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His Hometown Girl by Karen Rock
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His Hometown Girl

by Karen Rock

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Jodi Chapman has a real dilemma on her hands. A single parent to her 4-yr. old autistic son Tyler, she wants desperately for him to attend Wonders Primary, a school with staff that's trained to give specialized help to children like Tyler. The problem is tuition is $16,000 a semester and Jodi doesn't have that kind of money. She can't even count on her low-life ex-husband who abandoned his family because he couldn't deal with having a son with autism. To make matters worse he's looking to decrease his child support payments. Just when things are beginning to look hopeless Jodi's boss assigns her to a project that involves buying up farms for the company, Midland Corp., from struggling farmers in her home town of Cedar Bay, Vermont. If she can acquire 5,000 acres of farmland she will get a bonus and promotion that will enable Tyler to attend Wonders Primary. But in the process will she lose the respect of her former boyfriend and nemesis, Daniel Gleason, whom she left behind in Cedar Bay 10 years prior without explanation?
Karen Rock wrote a beautiful wholesome romance story of love, redemption and healing. While conflicts in life are inevitable, help can be attained when we're willing to look in the right direction and accept it. His Hometown Girl will tug at your heartstrings with its intimate look at autism, the value of close-knit community in times of hardship, and the realization that things are not always what they may appear to be; that assuming what seems to be the obvious is not always right.
If you're looking for a sweet romance read with a little conflict, a bit of stubbornness and just the right amount of love, you're sure to enjoy His Hometown Girl. I loved it!! ( )
  Lauigl | Mar 25, 2015 |
His Hometown Girl by Karen Rock
I have read some of Karen's other works and enjoy the reads.
Jodi Chapman and her autistic son are on the track to get him enrolled into the specialized school. She has a few months to raise the money which is twice what she has saved.
She hears back from Tyler's father who is getting remarried and hopes to have a perfect child and he's reducing child support. Her boss then wants her to travel back to her hometown in VT and acquire farmland and he's promised her a hefty salary.
Love hearing all about the strategies the school can provide for her son and it's helpful being a grandmother of a child who is a special class.
The story also follows Daniel Gleason who Jodie had just up and walked away from 10 years prior. He hopes to make a co-op with other farmers so they all don't lose their farmland due to bad economy.
In their younger years they always competed against one another and that's not changed since she has returned. She needs the farmers to sell the land to Midland so she can get the bonus to send Tyler to his special classes.
Daniel needs the farmland and is willing to try some tactics from what he learned in college to help all the farmers out. They do meet and clash ..... and sometimes even agree.
Daniels' sister Sue comes to Jodi and tells her of her plan to succeed at college and to help Tyler. Jodie and Daniel spend time together and the past does come up but can they move past it?
I received this book from Stephanie from www.romanceaddictbookblog.com in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  jbarr5 | Mar 1, 2014 |
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I rated it 4.5 out of 5 Stars.

A heartwarming second chance romance, Karen Rock’s His Hometown Girl focuses on the healing power of love and on the crucial roles that home, family and community play in all of our lives. Well developed characters, good dialogue and a child with special needs kept me turning the pages from start to finish. Set in a rural community determined to keep its identity through a tough economy and a changing society, Ms. Rock’s book made a lasting impression on me.

A single mother trying to do what’s best for her autistic son, Jodi Chapman needs more money than her salary and child support provide. Presented with an opportunity to get both a coveted promotion at work and a generous bonus, Jodi finds herself going back home to the farm community she left behind to talk the farmers into selling their land. She just never planned facing the man who broke her heart years ago.

Daniel Gleason loved Jodi Chapman until the day she betrayed him and walked away. Now she’s back and determined to talk his friends and neighbors into selling their land, which would ruin his plans for a farmer’s co-op. Prepared to do whatever it takes to get his way, Daniel never expected their attraction to get in the way.

