Author: Edmond Manning
Publisher: Pickwick Ink Publishing
Rating: 5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Type: Novel From Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: After years of lying, scheming, and dangerous manipulation, Vin Vanbly finally gets what’s coming to him: love.
How can he survive unstoppable, uncontrollable love when his very nature demands he control everything? Clues about his one true love—tantalizingly hinted at in each of the books in The Lost and Founds series—come together in four life-changing stories.
In No Kings, a sex hookup with a parking lot stranger reveals more about Vin’s life as a Lost King and his destiny than he could have dreamed. In King Fitch, Vin meets the last king in his long legacy, one final weekend before he withdraws from the world to an anonymous Latin American jungle. The Lost Ones recounts a terrifying kidnapping by street thugs from Vin’s past. In King Malcolm the Restorer, Vin’s mysterious relationship with his older brother—and the soul-crushing secret which drew them together—is finally revealed.
Through it all, Vin Vanbly struggles to survive. But what if he is destined for more than mere survival? Is he finally ready to embrace the truth and remember who he was always meant to be? Once there were a tribe where every man was the one true king and every woman the one true queen…
Review: Come Back To Me is the fifth book in The Lost And Founds series. It can be read as a standalone and not be confusing, however, there are answers to questions that are woven throughout the other books, and secrets revealed that would change the reading of the other books of the series if Come Back To Me is read before them.
Unlike the other books in the series up to this point, Come Back To Me is divided into four parts, with the second part jumping back slightly in time.
In the first part of the book, we meet up once again with Vin Vanbly as he begins a weekend. Not a King Weekend, however, because Vin’s time helping Lost Kings become Found has passed. This is a sex weekend. A capitulation to a young man’s request to lose his virginity, and an unexpected anomaly for Vin. Right from the start Vin is on the back foot when it comes to the splendid force of nature that is Mark. When the weekend ends, Vin walks away, as he always does. He gave all his love to the young man with his strange request, and now Mark is free to give all his love elsewhere.
It was pure joy to see Vin’s control whipped out from under him as he is forced to relinquish his expectations of what his time with Mark is going to be, what it is going to mean. I found the first chapter quite confronting, I wasn’t sure I liked this Vin. While that didn’t last long, the way the beginning was set up gave me the subtle reminder to leave my expectations at the door and just trust in the journey. To look for the truth behind the true. And Mark. Mark is incandescent. He is strong and vulnerable and funny and playful and sweet and a little weird, and I completely fell in love with him. Mark gave Vin a taste of his own medicine. He is Vin’s match and then some.
The second part tells of Vin’s final King Weekend. It’s obvious that these Kingings have taken a toll on Vin over the years. The word games he’s always used as a coping mechanism have become insidious as they shift from a way to make sense of the world to a dangerous distraction from it. This part is about more than just Vin guiding Fitch into his Kingship as he Finds himself and becomes King Kevin, the man he was always meant to be. It’s also the story of how Vin became the kind of man who would accept the request of a man a decade his junior for a sex weekend. It shows the almost unnoticed steps Vin takes towards the final path of his own important journey. There’s so much beauty and joy and love with each of Vin’s Kingings, but there’s also that thread of sadness of saying goodbye to a beloved weaving through the tapestry. All those amazing men Vin was meant for but who weren’t meant for him.
The third and fourth parts switch from Vin’s POV and for the first time we see him through the eyes of those who love him. As much as there’s insights that you can only gain from being inside a character’s head, there’s also some things you can only learn through the observations of someone else. I already loved these characters from the first time we got to meet them, and I love them even more for getting to see things from their perspective, and what they see in Vin – the fears and insecurities as well as a bottomless capacity for love, make me appreciate Vin even more than I already did. We finally learn the events that formed Vin, what transformed him from who he’d been to who he was now, and the inspiration for his King Weekends. The first part of Vin’s past is heartbreaking, confronting and impossible to turn away from. I love Vin even more, knowing everything he’s gone through in the past, and everything he went through in this book. All growth comes with some measure of pain. One of the things I love most in this book is the truths and insights. We all want those we love to see us as extraordinary, no matter how ordinary we are to ourselves and the rest of the world.
So many questions and mysteries are answered in this book, but there are still things left to be revealed (hopefully!). In one sense, these revelations take away a lot of Vin’s mystique, but I’m the kind of person who finds a deep fascination in the reveal of the magic trick. It might lose it’s mystique, but the magic is still there. The complexities threaded throughout the narrative, the layers of meaning woven into the tapestry of the story, give each reader the opportunity to pause, reflect and consider individual ideas and insights that most resonate with them. The reactions I had while reading this book were so visceral that I was often brought to tears and laughter, felt sick fear and overwhelming joy. There were powerful scenes, and a startling realisation that came from a particular scene that did not go where I expected it to; it was heartbreaking, but also true and beautiful.