His Hometown Girl
by Karen Rock
Publication Date: March 1, 2014
Published by Harlequin
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
He'd always managed to best her…
Jodi Chapman will do whatever it takes to get top care for her autistic son. If that means going home and convincing local farmers to sell their land, so be it. Even if her biggest opponent, childhood rival Daniel Gleason, is equally determined to convince farmers to buy into his co-op plan. And he's not playing fair.
Facing off against Daniel is the last thing Jodi wants. The attraction that's always fueled their competitiveness is as strong as ever and just as distracting. But with both their futures on the line, and years of distrust between them, how can they ever be on the same side?
His Hometown Girl is a sweet romance and lives up to the Harlequin title - Heartwarming.
What I liked most about this book it that it is filled with real-life concerns and not perceived melodramas. Jodi is a single (divorced) mother trying to take care of her son in the best way she knows how. Daniel is a farm owner trying to keep it successful and prevent a corporate buy-out. Even though they have a past together, it doesn't overshadow the present.
I loved reading about the community of Cedar Bay and the people who lived there. Coming from a small-town myself, I am drawn to stories set in them. It was easy to vision all of the community events and Fourth-of-July fireworks and all of the towns' people.
I enjoyed the writing style and the alternating perspectives. Karen Rock did a great job of capturing Jodi's concerns and dilemmas without making them overwrought with angst. I liked reading Daniel's perspective because I could grasp his love for the land and the pride he felt in all that he did. I would have liked to read more romantic moments between Daniel and Jodi, but for the storyline and everything that was happening, the story had just the right amount.
This is one of the first books that I've read where autism was a focus of the story. I was enlightened from reading Jodi and Tyler's story and the various approaches to living with a child with autism. There were several moments in the book that highlighted the difficulties of dealing with other peoples' responses to autistic children. When Jodi was mad because of peoples' callousness, I was mad right along with her.
I really liked His Hometown Girl and plan to continue to read more of Karen's books. Daniel's sister, Sue, plays a major role in this book and I wouldn't mind reading more about her story. Well hers and a certain guitar-playing farm hand's.
Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Harlequin via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
Karen Rock has adored romance since receiving Harlequin Presents books from her grandmother each summer. She formed her Young Adult writing partnership, J.K. Rock- pseudonym for the CAMP BOYFRIEND series, with her sister-in-law and Blaze author, Joanne Rock in 2011. When Karen heard of a call for submissions to Heartwarming, Harlequin’s latest line, she was inspired by the possibilities of writing unforgettable, deeply romantic, tender love stories that mothers would feel comfortable sharing with their daughters. When she’s not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother's family recipes, hiking the ‘high peaks’, and redesigning her gardens. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch” though they know a lot about love.
For more information about Karen's upcoming books, check out her website at http://www.karenrock.com, Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/
karenrockwrites or follow her on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ karenrock5 . She’d love to hear from you!
GRAND PRIZE WINNER
-$50 Amazon Gift Card
-SIGNED copy of HIS HOMETOWN GIRL by Karen Rock
2nd & 3rd PRIZE WINNERS
-SIGNED copies of HIS HOMETOWN GIRL by Karen Rock