In her first book Finding Kylie, author Kimberly McKay introduced us to 25-year old Chastity Wayne, who, after laying her mother Kylie to rest found out about a terrible secret that she had been hiding from Chastity, all of her life. In Facing Redemption Chastity was able to come to terms with her life and was able to find true love in the process.
Coming Home now changes course and focuses on Chastity’s best friend and maid of honor at her wedding, Anne LaSal. Anne and her younger sister Grace, whose parents were killed in an automobile accident at the age of 16, were taken in by their grandparents: well-to-do aristocrats who had very formal views on how children should behave. Because of extreme restrictions like walking and acting in certain ways and especially being forbidden to speak of her parents, Anne grows more rebellious. When forced with an ultimatum to attend an Ivy League school or be cut off completely; including any contact with her little sister, she leaves for California and returns to her roots.
A survivor at heart, Anne settles down in California and opens up her own café. Over time she becomes a successful entrepreneur. After a really bad relationship – one in which the guy had cheated on her and would not take no for an answer – she decides to turn her café over to a friend and follows Chastity back to Oklahoma City for her wedding and to spend a little time away from California to find herself.
After the wedding, the best man, Guy – who tried unsuccessfully to hit on Anne – suggests to a producer friend that Anne should be an entrant on the reality television show called Broadcast Affair. After initially balking, Anne is convinced to go to the show by Chastity. This way she can not only show up Guy, but also determine how real these reality shows are.
Unbeknownst to Anne, the eligible bachelor on Broadcast Affair is Chad Chambers; one of the hottest leading men on TV – who not only has good looks, but is regarded as a genuinely nice and humble guy. This causes a large number of women to compete for the show. The producer, Ned, is concerned that these women would provide competition for Chad’s interest, but not much drama for the show. That is until he meets Anne.
Even though Anne is quite skeptical about the show and about the fact of how anyone could find love on a television reality show, she reluctantly goes for it since, as Chastity has told her, she has nothing to lose.
Chad, a Texan by birth, has been in the Hollywood scene long enough to know that the kinds of relationships that happen there are from people who are either trying to advance their careers or just want to hang out with famous people; all superfluous. He is hoping that somehow by doing Broadcast Affair he can find someone real and without an agenda.
He knows from the first moment that he meets Anne that she is the one. The problem is he’s under contract to do a certain number of shows for the dating show. So how can he convince Anne that she is the only one for him when he has to try to seduced 20 different women against the backdrop of a national audience?
Coming Home is really about Anne and her ability to come to terms with the things that have shaped her past: the death of her parents, the inability to live in the elite world of her grandparents, the failed relationships, and, most of all, the alienation of her little sister Grace. But it is more than that. It is also about being willing to give up everything she desires in the world to come to the rescue of her sister and yet trust that things that are meant to be will become reality.
There are times when a story just comes together. When there is that combination of characters, story, and feel that creates that entertaining read. Coming Home is one of those times. It is an engaging read with a storyline that not only will keep you entertained, but the ending has so many twists and turns, it will keep you guessing until the final page. Still, as good as the story is, to me, to me the true test of a book is the characters and how believable they are. Coming Home does not disappoint. I still find myself wanting to go back and read more.