot that I thought had some potential centered around Rachel, a student at Iris's school and as it happens, the daughter of Seth's ex-girlfriend, who appears to possibly be the victim of some kind of abuse. When this storyline got started, I thought it was pretty interesting and gave Iris something to do outside of her relationship with Seth. Of course, Seth got pulled into it too, since he's the local law enforcement officer. Where it all kind of fell apart for me though, was in the final chapters, which read more like a public service announcement about teenage dating abuse. Also, the climax to this subplot could have been very tense, but instead it was rather dull with Troy really being the one who saved the day instead of Seth.Overall, The Homecoming was a decent read. It was better for me than the last two Thunder Point books. The last three of Robyn Carr's books I've read were way too similar in plot and characters, so I have to give the author an A for effort in creating a different kind of story with different types of characters, which made for a more engaging reading experience. Unfortunately though, she only gets a C+ from me on the execution, because the characters and their romance fell a little flat for me. If Ms. Carr had deepened her characterizations a little more especially in the area of the relationship building it would have been a definite keeper for sure, but as is, The Homecoming gets a B (aka four stars) from me.Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from the publicist via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.