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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Letters from Home

Letters from Home by Jo Barrett
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Review by Lilac

Letters from home lift John Caldwell’s spirits during his tour of duty in Iraq. Phoebe Honeycutt, otherwise known as Aunt Bee to all the kids in the neighborhood, fills an empty place in his life through her letters and cookie care packages after the death of his grandmother. But what John doesn’t realize is that Phoebe isn’t the doddering old lady he believes her to be. And when they come face to face at last, her delicious cookies aren’t the only things he wants to sample.

While stationed in Iraq, soldier John Caldwell first starts writing his grandmother’s friend, Phoebe Honeycutt, also known as “Aunt Bee,” because she provides him with a taste of home. Bee and John soon develop a friendship through the letters and care packages they exchange. Picturing a grey-haired elderly woman, John is shocked to discover upon his return home that Aunt Bee is actually an attractive young woman. Reluctant to give up their friendship, John decides to fight his attraction while spending time with Bee. Meanwhile, Bee must fight her own attraction to the handsome soldier who has shown up at her door or risk losing her heart.

Letters from Home is a very touching romance filled with likeable characters and an interesting plot. Bee and John have an interesting relationship that first began while the two were miles apart. It was fascinating to watch their relationship grow through the exchange of letters knowing John’s misconception about the real Bee. I couldn’t wait to see how he would react once he discovered the truth and I wasn’t disappointed. I felt the author handled that really well and made the situation believable.

Bee was a very sweet and charming heroine with a big heart and I really felt for her in some scenes as I could feel her pain and fear of losing the people she has grown to care about. As for her relationship with John, both have been hurt in the past, so I could understand their reluctance to get involved with each other. The author did a great job of showing the battle each of them faced within as they fought their attraction and tried to protect their hearts.

In addition to the wonderful hero and heroine, the secondary characters also added to my enjoyment of the story. From the matchmaking residents of the Pleasant Oaks retirement home to the incorrigible children who fondly nicknamed Phoebe “Aunt Bee,” I loved them all and each had their own important role in the story…a story that definitely wasn’t boring as the author added a few surprise twists throughout involving a few of these characters. Overall, Letters from Home was a sweet story with a few twists-and-turns that I enjoyed a great deal.