Review: Restoring the Past by M. Durango

restoring the pastRating: 3.25 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novella


Cal hasn’t been home in 13 years, but now that his father has passed away, he’s come home for the funeral and to deal with the estate. If that wasn’t trying enough, he runs into his ex-boyfriend, Andy, who was the reason Cal left all those years ago. Their paths keep crossing and they reconnect, but then a miscommunication pulls them apart.

Cal has too much to deal with and he doesn’t know what to do. The house needs so much more work than he ever expected before he can sell it, he’s not talking to Andy, and then an even bigger bombshell drops on his life. Dealing with his ungrateful family and trying to mend things with Andy has pushed him to the breaking point. But in the end, he realizes that coming home doesn’t mean moving backward, and he can have the happy ever after he’s always wanted.

I’m a sucker for reunion romances, so this book seemed like it would fit the bill. And on the surface, it does. Cal has more problems than he ever expected, but as he works through them, he finds exactly what he’s always wanted. A life with Andy and peace with his past. But the problem for me was just that: everything was on the surface. The story and the characters were all two dimensional, and there was no depth to really engage with it.

This book was an easy, quick read. But there was a lot going on and none of it was explained in depth. Everything that could go wrong did, but it was all resolved too quickly with solutions that were just too pat. I had a hard time believing anything. While all the problems with the house made sense, that was about the only part that did.

Cal’s reasoning for staying away so long was flimsy at best. I kept waiting for more of an explanation as to exactly what happened and why. But it never came and I got to the end of the book thinking “that’s all I’m going to get?” Something happened with Andy 13 years ago and Cal fled, but the one line of explanation was nowhere near enough. On top of that, the chemistry between the characters was weak, so I didn’t understand why they were still pining for each other, and didn’t get why they were getting back together. Not to mention, there’s a good portion in the middle where they both act like jerks and spend a great deal of time apart.

Add to that a family full of dysfunctional people, who were stereotypically horrible, and a huge secret that I really didn’t understand the purpose for, and I was just not feeling any of the emotions that I should have felt when reading.

So this book wasn’t everything I was expecting. The pacing was a bit off—too fast and not well drawn out—but it wasn’t all bad. I think it could have benefitted from being drawn out a bit more or if not quite as much had been going on. In the end, I didn’t dislike it, but it left a lot to be desired.

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