Series: Midnight in Dallas, #2
Release Date: July 27th, 2021
Cash Montgomery has already loved and lost. After losing his wife to cancer, he isn’t sure he’s ready to put himself back out there, but he finds himself drawn to Ella. After one unforgettable night, Cash begins to wonder if there could be a future for the two of them.
With one devastating phone call, Cash and Ella are tossed into a whirlwind of emotions. Once the dust settles, Cash must decide if he’s ready to let go of the ghost of his former love, and Ella is faced with the realization that grief changes us forever. Home Again, the second installment of the Midnight in Dallas series, is a story about second chances and the people who remind us of who we are when we’ve forgotten.
CW/TW: Character with Alzheimer’s, widowed characters
You know what Melissa Grace does really well with her stories? She makes you feel everything. In Home Is Where You Are, we all fell head over heels for Liv and Jax because of how dreamy they were and how you could feel everything they were going through. And that’s the same with Home Again when we spend a good long time with Cash and Ella.
We all knew even before the first book ended that we were going to get Cash and Ella’s story, because it was written in the stars right from the start! Ella is such an incredible character, you guys. And if you’ve read the first book, then you already have insight into just how wonderful she is. She’s a widowed single mother who goes out of her way to make sure her friends are okay, puts her daughter first and pours her heart and soul into everything she does. Ella is loud and funny, she’s gorgeous and sexy and she does all of this without thinking. It’s just the way she is. And that’s what makes her so great. If I’m being honest, I spent the whole book wondering if I could become Ella when I grow up.
“Looking at Ella Claiborne was like trying to look directly at the sun. She was arrestingly beautiful, so much so that her life was almost overwhelming at times. Her smile radiated a warmth that you felt from the inside.”
And then there’s Cash. My god. Cash is such a swoony hero. I love how good, kind and honest he is. How he doesn’t expect anything in return when he does something for someone. How wonderfully charming and sexy he is, also without realising it. I didn’t think anybody could replace Jax in my life, but I think Cash is moving up the ranks of being my favourite Melissa Grace hero. He’s just so fantastic. As a widower, Cash is still coming to terms with his life without his wife and falling in love with a new woman sends him into a spiral he can’t escape. I’m a big supporter of men embracing their emotions, of men crying and feeling things and Cash is a big feeler. And I loved that about him. All of his pain and struggles, he might keep it bottled up, but when it really starts to hurt, he turns to people he knows will help him.
Unlike Home Is Where You Are, this book is steamy! Cash and Ella have great chemistry and all of that has to go somewhere, right? With enough time as friends turning into them flirting now and then to them finally taking the leap, you know you’re in for a steamy good time. I love how mature their relationship is and how they talk through so much when they’re figuring out who they are and what they’re doing. As people who spend a lot of time looking after others, it’s obvious that when it comes to relationships, they’re going to be really smart about it. Sneaky, but smart.
One of the things that Melissa tackles in this book is Alzheimer’s. Ella’s mother is in an assisted living centre because of her Alzheimer’s and I appreciate the way Melissa handled every scene that took us there. It’s not a big part of the book, but it’s an important element given that it affects Ella’s life. As someone who watched a loved one go through the struggles, it was so good to see it written this way. Alzheimer’s is scary, for everyone, but it’s really hard for those who have to watch their loved one fade away and I felt for Ella, I felt her pain and the anguish and just how hard she tries to hold it all together.
“Since the first time we’d slept together, Cash had seen me completely unguarded and vulnerable, and I felt things for him that extended well beyond how good the touch of his hands made me feel.”
Home Again is heavy on the laughs and the feels, because every relationship in this book is so wonderfully written. We get to see a lot of Liv and Jax and you guys are in for such a treat to see how their lives have changed. We get to see so much of Grace, which is so fantastic. I absolutely love Grace’s relationship with Cash and how she leans on him like a father and how Cash returns those feelings. Did I weep? Most definitely. And I have no regrets about this. Because Melissa Grace has a way with her storytelling and her characters, so you’re going to laugh, cry, gasp and scream at your book as you flip the pages.
Thanks to Melissa Grace for generously providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.