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Publisher's Summary

At Santa Cruz Central High School, they called them the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos. But most of us knew them as the Lost Boys....

Holden Parish survived his parents' horrific attempts to make him the perfect son. After a year's stint in a Swiss sanitarium to recover, he has vowed to never let anything, nor anyone, trap him again. Brilliant but broken, he seeks refuge behind alcohol, meaningless sex, and uses his wicked sense of humor to keep people away. He only has to ride out one year in the coastal town of Santa Cruz with his aunt and uncle before he inherits his billions and can make his escape and disappear. 

Falling in love is not in the plans. 

River Whitmore. Star quarterback of the Central High football team, Prom King, Mr. Popular, ladies' man. He leads the perfect life...except it's all a lie. His father has River's future in the NFL all planned out, while River's dream is to run the family business in the town that he loves. But his mother's illness is tearing the family apart and River is becoming the glue that holds them together. How can he break his father's heart when it's already shattering? River's carefully crafted façade explodes when he meets Holden Parish. A guy who dresses in coats and scarves year-round, drinks expensive vodka, and spends his free time breaking into houses for the fun of it. They're complete opposites. River seeks a quiet life, away from the spotlight. Holden would rather have dental surgery than settle down. 

Holden's demons and River's responsibilities threaten to keep them apart, while their undeniable attraction crashes them together again and again, growing into something deep and real no matter how they resist. 

Until one terrible night changes everything.

©2020 Emma Scott (P)2021 Podium Audio

What listeners say about When You Come Back to Me

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Incredible Love Story!

I absolutely adored Holden and River's story.

After reading When You Come Back To Me it instantly became my favorite M/M book title. Holden and River's story is beautiful and incredibly well written. Emma Scott has put so much heart and soul into these characters.

Eric London and Zachary Johnson did an amazing job bringing River and Holden to life in the audio version of When You Come Back To Me. The narrators captured so much of the heart and emotions of the characters throughout this incredible love story.

I would rate this book and its audio more than five stars if I could.

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  • Bri13
  • 23-04-2021

What happened??

It’s started out promising! I was hooked with Holden at first, but his narrator was the only thing that kept me in. But man did this story fizzle out fast. It was a struggle to continue listening. The mom who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer was really hard to like! She kept asking her kids if they were “ok”, um wtf?! Of course they weren’t ok watching her die. The dad was just as bad!! It was unbearable. The narrator for River wasn’t great either, he didn’t at all sound age appropriate. What a waste of time and money on this one.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 23-04-2021

The most amazing book

I've read this book twice already; however, the audio was like reliving it all over again and brings it all to life. The narrators were amazing. My heart is full and I can't to re-listen again!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lady Di
  • 23-04-2021

Just ok

I’m not sure why this book got such high stars. I mean it’s a good story but I found myself bored for much of the book. Too high school teeny bopper angst. Then at other times they act ,talk and do things only mid twenty something guys would do. Like parish is only 17-18 but his driver lets him talk to him like he’s some big CEO instead of an emotional rich spoiled teen. I wasn’t impressed with this story and still wonder why it got such high ratings. The narration was ok. Nothing to be impressed about. Actually very bland. Both men sounded so close that it sounded like one narrator throughout the book. Maybe I’m not seeing it but I think it is just ok. I don’t think I’ll listen again.

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  • mamatina08
  • 22-04-2021

Holden and River are everything 😍

This book is just everything that you want. Totally worth the credit. Holden and River will stay with me forever.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Zell Oakley
  • 21-04-2021

Not quite sure why everyone loves Holden

Overall, this was a good read; well written, VERY well performed, and River's story, at least, was satisfying. But reading the reviews on Amazon, it seems like everyone really fell in love with Holden. I'm not sure why; he's insufferable. Maybe they feel bad because he's so self-loathing, but honestly, there has seldom been self-loathing that was so completely justified. We hear over and over from Holden how much he hates himself, and I'm like, finally, we have common ground, because I hate you too.

Holden's worst sin is that he's never there when River needs him. And River needs him a lot. River is going through actual issues, with his mother dying of cancer, his father pressuring him to be something he's not, and figuring out his sexuality. Occasionally, when River begs him, Holden makes a nominal show of support, but he's not there when River needs him most and that's really unforgivable, for me. River is there, or at the very least makes himself available, for everything Holden needs him for, and it's all one way. Jerk.

