Friday, May 20, 2011

Book Review: Called Home: Two Hearts Answer by Gloria Schumann

Emma Benson has moved away from the farm where she was raised, but her mother's health is failing and she can no longer run the place by herself.  Emma comes home to help her mother manage the property and finds that she missed home more than she thought she would.

David Schlosser grew up down the road, and his writing career took him to the bright lights of the big city, where he became a best-selling novelist.  He realizes, though, that his heart is back on the farm, working with his hands and staying in touch with nature.  He's intrigued to learn that Emma has also returned home.  They went to school together, although he was a little older than her, and he remembers her as a bright, spunky teenager.  Anxious to see the woman she has become, he pays her a visit on her farm, and is a little surprised to see that she's not as emotionally open as she used to be.

Emma's life has not been easy.  Her brother died when she was a child, her father abandoned the family, and then she was betrayed by the man she thought she would marry.  She has built walls around herself so she won't get hurt again.  When David shows up, handsome and successful, she's glad to see him, but at the same time, she's very reluctant to open herself up to him.  He's artless and charming, ready to pick up their friendship and be a help to her on the farm, but she's resistant to making herself vulnerable to anyone ever again, even if it is just friendship.  And when David decides he wants more than just that, she becomes frightened.  Risking her heart again is just too much.

"Called Home: Two Hearts Answer" is a contemporary romance by author Gloria Schumann.  I enjoyed the interplay between the two characters as David tries to get Emma to loosen up, and Emma clings tightly to her privacy.  I appreciated the care both of them took of Emma's mother and the way they felt connected to the land, like stewards over something precious.  I did wish for just a little more back story for David and Emma, things they might have experienced together as teenagers to help set the stage for what happens between them as adults, but I found the story enjoyable and engaging, and I recommend it to any reader who is looking for a clean romance with some nice heart-thumpy kisses and a plot line they can care about.

*FTC disclaimer:  I received this book from the author in exchange for my review, but this did not influence my opinions.

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