Back in Your Arms by Monica McCallan

A very heartwarming romance with the kind of idiots in love I adore.

What was the book about?
When Quinn moved to New York City from her hometown of Kingsford, she left everything and everyone behind: her depressed mother, her younger sister Kelly, her former best friend Sawyer who meant everything to her. Close to twenty years later, work brings her back to her hometown and a second chance at broken relationships.

Featured Tropes:
Big City/Small Town, Return To Hometown, Childhood Friends to Lovers, Second Chance

Book Strengths:
I included the Second Chance trope but it’s not completely accurate. While Quinn and Sawyer never were together before Quinn left Kingsford, they secretly pined for each other.

It took a little while for me to warm up to Quinn, just as it did for Sawyer when Quinn comes back. Through Sawyer, I understood Quinn’s reasons for leaving, and from then on was all in. I really love Quinn and Sawyer together. The shift from anger to lust on Sawyer’s part may feel a little rushed but I don’t care. I believe it.

Sawyer is too kind for her own good, which can be mistaken for meekness. Witnessing her learning to stand up for herself was a thing of beauty. Sawyer is wonderful, she deserves all the happiness in the world. Quinn’s journey is at once more subtle and more brutal. She’s convinced herself that she’s content with her outwardly perfect life. Coming home, however reluctantly, reminds her that loads of money you don’t have time to spend and a job you don’t hate aren’t what life is supposed to be about. And second chances aren’t limited to lovers (or wannabe lovers), family sometimes deserves them too.

Speaking of family, I hate Shane, Sawyer’s brother, and love Kelly, Quinn’s sister and Sawyer’s best friend, and the nieces and nephew on both sides.

I would have read this in one sitting if I didn’t need to sleep from time to time.

Book Weaknesses:
I wish the relationship between Quinn and her mother got a little more on-page time. I like the way the author handles it, and I wanted to see where it was going and if they would get some sort of closure.

Character Chemistry
I’ve said this before, Second Chance is one of my favourite tropes because the chemistry is already there. Maybe it needs to be awakened, rekindled, or maybe it’s still as strong. In both cases, it burns hot. Even if Back in Your Arms isn’t exactly a second chance romance, all the ingredients are there. Despite everything that went on before Quinn left, despite the way she left, despite the hurt and misunderstandings, neither Quinn nor Sawyer can fight the attraction that blazes back as soon as they meet again. Monica McCallan makes all that pent-up lust, all the feelings both MCs fought as teens rush up to the surface in a way that makes them palpable to the reader.

Heat Rating

Wrap up
I’m not sure why but this was my first book by Monica McCallan. I’m looking forward to many more.


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