Book Review: Home the Hard Way by Z.A. Maxfield

Reviewed by JustJen

1Title: Home the Hard Way
Author: Z.A. Maxfield
Heroes: Dare Buckley/Finn Fowler
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 230 Pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: July 28, 2014
Available at: Riptide Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and All Romance eBooks
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb:  Dare Buckley has come home—or at least, he’s come back to Palladian, the small town he left as a teenager. After a major lapse in judgment forced him to resign from the Seattle PD, Palladian is the only place that’ll hire him. There’s one benefit to hitting rock bottom, though: the chance to investigate the mystery of his father’s suicide.

Dare also gets to reacquaint himself with Finn Fowler, whose childhood hero worship ended in uncomfortable silence when Dare moved away. But Finn isn’t the same little kid Dare once protected. He’s grown into an attractive, enigmatic stranger who neither wants nor needs what Dare has to offer.

In fact, Dare soon realizes that Finn’s keeping secrets—his own and the town’s. And he doesn’t seem to care that Dare needs answers. The atmosphere in Palladian, like its namesake river, appears placid, but dark currents churn underneath. When danger closes in, Dare must pit his ingenuity against his heart, and find his way home the hard way.(


Review: This story took its time sucking me in. There is a lot going on here with people dying and mysteries to be solved, both old and new.

It starts out with Dare coming back to town with his tail between his legs. He is still determined to find out why his father killed himself all those years ago. In the middle of everything is Finn, a young guy who has basically been bullied his whole life by just about everyone in town. Most of it stems from his whoring mother, but he is also different looking with two different eye colors, being gay, etc. Dare stood up for him when they were kids, and now that he’s back, wants to jump right back into that role. Unfortunately, Dare is a bit of a closet case, though this seems mostly to have to do with his job.

Finn is such a troubled soul, with many secrets. One of which is his domination of certain members of the community. Finn is very detached, believing he never has boyfriends, only people he screws. Even though there are times when he thinks he wants more, he reverts back again. Through it all, he is taking care of his dying aunt, the only one to really show him any love. She pushes him to open his heart and look for more.

Finn and Dare have quite a time trying to restart their relationship that began as more of a hero worshiping than anything else. But the roles are a bit reversed now, or are they? Does Finn still need Dare to protect and stand up for him? Or is Dare the one who really needs it now? It was interesting to see the tables turn and Dare wanting more than master/control play. The scenes were really hot and very well done.

So this story is about starting over, second chances and learning the people you know now are not the people you knew then. Finn and Dare still seem to have much to learn about each other, and I’d love to read more about how they are getting along. The secrets and mysteries and twists and turns abound in a well-put together story. I would have liked to have seen a little more about how Finn got to where he did with the BDSM.

There are also some wonderful side characters here (Lyddie), and some not so wonderful but which I still wouldn’t mind seeing again (Bill). Poor Bill has almost as many issues as Finn but ends up not having anyone to help him in the end.

Overall Impression: I really liked it

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, JustJen's Reviews, LGBT, Published in 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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