It seems as if every wanna be romance writer makes Amazon their dumping ground. Desperate to find some new authors to diversify my limited favorite authors’ selections, I stumbled upon Terri Osburn’s Home to Stay (2014), a bland, forgettable romance that emphasizes why I hate small town romance series.
Home to Stay is the story of Willow Parsons and Randy Navarro, residents of Anchor Island. Willow, living on the island for only a year, works as a bartender and harbors a secret that keeps her emotionally distant and secretive about her past. Randy, muscle-bound owner of the local fitness club and brother to Willow’s “best friend,” is determined to break through Willow’s protective shell despite her visible, negative physical reaction to him / his size. In the course of planning their friends’ wedding, Willow and Randy fall in love, but will she let her past get in the way of true love?
Of course not!
At 291 print pages, Home to Stay is an absolute bore. The main protagonists are flat, static, and lack sizzling chemistry together; the plot is transparent, lacking suspense and authenticity; the conflicts are forced and lack tension; and the writing lacks style. In addition, peppered throughout the narrative is superfluous profanity, which I can’t say I’ve come across in the many romances I’ve read over the last twenty years.
Weak in characterization, weaker in plot, and weakest in romance, Home to Stay reflects the work of an amateur writer. I do not recommend.