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Guest reviewer for Paranormalhaven.com. Goofy and gregarious, although mostly sensible. Love to chat about books! :)

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The Summer He Came Home (Bad Boys of Crystal Lake)

The Summer He Came Home - Juliana Stone ****Posted as a guest review over at paranormalhaven.com**** I’ve been reading a lot more contemporary romance as of late, and I picked up The Summer He Came Home because it looked like it would be a nice, sweet read. And generally, it was. You have a struggling single mom, the bad boy rock star, and a cute little boy that talks more like an adult. Maggie O’Rourke has come to Crystal Lake to escape her past and start anew with her little son, Michael. Cain Black has returned to Crystal Lake for a funeral of one his childhood pals and for a little R&R (aka rest and relaxation) after a blowout with one of his band members.They meet one another at the funeral and Cain is immediately entranced, Maggie less so. Quite a bit of Cain’s perspective focuses on Maggie’s looks, and while this is natural, it did get to be somewhat repetitive and yanked me out of the story. Understandably, Maggie is leery of Cain and his reputation, but Cain wins over Michael, and Maggie soon follows suit. I really enjoyed that Cain wasn’t put off by what Maggie did for a living, but I did wish the character traits of several side characters were a little less of a cliché. The book states why Cain left and how he isn’t all that close to his mother, but I do think the book could have benefited with more scenes between both of them. As it is, they only have a couple of scenes between the two of them, and I would’ve liked to have seen more interaction between mother and son.There does come a time when Michael reveals to Cain why Maggie’s so hesitant about getting involved with him, but I felt the revelation would have been more organic had it come from Maggie herself. This plot point doesn’t cover anything new, and the way it plays out is extremely predictable and just a little tiresome. On the plus side, Cain’s interaction with his buddies came across as solid, touching, with just the right amount of humor mixed in. These men know each other well and it shows. There are just a few scenes that touch on Cain and his music and I wish this was showcased just a little bit more. When he’s reminiscing about his past, it’s mostly on his ex-wife and the band member that screwed his ex.The book doesn’t cover any new ground, and there is a lack of depth that left me a little disappointed. But saying that, it still was an enjoyable read, with likable characters and an engaging premise. There definitely is a set up for more books to come, and depending on who they feature, I may come back to revisit these characters.