Once Upon A Romance

Once Upon A Romance's Review Of...
The Welcome Home Garden Club by Lori Wilde


Cover art: The Welcome Home Garden Club Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: The Welcome Home Garden Club - 4th in the Twilight Texas series
Author: Lori Wilde
Publisher: Avon
ISBN-13: 978-0-06-198843-1
Release Date: April 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Contemporary Romance
Year/Setting: Present day, Twilight TX
Overall Rating: 5.0
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: None
Lori's Website: www.loriwilde.com

Caitlyn Marsh is a realist. She has to be. After finding out that her high school sweetheart, Gideon Garza, died in Iraq—leaving her pregnant, unwed and alone—she became practical and a realist. She married Kevin Marsh, a florist, and helped him build his business while he gave a legitimate name to her son. Six months ago, Kevin passed away and now she and her 8-year-old son, Danny, have to make it on their own.

Imagine her surprise when a pillar of the town passes away and a man shows up at the funeral that looks just like Gideon. Suddenly he’s alive and back in Twilight. Now what’s a girl to do? Should she tell him about the son he has no knowledge of? Can he forgive her? Will he put the demons of war behind him in order to find a happily-ever-after in Twilight?

Gideon is battling the demons of his past. He was a bad-boy from the wrong side of the tracks that became a Green Beret and never looked back. When he sees Caitlyn again, all the longing and hurt comes back. He tried to keep in touch when he joined the Army, but she rejected him by marking all his letters “Return to Sender”. How could she toss aside the love they had for each other?

With a lot of resentment and hurt in their pasts, can they build a future together?

I love these Twilight books and this was no exception. I believe this is the last planned Twilight, Texas book and I’m sad to see it end. In this installment, we see passing glances of the people we’ve met in the past. None of them play major roles in the story, but they are all there. Friendly and warm and living out their lives. I would tell new readers that it doesn’t matter if you have read previous Twilight books or not. All of these give just enough back-story to catch you up without boring a returning reader.

I love Caitlyn and Gideon because they aren’t your average hero and heroine. They come with some major baggage and some real anger issues. Stuff we don’t always see in a romance novel. And we see up close and personal the aftermath that war has on our soldiers. I was moved by the night terrors Gideon was going through and my heart broke for him as he tried to fit into ‘normal’ society again. How our soldiers suffer for our country—it shows in this story.

Caitlyn has to work through her own anger and hurt and get past the resentments she holds from the past. It’s the past that is weighing her down and keeping her from being able to fully live in the present. If she can’t let go and forgive, she will become a bitter old woman. I was cheering her on to take steps to end her torment from the past and begin with a brighter future.

And when evil appears to be afoot trying to destroy Caitlyn’s dream, you won’t believe what the town does in that moment. I cried at the outcome and how they all pulled together with a new vision.

A fitting end, possibly, to the Twilight books. I will miss the people we’ve met as they feel like an extension of my own family. I enjoyed every page and am sad to have finished. It’s a wonderful story and I think it will be found on many keeper shelves.


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