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    When You Make It Home

    This is a good read with lots of emotional highs and lows. Honesty and truth are the cornerstones of this story which allows a long distance relationship to survive.
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    Enjoyable 2ND Chance Romance

    I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour for a fair and honest review and rated it 5 out of 5 stars. Combing romance, heartache, family drama and second chances, author Claire Ashby creates a heartwarming story in When You Make It Home. A colorful, damaged heroine, a wounded veteran hero and family and friends, who sometimes really needed a filter, kept me turning the pages from start to finish. Using real life issues Ms. Ashby has created a book you will have a hard time putting down. After breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, slash fiancée, Meg Michaels makes one of the biggest mistakes of her life. Trying to hide the results of her mistake, an unexpected pregnancy, Meg wears layers of clothes and refuses to talk about her situation with anyone except her married best friend Ellie, who also happen to be pregnant. Meg doesn’t even share it with her twin brother Steve, the co-owner of her bookstore. When she becomes ill at a home coming party for Ellie’s brother in law, wounded veteran Theo Taylor, he discovers her secret and agrees to stay silent as long as she helps him hide out from his own party. As Meg and Theo’s friendship blossoms, and their mutual attraction heats up, Meg finds herself allowing Theo to move into her spare bedroom in exchange for help in preparing her condo for her baby’s arrival. As Meg’s pregnancy progresses, Theo is there to help her break the news to her family and friends and soon finds himself involved in satisfying more than Meg’s late night food cravings. Ms. Ashby does a wonderful job developing Meg and Theo’s characters and really showcases the strengths and weaknesses each one brings to a relationship that is turning from friendship and attraction to love. While both are emotionally damaged, Meg from unaddressed issues of abandonment that have plagued her since early childhood, and Theo from his traumatic experiences fighting in Iraq, they are strong and resilient. Adding drama from both sides, Meg’s brother’s secret romance (with one of her other best friends), her father’s temporary separation from his wife, Theo’s mother’s fears, and Theo’s physical rehabilitation issues, Ms. Ashby keeps her characters, and her readers, busy from the first page. The secondary characters are also well developed and I really enjoyed getting to know Steve, Meg’s twin brother, her dad, her step-mother Nina and even Hazel, one of Meg and Steve’s employees at the bookstore, who has deeper ties to them than they both know. I also enjoyed meeting Cortez, Theo’s friend from physical rehabilitation, who is himself a recovering wounded vet. While there is no “villain” in this story, there are two social issues Ms. Ashby doesn’t shy away from; single parenthood and how we treat our wounded vets. I think Ms. Ashby did a good job dealing with both subjects without passing judgement. Will Meg and Theo realize the love growing between them is the real deal? Will they fight for it when they have to? And will they both realize that home is where they both are? You’ll have to read When You Make It Home to find out. Just make sure you have a box of Kleenex near you because you’re going to need it! Meanwhile, I’ll be looking forward to reading Ms. Ashby’s next book.
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