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  • Homeward Bound

  • Pine Cove, Book 3
  • By: H. J. Welch
  • Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (42 ratings)

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Homeward Bound cover art

Homeward Bound

By: H. J. Welch
Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
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Summary

After Micha Perkins finds himself wrongly implicated in a crime, the last person he wants coming to his rescue is his secret crush, Swift, his older brother’s best friend. But when Micha returns to the town that never felt like home, he discovers Swift’s young daughter is in trouble as well. If Micha can help them both in any way, he knows he will.

Self-defense coach Swift Coal never realized he was a father until he gets custody of five-year-old Imogen and her cranky cat. His neat and tidy life is about to come crashing down, but to his surprise, Micha Perkins is there to save the day. He’s so damn good with kids, and just as cute as Swift remembers. When Micha moves in to help look after Imogen, Swift struggles to repress the feelings he’s kept hidden.

Micha’s always been a misfit, and Swift’s life was always orderly. Micha may have taken the fall to protect those more vulnerable than him, but who will save him when his past comes back to haunt him? Was Swift a fool to risk the safety of his daughter around a bad element like Micha? When their chaotic worlds collide, perhaps love and family are the middle ground they both need to become stronger together.

Book three in Pine Cove. Homeward Bound is a steamy stand-alone MM romance novel with a guaranteed HEA and absolutely no cliffhanger.

©2019 H. J. Welch (P)2019 H. J. Welch

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Well read, but very annoying

I can't anymore. Time of death 25%. I find Imogen an unrealistic cliché and Micah very, very stupid. After tolerating some MM novels doing the same, I now have had it with the trope "Wow, nice guy. Must be straight. Let's whine for 75% of the book about me not having a shot."
And I don't remember the ending from the first listen but Micah being stupid already makes me annoyed by assuming he wil accept a criminal proposal from his previous friends.
Once I gave it 3 stars, but after years of reading MM I now give it 1 star

1 person found this helpful

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A weak and whittering story.

The reader deserves better material. I didn't find the book offensive, it was just pale beyond ordinary.

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as great as the ebook

The story is always full stars, because if I wouldn't like the story as ebook, I wouldn't listen to the audiobook.

The performance from the narrator is also very important for me. I can't listen to a lot, because my English as a non-native-speaker isn't so perfect to follow a whole story over hours, when the narrator speaks too fast or too sloppy. Normally I have to SEE the person, who is talking to me in English. Nick J Russo is one of the top 5 narrators for me, I can listen without break and have no problems to follow.
I'm just not yet finish with the book, but I listen enough to give a review.

PLEASE READ MY RATING SYSTEM!!!

To my ratings:

5* - very very good
it's like an A+

4* - very good and will be often re-listening
it's like an A

3* - it's more then a one-time-listening.
it's like a B

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Welch/Russo outdid themselves!

I was gifted my copy of this book, that I write a review was not required.

Swift finds out he is a father, 5 years after Imogen’s birth. But Imogen’s mum is struggling and Swift takes custody of his daughter while mum sorts herself out. Micha is home, after some time in custody, and is struggling being at home. He loves his family, he really does, but they don’t know who he is, deep down, he can’t tell them, not after what he did before he left. Swift comes to Micha’s aid and vice versa. The things start to spiral out of control with Micha being in such close proximity to Imogen, when his past finds and threatens those he has come to love, and Micha makes a dreadful decision. Can Swift get to him in time?

Ms Welch has out done herself, AGAIN!

I mean, the whole previously undiscovered bisexuality genre is growing on me, big time, and it is almost entirely due to Ms Welch’s skill at writing these characters!

Swift is Robin’s (from book 1, Safe Harbor) older brother, and Swift is Micha’s older brother’s best friend. Micha makes no bones about his attraction to Swift, from when they all hung out together when he was a teenager. But Micha is a grown man now, and surely can’t still be crushing on Swift, right? Clearly, he is. And he struggles so much with that attraction with Swift’s little, entirely innocent, touches, because Micha doesn’t want them to be innocent. But Swift is straight, cos he has a child. And Micha just suffers in silence.

Swift, however, is questioning everything. His daughter just landed on his doorstep, and he has no idea what to do! Having Micha help is a godsend. Having Micha in his space is . .nice. Having Micha OUT his space, is not so nice and it’s not till Swift thinks he might lose Micha that he questions why he feels like that. And Swift is just like, Okay then! Micha is MINE and I want him back. And he goes all out!

