My Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Category: New Adult
Type of romance: MF
*PLEASE NOTE: This is a free gift from Melody for anyone who has read the first three Lyrics of Love novels. Download link is found in the Lyrics of Love novels.*
She’s a country girl who wants big city fame. He’s a small town bartender who wants to stay put. Will their love for each other be enough to bring them back together?
This is it!
Finally, my shot at the big time is being handed to me on a silver platter.
The only downside is having to leave Josh in order to pursue what I’ve always wanted.
But I have to take this chance. Los Angeles is calling me, and I can’t resist.
I want to promise Josh that I’ll come back one day, but I don’t know if I will.
What if this turns into everything I dreamed of? My name and face on an album cover. My voice on the radio.
It’s all I want.
Or maybe it’s not.
This silver platter ain’t lookin’ too shiny and I’m starting to realize that maybe I’m just a no-nothing small town girl that’s bitten off more than she can chew.
But I signed myself a contract and they’re telling me that breaching it will ruin not only me, but the man I’ve always loved. So, I have to stay, for Josh and the bar he’s put his life savings into.
I had to let her go.
It’s killing me, but she’s too talented and full of life for this small town.
Maybe I knew it all along, but just didn’t want to admit it.
Now she’s gone, and I’m lost.
I love her, but I’ve never said the words.
How am I supposed to now?
She needs me to support her great big adventure, but how can I when she’s gone and left me without my heart?
Do I follow her?
Or do I just start prayin’ she’ll come back home to me?
My Hometown Hero is a free standalone book in the Lyrics of Love sweet contemporary romance series. If you like country ballads, gorgeous cowboys and redemptive journeys, then you’ll love Melody Sweet’s heartfelt novel.
This book was previously published as Home by Melissa Pearl. It has been rewritten and re-edited to this sweet romance edition. Enjoy!
After reading the first 3 books in this series I quickly jumped into the next book. This one is set between book 3 and 4. It has ties with both book 3 and 4 in a way and I think this series can be best read in order, but this one easily works as a standalone as well.
My Hometown Hero was not an easy book to read. Rachel the female main character leaves the small town of Payton and the boy she loves to follow her dreams of singing and playing on a stage, but quickly realizes she got in over her head. She has to do things she doesn’t want to and lands in a bad place. It was hard to read those parts, but then once you get through that she has a great redemption journey where she figures out what she really wants and what success and home means to her. Josh also is a bad place for most of the book and I thought his part of the story wasn’t as interesting, until later in the book when he meets Nessa, which I think forms the set-up for book 4. So it was a bit of a mixed bag, the first half was hard to read, but the second half or so was a lot more enjoyable.
The romance in this one is done a bit differently than in most romance books. Josh and Rachel actually are already a couple at the start of the book, then they break up and eventually find their way back. I liked this unusual set-up, but at the same time that set-up and the way they spend most of the book apart did make it difficult to feel their romance. I did like them together and it was clear they cared about one another, but I just wanted to feel their romance more and really get why they fell for one another.
The characters are very stubborn at times which can be annoying to read about at times. There also is a bit of lack of communication/ miscommunication. And while it was necessary for the plot for things to go this way, it felt a bit forced to me. It also was a bit too much drama in how things progressed between them at times. There was plenty of opportunity they had to make things right or talk things through, especially at the start. I also wanted to feel Rachel’s struggle to leave a bit more. She also dreamed of going up on the stage and I get that she finally got that chance. But I didn’t feel her conflict as much, she was leaving Josh and Payton, but I never felt like it was such a difficult decision for her. And while she realizes Josh is her home eventually, I would’ve liked to feel that a bit more at the start.
There also was plenty I liked about the characters. Rachel had that realistic naive personality that felt like it was realistic. She wants to follow her dreams so much and doesn’t realize the ins and outs and accidentally runs headlong into trouble. I thought the author wrote that part well and it felt realistic. I really felt for her when she lands into trouble and keeps doing things she doesn’t want to to protect Josh. Josh was this nice and caring guy, although he had a bit of a temper and jealously (for the most part warranted) as well. I thought it was an interesting how Josh had trouble saying what he felt and how he is afraid of caring for people and losing them. When he’s alone it’s so clear how much Rachel means to him, but for some reason it didn’t always come out when he was talking to her.
I liked the message this book has, about how home is where the heart is and there are different ways to follow your dreams. That love is worth fighting for and to discover what is you truly want. It also has a more sadder message about how people can take advantage of you if you’re not careful and how people make mistakes and mess up. And it’s also about forgiveness and redemption.
My favorite part of this book was probably the cross over to the other books in this series. There is a nice tie in with book 3 and we see the main characters from that book. It was lovely to see them again and I liked the role they played in Rachel’s journey and seeing them from another perspective was fun. I also liked how we get to meet Nessa, who will be the main character of the next book. This book tells a bit about her and an important event which will set the stage for her book I think. At first this book reads more like a standalone, but I liked the connections with other books in the series in the later part of the book.
To summarize: I like this series and the way this book ties into it. This book had parts I liked and others that didn’t work as well for me. The book was a bit sad and difficult to read due to what Rachel goes through. The lack of communication between the two main characters also bothered me. Josh’ part of the story was less interesting as there wasn’t as much going on in his life at first and it’s just sad to see how much he misses Rachel. Rachel and Josh already start off as a couple and while it make for an unique set-up with them losing each other and then finding their way together again, it was hard to full feel the romance as it was already established and we didn’t see them together as much. Both characters were likable and I liked how they felt realistic, except for the few moments when they had to communicate and they somehow didn’t say the right thing. I liked the messages this book had about forgiveness and how you can have different dreams or ways to fulfill them. I liked seeing the characters from book 3 again and how we meet one of the main characters of book 4 and get a bit of her story. All in all this book didn’t fully work for me as well as some of the others in the series, but it was still a good read and I look forward to book 4.
You can also read my review on Goodreads