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Book Review – Pulling Home by Mary Campisi

By Vanessa Kay @blushinggeek

Pulling Home is book one in That Second Chance series by Mary Campisi. What will a second chance at love do to your families? This book has a lot of twists and turns that will really blow your mind. I’m not normally a fan of a second-chance romance, but this one made me stayed late just to finish it. HEA guaranteed.


Book Review – Pulling Home by Mary CampisiPulling Home by Mary Campisi
Series: That Second Chance, #1
First Published January 23rd 2012
Genre: Romance, Contemporary281 pages
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Buy: Amazon, Book Depository
Find on Goodreads

It’s all about that second chance…

Sometimes we’re lucky enough to get that second chance—in life and in love. That Second Chance Series are stories of strong women who battle heartache and loss with courage and determination to find new paths and true love. These books are standalones and are NOT related. Therefore, the characters from one story will not appear in another. What ties them together? A common theme—belief in the beauty of that second chance.

She’ll risk anything to save her child…even the truth

It’s taken nine years and a cross-country move, but Audra Valentine Wheyton has kept her secrets safe. She’s created the perfect life—a husband who loves her, a daughter she adores, and a position as head writer for an award-winning daytime soap. When her husband dies suddenly, Audra returns to her hometown for the funeral and faces a community that has not forgotten her meager beginnings and a man who has never forgiven her for marrying his brother.

Jack Wheyton is a successful pediatric neurosurgeon who is about to become engaged when Audra walks back into his life with her daughter. He forgave his brother long ago for taking something that had been his, something he hadn’t even realized he wanted until it was gone. But forgiving Audra is another story…and forgetting her? Near impossible.

When a shattering illness strikes Audra’s daughter, she turns to Jack to save her child and risks exposing a secret that will change their lives forever.

Review

I was just browsing what book to read until I came across this one, the cover was giving me a suspense vibe and I thought I could need some of that. Plus, the author has the same first name with my favorite suspense author so I had a feeling that it’s going to be good. And dang, I love it when I’m right! The first chapter pulled me instantly because of the mystery. Aside from my favorite author, no other suspense/thriller books I’ve read so far went near her, but dang! This one got a hold of me the instant I read the first chapter. It was crazy because I wasn’t really expecting this at all.

The reason why I’m so hooked with MHC was because I love the mystery, I love the suspense and I love it when a book makes you use all the cells in your brain in order to find out who the bad guy/s are. And the whole time I read this book, I don’t remember even a second that I got bored. I keep thinking who’s the father of the main character is, or if there’s a loose criminal they should be looking out with and dang! I should have seen this coming, haha. I know the name of series should have given me the idea on what to expect of this book, but it’s just that the first chapter gave me mystery so I can’t help but think that this one’s a suspense/mystery.

But before I talk more let me tell you first about this story. Audra Valentine has moved away from her hometown and her past. She married her bestfriend Christian Wheyton and moved to California. She has a young daughter and a wonderful job as a writer for a television series, which apparently based from her personal life. She has managed to keep her identity secret as a writer to keep her private life private. But her life changes dramatically when her husband died. She doesn’t want to return but she must for the funeral. Has the town forgotten about her past? How will her in-laws treat her since they blame her for Christian’s moving to California?

I don’t read sypnosis when I’m about to read the book, so imagine my surprise when I found out that it’s not a suspense story, lol. I was really laughing at myself, haha. But you can’t blame me, the first chapter really had me going about the mystery and Christian’s sudden death didn’t help at all. I was really on high alert because maybe the culprit will be introduced soon and will be disguising as a good guy. This book really had me trick, big time, lol.

For the characters, well, I can’t say I was charmed by Jack but he sure sounds sexy as heck. Whenever he’s mentioned, all I could see is a hot doctor with a smile that will make you lose your senses. Hot right? But surprisingly, I can’t fully love his character. A guy who dumped his girlfriend because she’s distracting his studies and then a few days after realized that he can’t live without her. Eh? But then what kind of person would I be if I wouldn’t give him a chance to explain himself right? So yep, I’ve read and then waited but all I could see is how he’s screwing everything up with his testosterone and with his stupid decisions. Another thing, I don’t really like his current girlfriend but I really pitied the girl. She suffered enough and was really desperate to keep him but then, he was kind of cold with her. But in all fairness, he’s a good son and a good brother (?) I guess.

