Staying Home (The Call of Home #3) by Alexa Milne #mm #review @Alexa_Milne @PridePublishing

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You can never escape yourself.

It has been a year since the death of Brodie ‘Tosh’ Mackintosh’s husband, Harry. Unable to face all the memories of their life together, he moves into the house of his best friend, Darach McNaughton, and is comforted by the local Church of Scotland minister, Sam Carmichael, the middle of the five Carmichael brothers.

Sam Carmichael has always been a bit different from his siblings. He’s the only blond in a family of redheads, and the only one with religious beliefs. He also has more than one secret.

Can these two men overcome the events of their pasts and find truth and comfort with each other? And, when all their secrets are revealed, will they be forced apart or be able to plan on staying home together?addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da14ruth-tag

What happens when the minister who is counseling a parishioner after the untimely death of his husband falls in love the parishioner? That’s exactly what Staying Home by [] explores. Sam {} is a minister in a small village in Scotland, just one town over from where he grew up. He finds himself in the position of being a confidant for Brodie “Tosh” McIntosh after the sudden death of Tosh’s husband, Harry, and soon realizes he is developing feelings for the other man that go far beyond what’s proper in a ministerial relationship. As if that weren’t enough, no one knows that Sam is gay – not his family, not his church, no one.

At first, the temptation is just that, only a temptation. Tosh is very clear that he is still grieving his husband and not yet ready to move on. However, when those feelings start to change, things suddenly get very complicated for both men. Sam has more secrets in his past than just being gay, and those secrets could affect their future in very real ways. Not to mention that the Church of Scotland has only recently voted to allow gay ministers in marriage relationships. If the two are to be together, this can’t be merely a casual relationship. Is Tosh really ready for a committed relationship? Is Sam willing to risk everything to be with him publicly? How are their families and the town going to react?

I loved that this book tackled two adult men with pasts and complicated issues around relationships trying to figure out how to merge and manage their mutual baggage. I know romances are escapist by nature, but I think this is something about the reality of falling in love as an adult rather than a young person that romances often miss. Sam and Tosh had complex histories and jobs and families to navigate around. This made for a much more interesting story than one that is all passion and heady falling in love. The characters and their mutual realities really drove the story.

That being said, there were a couple of issues that kept this book from being a total win/win for me. For one, the sex scenes came off as graphic and mechanical rather than sensual. Most of us are pretty familiar with how Tab A fits into Slot B. I really don’t need a detailed description of sounds and grunts smells. In general, details are good, but there is a such thing as overkill in writing descriptions and the sex descriptions in this book tipped over the scale for me.

Secondly, the ending of this book came way too fast. Too much was happening too fast really be able to absorb all that was going on. It was like being on a roller coaster running at breakneck speed from one curve to the next without having any room to breathe. In my opinion, the author tried to cram too much into one book and the story would have been better suited to be split into two. Even so, I really enjoyed the book overall.


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Kindle | Pride Publishing