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Wyoming Homecoming

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This is a good book, you will not want to stop reading it. The two main characters are Abby and Cody. Abby is a paralegal, who, along with her niece, inherits a ranch. Cody is the sheriff. There is an instant attraction. Cody has an unsolved case that involves many people. Abby tries to help him solve it. There is lots going on from arrests, poisoning, an impersonating police officer and a hurt dog. Cody figures all the players and arrests some of them and falls in love.
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WYOMING HOMECOMING is spellbinding from the first to last words. Fans of author Diana Palmer might have an inkling of what is coming but Ms. Palmer still manages to throw out several twists that will have you sitting back and pondering where they came from.

Reviewed by Annetta Sweetko for Fresh Fiction

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Dive into a mystery that's drowning in danger and heart. Wyoming Homecoming started with promise, but somehow lost it's way. Between the surprise twists and the emotional depth, the love story fell a little flat. I love Diana Palmer, but I was hoping for so much more.
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Wyoming Homecoming, the 11th book in Diana Palmer's Wyoming Men series is, in this reader's opinion, the least interesting novel in the series. It does start out in a rather interesting fashion, with the death of Charlie Butler, which brings the heroine, Abigail Brennan and her orphaned, 9-year-old niece, Lucy, back from Denver to Catelow, Wyoming. Sheriff Cody Banks, is also present at the funeral, Charlie being distantly related to Cody's late wife, Deborah, who died after contracting an exotic and deadly virus, and Abby and Lucy avoid him like the plague. Six years earlier, Cody accosted Abby and Lucy, ranting like a madman and blaming them for his wife's death--which they didn't cause. His wife was a neurologist in Denver, and in the two years they were married, Deborah rarely came home to visit her husband, and the few times she did return to Catelow, it wasn't for long, and, we learn that she was also ice-cold in bed, complaining about his lack of lovemaking skills. The few times Cody visited her in Denver, he never saw anything but her living room. Yet he was madly in love with her, and now, 6 years later, he's still grieving her loss, but as a reader, I had to ask why he was so devoted to a woman he barely knew, and who seemed to barely tolerate him. His love and devotion to this cold, distant woman made no sense at all to this reader, and that's just one of the reasons for giving this novel a 1-star rating.

After some complicated family history, we learn that Charlie Butler left his ranch to Abby, who is only too happy to leave behind her tiny apartment in a terrible neighborhood, as well and the dreadful and dangerous school Lucy attends behind, and as a paralegal, she is immediately hired by a local law firm, leaving the running of the ranch to Charlie's trusted ranch foreman. What she dreads is the fact that Charlie's ranch abuts the small ranch owned by Sheriff Banks, who repeatedly thinks of Abby as plain, and not particularly attractive beyond her nice hair and figure. But eventually, after losing his beloved dog to cancer, Abby and Lucy begin to take him under their wing, invite him over for dinners, and begin to befriend him.

What follows is a series of inter-related crimes--all off-screen, the arrival of a really strange, lying man from Florida, a multiple murder plot, and the on again, off again relationship between Cody and Abby. Of course, she's a virgin who was raised in a home with an abusive alcoholic father and abused mother, which has put her off men entirely. What is revealed about Cody and his late wife isn't surprising, but even with his attraction to the plain but kind Abby, and her adorable niece, Lucy, he starts seeing a pretty, blonde state trooper, ghosting Abby and Lucy, and his not bothering to call or text when his job made it impossible to show up at the dinner they'd invited him to, his sheer rudeness offended me. Abby was far more forgiving than I would have been. Yet, when he learns that another law enforcement officer on the case, Lassiter, was seen taking Abby and Lucy on a Sunday drive, Cody becomes jealous. This is a man who simply cannot make up his mind.

Yes, eventually the crimes are solved and the bad guys put away, but while we learn about the complicated criminal plots after they occur, there was never a single moment of suspense in this novel. Additionally, Sheriff Cody Banks comes off as dumb as a post. He married a woman he knew for a grand total of 2 days, who seemingly wanted nothing to do with him, didn't want to bear the children he hoped to have, yet he is still grieving his lost love 6 years later, and has remained celibate all that time. He repeatedly thinks about how plain looking Abby is, yet for the expected and long-awaited happily ever after ending to this non-romantic romance, proposes marriage to her. I'm still shaking my head.

I've read every single novel Ms. Palmer has ever written, and in this reader's humble opinion, this is one of the worst, least romantic, and most nonsensical of the lot. I'm still reeling over how dense the hero is, how little suspense there was, how lackluster the tone of this novel was, and I simply cannot recommend it.

I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this novel. The opinions stated are my own.
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ISBN: 13:978-1-335-62095-8
November 8, 2022
Contemporary Romance

Catelow, Wyoming- Present Day

Abigail  Brennan  has  come  home  to  Catelow,  Wyoming  to  attend  her  cousin’s  funeral.  When  she  sees  Cody Banks,  the  town’s  Sheriff,  she  grows  scared.  She  remembers  how he  laid  into her  and  her  niece,  Lucinda,  when  he  thought  that  she was  the  cause  of his  wife’s  death.  She  is  determined  to  give  Cody  a  wide  berth  while  she  is  in  Catelow.

When  he  sees  the  fear  in Abigail’s  eyes,  Cody  regrets  the  way  he  treated  her  but  he  had  been  out  of  his  mind  at  the  loss  of  his  wife, Deborah.  But  circumstances  put him  in  a  position  where  he  proves  to  Abigail  and Lucinda  that  he not  the  man  that  scared  them  all  those  years  ago.  Cody  adored  his  late  wife  so  much  so  that  he  was  blind  to  her  faults,  but   as  he  grows  closer  to  Abigail,  he finds things  out  about  his late  wife  that  puts  a  halt  to  his  growing  feelings  for  Abigail.

WYOMING HOMECOMING  is  a  sweet  romance  that  has  characters  with  old-  fashioned  values,  an interesting investigation  that  involves  a  con  man,  murder, and  a  robbery  in Catelow.   The  secondary  characters  round off  the  story  from  Horace Whatley  who  has  mental  illness  issues  but  has  a  big  heart  and fits  into  Catelow  nevertheless,  and Lassiter  a  private investigator  from Houston who  is quirky  and  has  all the  females  in  Catelow  hot  and  bothered.

Although  the  story  tends  to  be  a  bit  repetitive  in  the  beginning  the  investigation and  the  romance  between  Cody  and  Abigail  is  so  sweet  it  will  keep  readers  interested.  If  you  are  looking  for  an  enjoyable,  sweet  romance  then  WYOMING  HOMECOMING  is  for  you.

Avis Yarbrough
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