5 star rating
A Love To Call Her Own 
A Tallgrass Novel, Book #3
By Marilyn Pappano
Author’s Website:  http://www.marilyn-pappano.com/index.html

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Jerjen

a-love-to-call-her-own-tallgrass-marilyn-pappanoA Love To Call Her Own by Marilyn Pappano is an emotional story of love, forgiveness and second chances.  It’s a story of forgiving others as well as forgiving yourself.

Jessy Lawrence is a widow who lost her husband in combat.  A husband that she no longer loved in the way a wife should love her husband and had planned on divorcing him when he came home.  That never happened, though, because he died instead of returning home.  So now she feels tremendous guilt.  She has lost her family because she did not fit the mold that her parents had of how her life should be.  She has lost her job at the bank, because she could not always be nice to irritating customers.  She is an alcoholic who goes out and picks up men and does not remember what happened the next day.  Jessy is struggling with the woman she has become and the woman she wants to be.

Dalton Smith is struggling, too.  He lost his wife in combat, and although everyone thinks his wife died a hero, only Dalton knows the truth.  He cannot bear to tell her family or his family the truth, because he does not want them to know the pain of the truth.  So he lives with the secret.  He has also lost his twin brother.  Not to death but to the fact that his twin left home in the middle of the night, with Dalton’s girlfriend.  He lives with so much anger and guilt that his life is totally negative and depressing.  He is a loner who really wants to change his ways and find someone to make a future with.

Jessy and Dalton had a one night stand after both had been drinking and meeting each other.  Neither can forget the other, but both are ashamed of their behavior.  When they meet again, both find they are attracted to each other but are afraid to pursue the attraction.  Jessy does not feel worthy of anyone’s love and Dalton is still too bitter.  Will they be able to work through their feelings and take a chance at second love?

Jessy  is not alone in losing her husband.  She belongs to a group of women who have also lost loved ones and the have bonded together to support and encourage each other.  When someone else’s husband is killed in combat, Jessy begins to open up and deal with her own feelings on losing her husband.  Through her friendship with the Margarita Girls, she learns to accept her flaws and past and to begin to forgive herself.

Marilyn Pappano creates heartwarming characters who really pull on the heartstrings.  The characters are well rounded, well developed and three dimensional.  Jessy puts up an outward appearance of being strong and tough, but inside she is full of doubt, regrets and self loathing.  Dalton has an outward appearance of being strong and uncaring preferring to be alone.  But inwardly he wants to find love and to be able to turn his life around to include forgiveness.  These are things that people struggle with everyday. They did not feel like characters in a book but people that you would meet everyday and that you might call your own friends.  The supporting characters are an important part of the story and they all have stories to tell.  It would be impossible to read the story and not care what happens to everyone.  The characters were very easy to like and to root for.

The subject of the book is a very serious heartbreaking one, and very much one from current headlines.  I have been fortunate to not have any loved ones lost in the military but this book brings the subject and feelings involved very close to home as an American.  It helps you remember that there are many people who have lost loved ones and need to pick up their lives and continue on life’s journey alone.  And it reminds you what a difficult journey it is.  That was one of the things I most liked about the book.

The writing style flows smoothly and it is a very well written book.  The characters, the emotions involved and the realistic look at life is displayed very realistically. This book could have been twice as long as it was and I would have happily continued to read it until the end.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading fiction that tells a story of living, loving and forgiveness.  The book would be a good read for anyone, it is clean and a appropriate for a young adult.  I have not read any other books by this author but I am looking forward to reading the others in the Tallgrass series. A Love To Call Her Own is one of the best books I have read this summer.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*