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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
On Common Ground is the first book in the Grounded Series by Jansen Schmidt, a romance with characters that are brilliantly developed, deeply human, and believable. Trevor Donaldson and Ketra Weston are two characters that are deeply wounded, and each is seeking a way to forget a painful past. Each has developed a deep sense of mistrust of the opposite sex — Trevor feels betrayed by a failed marriage that still leaves him with regrets while Ketra is still suffering from a brutal attack from someone she least expected could hurt her. These two characters meet at the Diamond D Ranch in Arizona where they seek a space to heal. Can the sanctuary they seek be found in each other?
Jansen Schmidt knows how to awaken powerful emotions in readers. But that’s not all: the author knows how to feed those emotions. The characters are real and sophisticated, each well fleshed out with their backstory. The complexity in the personalities of the key characters makes them characters that readers will want to follow. Trevor is filled with regrets; he gunned down the man who shot his partner and he can’t get over the thoughts of his failed marriage. The reader learns to penetrate the depths of his emotions slowly, and the encounter with Ketra arouses the reader's curiosity.
On Common Ground is suspenseful, emotionally rich, and featuring strong psychological hints. The prose is beautiful and I enjoyed the way the author unveils the hearts of the characters. The internal conflict is skillfully developed and its intensity is perceived in the streams of consciousness and the way the characters relate to each other. This is a story that will entertain and inspire readers.