Guest Review: Homecoming by Shannon Stacey

The New York Times bestselling author of Defending Hearts returns to small-town New Hampshire where a substitute football coach and a guidance counselor tackle love.

They were the golden boys of fall: Stewart Mills High School’s legendary championship football team. Fourteen years later, they’re back to relive their glory, save the team—and find themselves again . . .

Sam Leavitt has returned home to Stewart Mills with one goal: to fill in for Coach McDonnell and lead the high school football team to the championship. He doesn’t have time for distractions or commitments—but he’s unable to resist falling for the sexy guidance counselor he shared a hot night with months ago.

Jen Cooper knows what she’s looking for long-term, and it’s not Sam—even though the night they shared was explosive. Now, with Sam back in town and working by her side, picking up where they left off is too great a temptation to resist. But before long their fun fling is looking like a future together. And as the championship approaches, Sam is faced with a big decision that will either break them apart—or help them find their way home.



So… since I’m having a hard time with this review, let me break it down into a what I liked/what I didn’t like.

What I Liked:
- Sam. Sam is hot, and clearly has a big heart. He’s the perfect romance novel hero.
- Jen. Jen is your typical small town girl that I grew up around. Her heart is clearly with her hometown, even when she’s with Sam. It’s extremely endearing.
- The premise. I really do like the story. It’s a great story about giving back to the community that you’re a part of. The whole thing reminded me of the TV show Friday Night Lights.
- Sam and Jen’s chemistry. They began hot and heavy, but wound up being so much more. Their characters were just written to be perfect for one another. Reminiscent of the typical high school romance. His role of coach is similar to the star quarterback who helms the team, and her role as counselor is similar to the head cheerleader who supports her team.
- The relationships between so many of the characters. They’re heartfelt and real. None of them seem out of place or forced for the sake of the writing. It’s very nice.

What I Didn’t Like:
- It’s soooooooooooooo slllllloooooooooooooooowwwwwwww. There’s a reason that I’ve never been a fan of Nicholas Sparks’ books. It isn’t because of the content – I think the content is amazing. It’s the pacing of the book. It is SO hard to get in to something that just isn’t moving. I know this series is notoriously slow, which has been fine thus far, but this one seemed to be braking the entire time.
- Drama. Unnecessary drama. 45 minutes is a make or break deal? SERIOUSLY?! Are we in high school? Oh, wait……… But in all seriousness. When you’ve met your match for life (or in the book world, as we call it, your happily ever after), you’re honestly going to tell me that 45 minutes is where the line in the sand is drawn? Come on. I know it turned out okay in the end, but I seriously wanted to smack myself for how ridiculous that was. SERIOUSLY.

Overall, the book is a good read. It really is. It’s a sweet story with a fantastic premise. There’s nothing more romantic than two people that live the values of their jobs and find romance with one another. Just accept the fact that there’s going to be a slow pace and a little bit of childish drama, and you’ll be able to truly enjoy the story for what it’s supposed to be.

Rating: 3.5 Stars 

I read and reviewed a paperback copy of the book gifted to the blog, from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own.


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