When Micha tells Swift about why he can’t tell his family he is gay, I cried, I really did. It breaks your heart, the pain he has been carrying around all this time.

It’s a well told tale, of getting what and WHO you want, it really is!

But PULEEEEEZE, Ms Welch, write Ava and Peyton a full story!!

5 full and shiny stars!

Nick J Russo narrates this series.

And just as Ms Welch outdid herself WRITING this book, Russo outdid himself NARRATING it.

I mean, I rarely react out loud (verbally, shouitng, crying at what I'm reading) when I am READING. When I am LISTENING, however, its a totally different ball game and I don't think I was ever more verbal with this book than maybe one other, in years of being an audio book listener!

Right from the start, Russo broke my heart for Micha. Well Welch did of course, but HEARING how broken Micha feels he is? I think I was crying right at the first chapter!

But when Micha is telling Swift why they can't be together?? Oh dear Lord. I had to stop what I was doing and just listen to poor Micha pour his heart out to Swift and I sobbed my bloody socks off! So much so, my daughter came in to ask if I was okay!

But equally, Russo gets over Swift's emotions too. Not quite as dramatically and gut wrenching as Micha's but Swift goes through a lot here, and Russo gets all of that across.

The voices for the other characters are carried across the series perfectly, and most of them pop uo here are some point.

While I was listening, I made a connection to book 4 that I hadn't made when I was reading. Elias and Ben pop up here and it was great to figure out where they fit in into the Pine Cove bigger picture. I have their book to read next.

5 stars for the book
5 stars for the narration!

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

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Great

This was such a great audiobook.
I really enjoyed the story.
The narration was excellent.
This audiobook was a great addition to this series.
I can’t wait to listen to more.

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Gorgeous

My favourite of the Pine Cove books so far. I adored Swift and Micah, both separately and as a couple. The plot was excellent, their chemistry was palpable, and the relationship evolved organically.
The performance was excellent and made me cry more than once.
Highly recommended

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Lovely story wonderfully narrated

I loved the story of Swift and Micah when I read it, and I loved it even more when narrated by Nick Russo.

It is an heartwarming and heartbreaking story of friends to lovers. You feel so many things for Micah and you just fall in love with Swift and how they both evolve as the story progresses.

Nick Russo brought all the emotions to the surface, especially towards the end and it was even better.

Really recommend

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Micha and Swift

Micha had a tough childhood and was framed by his friend. Swift gives him an opportunity and opens his home to him. Taking care of Imogen and her cat is not easy but Micha has a golden touch with kids. I enjoyed Swift’s story of coming out, his family and his close group of friends. So opposite to Micha, but they are made for each other. It’s quite the sweet romance, even better when they take care of themselves and little bit. Cute name btw. :-)

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Redemption Story

I’m enjoying my time in Pine Cove. Micha Perkins has had a run of bad luck. He clocked out of town as soon as he’d finished high school, afraid of revealing his truth. He went to Seattle and began exploring his sexuality. His fathers are gay, so there had to be compelling reasons why he didn’t feel comfortable sharing his sexuality. There are and they are later revealed. Man, did my heart ache for this kid. In Seattle he fell in with a bad crowd, and after barely escaping serious prison time, he’s come back to Pine Cove to try to start over. He’s working at his fathers’ diner and trying to keep his head down. To stay out of trouble.

Swift Coal has been living a good life. He’s a self-defence coach working at the local gym. He lives a very orderly life with everything in its place. Until his previously unknown five-year-old daughter and her very cranky cat come to live with him. Imogen’s mother withheld her existence from Swift for reasons that seem pretty flimsy, but sometimes we don’t know what’s in someone else’s heart. Imogen has had a rough go of it and being transplanted from her chaotic home to her father’s pristine one is a tough move for her. Her mother is ‘sick’, in rehab after a DUI arrest. Imogen only understands that her life is something over which she has little control.

