The Alphas' Homestead Series — Book Two
Size: 5.10 x 7.80 in
Three years after Jacob Carpenter landed on Caleb Fletcher’s doorstep, the Alpha mates return to the city they grew up in to be married.
Aside from the sheer exhaustion of traveling across the country with three children in tow, both men step foot back in New York filled with apprehension about what kind of reception they will receive from their families after abandoning their respective packs.
At first it seems they are welcomed home with open arms and much excitement about their wedding but it soon becomes clear that not everyone is so happy to see the prodigal sons return.
Indeed, Caleb finds himself wondering if Jacob will go through with the ceremony at all, or whether it would be better to pack up his mate and their children, and head back to Nebraska before the situation does irreparable damage to them both.
Sometimes you have to leave a place to realize it’s exactly where you ought to be.
- 2 To Be Read lists
Publisher: Independently Published
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Adopted Child, Age Difference, Alpha Character, Coming Home, Families/Raising Kids, Hurt / Comfort, Love Can Heal / Redemption, Married Life, Uncommunicative Masculinity
Word Count: 36000
Setting: New York City
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
Caleb shook his head and shifted in his seat the best he could without waking the three-year-old snoring on his chest. "No. Not really. I think I'm too tired. Whose fool idea was it anyway to travel half-way across the country with three children?" He sounded done in and exasperated but gently smoothed his fingers across his baby's brow, skimming the long blonde strands from Thaddeus's flickering eyes.
Jacob snorted as the rocking carriage made their interlocked legs bump together. He looked across at his mate and tilted his head. "I believe your exact words were; Let me take you home to be married, Jacob. It'll be romantic, Jacob. The pups will behave, I promise, Jacob."
Caleb huffed out a laugh at Jacob’s mocking impression of his rough voice. "Yeah, well. I don't remember you having any objections at the time."
"Well, given what you were doing to me at the time, you could have hardly expected otherwise."READ MORE
Caleb remembered very well what they had been doing, and did several times that night. A wicked grin spread over his lips as he shrugged, but he stopped short of a reply when the door to the carriage opened, flooding the carriage with noise from the corridor as the conductor leaned in.
"We'll be arriving in about ten minutes, gentlemen." He tipped his smart blue hat at Martha. "And lady." She beamed back at him, folding her hands demurely in her lap, just as Sarah had shown her. Martha was as smitten with her aunt now as she had been at Sarah's first visit, and their letters to each other continued to be positively encyclopedic in length. Caleb's relationship with Martha certainly wasn’t as rocky as it had been after the night of the fire when they lost the cabin, but still, he felt a pang of jealousy that Martha seemed to forget he existed whenever his sister was mentioned. Still, he couldn't begrudge the female attention Martha clearly delighted in.
Jacob smiled up at the conductor. "Thank you, James."
"You're very welcome, sir. I'll make sure a porter meets you directly at the baggage car to help with the luggage."
Caleb nodded at him, adjusting Thaddeus who was starting to stir—rubbing his chubby fist against his eyes. "We appreciate it."
The man nodded one last time, tipped his hat, and slid the door closed.
Jacob started buttoning his vest and reached for his jacket. "This is it then." He seemed suddenly anxious and it set Caleb's nerves on edge at once.
The change in mood must have shown in his body somehow, as Thaddeus abruptly pushed himself up from Caleb's chest, looking blearily at his surroundings with his big blue eyes for a moment before his creased, red face screwed up and his chest began to hitch.
Caleb sat up, jostling the grizzling boy into an upright position, but didn't get the chance to try to sooth him as Martha sprang forward, grabbing Thaddeus's hands and pulling him forward to stand on the seat. "Tad! Thank goodness you're awake. We've arrived! Come look out the window with me and see if we can spot the station before Ephraim."
"I don't know. I'm pretty good at spotting stations." Ephraim smiled over at Thaddeus. Immediately, Thaddeus's face changed from sorrow to determination. To say that the little Alpha was fiercely competitive with his older brother was somewhat of an understatement. Clambering quickly to the window, Thaddeus settled himself against Martha's side and reached out to Ephraim, wordlessly entreating him to stand at the window with them, so they could point at shining church spires, chimneys billowing smoke, and people going about their daily work, together.
The sight made Caleb's heart swell, and Jacob's too, judging by the smile that spread over his face and the way he reached out to hold Caleb's hand for a moment. Thaddeus had come along just as the older children were finally settling into life at the homestead, so Caleb and Jacob had both worried about the effect it might have on them. But brother and sister had welcomed the baby with unbridled enthusiasm. There were issues and jealousy from time to time, but that merely reassured the Alphas that the children thought of themselves as true siblings.
Jacob smirked at Caleb, making him frown as he pulled his jacket on over his massive shoulders, the train jarring and making the carriage, and everyone in it, jolt. "What's so funny?"
Jacob shrugged. "Nothing. You look… fine. Apart from the drool on your shirt."
Caleb looked down at the wet mark on his chest and sighed. "You're right. Maybe we should go home so I can change."
Jacob slapped Caleb's knee as he stood, reaching up to pull an old carpetbag down from the storage rack. "Just button your jacket, you old fool. I think you'll be forgiven a little spit-up being that your family hasn't seen you in twelve years."
Caleb grunted, not wanting to speak and give away how his stomach had started turning cartwheels at the thought. He stood and started to gather Thaddeus's blanket and toys when he felt Jacob's gentle hand on his arm and turned. There wasn't much space for the two large men so they ended up face to face, almost touching.
Jacob scratched his fingers over the short, dark beard Caleb had been cultivating. It was fast becoming one of Jacob's most favorite signs of affection, and one Caleb was most happy to receive. "Are you sure you're all right?"
Caleb smiled. Cupping his mate's face, he kissed him softly and nodded. "Yes. And no. I'm terrified. But then you're here. And the children. I'm sure between the five of us we'll work it out if everything goes horribly wrong."
Jacob grinned and opened his mouth to reply but he was interrupted by Martha's loud, "Papa, Tad needs to pee. And no, he can't hold it."COLLAPSE
Sue on Books Laid Bare Boys wrote:
Alex Jane once again regaled this reader with a sensual tale in her book Returning Home, The Alphas’ Homestead series. Caleb and Jacob returned to New York to marry before their children and their packs~ although not thwart with rife. Lucky for the two alphas, their love and sense of togetherness outdid everything thrown at them.
True to form, Ms. Jane delivered a time period classic that was well-versed and researched. Her writing transported me to post Civil War and drew me into the story. The world building captured my attention and things can only go up from here. Every detail was carefully delivered sans being forced.
Caleb’s family was genuine and caring~ proud and accepting~ their love radiated from each other and to each other. The children have grown and matured under the gentle hands of their father, secure in the family of choice and acceptance. Ms. Jane’s characterization of the children with each other and Caleb and Jacob left me smiling and warmed my heart. I pictured the tiny alpha, Thaddeus, growling at his brother and sister, amused and tickled.
Returning Home endeared me even more than I thought possible after reading Home is Where You Are. Alex Jane is now an automatic for this reader. Strong and romantic characters, Ms. Jane’s series should not be overlooked.
Book provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review
A five handcuff review
The second book takes them home to their families where things aren't exactly what they would have hoped for.
We see them grow and their own little family become whole.
Two men, an idyllic setting and a love that helps them face the world.
What more could you want?
4.5 out of 5 stars.