Going Back by Jennifer Young
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
Publication Date: April 2016
Feisty, redheaded, and fabulously rich student, Leona Castellano, is set upon returning to her Italian roots to put an old feud to bed. Her grandfather is dead, but his former enemy, Faustino Manfredi, seems determined the hostility should not die with him and turns his fury upon Leona.
When she becomes close to Faustino’s grandson, Nico, their romance strengthens Faustino’s vendetta and attracts the opposition of Leona’s parents, bringing Leona and Nico face to face with a terrible secret.
*I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
Going Back is about Leona Castellano, who wants more than anything to lay to rest an old feud between two families. Within the first few pages of the book, I had already formed an impression of Leona; and it wasn’t all bad. She’s a woman child: spoiled, naïve, stubborn, and brave (sometimes stupidly so). She reminds me of a thirteen year old who wants so badly to prove that she is a an adult, but ends up putting herself and others around her in danger.
I read Going Back as a standalone, and even though I got the full gist of the story, I feel like I missed out on most of the romance (which probably took place in the prequel). The couple doesn’t connect until well into the story, and I really would have loved to have a glimpse of how the romance started between Leona and Nico.
Apart from my slight disappointment with the romance, this story has a lot going for it drama- wise. There is a very generous mix of characters ranging from loyal and wise to evil and foolish. There is a plot twist, which I kind of predicted at the back of my mind, but that fact did nothing to lessen the impact of the twist. Of course, the way things get resolved at the end is different from the way I expected the story to conclude, but it’s nothing less than satisfying.
In a nutshell, Going Back is a well written piece of work. In spite of the minor things I don’t fancy about the story, I was engaged right from the beginning till the end; and although I often had little patience for Leona, the storyline and the characters are realistic. It also doesn’t hurt that this story comes with a few lessons that apply to real life.