Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Yancey MacCafferty and Juan Romanos have been in love since the first time they met. In a gay bar in Texas, an underage Juan just wanted to dance. But danger was all around him. Yancey, a young rent boy, sees Juan’s innocence and naivete and falls in love, all while saving Juan from a predator on the dance floor. Eventually both ended up with their brothers on the ranch owned by Les Hardin and Randy Hersch, where they finished growing up and found their dreams. For Juan, it was all about the horses and being a world class equestrian, eventually ending up at a show bar on the East coast. Yancey chose another path, that of college and an education needed to become a veterinarian. And all during those years, Yancey and Juan never stopped loving each other, even though each was at opposite ends of the country.
Now Yancey has graduated from college and is ready to reunite with the man he loves and start his career. But to do that, he will have to leave the people he has grown to love including his brother for a new veterinarian practice in Virginia, just miles away from the show barn where Juan rides and lives. He and Juan have been parted long enough. He is sure that Juan feels the same way. Or does he? Yancey isn’t sure, exactly but its time to find out. Can Yancey and Juan’s puppy love mature into the forever love they have always wanted or will the reality of being and living together bring their dreams crashing down?
I have been waiting like so many others for Juan and Yancey’s story since the first time we met them in Home of His Own (Home #2 – their brothers, Brody MacCafferty and Tony Romanos story). These two young men were instantly endearing and their love story so heartwarming that it almost eclipsed that of their brothers. Happily, I can announce that it was worth the wait. Home Sweet Home is a wonderful story, reminescent of the first book in the series, No Going Home which remains my favorite.
In every book of the series, we kept getting glimpses of Juan and Yancey as they grew up. The author always managed to throw in little details of their lives, whether it was Yancey returning for the holidays from college or Juan’s equestrian training at Edward’s barns in Virginia. These small mentions managed to keep our interest in these young men alive and pique our curiosity over their future. In fact, one of the many aspects I love about this series is that Chase continues to bring together all the characters from other books into the latest stories. These people form a family, one cobbled together by need and choice so to have that family remain topical in every book is important to the cohesion and strength of the series.
The characters of Yancey and Juan have also grown as their characters have aged. From teenage gay boys to confident, mature young men, Chase has developed their characters realistically relative to their age. It’s wonderful getting reacquainted with these older versions of the boys we first met. Along with their characters, their love for each other needs to grow as well. Luckily, Chase has taken care of that too. The author has her characters adjust their views of each other and their careers in a very human and authentic manner. I just loved how tentative and yet determined each man is to make their relationship and Yancey’s move work. It is emotionally satisfying and oh so enjoyable to read about.
If I have a quibble, it would be with the ending. In the epilogue we fly forward from 1 year to 5 years into the future, missing out on so much of their lives together that it felt like a missed chance to round out their story in favor of a quick finish (note see my mini rant on storying endings). I don’t know if this rushed ending is due to Chase finishing up the series or just their story. Either way, it didn’t measure up to the first part of the story and that was a shame. But even with that quibble, I still love this series and recommend it. The Home series is heartwarming, sexy, and full of wonderful characters you will never get tired of. Home Sweet Home is another great installment and one you won’t want to miss.
Cover art by Posh Gosh. The young model in front is perfect for Juan and the cover gorgeous in design and detail.
Here are the Home series book in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters and the events:
No Going Home (Home #1) – my favorite
Home of His Own (Home #2) Tony and Brody’s story (second favorite)
Wishing for a Home (Home #3) Derek and Max’s story
Leaving Home (Home #4) Peter and Chaz’s story
Home Sweet Home (Home #5) Juan and Yancey’s story (a tie with their brothers)