Monday, March 19, 2018

Review: Lover Come Back - Scott Hildreth

Lover Come Back 
a memoir
by Scott Hildreth
Published: March 15, 2018
Genre: Memoir, Non-fiction 

Scott Hildreth is a married father of six children. He is an international bestselling romance author who has published more than fifty novels, over half of which have been number one bestsellers. His journey to his current existence, however, wasn’t always an easy one.

He never imagined that a weekend hobby would land him in federal prison, a donut shop would produce the love of his life, or that contemporary romance novels would have his name splashed across the covers.

At one point, he had it all: a house on the hill, a wife, three children, and a rewarding career. After becoming the focus of an ATF investigation, his world was turned upside down.

The legal battle for his freedom ended in a loss on the steps of the United States Supreme Court. In the subsequent trip to federal prison, he lost his wife, contact with his children, and his home.

After serving his prison sentence, he returned to work and reunited with the men in his motorcycle club. Once again on top of the world, but lacking trust in society - and women in general - his only relationship was with his motorcycle.

Three years later, Scott was jobless, carless, penniless, and holding an eviction notice. He then took a chance at a career he had no formal training in - being an author. His inspiration came from a woman he shared a table with in a donut shop.

Fueled by nothing more than his love for her, he clawed his way to the top of the industry and hasn’t looked back since.

Lover Come Back is a true - but often unbelievable - story of loss, sacrifice, second chances, and ultimately, love. It takes the reader on a tear-jerking journey from the horrors of a federal criminal trial to the lush beaches of Naples Florida, where Scott and his family currently reside.

A testament to the pain the human heart can endure, and to the repair that only love can bring, Lover Come Back is a must-read memoir that will cause you to believe that second chances can produce first loves.
5 Stars
Memoirs are difficult to review, you can review the writing style and the general content, but you can't really judge that person's life and experiences. Well, I suppose you could, but you'd be sort of an asshole. (Someone remind me to delete that part when I submit this to Amazon.) In this case, Lover Come Back isn't all rainbows and butterflies and you may not agree with or connect with some of the parts of Scott's life, but I think, upon reading, we can all agree that Scott and Jess' romance is one for the history books. In terms of the market, the book is unique, as it is a memoir that is more of a personal tale and sort of a secret glimpse into the life of an author who, in my opinion, really has led a significant change in the romance market. It's part tell all, part romance novel and I think that's the reason why it will be a hit.

As a long time fan of Scott Hildreth, I'm lucky to have previously heard some of these stories. It was the detail behind it, the glimpse into how Scott the author came to be, how his relationship with Jess evolved from friend to lover, how his life experiences and choices really do play such a large part in his character building, that made this book so interesting. I loved reading about his time in his motorcycle club, about that first year with Jess that left such a significant impact on both of them, and about his time in prison for a crime that he did not commit. (Even my man got fired up about that part of the book and I've told him the story before!) My favorite parts though? Scotts interactions with his dad, a man whose words in this novel are unforgettable, a man whose life is larger than the memoir can contain, and his time with Jess. I liked seeing Scott as a son, as a father, and as a life partner. For so many of us he's an author, a male author in a female dominated industry at that, and for some he's a friend and/or an idol. He's personal with his fans, the effort he and Jess make is apparent in every single live feed or silly post they make, but this book takes it a step farther. Lover Come Back lets us see those behind closed doors moments, the affection they share, the fights they had, the sexual relationship that is private to their relationship. I think we can all agree after reading this novel that we all feel like we know them, like we're fortunate to know so much about the man and woman behind some of our favorite novels. Scott Hildreth takes it even further from the special moments we may have shared at signings and makes it personal, with Lover Come Back he makes it so we feel like we are part of all these moments.

I'll admit, just for transparencies sake, that I knew I was going to love this book from the get go. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that this would be a five star read for me, but that's a personal five star rating and I want to highlight how fantastic the book is beyond that as well. The writing in Lover Come Back is on point; the prose, the dialogue, the descriptive detail, and even the character development of these real people is so well done. There are incredibly important secondary characters in this novel and these are the people who carry the book forward, who helped support Scott's life moving forward. Even they feel familiar, to the point where I could hear them as I read. The book is packed with emotion, the kind that you can actually feel while you read, and I'll be the first to say I cried through nearly the entire damn book. There was meaning to everything in this novel and finally it is revealed to us readers just how important right from wrong really is to Scott Hildreth. Well known for the powerful messages in his fiction novels, we get to see how far that hope for right to always prevail goes in Scott's life. It is what he lives and and will die by and the respect I already had for the man grew even larger by the time I read the last word of this memoir.

Lover Come Back is filled with warm and fuzzies, made better by the fact that we know the man and woman in this love story. It's also filled with crass language, some unsavory run ins, and some difficult, yet powerful moments that tugged at my heart. It's a memoir that will please all Hildreth fans and maybe some non-fans, because it's the sort of romance you read in books and in this case, it's all true. Thank you, Scott and Jess, for sharing with us, for giving us everything and thensome, and opening the front door of your home to us. It was, and still is, a beautiful life that you share.

*fist bump*

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