Take Me Home by Lorelie Brown, the second book in the Belladonna Ink series, (the first being Far From Home) is a book that many lesbians will identify with. No matter how open and supportive some of your family is, there’s always that one side of the family that just loves to twist the knife. Oh, no good marriage prospects yet? You just need to meet the right man.
It can make family holidays an eighth level of hell. That’s what’s going on with Keighley. Keighley has a very loving, supportive immediate family, meaning her mom, dad, and little sister are all great. She’s got a good job as an accountant, and is between girlfriends. The problem comes when we get to extended family.
Her aunt is a Christian fundamentalist, and doesn’t really accept Keighley as a lesbian. Which leads to dealing with a lot of snide comments at Thanksgiving. What’s a single, proud lesbian to do? Get an in-your-face girlfriend in a week and a day to parade in front of that side of the family.
Which is when Keighley sees this interesting little ad on Craigslist. And Brooke enters the story.
First there’s Keighley. She’s our main character, and the book is written from her point of view. She loves her family, and isn’t exactly looking to start a big fight on the holiday, but she would love to put her aunt and her cousin in their place without being blamed for it. Keighley seems a bit flighty for an accountant, actually. Although that may be some slight social awkwardness kicking in.
Next we have Brooke. She’s a transplant from Tennessee, a beautiful tattoo artist, looking for a place for a traditional home-cooked Thanksgiving meal. She isn’t looking for a vegetarian meal, or one of those turducken monstrosities. And she’s willing to play along with whatever familial upheaval her “date” wants as long as she gets the chance to eat first. She seems a bit solitary, but very accepting of whatever comes her way. Loves dogs, but is very closed off about her childhood.
The Writing Style
The writing style is in first person from Keighley’s point of view. One thing I do like about Brown’s style is that she doesn’t switch perspectives when she writes first person. Which I personally consider an important rule of that perspective. Otherwise, the writing flows easily and immerses you in the narrative. It’s also a quick read.
I love the sweet romance between Keighley and Brooke. It’s kind of an opposites attract type of story, and those are always a good read as the author finds interesting ways to allow two people to fall for someone they probably wouldn’t have dated in a different situation.
Two things for me. First, the point of view, first person from Keighley’s perspective, really limits how much we learn about Brooke and how she’s feeling. And that leads me to feel like there’s a slight lack of interest in a deeper relationship from her side of the equation. It didn’t feel like she was as invested in a romantic relationship as Keighley was. And second is the way Keighley kind of changed herself to fit more what she thought Brooke might want. I’m glad Brooke called her out on it, but it was a bit disturbing to watch, at the same time.
This was a really nice romantic escape. This is book two in the series, and while I’m not sure this one quite lived up to book one, it was a good addition to the series. And I would definitely pick up more follow up books in the series.
Excerpt from Take Me Home by Lorelie Brown
She is sad. I turn and walk away as quickly as I can manage. I shouldn’t be here. This is her safe space. The one she’s found for herself miles away from where she started. I’m contaminating it, trying to push myself on her
Jesus, exactly the way I was trying to make her agree to a relationship.
I close myself in my car, Bennet on my lap. She knows I’m upset and licks the underside of my chin. Blindly, I pet her.
I have been such a bitch. So arrogant. Even if I was right about how closed off Brooke is, and how she lets her fear rule her, I can’t break her open because I want in. Relationships can’t be created by one half of the participants. That’s violation.
I have violated her.
I open the car door and puke onto the sandy, dusty road.
For a hot, sweaty moment, I think about waiting for her after the service. Trying to explain myself and make it okay.
But that would be more of the same. More of me trying to make her feel a certain way, and trying to make her accept my apology. It would only be for me.
For her, I have to let her go.
Let her be.
I drive away.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781626494770
- Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Lorelie Brown Online
Note: I received a free review copy of Take Me Home by Lorelie Brown. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.