Review: Home to Cedarwood (Single Father Society, #1) by Megan Slayer

Colin Baker owns a book store and he’s back in Cedarwood with his son. He’s looking for a new start after a bad breakup, but he never expected that start to include his old crush, Officer Jordan Hargrove. Jordan hasn’t come out, but if he can score with Colin, then he’s all in. He’s dreamed of hot nights with the quiet man.

After a speeding ticket and some hurt feelings, sparks fly between the bookstore owner and the police officer, but Cedarwood is a small town with small town values, and a gay couple isn’t what the town expects. Colin’s created a support group for single gay fathers and he feels he’s making some difference in Cedarwood. Some folks in Cedarwood are fine with these two men reconnecting, but some aren’t.

Will the naysayers be enough to drive Colin and Jordan apart, or will they make their way together in this small town.
This book and I had some issues. I really liked the premise even though I tend to shy away from the stories where small town homophobia is touted as a main theme in the blurb. But, my love of small town boys always wins out. The characters in Home to Cedarwood were pretty strong separately and I was especially fond of Farin, Colin’s brother. Together though, I wasn’t feeling it too much and I had to do some pondering as to why that was.

All signs pointed to loving these guys together, but I finally pinpointed what wasn’t working for me and it was the setup to their relationship. Made sense why I couldn’t buy into it as they got together. The setup from the first couple of chapters was that Colin had been “in a simple kind of puppy love” with Jordan and that Jordan had been a “major prick” to Colin, “He’d been an ass to Colin and teased him about being gay.” Ok, so, got it, puppy love and a prick.

A couple of pages after the puppy love statement Colin admits that he came out for Jordan because he wanted to ask him out and didn’t figure he had any other choice. To me, that seemed pretty fucking major, especially if the guy you’re crushing on sounds like a total ass and you live in the alleged hotbed of small town homophobia. To me that was much bigger than typical teenage puppy love. Then, a page or two later Colin says, “He’d known all along that Jordan was gay.” Wait, what!?!? Again, pretty fucking major thing to gloss over especially when there was nothing to support the statement. The rest of the story kept referring to them as old friends and the whole thing left me a little confuzzled as to where they were coming from. If I don’t get a solid start with some tension I end up dissatisfied and that’s where I was with their relationship.

For a novella length story, this one had a lot going on and I would have loved some editing to the point the story could have focused on the relationship, the history and the family. The characters were strong enough that the homophobic small town angle wasn’t necessary and drew me away from the parts I wanted more of. The book told me stuff about the town but I didn’t see a lot of evidence to back up most of the statements, turning the statements into irrelevant filler. Which was too bad, because the bones for good character interaction were there making the statements distracting more than anything else.

Some awkward sentences, poor editing and statements with no support drew me out of scenes, “Colin moved with grace as he removed the spent condom” - hmmmmmm, no, that just sounds weird. And in one scene when Jordan was talking to his chief and at the beginning of the conversation he “clasped his hands together at the small of his back”, in the second paragraph after that “Jordan clasped his hands behind his back.” Colin was referred to as “terminally shy” and liked to “remain a wallflower”. Yet, he started a support group for single fathers, was very adamant about being true tohis sexuality and never backed down from anyone. So, who is Colin? Because I'm not getting shy from any of his behaviors.

Again, the foundation and idea for the story were solid. The characters had a ton of potential, but it just didn’t come together for me unfortunately. I would be seriously tempted to read Farin’s story though, because his comments and conversations were consistent throughout and I really liked his protective streak.

For more information on Home to Cedarwood, check it out on Goodreads

***a copy of this story was provided for an honest review***

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