Friday, 15 August 2014


HOME THE HARD WAY by Z.A. Maxfield
Pages: 230
Date: 14/08/2014
Grade: 3.5
Details: Received from
            Through Love Romances and More

The blurb:

Dare Buckley has come home—or at least, he’s come back to Palladian, the small town he left as a teenager. After a major lapse in judgment forced him to resign from the Seattle PD, Palladian is the only place that’ll hire him. There’s one benefit to hitting rock bottom, though: the chance to investigate the mystery of his father’s suicide. 

Dare also gets to reacquaint himself with Finn Fowler, whose childhood hero worship ended in uncomfortable silence when Dare moved away. But Finn isn’t the same little kid Dare once protected. He’s grown into an attractive, enigmatic stranger who neither wants nor needs what Dare has to offer. 

In fact, Dare soon realizes that Finn’s keeping secrets—his own and the town’s. And he doesn’t seem to care that Dare needs answers. The atmosphere in Palladian, like its namesake river, appears placid, but dark currents churn underneath. When danger closes in, Dare must pit his ingenuity against his heart, and find his way home the hard way.

My thoughts:

I’m having a very hard time trying to figure out what to say about this book. It swept me from one extreme to another while I was reading. There were portions of this book I adored and drank in as slowly as I could just to savour them. And then there were sections of the story I couldn’t get through fast enough because they either irritated me or seemed to contradict the images I had formed in my mind.

In fact I had a love/hate relationship with both the characters and the story itself. When the book started I fell for Finn almost immediately while Dare left me cold. As the story unfolded that perception shifted. Dare seemed to become more defined as a character while Finn became ever more obscure. By the end of the book Dare had completely won me over but I still had reservations about Finn. Most importantly, I still had reservations about Finn being the right man for Dare. And since ‘Home the Hard Way’ is a romance, not quite seeing the connection between the two characters by the time the story ends is probably not what the author had in mind.

On the other hand – and this is where my dilemma becomes clear – I liked that the story kept me guessing. The mystery in this book wasn’t just who had committed murder, or who was after Finn, or what had happened to Dare’s father or even why things were happening. The far more intriguing mystery in this book was why the characters reacted the way they did and whether or not they’d be able to overcome whatever was holding them back for long enough to see that they might be good together.

The scenes describing Dare’s submission to Finn were breathtaking. Not only were they very hot, they also gave the reader a wonderful insight into everything going on in Dare’s head and all the conflicting emotions he was dealing with.

It is possible this book was just a little bit too dark for me. Most if not all characters in this story seem to have deep and at times heartbreaking issues. I can’t help feeling that the book would have benefitted from a bit of light relief here and there.

In short I would call this a mostly fascinating story with quite a few gorgeous scenes. The writing is good and the story keeps the reader guessing. If you like your stories a little bit darker with some clever plotting, a lot of emotion and sexy scenes, you’ll probably enjoy ‘Home the Hard Way’.

No comments:

Post a Comment