Seeking out advice from those around him, Swift heads to the Perkins’ home, trying to create a list of everything he’ll need in order to care for a young girl. Imogen, meanwhile, meets Micha and they connect. Soon she’s calling him Uncle Micha and forming an attachment. When Swift needs help, he chooses to reach out to Micha. An interesting choice given that the young man is newly released from jail and has no children. Swift also has family in great numbers, but he turns to Micha. Micha sees this as an opportunity for redemption and a chance to spend more time with the man he’s crushed on since he was a young man. Swift was his brother’s best friend and despite the age gap, the two older boys often included Micha in their adventures. Whether it was hero worship or true attraction back then, those feelings have now developed into a full-fledge crush.

Parenting is never easy, but Micha’s ability to anticipate Imogen’s needs helps smooth the way for Swift. He asks Micha to hang out and help, which Micha is only happy to do. Sleeping on a couch down the hall from Swift is better than being in his old bedroom. Of course, it becomes an exercise in frustration because Swift is straight and Micha is in the closet gay.

Several conversations with family and friends have Swift on the verge of speaking aloud his truth – that he’s pretty sure he’s bi. Yes, he enjoys women, but he’s been fantasizing about men. Watching gay porn. (That seems pretty common in books I read these days.) His feelings for Micha solidify but he’s terrified of scaring away the younger man. Imogen’s needs have to take precedence and her attachment to Uncle Micha is strong. Eventually Swift decides to make a move. The gesture is not only welcomed, it’s reciprocated. Things quickly progress and although the physical is slower, the emotional is all-in from the beginning.

All would go well except Micha hasn’t quite escaped his past. When trouble comes knocking, his instinct is to protect those he loves by keeping silent and trying to deal with things himself. Almost too late he discovers that one of the best things about being in a relationship is having someone to share your burdens. Swift has broad shoulders and a heart with room for not only Imogen and the cranky cat, but also a friend’s younger brother who has captured his heart.

This was a great book. Heart-wrenching in its reality. How many times have I hidden a part of myself for fear of misunderstanding? Of not being accepted. Micha’s struggle was real for me. And I can only imagine what Swift went through, discovering he has a daughter. He also had to deal with the fact that Imogen’s mother was eventually going to be back in the picture and had to live with that uncertainty.

Nick J. Russo narrates this series and he’s such a great choice. He has distinctive voices for each character, bringing them to life. He makes it easy to revisit old friends and make new ones. There is at least one more book in this series and I can’t wait for it to come to audio. Loving these books.

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Heartbreaking

Micha reconnections with his best friend’s brother Swift after he moves back home. He helps Swift who just found out about a daughter but when Swift wants more Micha thinks he shouldn’t be able to be happy and has a lot insecurities to work through just when he least expects his past comes back to haunt him. I find this story really heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.

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  • LacrYmosa Wolford
  • 28-11-19

Great story and great narrator

Loved this story! It was engaging and the narrator had my attention from beginning to end. Smoothing you’re the ears and then some.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Esther A
  • 09-11-19

Swift & Micah

I absolutely love this story!! It gave me all the feels!! Micha and Swift are spectacular characters and I love them together. Micha has always felt undeserving of love and family and I love the patience and understanding that Swift has with him and how he helps Micha see just how deserving he really is. Imogen is a wonderful character. I love how this story fabulously portrays that blood does not a family make, a true family bond is so much more than blood, family is what you make of it and there is no right or wrong! An emotional story that really tugged at my heartstrings.
The narrator is spectacular. He really brought the characters to life and truly made the emotions hit home. I can't wait for the next one! I voluntarily reviewed a gifted copy of this audiobook.

2 people found this helpful

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  • XRoel
  • 04-11-19

Another great reading!!

HJ Welch is one of my favorite authors because you always can find in her books sweet stories, with some conflict and action to keep your heart bombing but with a guaranteed HEA. Now she presented us with the 3rd book in Pine Cove series and it is as good as the previous ones. The book is about Micha, who is seeking his place in the world, and finished felling in love and finding a family with Swift his older brother's BFF after confronting his past. The plot is interesting, the characters are charming and you can find a lot of familiar faces from previous books. You can read it as standalone but I strongly recommend read also books 1 and 2 to enjoy it better. After saying all this I just want to add a few words about the voice acting. Usually, when I love a book I didn’t put a lot of attention in the acting part, but hearing the wonderful book reading that Mr Russo made, helped me to go deeper in the story and found innuances I didn’t notice before. I heard him in previous books and the quality of his work it is as good as always. Loved both the book and the voice acting!!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • AL
  • 04-11-19

Brilliant

Story: This has got to be the cutest found family story I have encountered! The whole host of characters in it, including the MCs, are just a wonderful example of what an inclusive and loving family should be! The plot of the story and the complexity of the MCs was an icing on the cake, making it a really great book to read! Another good one, HJ Welch!

