Friday, August 12, 2011

Called Home--Two Hearts Answer, by Gloria Schumann--A Review

Savant Books & Publications, ISBN 9780984117571, May 2010

Emma Benson is back in her small Wisconsin home town, intent on saving the farm she grew up on for her mother and herself. There are painful memories here: Her brother's death when she was five, her father's subsequent retreat into alcoholism and then desertion, in his own inability to cope with the loss, but it's also the center of her happy memories, as she and her mother worked the farm together while she grew up. Emma has moved on to pursue a career as a teacher, but with her mother struggling and in danger of losing the farm to foreclosure, she needs to do more than send checks to help save her childhood home.

When a tornado threatens the farm, another recent returnee turns up on her doorstep, seeking shelter from the storm. David Schlosser has been living in New York and writing best-selling mystery novels; he's now ready to settle down permanently in the town he grew up in, and where his parents still live.

During this first meeting, sparks--of both temper and attraction--are flying in both directions.

David knows what he wants--his own home, a family, and Emma. Emma is more confused. She loves her home, but loves being a teacher, too, and wants to follow that calling. She likes David and is attracted to him, but she's been badly hurt, by her father's desertion and by the man she expected to marry, and she's more intent on protecting herself from future heartache than finding happiness. It's an up-and-down courtship, with Emma torn between her attraction and her fear, David respectful of her limits but determined to win her heart and her trust, and Emma's mother Nancy, despite her own disappointments, a happy cheerleader for the relationship.

The tension ramps up when Emma acquires a stalker, who pulls some creepy pranks and them some really scary ones, and vandalizes David's car, too. As the incidents get more violent, David becomes more determined to protect her, and to make her a permanent part of his life, while Emma is torn between her attraction to David and her certainty that he'll leave her and break her heart again.

Emma's a strong, determined personality, prickly and sometimes rude in her need to protect her injured heart, but loyal, resourceful, kind, and tougher than she thinks she is. David is strong enough to be gentle and patient, and insightful enough to respond to Emma's fears rather than be driven away by them.


I received a free e-galley from the author for review.

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