The scenes between Jodi and Daniel are full of lively dialogue and plenty of emotional angst. While attracted to each other, their miscommunication from the past and their current situation makes trust difficult. Ms. Rock does an excellent job developing both Jodi and Dan’s characters both individually and when they are together. She also addresses the realities of having a special needs child and the burden it places on marriages and relationships. As the aunt of an Autistic child, I can honestly say Ms. Rock’s knowledge of the financial, emotional and even societal burdens facing families with Autistic children is spot on.

The secondary characters, mostly Jodi and Daniel’s family and friends are also well developed and contribute emotional support. There is also a villain of sorts; Jodi’s despicable ex who seemed to exist just to make Jodi’s life worse and who I personally wanted to introduce to my cast iron skillet (I really feel a good whack on the head would have done the man wonders…lol).

Will Jodi and Daniel realize their love can heal them both? Will Jodi’s son get the help he really needs? You’ll have to read His Hometown Girl to find out, I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of Ms. Rock’s work. ( )
  MariaD. | Feb 26, 2014 |
As a mother, I was drawn to the description of this story. I was looking forward to reading a story that exemplifies the strength of a mother's love and a mother's indomitable will to seek a better life for her child. Amazingly, this story was that and so much more! HIS HOMETOWN GIRL is a story about the importance and meaning of home, community and family. Above all, HIS HOMETOWN GIRL exemplifies that love can heal all!

Jodi Chapman, the single mother of Tyler (a 4-year old, autistic boy), is determined to find a way to pay for a private school to help her son. She finds that opportunity when she is promised a promotion and bonus by her employer, a Chicago-based industrial farm conglomerate, if she can convince her former hometown neighbors to sell their farms to her employer. Jodi heads back to her Vermont hometown to complete her mission. What she doesn't count on is Daniel Gleason, her former boyfriend and childhood rival, who rallies an opposite campaign to preserve the farming community through an organic coop. Ten years ago, following a series of unfortunate events, Jodi had ran away from Daniel and her hometown, and had never previously looked back. Her return forces her to confront her feelings for Daniel and her hometown. But how does Tyler fit in, and can she afford to think about her happiness when Tyler is her top priority?

One of the hallmarks of an exceptionally talented writer is the ability to transport the reader to a previously unknown time or place. Ms. Rock is clearly such a gifted writer! While reading HIS HOMETOWN GIRL, I felt like I was sent on a vacation to a small farming town. No small feat for a life long city girl like myself! Moreover, not only did Ms. Rock do a magnificent job of detailing and describing farm life, she also made me feel the warmth and connection shared amongst the residents of small farming communities. The overwhelming sense of home, community and family, and most importantly love, memorialized in Ms. Rock's HIS HOMETOWN GIRL is so eloquently executed and heart warming that it even made me cry at one crucial point in the novel!

I highly recommend HIS HOMETOWN GIRL to anyone who is looking for a heartwarming, uplifting story or anyone searching to define the true meaning of "home."

Source: ARC copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  B.J.O. | Feb 23, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 026324492X, Paperback)

He'd always managed to best her...Jodi Chapman will do whatever it takes to get top care for her autistic son. If that means going home and convincing local farmers to sell their land, so be it. Even if her biggest opponent, childhood rival Daniel Gleason, is equally determined to convince farmers to buy into his co-op plan. And he's not playing fair. Facing off against Daniel is the last thing Jodi wants. The attraction that's always fuelled their competitiveness is as strong as ever and just as distracting. But with both their futures on the line, and years of distrust between them, how can they ever be on the same side?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:57 -0400)

Jodi Chapman will do whatever it takes to get top care for her autistic son. If that means going home and convincing local farmers to sell their land, so be it. Even if her biggest opponent, childhood rival Daniel Gleason, is equally determined to convince farmers to buy into his co-op plan. And he's not playing fair.? Facing off against Daniel is the last thing Jodi wants. The attraction that's always fueled their competitiveness is as strong as ever and just as distracting. But with both their futures on the line, and years of distrust between them, how can they ever be on the same side?.… (more)

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