Narration: I mean, c'mon! As if Nick could do bad. Great as always and a pleasure to listen to!

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Kevin F. Carbonneau
  • Kevin F. Carbonneau
  • 02-12-19

Skip this trash

This may have been one of the worst gay romance novels I’ve ever read. If I could give zero stars to the book itself I would.
The narrator does a great job.

Save yourself from this horribly trite, totally predictable, and nauseatingly heteronormalized novel with it’s two dimensional characters.

I didn’t believe any of the main characters, the eye rollingly best adjusted/cute five year old, the side characters the author obviously enjoys writing for more, OR the deus ex machina cat.

BUYER BEWARE; You’re going to have a bad time.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lissa K
  • 30-11-19

Loved this story!

I would sit in my car when I should have been going into work just to hear another chapter! the story of Swift and Micah made me laugh and cry. A beautiful story with wonderful narration.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lisa L Teetz
  • 29-11-19

Good addition to the series

Swift and Micha were the 2 main characters of this book, and their romance and the build up to their first time together was nicely done. Micha was a little too insecure for me and I wanted to yell a few times at the things that he dwelled on that held him back from being all in with Swift. Swift was a solid, dependable guy that I liked. Imogen and Butter, a 5 year old girl and a crazy cat, stole the show for me! There was a back story drama that played nicely into the overall plot. There were a crazy amount of family members that were hard to keep straight, but Michas Dad and Pops were great!
Nick Russo does a great job, as usual, narrating this story. I would have liked his voice for Micha to have been a little more grown up and a little less whiny, but he is still one of my favorite narrators and did a great job here!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JD
  • 28-11-19

Lovely

I loved this book and enjoyed the extra benefit of Nick Russo's voice to bring the characters off of the pages. I got teary eyed when reading and listening to this story. I love the characters and how their relationships progressed. This is a wonderful story worth the listen and the time.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Meg
  • 28-11-19

A great reunion romance

I really enjoy this series. And while this technically could be read/listened to as a standalone, I highly recommend you listen to the series in order.

This is the story of Micha, the youngest of the Perkins kids, and the one who has never found peace. He moved to the big city in order to protect his secret shame...a shame brought on by the past, but exasberated by his behavior as a youth. Unfortunately, trusting the wrong people can also lead to bad situations, and this book starts with Micha landing himself in jail.

Swift is Micha's older brother's best friend. He's done pretty well so far; he's a self-defense trainer and a bit of a neat freak, but all that is about to change. It's not until he gets a call from DHS that he finds out he has a daughter. A cute little 5 year old daughter named Imogen, and her cat Butter. I can't wait for you to hear about Butter.

When Swift brings Imogen to the Perkins's for help, he finds it in the last place he expects it...Micha. Eventually, after calling Micha for help above family and other friends, and realizing Micha might need a break from the family home, Swift invites him to stay with him and Imogen. They hit it off right away, and Imogen adores Micha. It's a slow burn between the two men, but oh, so worth it.

But, after sharing their hopes, fears, and deepest secrets, Micha is put in an untenable situation. You'll have to listen to the story to find out how everything works out with that, but I will tell you this. This story is about facing your past, your fears, and your truths, and coming out stronger than when you started. Like the others in the series, family is an important part of the dynamics of the story, and the beautiful happy ending is definitely worth the listen.

Nick J. Russo is the perfect narrator for this series. He really brings the characters to life in my mind, and for a while, I have my own movie playing in my head.

* I received a free copy of this audiobook and I am leaving my honest review. *

1 person found this helpful

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  • Violet Marshall
  • 27-11-19

Entertaining

This is the third book in The Pine Cove Series. I would read/listen to the first books before this one to fully enjoy this book. The story and plot was entertaining and it was steady throughout the book. I found the story and characters written well. The characters were developed and thought out. The characters were charming and very likeable. Micha and Swift are the MC’s of this book. The narration was done well and made the listening more enjoyable. He wasn’t monotone and there were different voices for each character. I can recommend this book as a good read/listen. I voluntarily read an advance copy of this book for an honest review.

1 person found this helpful