Author: Barbara James
Title: Going Home: Roger
Genre(s): Multicultural; Military; Romance; Young adult and college
Review: Going Home: Roger is a deliciously sweet romance novel that follows a blossoming couple with each partner coming together despite their meeting at a vulnerable point in life. Roger is in the Coastguard while Denise is still in high school and they meet at the wedding of Denise's older sister and Roger's best friend. They maintain a solid connection as Denise finishes her high school years and they begin dating as she enters college. It was interesting to read the scenes while Denise was still in high school because the age gap was quite significant. However, it was clear that Denise's level of maturity matched that of an older person and therefore the discrepancy did not jump off the page quite as much as it could have. As their love story unfolds, it becomes clear that they each must face adversity on their own as well as a couple. Barbara highlights very important topics, such as how feminism plays out in relationships, religious affiliations, and the difficulties some interracial couples face. Having been well-versed with the military life, Barbara also portrays this population quite accurately. I find this novel to be quite relatable in witnessing how the couple grows together over the course of developmental periods that can evoke a lot of changes and existential crises. Also, while I enjoy some erotic romances as much as the next millennial woman, I find Barbara's take on romance to be quite refreshing and a good change of pace. Her description of this novel being "Sweet and Sensual" fits my overall thoughts of it very much. Barbara provides readers with well-managed scene descriptions that will leave you with a clear sense of the characters' environments. I think you will enjoy this novel if you are looking for a coming of age romance that discusses a variety of social issues and conveys a realistic image of two people in love who are able to grow together.
Book Description: "Roger M. Young turned his back on his conservative upbringing when he left home at eighteen and joined the Coast Guard. He was quite happy with his life. When he served as a groomsman at his best friend Rick Santelli's wedding, dating Denise Perigault, Rick's teenaged sister-in-law, was the last thing on his mind. And she felt the same way. Having recently finished her junior year in high school, she was just too young. But once she starts college in the same town where he is stationed, they might change their minds. If Roger wants to date a younger and more traditional woman, he must figure out whether he's up to the challenge. Can he recall the lessons he learned before he left home?"
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