Karen Tillman has returned home to Bramble Bay after fourteen long years of hard work building a career. Unfortunately, instead of coming home as a success with her head held high, she is broke and broken-hearted after her ex-fiancé swindled her out of her life savings and her pride. Her only hope for rebuilding her life is to turn her grandmother’s old Victorian house into a bed-and-breakfast in her hometown.
Charlie Scott was the secret high school crush and fantasy Karen never admitted to – especially to Charlie. After all, he was a senior, popular and the all-star quarterback, who dated cheerleaders, whereas Karen was the mousy brain who was always lurking in her beautiful siblings’ shadows. Charlie was thrown into Karen’s life again as the carpenter hired to make needed repairs to turn her house into a bed-and-breakfast. She never imagined he had any interest in her back in high school and was even more shocked to discover he was not only interested then, but he is determined to pursue a relationship with her now. However, Karen is leery about becoming involved in a relationship again after being badly burned by her ex-fiancé. She is not sure if she can trust her judgment when it comes to men and she is positive she can’t rely on her heart to guide her when it comes to Charlie. Fortunately for Karen, Charlie is not about to let Karen get away from him like she did when they were in high school and he is determined to show her that she has finally come home, where she belongs.
Muriel Jensen has a real gift for writing believable, realistic characters. Not only are Charlie and Karen well-rounded, complex characters, but the supplementary cast is also very well written. Charlie’s son Ben acts just like your average 7-year old, and Karen’s somewhat dysfunctional family has its own quirks and squabbles anyone can relate to. In fact, I never once resented the time devoted to the secondary characters or wanted the novel to hurry up and get back to Charlie and Karen since the rest of the cast were just as entertaining and interesting.
The romance between Charlie and Karen was both hot and sweet at the same time. I was charmed by Charlie’s parenting skills and Ben’s matchmaking efforts warmed my heart. Karen was one of the most genuine female characters I have had the opportunity to read about, with insecurities common to us all.
In all, Home To You was a delight to read and I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another of Muriel Jensen’s works in the future.