Massey, TX 1
After sixteen years in the Marine Corps, Rhys Hollister is returning to Massey, Texas with a heavy weight bearing down on him. His father’s life hangs in the balance, marring any pleasure he finds in coming back home. Finally meeting Gwen Baker, his father’s doctor and family friend, comes as an unexpected pleasure in a time of such sadness.
Having never met the elusive Rhys, though she knows his mother and sister well, Gwen gets quite the shock when she first sets eyes on the man. There’s a connection between them, deeper than either have ever felt, and one strong enough to last a lifetime. The timing isn’t ideal, but their feelings won’t be denied forever.
All it takes is a celebration, some time alone together, and a mutually burning desire hot enough to rival a Texas summer. When they are in each other’s arms, it’s just like coming home.
June 20, 2014
Sixteen years ago, he’d left his hometown of Massey, Texas to join the Marines. He’d wanted out of the tiny town, and it had been the only way to do it without upsetting his mother. She hadn’t been thrilled with the idea, but she had understood his need to follow in his father’s footsteps.
It wasn’t like he hadn’t been back home. He’d been home on leave and between tours when it was permitted. He’d tolerated his mother’s fussing, and let his baby sister drag him around town to show him all that had changed while he’d been away.
Then he’d gotten recruited onto an elite team. One he couldn’t talk about with anyone, even his father, a retired Master Sergeant. The trips home had dwindled until they’d finally faded to nearly none seven years ago. He hadn’t been home at all in four years.
Looking at it now through eyes that had seen too much death and destruction, he saw a peaceful and generous place, not the prison he’d been desperate to escape on his eighteenth birthday come hell or high water. It was a place where everyone knew everyone else and looked out for their neighbors. A place where the people banded together in trying times to help those they considered friends and family.
A lot had changed, he realized, as he drove through the center of town in his semi-new truck.
Massey had grown. When he’d left, it had been barely eight hundred souls. Now it was approaching the five thousand mark. Main Street was still the same, but different. It was new and updated, clean and welcoming. He recognized a few faces on the street, citizens starting the long preparation process for the Fourth of July.
Although many turned to check out his truck, not a one would be able to place his face. He was just a stranger passing through in their minds, but he did get a few nods from folks. It was the small town way after all. While they might be a bit wary of strangers, they were always welcoming. So, to each nod, he lifted his fingers from the steering wheel in greeting and dipped his chin.
As he drove along Main Street, the businesses started to thin, making way to homes as he entered the suburbs of town. Suburbs were something Massey hadn’t had sixteen years ago, but they had been starting to show on his last trip. The rapid growth, though, was a shocker. There were whole communities, and actual paved roads. Sidewalks teemed with kids, who were out playing in the below average temperatures for June and enjoying it.
Shaking his head, he rubber-necked the entire way, trying to absorb how his little backwoods town had exploded into a mini metropolis. It was unbelievable. Fucking unbelievable what sixteen years could do. Not just to places, but to people as well.
Turning slowly onto the rural route, he picked up a bit of speed. In the rearview mirror, he could see the rooster tail of dust begin to rise as he got out into the countryside. Six miles to go and he’d be on the land that had passed down through his father’s side of the family. Each man had done his time serving his country, and then had come home to take over and carry on the tradition.
Posted by TracieR on 17th Feb 2017
Through tragedy is it possible for two people to find their forever love.
Rhys Hollister has resigned his post in the marines returning to Massey TX to spend time with his father before he passes. Gwen Baker is the Doctor taking care of Mr. Hollister and the moment these two meet both will find something they had never planned on, each other!
This was a great start to the Massey, TX series and I look forward to reading what comes next
Posted by Luna on 11th Mar 2015
If you are looking for a nice, sweet read, Coming Home by April Zyon is a great book to pick up. It is first in the Massey, TX series and you will find yourself wanting a return trip to town just as soon as you read the last word. I loved Massey and was not ready for Coming Home to end. You would think that a book that started with sadness would find it a difficult task to move toward happier times, but Ms. Zyon did a superb job of moving us past the death of Rhys father. I don’t want to make light of the pain losing a parent brings, but Ms. Zyon did not make it the focus even if it was the reason for Rhys return home. I loved that Gwen’s compassion and empathy was the beginning of their adult relationship. She and Rhys never quite connected in spite of how close their sisters were. But that makes their current connection that much more special. Gwen helped Rhys accept and move past his father’s death but she also sparked his libido. I loved that the relationship grew from mutual respect. Ms. Zyon gave us an old-fashioned courtship story and I adored it. The focus was on the characters. That is not to say that their chemistry was forced or left out because it was obvious that from that caring grew passion. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the residents of Massey and look forward to seeing where Ms. Zyon will take this series.
Posted by Unknown on 20th Dec 2014
Rhys Hollister returned to his hometown of Massey, Texas, a small town that knows everything about everyone. He returned after giving his service to Country, as well as many years of his life. Rhys wasn’t coming home to a military welcome home; however, he was returning home to say goodbye to his father. A man that was himself larger than life. A man cutdown in his prime. I will freely admit that I had a hard time with this because I lost my father to an accident when I was twenty so I was tearful where most people might not be? I felt that the scenes were well written and depicted the loss, but also the strength of the family and their love for each other.
Gwen Baker has known the Hollister family for a number of years, a lifetime, oddly enough she never met Rhys. This part I found a little odd, but stranger things have happened I supposed. I immediately liked Gwen. I thought she was spunky, and the way she spoke of her kid sister and Rhys’s family just made me grin.
Some of the parts that I loved and have highlighted in my Kindle?
There is a scene with a pen-mic that had me utterly rolling in laughter. I mean seriously, epic awesomeness there. And what’s best? I could so see that happening because when you get into the “heat” of the moment all things fly out the window that you aren’t typically accustomed to.
I also loved how Rhys Hollister’s family took Gwen in; she had a terrible childhood and a trainwreck of a life, but they accepted her and showed her what family was.
I also completely fell in love with Rhy’s family and would not mind it one small bit if they took me in as well.
What I didn’t like…
The story was short; however I have to add that even though it was short it was well written and clearly sets the stage for more books in this series, which I can’t wait for.
I also felt unsatisfied about the way that Gwen’s “Father” was never truly addressed in the book. I’m hopeful that there will be a showdown in a future book for them. Closure, I feel, would be great for that part of Gwen’s life.
Another thing that I loved? Rhys brought in some of his military buddies to help him help Gwen with her issues and from what I’ve seen so far on Amazon; they are getting books as well. Bring on the hot military men, which the author writes very well indeed!
Posted by Michelle on 15th Sep 2014
Rhys is a marine who is returning home after 16 years. Gwen is a doctor and a family friend, but one he'd never met. Sparks fly when these two meet, only its not the best time for a love affair. Ms. Zyon weaves a tale of love mixed with a mystery and throw in some danger and you've got all the makings for a great story. Although this is a short story, you can see she has set up the beginning of a fantastic series and I can't wait for the next.
Posted by Reader2014 on 31st Aug 2014
Good fast read. The story was too short, but overall I enjoyed the book. I hope that the author begins to write longer books because I think that they would be much better.