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Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite
When Rainstorm opens, Jessy Kalender is looking out over a gorgeous Wyoming morning, contemplating breaking off her five-year-relationship and returning to Deer Creek. Her Uncle Frank’s letter gives her the perfect reason to return home: the Diamond-K Ranch. The only problem with returning is that the one person still living that she would like to avoid is the former love of her life, Matt Donovan, who also married her sister. So Jessy did what any brokenhearted woman would do; she ran and stayed away. Diane Brandow seems to have a knack for infusing such life and excitement into situations that could easily become melancholy. Much of Jessy’s story and life has undertones of sadness, heartbreak and tragedy, yet this story feels so hopeful.
I loved that all throughout Rainstorm Jessy wonders if leaving Brad was the right thing. She loved him and he was amazing, but he wasn’t Matt and that is a problem without a solution. Even though it didn’t work out, after her father’s awful treatment of her, a dead mother and Matt’s betrayal, I’m glad Jessy got to enjoy five years of real, if half-hearted, love. Having gone through so much in life, Jessy was strong and fragile all at once, which made her one of Diane Brandow’s most compelling creations. In the midst of the burgeoning second chance love between Matt and Jessy, there is a mystery surrounding Jessy’s long-dead mother, which just makes this a complete western tale. Rainstorm is a well-rounded story filled with drama, love, anger, hate and all the other decadent emotions that kept me enthralled from the first page.