Title: Falling for Home
Author: Jody Holford
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Coming home was the last thing that globe-trotting photographer, Lucy Aarons wanted to do, but after work-related issues force her to return to her hometown, Lucy must face the truths she’s been hiding from all along.
Avoiding her too-sexy next-door-neighbor proves impossible. Sheriff Alex Whitman is not the same boy she left behind years ago. Realizing Alex’s steady presence is exactly what she craves, Lucy gives in to her desires.
Just as the fire between them ignites, so does the town, as Alex investigates an arsonist who’s hitting them both a little too close to home. As the circumstances around them heat up, and Lucy battles her instinct to bolt, the buildings may not be all that burn to the ground.
When Lucy Aarons returns to her hometown after years of traveling the world, she's not really sure what the future holds. The idea of planting roots is foreign to her, but the pull is strong. Especially after she becomes re-acquainted with the sexy sheriff—a childhood acquaintance with whom she builds a sweet friendship that quickly blossoms into something far deeper. Love is a pretty good reason for planting roots, but love is scary in and of itself—when leaving is all she’s ever known, can Lucy be brave enough to stay?
Sheriff Alex Whitman has had a crush on Lucy since the moment he met her, years and years ago. When the opportunity to pursue a relationship with her presents itself, it's a no-brainer. Even if it means putting his heart on the line. Even if the odds are against him. He'll take whatever time she'll give him and deal with the fallout later. This turns out to mean more than he could ever have prepared himself for, and when push comes to shove, is Alex strong enough to stand by his woman?
This book! It was so much bigger than I was expecting it to be. I’m struggling to get my arms around it in my review because there are so many layers creating so many feels—I don’t even know where to start! I fell in love, so hard, with Alex and Lucy. Alex… Man, I do not even have words for Alex. He was almost poetic sometimes, tender and patient and understanding. He’s basically the perfect man. He captured my heart and then filled it to bursting with ooey gooey swoons and happiness. He's beautifully written in a way that allowed him to be sensitive and sweet without ever coming off as weak or over the top. I adore nice guy heroes, and Alex is the nicest.
Lucy broke my heart. She's carrying around so much baggage, and my eyes leaked for her more than once. I adored her. She's strong, and mature in ways she doesn’t even recognize. There's a lot of growth for her over the course of the book, but she never annoyed me or frustrated me. In fact, she was written perfectly—in a way that I could feel her fear and anxiety, but trusted her to not make stupid impulse decisions. I felt for her, my heart ached for her. And, in the end, I celebrated for her because it was impossible not to. She's a completely loveable heroine.
This is so much bigger than a love story (though the love story is fantastic). It's a story about finding your place in the world, which can be no easy feat. The issues Lucy faced with her family killed me. The storyline was handled beautifully, with tenderness and sensitivity—I laughed and cried and loved Lucy's family so much. I loved how they handled each other, the imperfections they were all learning how to live with, and the big, crazy, messy love they had for each other.
I was less invested in the crime/mystery subplot. While it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book, it also didn't pull the emotion or interest from me that the rest of the book did. There is already a lot going on in the book, and while the mystery adds another layer of depth, I found myself skimming over some of those parts. However, I did love how it tied back into Alex’s past, and explained some things about his behavior.
In all, I really enjoyed this story. I cried more than I thought I would, but I wouldn't call it a tearjerker. It’s just…emotional. Stirring up these big, beautiful emotions that are now all swirling around in my heart making me want to hang on to this story for a minute longer—to let the loveliness settle in.
~ Review by Shelly
Jody Holford lives in British Columbia with her family. She's a huge fan of Rainbow Rowell, Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis, Carly Phillips, Rachel Gibson, Sophia Kinsella, and Emily Giffen. She's unintentionally funny and rarely on time for anything. She writes multiple genres but her favourite is romance.