This book started beautifully, but as it progressed I was starting to wonder what I was reading. The interactions between the people made NO sense. The conversations were strange and unrealistic. And in no time half the town was all circling around Kaenon trying to make him feel at home and asking for his forgiveness for the way they treated him 15 years ago when he was outed at 14 years old. This felt like a very strange fairy-tale and I have yet to find any villain...
Kaenon Geary have been away from the small town of Braxton, Texas since he was 17 years old. Getting a scholarship to play his favorite sport was his way out. Too bad it didn't last as long as he'd hoped getting injured. But he has made a life away from his past and his family. After telling his family he was gay, they basically threw him out, lucky for him his grandparents and his aunt took him in and they were literally his only family from then on. Now when his grandmother Jo is dying he has come to be with her for her last summer. He isn't thrilled to be back but she is all he has now that his grandfather and aunt are gone. Coming home means revisiting all the horrible memories he has of his parents turning away from him, his brother actively making his life a living hell and his beloved sister ignoring him like he died. The kids in town were no better but at a certain point he put everyone beyond a very thick wall and simply played with a sole focus of moving out.
But he is back (at least for the summer..) which means he gets to see his siblings again now married with kids. He also sees his brother's best friend Brody Scott, now the Chief Constable. He always had a thing for Brody so now that Brody is actually FLIRTING with him he doesn't know how he got so lucky! Things heat up between them pretty fast. That was something else I felt a bit weird about. Their conversations became WAY too familiar with them hoping to spend whole days together and have a sleep over literally a day after re-meeting after not seeing or speaking for AGES (not to mention Kaenon didn't even know he was Bi). It wasn't any better with his siblings starting to throw around nicknames when they can barely look each other in the eye?!
But you know when I said enough is enough? When they started talking about a magical land and his brother telling him he "glows" (after spending a day on the property). I don't mind a bit of magic in my books, I DO enjoy Paranormal Romance, but this was simply STRANGE for a Contemporary. This is not something you would hear a small town machoistic guy say. All the characters felt a bit OTT and unrealistic. They turned over 180 degrees, everyone seemed to somehow been waiting for Kaenon to be back and now they are all over him. Maybe it IS magic? It was WAY too much for me seeing 20+ people appear out of nowhere to help out a guy they haven't seen (or liked) for more than 10 years bringing gifts and food, all coming to help replant a garden? Okay..
So that was basically it for me at 63% in. I had enough. We all love out fairy-tales and yet as grown-ups I feel like we need for it to feel more relatable and genuine and this one was everything but (including Mary somehow forgetting her MC is Vegetarian..).
I've read most of Mary's books and loved quite a lot of those, but she does have a thing for OTT cheesiness..
5-11 June 2021