And even apart from that, he's STILL not that likable. Look, I'm not someone who goes on and on about privilege, but honestly Holden is one of the most privileged characters I think I've read about this year, and I read a lot. And it's not just that he's brilliant, beautiful, and a literal billionaire, he also has a TON of support from the people in his life. He has a couple ready-made true friends when he moves to California, his aunt and uncle (whom he treats rather horribly) are actually pretty nice, their caretaker is like a mother to him, he has an English teacher who is one of those super supportive teachers who appear everywhere in fiction, and of course he has River. And no matter how poorly he treats all of these people--and he treats them all poorly at some point in the novel--not a single one of them gives up on him, ever. And with all that privilege--looks, money, friends, brains--I just can't drum up all that much sympathy for him as a character.

Yes, his parents have abandoned him. Yes, he went through a horrible experience with conversion therapy. But no, that doesn't justify treating everyone around him like they're something he scraped off the bottom of his shoe. At almost no point in the book is he genuinely nice or generous or kind to anyone, including minor characters just trying to do their job (with the possible exception of his aunt and uncle's caretaker, Beatriz).

Does he redeem himself at the end? Probably; I haven't finished yet and I'm not sure if I will. So why am I giving this an overall score of three stars? Well, the writing was excellent. And I really loved River and his story, which is resolved almost entirely without any help from Holden; in fact, if anything Holden is an impediment to River's happiness from almost their first meeting. Yeah, he jumpstarts River's journey toward accepting his own sexuality, but any hot guy could have done that, and maybe they would have been there to support him at SOME POINT in his life. Too often I got lost in River's story only to have Holden melodramatically whirl into the scene like the Tasmanian Devil screaming "PAY ATTENTION TO ME!"

But here's the thing: except for Holden's unpleasant past, he really doesn't have any particular plot surrounding him to speak of. His story almost entirely revolves around what a complete jerk he is to everyone around him, and how that affects him (usually negatively). Or rather, with all the people around him who love him and for whatever reason refuse to give up on him, it's a hackneyed "Holden can't accept that anyone could possibly love him, so he pushes everyone away." Well, good. He shouldn't accept that anyone could possibly love him, because in a just world, they probably wouldn't.

Surprisingly, though, the thing that got me to finally give up on the novel came from River. River's sexuality is sort of in flux throughout the book. He's attracted to Holden from the first time he sees him, and from other things he says we can pretty safely assume he's gay. But, weirdly and offensively, at one point toward the end of the novel he's talking to one of his friends and he says "Maybe I'm not gay. Maybe I'm Holden-sexual" or something to that effect. Please allow me to address the good ladies of m/m fiction for a moment: ahem, THAT IS NOT HOW MALE SEXUALITY WORKS. It's stupid, cliche, and offensive, honestly, and I'm sick of seeing it in books as though it's something an actual human being would ever, ever say.

So, my final rating is two stars for the writing and the story--almost entirely for River's half--and five stars for the narrators who are both beyond fantastic, so good that I'll allow it to bump up the overall rating to three stars. But since almost everyone in the Amazon reviews disagrees with me, I suppose your mileage may vary.

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  • xxBooksILovexx
  • 21-04-2021

You must listen to this book! It's Amazing!

Wow, what an amazingly beautiful book. This story took me to places I haven’t been before. Thank you for sharing Holden & River’s incredible journey. Their story was filled with love, failure, heartache, forgiveness and strength. One of the best MM romance books I have ever read. New to me narrators. Great Job Zachary Johnson & Eric London!

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  • Carol
  • 06-05-2021

Spectacular

What a great audio. The narration by these two gentlemen was perfect and you felt every single emotion deep to your bones in your toes. Holden and River travel such an incredible journey, finally finding their way to one another. Highly recommended

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  • Vania
  • 01-05-2021

Touching, intense and so beautiful!

This was my first book from author Emma Scott, and to say I am hooked would be an understatement.
Holden and River’s journey is difficult and heart-breaking. I found myself sobbing and having to take a breather from reading it so many times. All in all I just wished I could mother these two broken and wonderful guys, just hug them close and promise everything will be OK…
Both these boys (because let’s not forget that at the beginning of the book, both of them are just seventeen) have gone and are going through so much despite how young they are, and they both have more issues than Vogue, and this book hurts in the most delicious of ways.
The author’s narrative is flawless and poetic and so very emotional!
I loved the narrators, especially Zachary Johnson did an incredible job bringing Holden to life!

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  • Becky L
  • 03-05-2021

Brilliant dual narration audio

I absolutely loved every word of this audio. The two narrators complemented each other incredibly well to create two distinct yet cohesive voices that told the story of River and Holden in a way that elevated it above just reading the book, which is very rare for me as I prefer to read than listen.

Highly recommended.

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