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 fuelled 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?
I was asked if I wanted to read and review His Hometown Girl and of course, I couldn’t refuse. I adore Karen Rock and have read the Camp Boyfriend series she wrote with her sister, Joanne. I wanted to read more of Karen’s writing and was desperate to get my hands on this book in particular.
Daniel is her ex-boyfriend and also her biggest childhood rival, the competition between these two was always fierce. Daniel wants the local farmers to join his co-op in order to preserve their land, their farms, their families heritage but Jodi wants to swoop in and buy up all the farms in order to please Midland and get back to her life. Not only has her ex husband not seen Tyler, he has also sued to lower his child support payments. Life for mother and son is one obstacle after another and she needs to set things on a better path for their future.Going back home was harder than Jodi thought. It stirred up those feelings she had for Daniel, it made her yearn for “home” but competing with that is a mother’s love for her son and just what she will do in order to give him the life he needs.
For me, one of the biggest things was the fact that Daniel is amazing. He’s got all the character traits that a girl could wish for, tall, handsome, winning smile – but what made him stand out for me was the fact that he was so accepting of Tyler. He didn’t look at Tyler like he was disabled or a “problem to be solved” like many other people did. I am disabled myself and I know just how it is to be judged on your disability, not the person you are beneath the label. So when Daniel went and got Tyler the ‘girl toy’ (read HHG and you will know which scene I mean) it made me smile from ear to ear, and shed a tear or two because he’s such an amazing guy. He’s kind, thoughtful, patient, tender, loving and he loves Jodi and Tyler for who they are.
You know that feeling you get when you are so unbelievably sad for others that all you want to do is grab hold of them, hug them and tell them it will all be okay? Or when you are so over the moon happy that you can’t stop smiling and just want to shout it out to the whole world? Well those are just two of the emotions I felt during this read.The read tells of Jodi and just like every loving mother out there Jodi will do anything to help her son receive the medical attention he needs. Of course having to return to her hometown is not ideal but what must be done must be done.
But when she arrives it very soon becomes clear that her mission is going to be no easy walk in the park or in this case the farm’s fields, and it’s all because of the one and only man that has always been able to push her buttons both bad and good.
However as every mother knows, nothing stands in the way of helping our children and Jodi is not about to back down easily, only Daniel has the same fierce determination. Only their unspoken love for each other can save them both, that is if it’s strong enough to withstand life altering decisions.
This was one of the most incredible stories I have ever read, and if I did not know it was a book I would never had believed someone if they told me it was made up, it was all just too real to be fiction. It was as if the author did not write the characters herself but rather got real life people to sit down and each write their own part.
Issues such as Autism , unspoken love finally voiced and being tested, a mother having to do what is best for her child, and a man needing to learn how to love both mother and child and accept the mother’s decisions are just a few subjects that were explored in this read. The author did a remarkable job with every real life element being described, the entire time I felt as if the author did not just slap this book together, she really took the time to make sure she is informed about every serious issue and it truly showed.
Some reads have the making of a good story but then the focus of the real issues are muddled up with the author not taking the time to research the truth behind the issues, so thank you Karen Rock for taking the time to properly research, in this read everyone will learn something that is vital in so many ways of life.
Jodi’s character was the one I could personally most connect with, as a mother I know that doing the right thing can make it seem like there is only one way of doing it, but the author showed me through this character that sometimes what we think is best could very well be but, we need to take the time to listen to others opinions instead of just following our own set of rules, you might just learn something.
Daniel was a spectacular character, I truly loved how he blossoms from this really focused on his goal person to one that is able to see the other side of things and be ready to voice them too. Through this character I learned that we might think we have shown the world our feelings but until we voice them the world will truly never know what goes on inside our heads.
This was such an emotional read for me, I laughed and I cried my eyes out! I was right there with the author wanting to grab hold of the characters and tell them it will all be okay. It was so intense I wanted to climb inside this book and just do anything and everything I could to help. I truly felt the heartache, the pain, the despair and the happiness, exceptional job Karen!
I am taking away so many wonderful lessons from this book that they are simply too many to list, I will say the one that stood out for me from them all was , don’t judge. You don’t know what everyone is facing, when you see a father in tears it might be because he has just lost his wife and does not know how he will raise a child alone, or when you see a mother that looks like she’s about to tear her hair out stop,and think for a moment, maybe her child is suffering some uncontrollable mental illness and no matter what or how tired the mom is she will deal with it because she loves her child yet it still does get to her sometimes as it feels like she just wants to do more but can’t. Never judge those you know nothing about, instead stick to the golden rule of humanity help, all that you can.
I highly recommend this book for every reader out there, it is an absolutely incredible read that will touch every single emotion you have ever felt in life.- Desere Steenberg, reviewer
As a mother, I was drawn to the description of this story. I was looking forward to reading a story that exemplifies the strength of a mother’s love and indomitable will to seek a better life for her child. Amazingly, this story was that and so much more! HIS HOMETOWN GIRL is a story about the importance and meaning of home, community and family. Above all, HIS HOMETOWN GIRL exemplifies that love can heal all.
Jodi Chapman, the single mother of Tyler (a four-year old autistic boy), is determined to find a way to pay for a private school to help her son. She finds that opportunity when she is promised a promotion and bonus by her employer, a Chicago-based industrial farm conglomerate, if she can convince her former hometown neighbors to sell their farms to her employer. Jodi heads back to her Vermont hometown to complete her mission.
What she doesn’t count on is Daniel Gleason, her former boyfriend and childhood rival, who rallies an opposite campaign to preserve the farming community through an organic co-op. Ten years ago, following a series of unfortunate events, Jodi had ran away from Daniel and her hometown, and had never previously looked back. Her return forces her to confront her feelings for Daniel and her hometown. But how does Tyler fit in, and can she afford to think about her happiness when Tyler is her top priority?
One of the hallmarks of an exceptionally talented writer is the ability to transport the reader to a previously unknown time or place. Ms. Rock is clearly such a gifted writer! While reading HIS HOMETOWN GIRL, I felt like I was sent on a vacation to a small farming town. No small feat for a lifelong city girl like myself! Moreover, not only did Ms. Rock do a magnificent job of detailing and describing farm life, she also made me feel the warmth and connection shared amongst the residents of small farming communities. The overwhelming sense of home, community and family, and most importantly love, memorialized in Ms. Rock’s HIS HOMETOWN GIRL is so eloquently executed and heartwarming that it even made me cry at one crucial point in the novel.
I highly recommend HIS HOMETOWN GIRL to anyone who is looking for a heartwarming, uplifting story or anyone searching to define the true meaning of “home.”
Source: Official Review written by and originally published in The Romance Reviews (TRR). B. J. Oikle, reviewer
Karen Rock/HIS HOMETOWN GIRL Links:
Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary author. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time author. When she’s not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother’s family recipes, hiking 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. http://www.karenrock.com