November 4, 2014

REVIEW: Home (Social Media #6)

Home (Social Media #6), by JA Huss
To Be Published November 5, 2014
Publisher: Science Future Press
Format: e-book, obtained from the author
Genre: adult contemporary romance/suspense
To Buy: Amazon 

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) I just want my Grace back.

I want the girl I found sending me dirty tweets on Saint Thomas. I want the girl who reluctantly gave in to my charms and let me boss her around. I want the girl who sent me to my knees and made me imagine what her fairy tale would look like with me in it.

I just want to move on.

I want to plan the future and think about kids and preschools and college funds. I want everything she ever wanted, and I want us to make it happen together.

But the media needs more from us. More dirt. More pain. More payment for past transgressions.

You can’t change the past. And even though Grace is ready to put her demons to bed, mine are just starting to get restless. Because when you’ve silenced as many enemies as I have over the years, you know that secret won’t stay buried forever.

Can I offer you a piece of advice? If you were one of those people who read FOLLOW (Social Media #1) and decided to abandon the series because there wasn't enough of this or that or there was too much of this or that - please, for the love of all that is good and right in the world, try again, and this time, KEEP READING. The difference in the story line and the characters and... just, EVERYTHING... is huge between the first and the last book.

It's called a STORY ARC. And, this one is spectacular.

In HOME, Grace is dealing with the aftermath of her ordeal. Or rather - NOT dealing with it. She's not the same Grace, and Vaughn has no idea what to do about it. Meanwhile, Vaughn has another problem. He's being blackmailed by a member of the paparazzi, and if he doesn't give in to their demands, it could ruin both he and Grace. 

If you've read this far, you know that the stuff that Grace has gone through would bring nearly anyone to their knees. The fact that she's still on her feet is a testament to her strength. And the fact that Vaughn is still, not only by her side, but holding her up is evidence of how much he truly and completely loves her. But, anyone who could think that even Grace could make it through everything completely unscathed is nuts. And, I'm so glad that JA Huss didn't make it easy on her. It shouldn't be easy. 

"I feel the guilt of living. I feel the pain of knowing I am alone. That my family is dead. That my brother never got a chance to be there for me when I needed him. For my parents, who were as nonexistent at my own wedding as I was. For all the family members who turned their backs on me."

I felt... so much... for Grace in Home. She's struggling so much with the events of the past few months. She's trying to force herself to get over it all and adjust to her new life as Mrs. Vaughn Asher. She has no job at the moment, no friends - no real purpose or place to focus her time or attention. So, she focuses inward and gets stuck in her own head. 

Vaughn has no blessed idea what to do. He knows he loves her more than ever. He knows he admires her resilience and strength. And, he knows she's completely miserable. But, as to how to fix it all, he's clueless. Vaughn's used to being able to snap his fingers, and things happen. He has money, charisma and power. Yet, none of it can help in this situation. He has to put all his faith in Grace and her love. And, that's a new thing for him. 

Goodness - that man. When I think back to the Vaughn Asher in Follow and Like who was looking to break Grace's carefully hewn facade, it's clear that no parts of him are visible any longer. Everything he's learned about Grace has affected his life and shown him that having a real connection with someone who challenges you and loves you and supports you is so much better than a superficial, somewhat kinky connection with someone who is here today and gone tomorrow. 

"I can't leave here without you. I can't. I've never wanted a woman so much in all my life. And I don't want you just for sex, Grace. I want you for that and more. I want you for lying in bed naked on a Sunday afternoon. I want to cook dinners with you. I want to buy a puppy together and give him a ridiculous name, like Boris or Dave. Please be mine, Grace."

In Home, Vaughn and Grace face one final hurdle together. The paparazzi - well, one in particular - are determined to make Vaughn pay for his past transgressions. We've seen a bit of this in previous books, when some girl came out of the woodwork, claiming to be pregnant with his baby. Well, the media are out for blood now, and are prepared to take Grace out in the process. All of a sudden, Vaughn has a lot more to lose. He's trying to get his Grace back, and this could destroy all his hard work. In my opinion, Vaughn being who he is, makes some bad choices here so that he can protect Grace. He doesn't give her enough credit. To be fair, they're both still trying to figure out what their roles are in the relationship and what each other can truly handle. But, he definitely should've trusted her with all the information he had. 

Instead, Vaughn tries to go it alone, and Grace is forced to prove to him that she's got this. And, she totally does. I think he falls in love with her a little more each time she does that. No one else has ever put him in his place like she does. 

Grace's discovery of her new family - the Asher family - and her confrontation with her old one were some of the best parts of Home. She finally cut ties with the chains that were dragging her down, and discovered that, when she snagged Vaughn, that he came with a mom and a dad and a sister and a brother and a strange adopted daughter relationship thing with Felicity. And, all those people are now her people too. Grace deserves all that. 

I said it before - the story arc for this series is awesome. What started out as a story about two people getting their kink on turned out to be a psychological mind screw and an epic love story all rolled into one. With some kink on the side. Because, well, every good story needs a little kink now and again. 

"I have never felt this sure of something in my whole life. Ever. You, baby. You are the secret to life. You are my reason for being. You are my soulmate. We are tethered by a string. Some mystical string that connects us and has connected us since our inception. And the day I saw your sandaled foot step out of that dingy airport shuttle, I knew. You were my other half. It's the only explanation for how I feel about you. And I tried to deny it. tried to prove to myself that this arrangement with you was... ordinary. What we have is so far from ordinary, Grace. It's not a connection. It's a reconnection." 


Bookworm Brandee said...

Lovely, fabulous review, Krista!! I particularly like your first paragraph. ;) I thought Home was the perfect way for things to end with Grace and Vaughn. I'm so glad you felt that way, too.

Unknown said...

Wonderful review! I want to read this one even more, but at the same time I'm sad to say goodbye to Vaughn and Grace. This serial is amazing and I'm beyond delighted knowing that this last installment is that great. :)