by Jerri Corgiat

February 2004
ISBN: 0-451-41128-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Onyx
Mass Market Paperback

Jonathan Van Castle, one of the world’s biggest country music stars, runs into a small bookstore in Cordelia, Missouri to escape screaming fans chasing him down the street. There he looks into the startled blue eyes of Lilac O’Malley. Lil is packing up to close down the shop after her brother’s death and is certain that the long-haired stranger is up to no good.

Jon is fascinated with the curly-haired beauty and amazed that she doesn’t know who he is. Trying to redeem himself with Lil, he buys the whole set of Laura Ingalls Wilder books for his daughter, except for the very first in the series which is out of stock and Lil promises to have it delivered later.

When the book is found, Lil asks her younger sister, Mari, one of the fans previously chasing Jon, to deliver the book to him. Mari jumps at the offer, goes off to make the delivery, and comes back engaged to Jon, much to the consternation of everyone in the O’Malley family. Turns out that Jon wants full custody of his children from their alcohol and drug addicted mother and Mari seemed a good choice for a parent since she got on so well with the kids. Lil tries to make Jon see reason by telling him that his lifestyle will ruin her little sister. Jon, after realizing that the kids get on even better with Lil, makes her an offer – he will give up Mari if she agrees to marry him instead. Still mourning the death of her husband three years ago, Lil agrees with conditions of her own.

Sing Me Home is undoubtedly a love story and Ms. Corgiat does a wonderful job of developing the relationship between Lil and Jon. But this debut novel is much more than love and lust, romance and passion. This is a novel about the struggles that people face everyday – drug and alcohol abuse, domestic problems and custody battles, grief for loved ones, child abuse, and lack of self-esteem. It’s also a revealing insight into the world of celebrities with all the perks and problems that entails. But more than anything, Jerri Corgiat’s primary characters, Lil and Jon, change before our very eyes as the story unfolds. Quiet, demure Lil learns to fight for more than just her man and surprises everyone when she begins to roar. And Jonathan Van Castle faces the demons of his past with the help of a love that won’t give up on him to become a true star in the eyes of his children and Lil. Sing Me Home is first in a trilogy about the O’Malley sisters. Look for sister Alcea’s story next in Follow Me Home.

Reviewed in January 2004 by Vivian.

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