A Love to Call Her Own (by Marilyn Pappano)

Contemporary Romance

Swamped with grief and guilt after her husband was killed in action in Afghanistan, Jessy has coped by hitting the bottle and picking up nameless men for meaningless hook-ups. The one positive in her life is the Margarita Club, a group of women who, like her, have lost their husbands.

Dalton’s wife committed suicide after both her legs were blown off by a roadside bomb. Carrying his grief he has isolated himself on his ranch and avoided people preferring the company of his animals.

Jessy and Dalton both have baggage, they both have secrets, but together they manage to find the motivation to try to move on with their lives.


I have a great deal of respect for Marilyn Pappano. The issues of depression, grief, ptsd which she is exploring in this series have been attempted by other authors, but I don’t think any of them get it like she does. She gets that depression doesn’t just manifest itself in one way but in dozens of ways.

There are things in this series I am not entirely comfortable with. The author is plainly a christian and that comes through in her books, but for writing these subtle and nuanced love stories I’m more than willing to choke on my discomfort. A Love to Call Her Own is another great contemporary romance in a series that are all personal favourites.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 9.23.18 pmYellow, Orange, Red –– what it means: http://wp.me/P2B7b5-9l

A Man to Hold on To (by Marilyn Pappano)

Contemporary Romance

After Mariah’s mother abandons her, she is placed in the care of Keegan who was named as father on the birth certificate. But Keegan knows all too well that Mariah was conceived after his girlfriend was unfaithful…and he knows who the father is.

Therese has had her share of hardships. First Abby and Jacob, the children of her husband Paul’s previous marriage came to live with them. Then Paul was killed in Afghanistan, and now her two step-children despise her. As Abby’s antipathy towards her worsens she contemplates asking her to leave, even knowing she promised Paul she would look after his children.

When Keegan discovers that Mariah’s father has died, his plans to unload Mariah fall apart. But he sees something in Therese that makes him want to stay in Tallgrass. As they get to know each other, their attraction builds but with three children to consider and secrets lying between them a relationship is anything but certain.

A Man to Hold on To is book two in Marilyn Pappano’sTallgrass series. It’s contemporary romance, and very good contemporary romance but much more than that, the author deals with some of the issues that face returned servicemen and their families with a raw truthfulness that speaks of experience. Her characters are beautifully flawed, her stories are simple but well told.

This book can be read as a stand alone, but I would encourage anyone to check out book one, A Hero to Come Home To.  There is a very quiet christian message within this series but it’s not preachy and I hesitate to call this a christian novel.  I would also say that people who want books that aren’t wall to wall sex will appreciate Marilyn Pappano’s soft hand in the bedroom.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 9.23.18 pmYellow / Orange / Red –– What it means. http://wp.me/P2B7b5-9l

Many Thanks to Grand Central Publishing and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC