Friday, September 21, 2012

The Welcome Home Garden Club (A Twilight, Texas Novel) by Lori Wilde

Traditional meaning of Pink and White Roses: I love you still and always will.
 
Caitlyn Marsh stopped believing in happily-ever-after when high-school sweetheart, Gideon Garza, left for Iraq. Now she raises her small son while her matchmaking gardening club members drive her crazy. Then Caitlyn's world turns upside-down when Gideon swaggers back to Twilight.

Gideon had left town in the middle of night with threats ringing in his ears. A lot of things have changed since then. This bad boy-turned-Green Beret bears scars from the war, the timid girl he loved is an independent mother, and the father who refused to recognize his son in life has, in death, left him a vast cattle ranch.

He still aches for Caitlyn, and now there's a dark-haired boy who looks exactly like Gideon did at that age. Could the child be his? And can this war-weary soldier overcome the scars of the past to claim the family he so richly deserves?


Ready Your Writes Review
 
This is the fourth book in the Twilight, Texas series by Lori Wilde.  However, it is the first book by Lori that I have read.  It will not be the last.
 
The story centers around two characters, Caitlyn Marsh and Gideon Garza.  Two high school sweethearts who have had the last eight years of their lives changed dramatically as a result of things done to them by the adults in their lives.
 
Caitlyn Blackthorne Marsh grew up being privileged, as the only child of Judge Richard Blackthorne and his late wife Angelica.  Gideon Garza grew up on the wrong side of town.  Being the son of a maid and not knowing who his father was, until the day his mother died.
 
Gideon burned down the barn of his father.  His father's friend, who happened to be Judge Blackthorne, gave him a choice of going to jail or joining the military.  Gideon did the only thing he could do and joined the Army.
 
I was immediately drawn to the two lead characters because despite everything that has happened to them individually over the past eight years, they're still good people.  And they each still have a deep love and respect for one another.
 
I think I fall in love with Gideon immediately.  There are so many reasons to love him.  It's hard to find a place to start.  Gideon could forever hold a grudge against his father and Judge Blackthorne for their parts in making him into the "broken man" that he is, but he really doesn't.  He knows that their actions made him a better person in the end.  Gideon manages to forgive all of those who did him wrong.  I find that very impressive and honorable.
 
When it comes to Caitlyn, I completely understand where she's coming from.  She has some issues with forgiving.  I really don't think anyone can blame her for that.  She's admirable in her loyalty to her husband for everything that he did for her.
 
One thing that surprised me about the book was the small element of "who did it".  It added a nice layer to the story.
 
By the end of the book, I found myself wishing that it wasn't over and that it would just continue.
 
I'm a series reader and I prefer to read books in series order.  I can honestly say that this book doesn't have to be read in order.  Previous book characters are mentioned, but you won't find yourself wondering if you missed something important about them.
 
This was a book actually purchased by me.

Rating:  3 1/2
 
You can find out more about Lori and her other books at:  loriwilde.com
The Welcome Home Garden Club can be purchased at:  Amazon 
 

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