Sometimes love finds you when you least expect it . . .
To Benita Ford, Tallgrass, Oklahoma, will always be home. It's where her beloved grandmother raised her and where she rode bikes with her two best friends-the man who became her husband and Calvin. And Tallgrass is where she stayed, even after her husband died while serving his country. Now Calvin is home from that same war, and the sensitive, mischievous boy she once knew is today a man scarred by wounds no one else can see. Falling in love with him is something Bennie never imagined.
Tallgrass still haunts Captain Calvin Sweet. Yet it's where he must go to see Bennie-the one woman he always loved but could never have. Calvin regrets so much about what happened years ago. Still he can't deny being with Bennie makes his future feel bright, like anything is possible. But the demons of his past won't be quieted that easily. As old hurts linger, threatening to pull them apart, Calvin and Bennie must take the ultimate risk for the love of a lifetime . . .
Pappano's haunting fifth Tallgrass novel (after A Promise of Forever) explores the bittersweet joy of love tempered by loss. Nursing student Benita "Bennie" Ford grew up in Tallgrass, Okla., with two best buddies who together joined the army: J'Myel Ford, whom she married and buried, and Calvin Sweet, whom she shunned after he and J'Myel had a falling-out. Bennie's doing all right thanks to a supportive group of fellow military widows, but Calvin is struggling with a monster case of survivor's guilt, compounded by PTSD. When their families (including their wonderfully nosy grandmothers) insist on helping them reconcile, Calvin realizes he's fallen hard for his childhood friend, but he's worried that she'll run when she learns his secret: that in the depths of depression, he attempted suicide. Pappano doesn't flinch from realistically portraying the visible and invisible wounds inflicted on servicemembers in the hell of war, and she helps readers believe that love can help those wounds begin to heal.