Review: Home by Calisa Rhose

Home by Calisa Rhose
Series: Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Page Count: 69
Source: ebook provided by the publisher

What could a gypsy and a Vietnam veteran have in common?

Silvertown’s outcast, Poppy Tippen, has loved football hero Sam “The Force” Callahan forever. But he never seemed to know she was alive. Now he’s home from the war and she suddenly finds herself comforting him from the demons of “that damn war.” Is his attention merely an escape from the haunting nightmares? Or does she hold the interest of the only man she’s ever truly loved?

Sam Callahan’s only solace from the war nightmares wrecking his life comes in the unlikely form of a gypsy girl with stigmas of her own. He’s known Poppy his entire life, but there’s something different about her now. Something special he desperately wants to hold on to. Can he convince her she’s the only thing he needs to put the past behind him?

Review:  I can’t say that I’ve read a lot of novellas. I tend to read the longer works that take two or three days— sometimes more—to read through. Longer to me means more in depth, more interaction with the characters, more getting to know them inside and out. That said, I wasn’t expecting memorable characters, when I picked up this book. I was expecting a slice of life type romance and would take me from A to B in a few short pages, and I would sit back and say, “That was an afternoon well spent.” What I got instead was an in depth look at two very different characters who need each other more than they even know. And all within the span of sixty-plus pages.

Sam Callahn has just returned from the war, broken, shell-shocked and having a hard (read nearly impossible) time adjusting back to civilian life. Add to these problems survivor guilt and a mother who seems to have not dealt with her own problems very well, and you have enough emotional baggage to weigh down Hercules. But Sam is trying, even though he suffers daily, he wants to find his way in a world where he no longer feels he belongs.

Poppy Tippen the town outcast, has never really belonged. Thanks to her questionable parentage and gypsy mother in a time when such things were the beginning and end of acceptance, she remains on the fringes. But who better to champion the man returning from war wondering what it’s all been for?

Calisa Rhose weaves a fantastic tale of two unlikely people bound by their social exile and the love they can only find with each other. The characters are memorable, believable, and easy to fall in love with. Though I have to say a few of the plot twists tended to click into place with great ease, I can accept that as the nature of the novella and overlook any author-convenience that might have occurred. Mainly because the characterization is so good with writing able to transport a skeptic to another time and place. Thanks, Calisa, for an afternoon more than well spent.

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