EMMA BLOOMS AT LAST - Naomi King
One Big Happy Family, Book 2
NAL Trade Paperback
Cedar Creek, Missouri - Present Day
Overly shy, Emma Graber watches her best friend, Abby, marry her brother James, while feelings of sadness engulf her. Not for Abby and James. Emma is delighted they are finally married. Now that Abby is beginning her new life, Emma has lost a bit of her best friend to her brother. Changes are happening all around her, and when mercantile owner, Sam, decides that it is no longer proper for Abby to work at the family store now that she is married, he offers Emma a job. Emma isn't sure she has the confidence to deal with people on a daily basis, listening to their complaints and demands, and needless to say, she can't leave her elderly parents alone. Who will care for them?
Jerome Lambright would love to get to know Emma, but she's so painfully shy and retiring that he isn't sure he can keep them both engaged in conversation for more than a few minutes. When it becomes clear that their families and friends are pushing them together, Jerome is happy to accompany Emma on a shopping trip to select wedding gifts for Abby and James. Jerome can provide well for any wife he chooses. He's built a successful business raising and training his crossbred mules to harness. Even so, Emma wants nothing to do with courting him. Jerome has left a long list of women and broken engagements in his wake, and Emma knows she would just be one more broken heart.
Meanwhile, recently married Amanda and Wyman Brubaker have moved into Amanda's home, and Wyman is fully immersed in his plans for building a new grain elevator. But when the contractor wants more money than Wyman agreed to pay, he tries to keep the news from Amanda, who knows his dilemma and is determined to raise money for the cause, creating strife for the newlyweds.
Welcome back to Cedar Creek! As Emma and Jerome work through their differences and get to know each other, it becomes clear that they may indeed become friends. Jerome would like to be more than friends with Emma, but she barely speaks to him. What can he do so she won't run and hide every time he comes close? Amid struggles and trying days to come, these people of Cedar Creek persevere once again through challenges in their lives.
EMMA BLOOMS AT LAST is an endearing story from one of my favorite authors; don't miss it!