Penny, Penny, Penny…I can’t get enough of your creative work! I would probably enjoy reading your grocery lists. I just finished my early copy of this one yesterday, and I am still thinking about the insane chemistry between Abby and Rex. Penny Reid has a knack for creating unique, memorable characters. She has also ratcheted up the angst level in this book, and let me tell you, I was here for it! Throw in the fact that this is a holiday romance, and I’m completely smitten.
Homecoming King is a written in a bit of a different style than the typical trademark small town romance romantic comedy with steam we have all come to love from the wonder that is Penny Reid. The story unfolds in dual POV between the two main characters, Abby McNerny and pro-football player for the Chicago Squalls, Rex “TW” McMurty. Though this book definitely has the humor and steam, it also features an unlikely fake marriage between two characters who went to K-12 school together. It also features a celebrity character, as Rex is a famous football player. Abby is just a regular gal, a bartender who also makes pottery to sell in her Etsy shop. And by ‘regular gal,’ I mean a gal whom I would love to be friends with, of course. She knits, sews, shops and Goodwill, and collects old quilts, for Pete’s sake. What’s not to love about her?! I want to be her! Also, a story featuring fake marriage, fake dating…yes, please. One of my favorite tropes. But, as Rex and Abby soon find out, it’s hard to keep faking feelings when the feelings are becoming oh so very real.
Abby is completely shocked (and somewhat thrilled, to be honest) when out of the blue one night at work, a blast from her past, Rex McMurty, pro-football player and heartthrob extraordinaire, walks into her bar. All those years in grade school and high school when her awkwardly tall self was pining for Rex to notice her, but too scared/shy to even speak to him come rushing back to her as she wonders why he would be in town. But as the bar closes for the night, Abby finds a rather over-served Rex in need of some friendly help, and how can she refuse. Even if he doesn’t remember her, they grew up together, and she certainly remembers him. After the awkward encounter of making sure Rex was safe and sound, Abby knows she’ll never hear from him again. Oh well, she has her job, her pottery work, her boss and father-figure, Walker, and her best friend Kaylee. She doesn’t need a man. The last time she allowed herself to date, it didn’t end so well, and she is still picking up the pieces from that debacle years later. When Rex finds her a few weeks later with a wild proposition for a favor, a favor that could benefit her greatly, Abby once again finds herself completely floored. Who is this man? Rex McMurty is definitely not the man she thought he was all these years, and as it turns out…Abby finds herself appreciating that fact. As the lines of their business relationship begin to blur, Rex and Abby must find a way to make a new future, a future in which they are hopefully together for real.
Homecoming King is the first book in Penny’s new holiday romance series Three Kings. If Rex is the first King, I can hardly wait to meet the other two. (fans self) To sum it all up, I dearly loved this story, and I hope you do as well.