When Loves Calls is the first in The Gregory Sisters series, a historical romance novel by Lorna Seilstad.
Faced with the death of her parents in 1908 Iowa, Hannah Gregory left law school behind to return home and support her two younger sisters. Shortly thereafter a handsome young lawyer drops by and lets them know that the bank owns their farm – and they have to leave it.
Good at many things, but not at following rules, Hannah butts heads with the lawyer. She might not be pursuing her dream anymore, but she certainly won’t let her sisters starve. So, when she applies for a position as a Hello Girl, a switchboard operator, she knows she’ll be utilizing every inch of her self-control.
Why? Because they have strict rules – some of which she finds laughable – that her employment depends on. One of which is that she is to have no consorting with gentlemen during training.
The problem with that is that circumstances keep bringing Hannah and the lawyer together – and she’s starting not to mind…
When Love Calls really had a lot of fascinating details about being a switchboard operator in the beginning of the twentieth century. My Grandma was a switchboard operator much later on, but I couldn’t help but want to ask her so many questions about her job – if any of these rules or methods of training featured in When Love Calls had been retained in the 60s and 70s. I’ll ask her in Heaven!
Hannah is a likable character, and her strong bond with her sisters creates a nice tone. I already know that I’d like to read books about each of them – especially the youngest, Tessa, who most definitely has a mind of her own.
The romance sometimes felt a bit bland. I liked all the characters and they had decent chemistry, but I felt that Lorna Seilstad’s The Ride of Her Life was stronger on the romance and character level. Yet I still very much enjoyed When Love Calls.
Perhaps some more light peppering of historical details from the period could have enhanced the atmosphere a bit. Other than those few things, however, When Love Calls is a fun, amusing, romantic family drama that also gives a glimpse of some early union issues.
Like I said earlier, I’ll definitely be following this series – but I do hope a bit more of the sparkle I saw in The Ride of Her Life starts to show up to whisk me away next time!
*Available May 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
*I received a copy of When Love Calls from the Baker Publishing Group. Their generosity in no way influenced, nor sought to influence, my opinion of the novel.