Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hometown Girl by Michele Ashman Bell

From the back cover:
Jocelyn Rogers’s life is in a rut. Maybe she should step outside her comfort zone and move to Milford Falls, where she has inherited her grandmother’s house. With the encouragement of the other Butterfly Girls, Jocelyn musters her courage and starts a new life.

However, when she arrives in the small town that holds both good and bad memories for her, she discovers the house in worse shape than she expected, and getting repairs done is anything but easy — especially when it comes to dealing with Jack Emerson, a man who seems to be agitated by Jocelyn and everyone else within a fifty-mile radius.
To make matters worse, she has begun to worry that moving back to the place where she once spent a troubled summer will expose the deep personal secret she has kept hidden for fourteen years. But Jack also has a hidden secret that has prevented him from getting close to anyone in a long time. And now it seems that interfering neighbors may prevent both Jack and Jocelyn from moving forward with their lives.
Join the Butterfly Girls in this charmingly romantic story that shows sometimes it takes a leap of faith to land on your feet.

Michele Ashman Bell sent me this book to review and I'm so glad she did because I really enjoyed it. I found myself thinking about it even after I read it. It's a fun romance. At first, I wasn't at all excited about the main love interest, Jack. With his long hair, beard, and bad attitude, I couldn't understand why the main character, Jocelyn, would find him at all attractive--I wouldn't have. But, she could see beneath his exterior and as I read the story I could see more and more why she would be attracted to him. At the end of the story, Jack explains why his appearance is what it is and it makes perfect sense.

This book also includes some deeper, even disturbing, issues. The main one concerned Jocelyn. I felt connected to Jocelyn and I ached for her when she shared her long-held secret. It also made me angry--I won't say anymore so it doesn't ruin the story.

I love the relationship between the Butterfly Girls and how they worry about each other and love each other.  What a great group of friends.

I think Michele visited where I live to assemble such a cast of quirky characters. The townspeople made me laugh and reminded me of people I know. I loved Jocelyn's neighbor, Harry.

All in all, I had fun, and a few tears, reading this book and I recommend it. It's true that Michele sent it to me, but that didn't influence my review--the romance did that. I loved, loved, loved the first kiss. Michele sure knows how to show the romance in her writing and communicate those emotions. Gave me some tingles.

Michele is hosting a contest on her blog for a $50 VISA gift card. If you'd like to enter the contest be sure to visit her blog for directions on entering.


kbrebes said...

My husband joined the church at age seventeen. He had long hair and wore jeans and sandals to church! A month later, he baptized his brother and his girlfriend, plus his own (then) girlfriend--not me! So, he may have had long hair, but he definitely had a good attitude. I'm excited to read the book after reading your great post!

Michele Ashman Bell said...

This was such a great review. Thank you so much Rebecca.