When You Come Back To Me; Lost Boys #2
(A standalone within a series)
by: Emma Scott
This is a visceral book of emotions. Emma Scott poured fire into my chest and made it burn both bright and dark for these beautiful men.
I don’t ever recall reading a more broken character than Holden Parish. For a man so young he’s already suffered a lifetime of pain, anguish, and abuse just to name a few. He is wise beyond his years and not just because of his high IQ. No, much of his intellect comes from the hard shell he’s had to erect around his heart just to survive the cruel world he was born into. I suppose some would call it street smarts, but he was born in a world far from the streets, as he comes from extreme wealth, his one flaw…he likes boys…and for that his parents set out to correct his behavior, but instead they destroyed his light. From the moment he returns from Alaska, Holden lives a selfish life, hoping it becomes a short one, that is until he meets River.
River Whitmore has everything a senior quarterback could want, except a healthy family and college dreams of his own. His mother is dying and he doesn’t really desire to pursue college football, those are his father’s dreams. However, River has placed his desires, his dreams in a box, high on a shelf where he doesn’t think about them because everyone else is a priority. River has a dream of running his father’s car shop, having a family, living a simple life, but considering he’s never dated, his father dreams of him playing in the NFL and his mother is a few months from dying, his life isn’t his own that’s why River never pulls out those boxes in his head, what’s the point. River is completely selfless, that is until he meets Holden and his life begins to change.
It’s amazing how easy words hurt. What you are told, the emotional damage and lasting damage it can do. Once you believe words about yourself, they go bone deep and your self worth relies on those truths.
Holden comes to Santa Cruz broken. He’s at a point where he should have the tools to be able to help himself, but his truth is based on years of abuse, so any chance of helping himself can only go so far, even with River’s loving guidance. Oh….River is so patient with Holden’s self destructive behaviour, but River is patient with everyone in his life, anyway…Holden truly doesn’t believe there is anything to fix. The conversion therapy, that his parents sent him to, did work in a sick twisted way, just not in the way they were hoping. Holden covers up all of his pain with snark, sass, and lots of alcohol (which is highly endearing and also heartbreaking), but he’s so broken that I sobbed for him to find his worth. At the end of the day everyone has worth and he felt so worthless.
River on the other hand is delusioned with keeping everything in tidy boxes. He is so fixated on helping everyone around him that he never stops to fix himself. He most likely would have gone his entire life alone – an unsolved math problem – until Holden walked into his life, or more like stormed into his life. He never knew what he was missing until it was in front of his face, but Holden gave River fire and passion and once he experience it he was reluctant to let it go, even with Holden’s baggage. Holden’s needy soul craves River’s warmth and affection. And given that River is a natural provider they were a perfect match. Yes, he has his family to thank for all of River’s confidence and you will love them all, but like his name…River is steady and ever flowing.
While this would be categorized under a coming of age story, this is so much more than that. These boys, or men, are beyond years in experience with what is happening in their lives. This story revolves around addiction, abuse, grief, hardships that many people don’t have to experience until much later in life or ever. Yes, this is more than just a romance, it will touch your soul.
At Santa Cruz Central High School, they called them the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos. But most of us knew them as the Lost Boys…
Holden Parish survived his parents’ horrific attempts to make him “the perfect son.” After a year’s stint in a Swiss sanitarium to recover, he has vowed to never let anything–or anyone–trap him again. Brilliant but broken, he seeks refuge behind alcohol, meaningless sex, and uses his wicked sense of humor to keep people away. He only has to ride out one year in the coastal town of Santa Cruz with his aunt and uncle before he inherits his billions and can make his escape. Disappear.
Falling in love is not in the plans.
River Whitmore. Star quarterback of the Central High football team, Prom King, Mr. Popular, ladies’ man. He leads the perfect life…except it’s all a lie. His father has River’s future in the NFL all planned out, while River’s dream is to run the family business in the town that he loves. But his mother’s illness is tearing the family apart and River is becoming the glue that holds them together. How can he break his father’s heart when it’s already shattering?
River’s carefully-crafted façade explodes when he meets Holden Parish. A guy who dresses in coats and scarves year-round, drinks expensive vodka, and spends his free time breaking into houses for the fun of it. They’re complete opposites. River seeks a quiet life, away from the spotlight. Holden would rather have dental surgery than settle down.
Holden’s demons and River’s responsibilities threaten to keep them apart, while their undeniable attraction crashes them together again and again, growing into something deep and real no matter how they resist.
Until one terrible night changes everything.
#MMromance Please note, this book contains spoilers for The Girl in the Love Song