For Audra, my! She suffered a lot growing up. I don’t even know what I’ll do if I was in her position. It’s crazy growing up without a father and with a mother who can’t seem to behave like one. She was raised by her grandmother and right after graduation in High school she died. So the only one who’s left of her was Christian. He helped her on her feet and even married her. Of all the things happened, I have to say that she’s a tough lady, and a very attractive one actually. But because of her past, people been spreading bad and hurtful rumors about her which keeps getting nastier each day, but she keeps moving and proving them wrong. So I was really glad that after what happened, she finally have the happy ending she deserves.

I love the twist and how the story is running but I can’t say I approve of everything though. There’s some characters in this story  that didn’t deserved what happened to them, like for  example, Christian. Dang! He’s a perfect bff and I can’t believe he’s gone even before I’ve got to know him more. Also, I didn’t really like Leslie that much but she sure was nice enough, but having to experience two failed engagements? Dang! That was really heartless. For a romance book, this one pulled off more than three deaths which isn’t really what normally happens in this genre. That said, it’s definitely not your typical second chance romance.

Honestly, there’s nothing remarkable about the plot where the guy left the girl because she’s a distraction and then found out what’s she’s really worth it but he’s already too late. But what makes this story interesting for me was the mystery, and its clever how the author stretched that out until the ending. I’m not a good detective and I usually end up naming the wrong guy in the end with every MHC books that I’ve read, and in this story I should have focus on the romance part really, but it’s hard when the mystery was literally pricking in my scalp begging for me to scratch.

After finishing this story last night, I instantly gave it a 5-stars rating. But this morning, I’ve been thinking and then realized that there’s some loop holes in this story that I failed to really acknowledge. The author was busy working on making you guess and she’s careful not to mention some clue and the end result, she failed to mention some things in the past that really mattered, like for example, how Christian and Audra first met and became bestfriends. And then those part where Audra and Jack supposedly fell inlove. I still have a two or three questions really, but I was so focus with the mystery that it didn’t really matter at all, so I guess it’s fine. Besides, it’s only the first book of the series, so I guess it’ll be clearer on the next installment. That said, I retracted one star, thus giving this story a 4-stars rating. Not bad eh?

Of all the things happened, what I’m sure is that I was really entertained. That despite all the issues (which I just realized now), I was so engrossed with this story that I ended up staying late so I could finish it. What I remember was that I was laughing most of the time reading this book. It was not even funny really, I dunno, I just keep on laughing that I disturbed our sleeping beauty which he ended up staying awake until I finished this book, lol.

So despite everything, I can still see myself reading this story again. And oops, there’s definitely no cliff hanger and it’s guaranteed HEA.

Challenges

Other Books In The Series

The Way They Were by Mary Campisi | Blushing GeekSimple Riches by Mary Campisi | Blushing GeekParadise Found by Mary Campisi | Blushing GeekNot Your Everyday Housewife by Mary Campisi | Blushing GeekThe Butterfly Garden by Mary Campisi | Blushing Geek

Preview & About The Author


 

Book Review – Pulling Home by Mary CampisiI write emotion-packed books about second chances. Whether contemporary romances, women’s fiction, or Regency historicals, my books all center on belief in the beauty of that second chance.

I should have known I’d become a writer when at age thirteen I began changing the ending to all the books I read. It took several years and a number of jobs, including registered nurse, receptionist in a swanky hair salon, accounts payable clerk, and practice manager in an OB/GYN office, for me to rediscover writing. Enter a mouse-less computer, a floppy disk, and a dream large enough to fill a zip drive. The rest of the story lives on in every book I write.

When I’m not working on my craft or following the lives of five young adult children, I’m digging in the dirt with my flowers and herbs, making compost (yes, making compost!), cooking, reading, walking my rescue lab mix, Cooper, or, on the perfect day, riding off into the sunset with my very own hero/husband on his Ultra Limited aka Harley.

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