Lovely, sweet, romantic story No explicit sex, but the charm and the HEA makes up for it. I really enjoyed this story a lot The characters are than just shallow stereotypes, and grow, and change over the course of the story It s nice to see people from small towns being treated with a level of respect, and allowed to be much than ignorant hicks or folksy charmers The secondary characters were as well developed, and interesting as the primary ones, and the relationships between friends and family was accorded just as much importance as romantic ones. After His Big Shot Life In New York Tragically Falls Apart, James Montgomery Returns To His Small Hometown In South Georgia A Defeated And Broken Man All He Has Left Is His Mother To Help Him Heal And Regain His Confidence Before He S Ready To Get Back Out And Re Conquer The WorldBut Being Big City Gay In A Small Southern Town Has Its Own Challenges In Addition To Coming To Grips With What Happened In New York, His Hometown Of Lawder Throws Its Own Curveballs At Him James Is Confronted With A Bitter Enemy From His School Days, And Frustratingly Can T Seem To Avoid The Guy His Mother Suddenly Wants To Expand The Family The One Guy James Takes A Liking To And Starts Dating Has A Lot Of Hang Ups About Being Gay And He Watches Almost Helplessly As A New Young Bully Starts To Repeat The Kind Of Abuse He Suffered During His Own School DaysHere Where He Grew Up, The One Place He Should Feel Safe, James Feels Maddeningly Off Balance He Starts To Think That Maybe Going Home Was A Bad Idea After All Maybe He D Be Better Off Moving On And Really Starting Over, Completely From Scratch Maybe He Should Walk Away From Lawder, Just Like He Walked Away From His Life In New YorkBut Maybe, If He D Give It A Chance, He D Re Think Everything He Ever Thought He Wanted Out Of Life And Maybe What He Thought Was Important, Isn T So Important After All Maybe He Could Have Everything He Never Realized He Wanted, If He Just Looked Around Himself For A Moment This is my second book to read by JF Smith and I loved this one very much It is a long winding kind of book that has a romance toward the end There were times that I wondered if it was going to happen even Some of the subplots and character building seems superfluous, but I enjoy that as well It extends my reading pleasure to not have everything be about the romance.James has had some rough things happen to him in life This book is about how karma catches up with you or how you can learn from your past mistakes What do you truly need to make you happy in life I usually think I am pretty lucky having a career that is based on my passion and having a husband that I am passionate about A few years back I took a job where I had to live M F in a different city from my husband A 3 year stint didn t harm our relationship but I learned that I need to live with my husband in order for me to feel right I am bless to love what I do for a living It doesn t make it all play, its hard work but I do love working at it For our stories lead James, he has messed up with the one person he thought he needed to be complete He has found out that his chosen field is full of self serving idiots Now what This is the genius of Mr Smith You need all the superfluous bits to really get into James head All the things he has to re learn about himself and others Then JF inserts Cory, a 14 year old boy figuring out he is gay and desperately not wanting to be James becomes a better person by all that he does to help Cory The bully and victim theme is woven skillfully thru out this novel It really opens his eyes to see the world differently from his original myopic self image.There are many great supporting characters that populate this novel, most of which I came to enjoy if not love The chief of police is a hoot, I do wonder if he is a bit over the top, but I can also admit that there might be someone like him in real life.The end of the book is like an extended epilog When you fall in love with characters, it is a blessing to really know what happens after the romance has blossomed.JF Smith writes complex characters that I care about and love to see them grow and find their place in life There is no real sex in this book There are many situations that might be a problem for a minor to read, but I am not an expert there The situation with Cory would be great for young men to read about. Five glorious stars It s been awhile since I ve been so enad with a story I don t think I ll ever forget it The writing was beautiful, his story timely and clever, the characters were complex and real, and the atmosphere had a tactile quality to it And then there was Brick Suffice it to say that when I was done with the book, I felt like I had just spent a considerable amount of time with beloved family and fabulous friends It was a wonderful, satisfying feeling.I loved Smith s book, perhaps even that his Latakia also 5 stars Highly recommended. A rambling, stream of consciousness style story about James, a big city exec, who returns home after a tragedy befalls his lover He slowly comes to terms with his actions and life with the help of new friends, family, and most of all a former enemy from his youth.There is plenty of self reflection, lots of natural dialogue and joking around between guys some of it not quite pc , and a few sweet messages about the importance of friends and someone to spend your life with Not quite as tightly written as Latakia but still shows that same storytelling skill I was glued to the pages There are no graphic sex scenes but you won t miss them This book is an incredible bargain at 99c Review of Free Version only This is a family drama book and about friendships with some romantic elements but not a real m m romance story I didn t really like a lot of it in the beginning and it was boring in parts The story starts with James returning to his hometown of Georgia where his mom lives, after some tragic event happened in New York James doesn t talk about what happened, it s only hinted at until we re about 70% page 300 into the story , which is quite annoying The first half of the book deals with James relationship with his mother In fact the entire book is very mom centric She eventually adopts a child that James becomes a big brother father figure to James also reconciles with a former bully, Brick and becomes friends with him and other people in the town Things I didn t like James constantly and I mean constantly compares how shallow his life and his friends were in New York and how much better people were in country life of Georgia I didn t like that whole bias big city equals bad I didn t like that when James, an adult, wants to actually try to restart his career in another state, his mom says no Nor was it quite believable that he would forego everything he ever wanted and be satisfied with a manual labor landscaping job The first half of the book, 200 Kindle pages everyone just played to good ole boy stereotypes There was a lot of drinking and getting high One of their friends to celebrate becoming chief of Police comes over to get high and hit a bong In an earlier scene, the future chief and Brick get so drunk that they can barely walk, talk, see straight the writer makes the poor decision to write out their totally inane dialog