Lorna Seilstad in her new book, "When Love Calls" Book One in The Gregory Sisters series published by Revell brings us into the life of Hannah Gregory.
From the Back Cover: When romance calls, will she choose to answer?
Hannah Gregory is good at many things, but that list does not include following rules. So when she must apply for a job as a switchboard operator to support her two sisters, she knows it won't be easy. Hello Girls must conduct themselves according to strict-and often bewildering-rules, which include absolutely no consorting with gentlemen while in training.
Hannah doubts it will be difficult to keep that rule-until a handsome young lawyer starts getting under her skin.
With historic details that bring to life the exciting first decade of the twentieth century, Lorna Seilstad weaves a charming tale of companionship that blossoms into sweet romance.
"When Love Calls" is a lot of fun. Just the idea of saying, "number, please" your entire shift is enough to drive you crazy. However Hannah is a self-reliant woman who has two sisters who must be taken care of. Hannah feels she lost the farm her deceased parents had owned and that guilt is what partly motivates her. All Hannah wants to do is follow the rules and keep her job but Lincoln Cole, the young lawyer who presented the eviction papers to them, is making that rather difficult. "When Love Calls" is full of wonderful themes of self-reliance versus God-reliance. Ms. Seilstad does a wonderful job of transporting us back to a time and place that we will, sadly, never experience again so savor the time spent in these pages. This is an interesting story filled with lots of excitement and romance as well as history. I liked it a lot and I am looking forward to more in this series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
"Available May 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."
The world of Hello Girls is fascinating. It's also restrictive. If one makes the cut and gets into the phone operator's school, it's still no guarantee she'll end up with a job.
They are told up front that half of their class won't make it. Hannah really needs this job to put food on the table and care for her sisters. After her parents death, the bank repossessed the farm and house, so she's desperate for the job.
Big problem - all the rules and regulations. Hannah can't seem to stay out of trouble. The two men hanging around her create another problem. There's that rule about no male callers during a woman's time in school.
Hannah/s attempts to stay out of trouble while fighting her attraction to one of these men makes a good story. Then there's that danger that gets one of the men tossed into jail.
I'm looking forward to reading more about the Gregory sisters.
***A special thank you to Donna Hausler for providing a review copy.***
Hannah is looking for a new job adventure to call home. After reading an ad for a switchboard operator she decided that perhaps this would become a perfect fit for her and a way to provide for her and her sisters, Tessa and Charlotte. When she meets an attorney who was hired to assist with monetary affairs an unrecognizable spark captures the attention between the two. Is patience enough to ignite the chemistry? While dreams are hung on a limb what will become of the sisters?
Offering a perfect mix of fun, humor, history and romance When Love Calls shines. I was drawn into the storyline from the beginning and connected right away with these well formed, personable and spunky characters. Life walking into a history book the scenery was reminiscent of the period and the dialogue fitting, charming and easy to follow. The book has no dull or dragging parts and is a read that historical fiction lovers will enjoy and savor. I was entertained by this inspirational and spiritually challenged novel and will recommend it to others. Well written! 5 Stars! I received a complimentary copy from Revell Publishers for this blog tour for my review.
May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge. --Ruth 2:12
Iowa 1908. The Gregory sisters' parents have passed away from influenza. Hannah is home from law school at Drake University to care for her younger sisters. While leaving the grocer, she notices an advertisement: SWITCHBOARD OPERATORS wanted.
As supper is ending, there is a knock at the door. A legal representative of the bank is there to ask if Hannah is aware their father had taken out a second mortgage on their farm? He has come to give them notice of foreclosure and auction of personal property to go toward the mortgage, with one week to vacate. Lincoln Cole said as no payment has been made in the three months since her father's passing, there is no other recourse.
Hannah is among two dozen applicants who have come to interview as "Hello Girls" telephone switchboard operators. She is chosen along with her new friend, Rosie, and they begin the rigorous training that includes no contact with any males during their two-week course. Their instructor stops in at church to make sure they are attending and speaks to the pastor to verify the reference given. On one end of Hannah's pew is her childhood friend, and on the other is the young lawyer. What a day for them to be bookends!
Hannah is a take-charge, headstrong young woman. Finishing law school has now come to an end for her as she focuses on caring for her teenaged sisters. She supports them to reach their dreams. Tessa, the youngest at fourteen, is quite dramatic and outspoken. She has become my favorite and I look forward to her appearing. Her aspired dreams change by the moment. I learned a lot from her about preparing the soil for transplanting tea roses. Charlotte enjoys preparing their meals. Her dream is to attend cooking school and open her own restaurant. She has her first beau, and his outlook is different from her own. I liked how George revealed his own character without exposure from someone else.
Lincoln Cole is a young attorney whose firm is projecting he will follow in the footsteps of his father, who was in the senate before he passed away. Regardless of his future standing, Lincoln takes on a case for justice-sake and not political appearance ~ and his interest in Hannah ~ who has a delightful entry in chapter one at the grocer and again when she is "quite able to get in a rowboat by herself." You are going to love the development of "getting to know each other" of these likeable protagonists.
I like the true-to-life story that flows so beautifully. Lincoln has the input of his aunt Sam, and she is delightful when she comes to visit from St. Paul. Full of her own opinion as well, she is a wonderful addition to the story. I liked how the inner striving for each of these sisters was resolved. They find their own place while leaning on each other during their mourning process. They are remarkable in listening and following through in caring for each other. They have had good training and biblical example. I may have overused the word "delightful" but indeed this is exactly how I would describe this wholesome story of values in business and relationships, overflowing from In God We Trust.
***Thank you to Revell Blog Tour Network Historical Fiction for inviting me to be part of the book tour for When Love Calls by Lorna Seilstad and sending a copy of the book. No other compensation was received.***
When love calls is the first book on the new series by Lorna Seilstad. When her parents are both killed, Hannah Gregory quits law school to take a job as a "Hello girl" at a local hotel switch board to take care of her two sisters. However the job proves to be quite a challenge when Hannah finds the rules to confining. Add to that a union strike, a rash of fires, a good friend arrested on suspicion of arson, and lawyer that is getting on her last nerve.
As with her previous books, the author sets her story in historic Iowa. I liked the description of the capital building and it was fun to see Hannah's reaction about riding in a automobile for the first time.