Title: Back to You
Author: Chris Scully
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication Date: June 12, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, MM Romance
Format: eBook, Print
Length: ~70,500 words / ~266 pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Journalist Alex Buchanan has come home to the remote British Columbia town he grew up in, but only because his estranged father is dying. For Alex, the homecoming holds a mix of memories, mostly bad. The only bright spot is reconnecting with Benji Morning, the childhood friend he never truly forgot. As boys, the strength of their bond had frightened Alex. But now that he’s confident in his bisexuality, he’s drawn back to quiet, soft-spoken Ben.
Ben isn’t the same boy Alex left behind, though. His life has been overshadowed by the disappearance of his sister two decades earlier, and now a new break in the case threatens to undo the peace he’s worked so hard to attain.
As Alex struggles to repair the relationship with his father before it’s too late, he finds himself caught up in a twenty-year-old mystery, a story he never expected, and a shocking truth that could affect his and Ben’s future together.
♦ Personal Thought ♦
I might have not read all of this author’s books, but from what I have so far Chris Scully somehow managed to play the reader’s emotion (as in mine) with troubled characters. Back to You is such a story. A pair of childhood friends that got separated by circumstances and personal doubt. And that’s only touching part of the issue in the book.
Back to You is a blend of romance with a bit of mystery and …general fiction, really. Told from Alex’s POV, a character who’s far from perfect, I could almost feel their fidgeting leaping off the page. His voice and inner turmoil were genuine, coming from an adult who still harbored childhood’s resentment. I especially found his awkward relationship with his father heart-wrenching, not unlike two-sided love/hate of a confused child.
I’m not too fond of blend-in flash back moments as transpired in this book. However, the way the author wielded it somehow make the whole thing work for me. That said, I wish Ben got to tell his side of POV for added wealth to the story. If nothing, it’ll be interesting to see Alex from other character’s eyes, or – although it’ll no doubt causing more tissue emergency – his complicated relationship with his family. And perhaps to show how strong the connection he and Alex always had.
As for the mystery, it might not be such huge revelation as reader could guess what actually had happened from how the characters acted. But the brownie point was the whole not rushing to tie-up all and any loose ends in the story. The undertaking was there – the prosecution process and everything – and in progress.
To summarize, Back to You is a journey to the past to get to the future. It’s raw, emotional-ridden, and grounded; an unvarnished story with real people.
Advanced copy of this book is kindly provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.