A common romance trope is the "Return to Hometown", where MCs have to grapple with a changing hometown or figure out how to adjust and fit back into a place they once left behind. Hometowns are sometimes locations full of nostalgic power and in other places the MCs couldn't leave fast enough. What romances grapple with the idea of home and hometown in a way that fascinated you?
The first two books in Alisha Rai's Forbidden Hearts series both grapple with the difficult emotions, lost loves and unresolved conflicts that await the Kanes upon returning home. For Livvy in Hate to Want You, she has to deal with the pain of being so close to her old home, and favorite haunts and not really being able to go to them again. There is also the struggle to relate to people who have grown and changed and figuring out how to related to family and elders when the old relationships don't fit quite right anymore. I loved the honesty of these portrayals and how it all fit in with Livvy and Nicholas's relationship.
Austin Chant's Peter Darling is a return to hometown romance with a fantastical twist. Peter is not only returning to Neverland, he is returning to a self that he has had to abandon. He goes around aggressively trying to recapture who he was and what he was in Neverland, reigniting old fights and trying to reclaim old relationships. But things have changed and he has changed. He is aware of things he never was before and that awareness makes him relate to Neverland and its inhabitants in a different way. I loved the double homecomings in this book and what they meant for Peter and James.
In Mia Sosa's Pretending He's Mine, Ashley is desperate to avoid going back home but her brother's wedding is not something she wants to miss. She ropes her long-time crush and her brother's best-friend Julian in a scheme to pretend to be an item, so she can avoid all the nagging questions about when she is planning to settle down and have a buffer from difficult relatives. I love that Ashley and Julian don't develop a deep longing to stay in the small-town but their HEA involves escaping back to their careers and opportunities in LA.
What about you? What romances about going back home, do you love?