A Place to Call Home by Deborah Smith

4-star
30yo journalist gets injured on the job in Florida & goes back to her family home in Georgia after 12 yrs.  Since her close-knit family drove away her best friend & only love when she was 10 because of a traumatic event involving his dad & her, heroine has continually felt betrayed & angry with her family & has not stopped searching for Hero’s whereabouts.  Her return to her family home coincides with Hero’s return. Their reunion churns the past, with its mistakes, hurts, & questions, for all involved & challenges the love Hero & heroine feels  for each other.

This was a good romance, built within a family saga.  The writing was excellent. Smith used anecdotes of heroine’s large & extended Irish-American family to connect us to Hero & heroine’s characters, help us understand the nature of Hero & heroine’s love from childhood onward, & involve us in the lives of the family.  Good emotional involvement. The characters came alive with the story & showed depth & development.  There were some poignant moments, along with some amusing & strange ones. Sexual chemistry only came later when Hero & heroine became adults, although we get an inkling of gender-differentiated awareness b/w Hero & heroine earlier. 

My minor complaints are the generalized sex scenes. I prefer more details for greater impact. I also didn’t like Hero & heroine’s casual attitude about sex. It didn’t fit with their long abiding & obsessive love for each other. They compromised themselves & their love with their hormones. They avoided long-term commitment with others but not casual sex. 

Recommended.

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