Thursday, October 17, 2013

Review: Home to Whiskey Creek

Home to Whiskey Creek
By Brenda Novak
Published: July 30, 2013

Sometimes home is the refuge you need-and sometimes it isn't.  Adelaide Davies, who's been living in Sacramento, returns to Whiskey Creek, the place she once called home. She's there to take care of her aging grandmother and to help with Gran's restaurant, Just Like Mom's. But Adelaide isn't happy to be back. There are too many people here she'd rather avoid, people who were involved in that terrible June night fifteen years ago. 

Ever since the graduation party that changed her life, she's wanted to go to the police and make sure the boys responsible-men now-are punished. But she can't, not without revealing an even darker secret. So it's better to pretend.... 

Noah Rackham, popular, attractive, successful, is shocked when Adelaide won't have anything to do with him. He has no idea that his very presence reminds her of something she'd rather forget. He only knows that he's finally met a woman he could love.

My review:

This is the fourth book in the Whiskey Creek series but it can be read as a standalone. The story starts out with Noah rescuing Addy from an abandoned mine. Someone kidnapped Addy from her bed and brought her there to the same place where horrible things happened 15 years before ending with the death of Noah's brother. Now someone is upset that Addy is back in town and they are doing their best to scare her into silence or get her to leave Whiskey Creek for good.

Adelaide  is pretty strong for having gone through such trauma both in her current situation and in the past. It was frustrating though that she refused to say anything about what had happened to her even when the danger seemed to escalate. I could understand that she was afraid for her grandmother's safety but I also wished she'd come forward and put an end to it. I did admire her for facing her fears by coming home and the way she'd stand up to her attackers even if she didn't go public about it.

Noah is drawn to Addy and worried about her, unable to understand why she won't go to the police over her kidnapping. He is really kind to her though she tries to keep him at a distance. It takes her some time to realize that she can trust him and I liked the development of their friendship and relationship. She is able to be there for him too when he has a crisis with one of his friends. I didn't feel like I got to know Noah very much in the previous books in the series unlike some of the other characters so it was nice to see that there was more to his character than the image that was previously presented of a guy who was known for being a heartbreaker.

I think that this book felt like an issues book more than the others in the series. Rape, homosexuality, and family issues for both Noah and Addy made this a heavier  story for a contemporary romance. Still it had the elements that I've enjoyed from the Whiskey Creek series, particularly the strong core friendships.  The romance between Noah and Addy was really satisfactory too. She's been through so much and it was nice to see her get a happy ending.

This book made me think that I'd never want to live in a place like Whiskey Creek though. It is set in a small town where everyone knows everyone's business but the people aren't exactly friendly to outsiders and there is corruption. Some of the townspeople's negative attitude towards Addy when the truth emerged was hard to take.  Thankfully Noah and his friends are there for Addy and there are some decent people in the town but Whiskey Creek is not like the idealized small town settings I've seen in other contemporary romances.

Overall I'd say that I liked this book because it showed characters overcoming serious adversity but it was hard to read at times and made me angry-not the usual emotional response you'd expect for a romance novel! I like this series though and I liked Noah and Addy. The secondary story line with Noah and Baxter was good too (is it too much to hope that Baxter will get his own book someday?). I also wanted to see the bad guys get their just desserts and the suspense kept me turning the pages to find out what would happen. 

If you are looking for a lighthearted contemporary romance, this is not it but if you like a book that will pull deeper emotions from you then don't be afraid to give Home to Whiskey Creek a try. For those new to the series, you might want to start from the beginning even if this can be read out of order (or at least start with book 3, When Summer Comes, which is the first book I read and one of my favorites in the series and sets this one up a little.) While it did have some flaws I think this is one of my favorites in the series too.

Note: I received a copy of this book for review purposes through Amazon Vine


  1. I think I tend to like lighter romance books that don't have so many issues so this one might not be for me-I might prefer When Summer Comes to get a taste of the world and writing.

    1. RaeAnne Thayne would be another good author to try for lighter contemporary romances set in a small town.


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