Coming Back to You
by: Devon Youngblood
3.5 Stars ★★★☆
*ARC Given to me by author for honest review*
This book was an okay read for me. In fact not much more happens than the blurb states. Long lost love returns after going to war and telling his girl to not wait for him. She doesn’t, but of course can never get over him. He returns home and claims to have never forgotten nor have gotten over her. Pierson has some serious PTSD issues though which prolongs his return. His readjustment to civilian life makes things a bit hairy and scary at times but other than this the story was fairly bland.
Maura was a fun character to read about. She owns her own catering business and pretty much dedicates her life to that when Pierson leaves. Soon after her parents die, leaving her alone and wishing Pierson was there. She always wonders about him and when he returns a brief anger at him surfaces until she is able to see his side of things. Then the two jump head first into continuing their relationship as if it never ended.
“I have never had the desire to be with any other woman. She was my first desire, still is my desire and will be my last desire. How does that woman hold so much power over me? I know I should not bring her into this life of mine, but I can’t help it. It’s impossible to stay away.”-Pierson
Pierson is lucky enough to find work at a local mechanics where he finds peace working with his hands and keeping his mind off all the crap that happened overseas. He has a lot to work through and even his extra time spent away seems to only have minorly helped. Maura learns the hard way at one point in the story how life-threatening PTSD can be.
If comparing this book to food, I would have to say it’s good but rather bland. This definitely fits in the realm of contemporary romance as things rarely branch outside of the box. It is helpful that there is a dual POV so you can see into both Maura and Pierson’s thoughts. He is trying so hard to work through his issues and be worthy of her again. It’s bittersweet the way he strives so hard to be what she needs even though it’s obvious the two are perfect for each other and their love has never wavered, even after years apart.
One thing that majorly shocked me and had my eyes bulging was Pierson’s admitting that he had never been with another woman. I mean, hello, he was at war for a few years and even told her to move on. I don’t know why this shocked me so much but we all know how lonely military life can be, especially being away from anyone and everything you’ve known, sometimes seeking comfort in any form is to be expected. Then after I thought about this, it confused me even more because it’s as if Pierson knew he would come back to her, okay fine, but then why the heart-wrenching breakup to begin with? Not that she didn’t practically stay a saint herself as well, but still. Pierson does help explain some of this away, because while being in war he sees the darker side of life. He realizes how precious things like love are and his perspective changes. It’s almost awe-inspiring and jealousy provoking how Pierson pretty much dedicates his very being to being what Maura needs and deserves.
"I have no intentions of breaking your heart. It's my misson to fill it full of love, my love."-Pierson
One thing I really loved about this story was the simplicity. Not only that, it didn’t necessarily follow any stereotypical NA genre plotlines. Basically Pierson was not a man-whore whom fell for the small town girl (they were high school sweethearts) and there is no annoying breakup about 75% in that usually one of characters cause because of course they are not good enough for the other. It was so refreshing to have the characters understand their roles in the relationship and share equally. Maura and Pierson clearly have things to work out between them, but they don’t let societal standards or anything else stand in the way. I loved how she thought he never wrote to her or thought about her the whole time he was away, but alas, Pierson is sweeter than that and all truths will be revealed. He even visits her parents’ gravesite where he says his condolences and pledges his love of her to them. Can we cue the sappy music and singing birds????
The very end upset me a little. It’s as if the very last part is redone in Pierson’s POV pretty much verbatim from what we just read in Maura’s POV. I don’t understand why this is since it’s not much different. The end itself was just so-so and left a bit to be desired. Basically it held the same tradition as the rest of the story, fairly tame. And the epilogue. I am an epilogue junkie and this one left me wondering, what was the point? Everything is so sweet and romantic that the epilogue couldn’t really change it up unless somehow they ended up doing it on a cloud while the angels sang all around them.
If you’re looking for a sweet story, about the return of a long lost love, than this story is for you. Pierson is of course not your average guy. He’s buff and hardened by war, but completely in love with Maura that not even a landmine could stop him from returning to her. He was really an amazing guy and though slightly embarrassed by his war wounds, both physical and mental, he strived to work through them and be there for Maura. Maura is easy to like and it’s clear how much the two belong together.I definitely look forward to what else this author has in store for us.