Janice Kay Johnson
Harlequin American, Jul 13 2010, $5.50
After their widower father is hospitalized from a tractor accident injury and having lost her Bay Area job due to downsizing, Charlotte Russell returns to the family farm to help her twin sister divorced kindergarten teacher Faith run the place and care for their dad. Faith informs her sibling that her abusive former husband Rory Hardesty is trying to reconcile with her but only scares her with his temper further fueled by alcohol.
Charlotte and town mayor Gray Van Dusen, an architect, meet and are attracted to one another. Whereas Gray wants to pursue their feelings, Charlotte wants to ignore them. She left the farm years ago so she could be her own person and not the other half of a twin. As he points out he likes her sibling but loves her, Gray tries to persuade her that her loved ones including him know she is her own person and not a mirror image.
The cast makes for a strong family drama with the prime story line being the romance between the mayor and the prodigal sister. In some ways, the other twin’s subplot re an abusive ex spouse is the more poignant entry. However, Charlotte’s Homecoming is a family affair that readers of contemporary tales will appreciate while knowing the rest of the other Russell twin’s story is to follow.