A Chance of a Lifetime
Tallgrass, Book #5
By Marilyn Pappano
Author’s website: http://www.marilyn-pappano.com/index.html
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jerjen
Sometimes love finds you when you least expect it…
To Benita Ford, Tallgrass, Oklahoma, will always be home. It’s where her beloved grandmother raised her and where she rode bikes with her two best friends—the man who became her husband and Calvin. And Tallgrass is where she stayed, even after her husband died while serving his country. Now Calvin is home from that same war, and the sensitive, mischievous boy she once knew is today a man scarred by wounds no one else can see. Falling in love with him is something Bennie never imagined.
Tallgrass still haunts Captain Calvin Sweet. Yet it’s where he must go to see Bennie—the one woman he always loved but could never have. Calvin regrets so much about what happened years ago. Still he can’t deny being with Bennie makes his future feel bright, like anything is possible. But the demons of his past won’t be quieted that easily. As old hurts linger, threatening to pull them apart, Calvin and Bennie must take the ultimate risk for the love of a lifetime.
Calvin Sweet has returned home to Tallgrass, Oklahoma, to begin healing from his time in the military. Well, to be more exact, to try to heal from the PTSD that he is dealing with. He has survivor’s guilt and such a deep despair and depression that he does not know if he can ever claw his way out of it. But he also knows that if he is ever going to feel whole again, Tallgrass is where he needs to be. His family, his friends and his boyhood memories can be found right there. And so can Bennie, his childhood confidant, playmate and part of his boyhood trio of best friends.
Bennie has lived in Tallgrass for most of her life. She lived there with her grandmother, after her mother deserted her and her father. It is here that she has always felt loved, from her grandmother and from her two best friends, J’Myel and Calvin. It is also here that she is healing from the death of her husband, J’Myel, while he was serving in the military. Between her grandmother’s love and the love of her best girlfriends, the Tuesday Night Margarita Club, she is surviving the loss of her husband and making a new life for herself. When she learns that Calvin is back, she is nervous to see him again. She has not seen him for a long time, and she cannot understand why he never acknowledged her wedding to J’Myel or his death. When she spends time with him, she sees that he has his own demons to exorcise and that he is not the same person she knew as a child. She wants to renew their friendship, help him to heal and maybe find a second chance at happiness, but she does not know if that is even possible.
The characters are well rounded, well developed and three dimensional. They are people you begin to care about, root for and worry about. The family dynamics are such a treat to read about, and Calvin and Bennie have people in their lives that they can depend on. These same people will be quick to point out what they should do and try to keep the two in line. There are so many heart wrenching and heartwarming moments between them all, and my emotions went on a roller coaster ride while reading this book.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. The characters, the emotions involved and the realistic look at life make for a fantastic read. The small town setting, the military aspect, and the friendship interactions are woven together perfectly to hold the reader’s interest. In my opinion, the best part of this book is how realistically the author looks at a serious problem facing military families daily. She does not sugar coat the problems that soldiers face when returning home and the difficulties facing families when their loved ones return. It made me even more aware of the sacrifices that military families make and more thankful to them for these sacrifices.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-crafted women’s contemporary. I have read other books in this series and I have enjoyed them all, but this one may be my favorite. And this author is right up there at the top of my favorite author list.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*