While the major ones, like James talking about his former boyfriend, are told and not shown The second half of the book it s still mentioned that coming over and getting high is a favorite past time but at least the dialog for this drops off We get 200 pages of James being the only gay man, as far as he knew, in town He s like the pet gay in town They take him to a straight stripper bar, I guess to see how he reacts There s an entire scene described about the stripper, who is James neighbor, dollar bills and lap dances In fact sexual details are given for this than was given for when James Brick finally get together, which doesn t happen until the book is about 88 percent done I did like the subplot involving the chief s 14 year old son Cory And when Brick James get together all 5 to 10 pages or so they make a nice couple But before that there is zero sexual chemistry between Brick James They are just friends and act like brothers throughout the book At 88% in James is wondering when did my feelings change The reader could wonder the same thing as well as there s really no lead up to this romantic turn We don t get to think about it too long, however, as we re swept once again into family drama involving the mom Cory as the book comes to a close While a couple of the things mentioned was nice, it s not enough for me to recommend this book It may be because I read the free version, but it felt like it needed a lot of reworking to make this a publishable story It also didn t hold my interest a lot of the times As a side note there are numerous editing spelling errors and words that are misused throughout I mention this last as I assume this was cleaned up in the published version Falling Off the Face of the Earth is the second JF Smith book I have read The first one was Latakia and there is a third book, that I will try to read after this This book was beautiful and at times painful One of the things about this as well is there is a lot that happens The saving grace for me was the humor I laughed sometimes.James was the main character and while I would consider another character who I won t mention a main character, James was the main focus of the story His story was quite sad and at times I felt sorry for him, although he was clueless at the best of times It killed me to know who he should end up with and then having to wait for it to happen.This book wont be for everyone I loved it though and I found myself enthralled in the lives of James and the other characters I am a huge fan of JF Smith and cannot wait for of his books.Highly recommend it This is an amazing book It s about family, friendship, trust, and, of course, love The book follows the life of James Montgomery since he returns back to his small hometown in the South after living in New York James was a movie marketer who dated a famous actor, Ian Ian killed himself and James felt that not only he was not able to prevent it, but he also contributed to his lover s death When the company he worked didn t appreciate what he did, he quit and move back home with his mother who had a landscaping business.James was so shocked to learn that his mother s current right hand man was Kevin Brick Taylor a person who often bullied him when they were in Junior High He refused to even be in the same room with Brick The author doesn t make a quick and painless reconciliation between the two Only after a while and public humiliation did James forgive Brick, and they became friends At one point, when life gave him another hit, James decided that he wanted to have his big city life back, so he seek a new job in Los Angeles This put him in a dilemma would he stay in his small city life with his friends and family or would he pursue a career he wants The book chronicles many things that happened between the two The length allows characters developments Now and then, there are background stories about what happened in New York I m glad that the tension between James and Brick is not solved over night Neither do they become couple fast.There are many very interesting supporting characters Jerry a police chief who likes to smoke pot , J.T a hot policeman , Cory a 14 yr old boy who bullied his classmate , Bea James mother , Lindsey a 5 yr old girl , Stephanie James next door neighbor who is a dominatrix stripper , and Jesus a Hispanic colleague who keeps being accused illegal worker and was often called You Know Who, even though his name is supposed to be pronounced differently.While the plot is not completely new, the execution is done beautifully The author provides enough background stories for both James and Brick that make them multidimensional characters The characters also have many quirks that makes this really interesting book for instance, there s a dog who likes to sniff James crotch.I really recommend this book for those who like romance Don t worry, while it s sweet, it s not all too sweet sugary kind of romance There are appropriate dose of angst, humor, and drama Interestingly, the sex scenes are there but not between the MCs I ve never heard of the author before A quick search both on Goodreads and didn t give me any other result apart from this book So, likely it s a new author, or famous author with a pseudo name.It s quite long book 9,500 points in Kindle location Because I ve never heard the author, I was wondering if I d like the book So happy that I gave it a try.I feel bad that the author only charged me 99 cents in With so many craps books out there which charge me 4.99 6.99, I think the book worth much than that. Mixed bag of feelings about this one.So there is some definite emotional manipulation going on with this which I am not fond of in general, add in the MC s psychologist narrative that just felt too separated from the events that made this seem less like a story being told and about the author trying to herd me this is my face OOThat said, it is a lovely story about losing oneself and going back home and finding yourself again Realizing that it isn t the what or where, but the who that makes the impact in your life and happiness About forgiveness, and how it changes everyone involved And I love those concepts, but the didactic approach was repellant at times You try to drag me somewhere and I m gonna head the other direction out of spite That s how this book made me feel, and I had other issues, too I had a major issue with the resolution of James and Brick s past The onerous of rebuilding bridging was placed squarely on James shoulders and I really, viscerally disagreed with the other characters analyst of the situation Way too much turn the other cheek for my liking, and this was the primary disconnect for me and the story In addition, the flamboyance of a whole slew of characters made it less realistic It made for easy laughs to disperse that heavy sadness, but at what cost Finally, it dragged on The story wanted to tie up all the loose ends including a tertiary character this is only one story So the slow flounder to the end kinda was a bummer I m at a loss on rating Parts were four or five stars, others were two and the composite rating seems to skew lower in my mind than the actual enjoyment of the story It s than a two and less than a three, I m rounding up because it kept my interest and made me laugh at times.