In Come Home to Me by Brenda Novak, after 2 years away, Presley is back in Whiskey Creek to live, to be near her sister, and to open her own business. She never expected to run into Aaron - the man she perceives as a threat to all she holds dear - if he learns her secret. Once, Aaron and Presley had a lot of chemistry together, and always wound up in bed. He's from a low point in her life, one she is determined not to return to, and she is determined to steer clear of Aaron.
Aaron thought he and Presley once had a connection, but it was a bad time for both of them. He has always felt bad about his lack of support for Presley when her mother died...and shortly after that she just disappeared. He hasn't seen her since, and although he tried a few times to find out where she was from her sister Cheyenne, he never did find her. Now she's back, they've both changed and bettered themselves...and he can't help the spark of attraction he still feels for her. She feels it too, she admits to once having loved him, but she is not going down that path again, no matter how much chemistry is between them. Presley is ready to settle down and make a life for her and her son, to marry someone who loves her. Aaron has had no thought of marrying and settling down, but he'd really like to see where things with Presley and him might go. He is moving on...can't they have right now? Presley tries desperately to resist him, even dating someone else, but her efforts are futile to the heat between her and Aaron.
If her secret gets out though, that could change everything...and then what? Can they safely have here and now without Presley getting her heart broken? Aaron seems to think so...but soon Presley starts to mean more to him than he anticipated...Where does that leave things with them when he leaves to open the garage in Reno? How will Aaron feel when he finds out the truth? Because some secrets are never supposed to be secrets.
Along with Presley and Aaron's story, we get a strong secondary story with Cheyenne (Presley's sister) and her husband Dylan. Between the two of them meddling in Presley's life and Cheyenne's planned deception of her husband, they turn into a large part of Home to Me. There are various other secondary characters you will recognize from the other Whiskey Creek books who pop in and make appearances.
I found it very hard to feel any connection to Presley in Come Home to Me, and what connection I did feel to Cheyenne got weaker. Presley was not someone I would want to be friend with, she comes across as very judgemental, makes huge assumptions, and generally hard to like. She is not being honest with Aaron, or even her sister, instead of just standing up to her. She is honest about what she wants, but then turns around and assumes she knows what Aaron wanted and wants in the future. I didn't feel there was a lot of character development or growth in Presley. Cheyenne seemed to have digressed significantly from the strong character I felt she was previously.
Aaron, while he made his mistakes and bad choices, was honest. He was a stronger character than Presley's. His brother Dylan is the one I felt the most for, and mostly it was sadness about what's happening that he doesn't know about. I've always loved Dylan.
Besides the incredible difficulty finding positives about some of the characters, Come Home to Me is well written, clear, and easy to read. I love the small town feel of Whiskey Creek, and the appearance of characters from past books. If not for the strong presence of Dylan and Cheyenne, I would consider this a stand alone, but because of their influence in Come Home to Me, I strongly recommend reading the other books in the series to get a good feel for the character.
I will read the next book in this series to see where Brenda takes us next.