FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours.
Series: Twelve Beats In A Bar #1
August 17, 2014
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (NA)
Everyone thought we’d be the ones who made it through high school. The ones who’d get married and stay married forever. The example of how young love can work.
We thought so, too.
Too bad life had other plans.
It’s been three years since Hayley and Nate broke each other’s hearts. Three years, and a lot has changed. Hayley’s a freshman in Bushwick University, and the only things keeping her sane are stress baking, and her a cappella group, Twelve Beats in a Bar.
Nate’s a Marine, stationed in Afghanistan. The only thing that’s keeping him sane is the last picture he has of him and Hayley, and the hope that maybe when the hell of deployment is over, he can find her again and apologize.
One explosion will change everything.
When a bomb kills all of Nate’s unit, leaving him missing a leg and eyesight in one eye, he’s sent back home to Texas. Texas, where he loved Hayley more than he could possibly imagine ever loving anyone else.
With seemingly endless amounts of free time and needing something to distract himself, Nate starts making YouTube videos, imploring Hayley to come back to him, and come back to Texas.
Hayley’s life is wrapped around the Beats, making sure she doesn’t flunk out of biology class, and babysitting Ohio’s smallest monster, Brandon. She doesn’t want to admit it, but she misses Nate more than anything.
It’s too bad she doesn’t know just how much he misses her, too…
Nate and Hayley fell apart when he headed off to the military and then war, and while they’ve never really gotten past their feelings for each other, they’ve both moved on with their lives. She’s off at college, making friends and music with her a capella group, and hiding away her residual love for Nate. Nate, on the other hand, is a world away, simply trying to survive in a war zone and hoping that one day he’ll be deserving of the girl he left behind.
For a book billed as romance, there really wasn’t much happening in that department. While Nate spends his time uploading videos about his feelings for Hayley, she’s simply moving along with her life, completely unaware of his heart being bared online. In fact, aside from a few flashbacks, the two have zero communication and don’t even speak directly to each other until the very end of the book.
If I’m being perfectly honest, I have to say I got bored. The writing was good, and the story was interesting, but instead of moving forward, it all seemed to grow stagnant. I’ve read plenty of good stories in which the two destined characters lived rather separate lives for a good part of the story, but never for 99% of it. Nate’s video diaries, in which he professed his love for Hayley and begged her to come back to Texas were sweet, and I kept waiting for her to notice as they went viral. But she was completely oblivious, and her part of the story (which was the bulk of the book) was simply a telling of her day to day life after Nate, interspersed with little flashbacks of their high school romance. I was tempted to start skipping chapters in the hope of stumbling across the one where they finally reconnected.
Come Back to Texas is the story of a college student not over her high school boyfriend, and the soldier he became realizing he’d do just about anything to have her back, but in many ways, that’s all it is. She remembers their being together while he spends his days trying to get her attention on YouTube and convince her to move back to Texas where he’s starting over after having been injured at war. Their memories of each other and enduring love are certainly sweet, but it’s all about their path to reconnecting, and the story rather abruptly ends once they’re reunited. Perhaps if it hadn’t been billed as romance, I would not have been so disappointed, but I feel like I read an entire book of filler for just a hint of future romance in the last few pages.