Story Rating: 4.25 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Greg Boudreaux
Length: 5 hours, 14 minutes
Audiobook Buy Links: Amazon/Audible | iBooks
Book Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks
Twenty years ago, Paxton Marshall realized he liked boys when he had a crush on his older brother’s best friend, Brad Watson. Pax never dreamed the popular Brad would ever be interested in him, but that hasn’t stopped Pax’s attraction from continuing all these years. Now Brad is back in Ames Bridge for his high school reunion and when he gets in touch, Pax figures Brad is just interested in catching up. He has no idea that Brad has come home with the express intention of finally sharing with Pax how he feels about him.
As it turns out, both Pax and Brad have been harboring an attraction to each other since their teens. And when they finally share their feelings, the guys act on the connection that has long been building. But Pax is still wary. Even though Brad is considering returning to Ames Bridge for good, he is just now coming out to the town and Pax knows it won’t be easy. He is afraid that once Brad sees what it is like to be out in the small town, he isn’t going to want to stay and Pax will be hurt. So even as he is falling for Brad, Pax wants to keep his distance. Now Pax must decide if he can trust in Brad’s feelings and take a chance on happiness, or if he is going to lose the man he has wanted for years.
The Past Comes Home is the second book in Silvia Violet’s Ames Bridge series. While we meet Pax in the first book, Down on the Farm, and Beck and Cal appear here as side characters, this story stands alone just fine. It does, however, reconnect us with the often endearing, sometimes frustrating small town of Ames Bridge and their collection of colorful characters.
I think the best thing about this story for me is the connection between Pax and Brad. We know right away that both of these men have been pining for one another for 20 years. Somehow Violet makes it feel realistic that their attraction has lasted for so long and I never doubted the strength of their feelings or interest in one another. When they reunite, the chemistry between them is intense and that is what really carries the story. Violet avoids the obvious conflict by having Brad make it clear early on to Pax that he is, in fact, gay and that he is interested in Pax. So these guys are able to really find a strong connection early on and I could believe in and support their relationship.
The main focus of the conflict is Pax’s uncertainty and fear about getting too involved with Brad when he is likely to go back home. Brad is determined to at least consider life in Ames Bridge, but having lived there, Pax knows it is not an easy place to be out and gay. Pax worries he is going to fall for Brad and get his heart broken when Brad realizes he doesn’t want to live there after all. So Pax really needs to open up and trust and listen to what Brad is saying. And Brad needs to take some time to really think about what he wants and what will make him happy. So we do have some conflict here as these guys work through the details, but overall this is a romantic and sexy story of two not quite lovers reunited.
As with the first book, I listened to this in audio with narrator Greg Boudreaux. He does a great job with this story, giving it a lot of warmth. I could really feel the connection between men and Boudreaux provides just the right intensity to showcase their feelings for one another and their intimate moments. The recurring characters felt consistent with the previous book and the story is smooth easy listening. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this one in audio format.
So The Past Comes Home is another great installment in this series. Knowing who comes next in book 3 and catching a glimpse of them here has me very excited to continue on. So if you are looking for a romantic and sexy small town romance, definitely check out this book and this series.