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The Calico Heart (The Stitching Post Romances Book 1) Kindle Edition
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The story takes place right after Sylvia Miller has taken early retirement from her job and anticipates her husband Dave’s early retirement soon. Their three children are grown and out of the house, and Sylvia is looking forward to going to all the places she’s seen in her collection of travel brochures. Throughout their marriage, they lived frugally, saving for a future where they would be financially independent and able to travel. The conflict occurs when Dave announces that he thinks travel is a waste of money and, by the way, he isn’t ready to retire. Sylvia’s glorious plans and expectations turn to disappointment. When she tutors students to earn extra money for their trips, hoping that will alleviate Dave’s money concerns, he still refuses to go, so she decides to travel without him.
What I liked about the book is the realistic situation and believable attitudes of both Sylvia and Dave. Given their histories, it all makes sense. This couple has been together for twenty-six years, and they still love each other. But Sylvia’s retirement and Dave’s change of attitude put a serious strain on their relationship. When Sylvia decides to go ahead and travel without her husband, there’s a serious rift between them. As the tension grows, it seems as if they’ll both end up unhappy and perhaps divorced.
I do not know how Kiyono and Michels divided up their writing efforts to create this story, but if I hadn’t known the book was co-authored, I would have thought it was written by one person. The voice throughout the book is consistent and the authors have created sympathetic, likable characters. This sweet romance (no sex, violence, profanity) is the first in the “Stitching Post Romance” Series. The second book (THE FRIENDSHIP STAR QUILT) is scheduled for release in Spring 2014. I’m looking forward to reading it.