Wild on Books - Book Reviews



Letters from Home

Jo Barrett















The Wild Rose Press

Release Date:
September 4, 2008

Contemporary Romance


Bookmark Rating:
4 1/2 Bookmarks!

Reviewed by

Review Posted:
September 2008


In the interests of full disclosure, let me start out by saying that I am a total sucker for love stories about soldiers and the people helping them from afar.  I have adopted a bunch of Marines myself, and I can’t help but put myself right smack dab in the middle of the story. 

And what a sweet story this is. 

Phoebe “Aunt Bee” Honeycutt has to write John Caldwell a letter, telling him of his grandmother’s death and passing on her final words of wisdom.  Grandma must have been one hell of a firecracker during her life.  When John gets the letter, he pictures Aunt Bee as an elderly lady, who lives at the assisted living facility where his grandmother lived.  After all, she bakes cookies for all the kids on the block, knits, and works as a bank teller.  They share their life stories and lots and lots of home baked cookies.  He worries about her because she works too hard.  She worries about him being off in a war zone. 

Sounds good right?  Just one thing – Phoebe Honeycutt is all of 25 years old.  When John finally comes home between tours and meets her face to face, he almost runs away.  After all, he’s told Aunt Bee his deepest darkest secrets.  Now, looking at Phoebe, he’s embarrassed, aroused, and just an all around mess.  He walks out the door just as fast as he walked through it. 

Why doesn’t he keep walking?  Because Tommy, a little boy who hangs with Phoebe, and Dodger, Phoebe’s dog, provide the excuse to stay.  Not to mention that pesky, immediate attraction. 

Phoebe is a woman of great heart.  When she commits to something, she commits.  Whether it’s mothering kids or helping the seniors or baking for the troops, she gives it everything she has with a smile.  John is an honorable man, who finds that he can still love even when he thought it would never happen again.    

As Phoebe and John’s story unfolds, there are some misunderstandings on both sides and some really heartbreaking moments.  And, they have to dance an old tango – friends or lovers?  Can they be both?  Will they be neither?  There are also some old secrets here that unfold only in crisis.  A reader of mystery stories will probably see the twist coming, but it’s done well, really well.  Not just from the standpoint of the plot, but also with respect for the emotions of the characters. 

In fact, every character Jo Barrett writes is someone that you could see at the market, at church, or down the street.  And they are people that would be fun to hang out with, to watch John and Phoebe get their happily ever after.   

My only criticism of the book is that the push me, pull you part of the story – friends? lovers? no wait, friends – went on a bit too long for me.  At one point, I just wanted them to get over it!   

LETTERS FROM HOME is definitely a story for those who like a strong plot, lots of well developed characters (including a palm reading kook), and a sweet and satisfying love story.  There’s not that much sex in the story, but there’s a lot of story to support the sex.   

And last, but not least, is the cover chosen for this book.  R.J. Morris captured the heart of Jo Barrett’s story perfectly.  Now if the print version just came with some of those cookies...




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Letters from Home by Jo Barrett















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