This is the third book in the Pine River series… And my favorite. All three books deal with some heavy problems, but The Perfect Homecoming has a wonderful balance of sorrow, love, redemption, and humor.
Emma left L.A. for the Pine River mountains to deal with the ranch her jerk of a father left to her and her two half-sisters. While the three sisters figured out how to get along, an old acquaintance of Emma’s turned up in Pine River. A really good-looking acquaintance. One Emma remembered sharing a few sparks with the first time they met at a Hollywood party.
Although Cooper went to Pine River for work, he was able to break through Emma’s walls and start a relationship with her, as well as growing close with Emma’s friends and family.
My favorite part of this book was how realistic Cooper’s confusion was when Emma acted a little crazy. The plot line with Emma’s friend Leo was beyond heartwarming. Family love, friend love, and romantic love all play big parts in this complex, beautifully written novel. And London tied them all together at the wedding at the end of the book.
Sigh. I wanted to love this book. I liked some of it, like the romance, the realistic struggles of Libby and Sam, and the changes happening at the ranch.
But Libby’s relationship with her mom and sisters needed more development. I would have preferred more of that subplot than about Libby’s ex-boyfriend and her stalker-ish behavior. Reading about Libby’s obsession and Ryan’s pathological lies was just depressing. I wanted to skip the downhearted ramblings. I know depression is real, as is alcoholism and PTSD… I just didn’t expect them all to be subplots in a romance novel!
If you loved Pine River #1, and you’re okay with real life struggles making up a big part of a romance novel, you really will enjoy Return to Homecoming Ranch. As for me, I like my happily ever afters preceded by predictable solutions to the small problems in life. 🙂