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Harlequin Spotlight: Review of His Hometown Girl by Karen Rock w/giveway

On tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to my Book Tour stop for
His Hometown Girl

His Hometown Girl
by Karen Rock
Mass Market Paperback, Large Print, 331 pages
March 1st 2014 by Harlequin

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 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?

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Howdy peeps.  I know its been awhile since I’ve actually had a Harlequin Spotlight so when I was offered to host Ms. Rock, I booked it specifically for this day.  I’m so glad that I did.  This is my first Heartwarming book and it will definitely not be my last.  Yes, Harlie likes them sweet at times and Ms. Rock delivers a sweet but emotionally charged story about childhood rivals that would almost stop at nothing to best the other.  And for what?  A piece of land?

Normally I like the reunited lovers trope but I don’t really think of it in this book in that trope.  I actually see it as that they never truly stop loving each other.  Yes, Jodi got married had a child but ultimately that child broke up the marriage.  Daniel never moved on with his life…at least to me.  He seemed stuck in the old ways.  While his sister had moved on and wanted a better life for herself.  Jodi did too but at what cost?  Yes, private schools/treatments are expensive but what impressed me the most was Sue and her unwavering response to Tyler and his needs.

While this is the old “trying to best the other one” routine, Ms. Rock makes it believable and relatable.  Unfortunately in the beginning I thought Daniel was just plain mean towards Jodi.  I honestly didn’t warm up to him until almost 3/4 of the book was finished.  I loved how he interacted with Tyler and made him somewhat normal. So he did have his graces.  I just didn’t like they way he handled seeing and dealing with Jodi in the beginning.

Also, Ms. Rock did her research when it came to Autism and Parkinson’s.  The scenes with Jodi and the uninformed public were great.  The plane scene really sticks with me.  I wish people would realize that not all children are perfect and quiet.  Kudos for Ms. Rock to put scenes in the book that are at times heartbreaking but also a great PSA.  In regards to Daniel and Sue’s dad, I really felt for him.  He was only doing what he thought was best for the community and his family.

Ultimately Jodi and Daniel’s story is about how a community comes together for the common good and what’s best for their “family”.  Not just their immediate family but their family community.  My mother grew up on a farm and my dad grew up on a small town.  They left but some of their siblings didn’t.  I understood the resistance by some and the willingness on the others.  It’s a tough choice to make and Ms. Rock didn’t sugarcoat it.

I’m sure I’m rambling but I really did enjoy the book.  Ms. Rock wrote realistic characters dealing with some heavy issues.  Autism, Parkinson’s, care for an aging parent and just trying to finally figure out what was truly important in life.  Plus, she made me miss Chicago.  *sniff*

If you are looking for a sweet, heartwarming romance this line from Harlequin will be just perfect for you.  It’s not quite Harlequin Romance and it doesn’t have the religious overtones of Love Inspired (which I love).  It’s in the middle dealing with every day folks, their community and home.

One last thing…I love Ms. Rock’s other works.  😉  And her sister in law’s too.  Just saying…you should check them out.


recommend-harlies- new

Karen Rock has adored romance since receiving Harlequin Presents books from her grandmother each summer. She formed her Young Adult writing partnership, J.K. Rock- pseudonym for the CAMP BOYFRIEND series, with her sister-in-law and Blaze author, Joanne Rock in 2011. When Karen heard of a call for submissions to Heartwarming, Harlequin’s latest line, she was inspired by the possibilities of writing unforgettable, deeply romantic, tender love stories that mothers would feel comfortable sharing with their daughters. When she’s not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother’s family recipes, hiking the ‘high peaks’, and redesigning her gardens. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch” though they know a lot about love.

For more information about Karen’s upcoming books, check out her website, Facebook page, or follow her on twitter. She’d love to hear from you!

Website * Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter

Tour-Wide Giveaway

Grand Prize: Hand-stitched, authentic Amish quilt (uses their overlapping heart-stitching- pattern), with matching dust ruffle for a king-sized bed, signed copies of Wish Me Tomorrow & Camp Boyfriend, and some surprise swag (US Only)
1 – Paperback/ebook copies of Wish Me Tomorrow and Camp Boyfriend (format is winner’s choice, paperback for US Only) and $20 Amazon gift card
2 – ebooks of Wish Me Tomorrow and Camp Boyfriend (INT)
March 3 – 23

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12 thoughts on “Harlequin Spotlight: Review of His Hometown Girl by Karen Rock w/giveway

  1. I don’t have a small town crush or crush on anyone from when I was younger, as we moved a lot. I also don’t have any stories to tell, as I was raised in the city, where the closest I ever got to a farm was the county fair. lol

  2. Hi, Harlie! Thank you so much for this beautiful review. I loved it. And I’m a farm kid too- who is also a mom of a special needs child (my daughter has an anxiety disorder and my goddaughter is autistic) This book meant a lot to me. If you have a chance, would you consider possibly posting your review on Amazon? I’d be so proud to see it there. Also, I can enter you in my reviewer only giveaway. Thanks for considering! The link to post is

  3. This sounds like a good book. When I was a kid we had a sow an an piglets an a goat. That is the closest to a farm for me.

  4. Ever since I can remember I had my nose buried in books so I never had a crush as a kid. I didn’t notice boys until I was 16 and the guy I liked moved away so it was very short lived.. 🙂

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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