There’s complicated. And there’s Rowen Sterling.
After numbing pain for the past five years with boys, alcohol, and all-around apathy, she finds herself on a Greyhound bus to nowhere Montana the summer after she graduates high school. Her mom agreed to front the bill to Rowen’s dream art school only if Rowen proves she can work hard and stay out of trouble at Willow Springs Ranch. Cooking breakfast at the crack of dawn for a couple dozen ranch hands and mucking out horse stalls are the last things in the world Rowen wants to spend her summer doing.
Until Jesse Walker saunters into her life wearing a pair of painted-on jeans, a cowboy hat, and a grin that makes something in her chest she’d thought was frozen go boom-boom. Jesse’s like no one else, and certainly nothing like her. He’s the bright and shiny to her dark and jaded.
Rowen knows there’s no happily-ever-after for the golden boy and the rebel girl—happily-right-now is a stretch—so she tries to forget and ignore the boy who makes her feel things she’s not sure she’s ready to feel. But the more she pushes him away, the closer he seems to get. The more she convinces herself she doesn’t care, the harder she falls.
When her dark secrets refuse to stay locked behind the walls she’s kept up for years, Rowen realizes it’s not just everyone else she needs to be honest with. It’s herself.
5 stars - I'll never think about cowboy's the same way again after meeting Jesse Walker!
Jesse Walker. The very best part of this book is meeting and getting to know Jesse Walker. I love how he thinks. I love how he loves. I love how won't abandon. I love how he protects. I love how he defends. I love the way he cares. I love his relationships with his sisters. I love his relationship with his parents. I love his horse, his white t-shirts, his hat and his sexy tight jeans. Don't usually fall for the blonde ones but this blonde haired, blue eyed cowboy stole my heart hard.
Rowen Sterling is seriously complicated. She has attitude down but the girl has the reasons for the tude to be sure. Can I just say that the mama bear claws were coming out in me towards her so called mom. Some peeps shouldn't have children and this women is one of them. When I found out the whole story about the problems with the relationship between this mother and daughter, I wanted to crawl into that book and help Jesse kick some butt. Well, he'd do the kicking and I cheer him on - cause lets be real. That boy doesn't need mine or anyone's help to kick butt. Oh and yes, I did read proof of this. It's right there in the book.
Other than enraged, Jesse didn't look like he's just been in a fist fight. (pg 300)
"Are you alright?" I pulled back so I could examine his face. His hair was a little rumpled, but that was the only sign he'd been in a fight.
"He never even landed a punch," he answered, running his thumbs under my eyes to wipe the tears away. "I'm just fine." (pg 303)
Part of what I really liked about this book was that it wasn't just troubled city girl meets yummy country boy and they fall in love, no it was way more than that. The plot was complex and dealt with quite a few issues. Because of that, these characters were full and became like friends to me. Details that I really didn't expect to be dealt with, were. And the ending left me hoping for the next book but not in pain for the wait. I can see that these two are not done trying to figure things out. Both of them have come from very different lives though they both have had some pretty serious struggles. They are perfect for each other and I can't wait to see them find their HEA.
I read this book in about a day. I started it while babysitting baby b. His parents were out late so I got through most of the book. After driving home, I couldn't seem to keep my eyes open but I finished it the next morning.
This is NA romance at it's best! It's my second Nicole Williams book and she's reached auto-buy status. If you love the type of romance that includes characters with depth and growth plus some yummy sexy, then this is the book for you.
Quotes I loved
"Why don't you want to know that I like you, Rowen? Why don't you want me to tell you I'm so damn attracted to you, I almost don't trust myself to be alone with you like we are right now? Why don't you want to know that I care about you so much, I wanted to rip Garth Black's throat out tonight for saying those things?" Jesse paused just long enough to take a breath. "Why?" (Page 143)
I smirked up at Jesse. The rest of the guys weren't even close. "Hungry?" I asked, shielding my eyes as I looked up at him. Jesse made "cowboy" look good like no other, but him on a horse...I couldn't imagine anything sexier.
He flashed me a knowing smile. "Like you wouldn't believe. Especially after seeing you pull up in my sweet ride." He winked before swinging his leg around and dismounting. He came toward me, horse in tow, and didn't stop until his body was almost against mine.
"I missed you today," he said as his eyes scanned my face. "I missed touching you." Jesse's hand dropped to my hip, and the breath I'd been holding rushed out. "I missed talking to you." (Page 165)
I'm a wife, a mom, a writer. I started writing because I loved it and I'm still writing because I love it. I write young adult because I still believe in true love, kindred spirits, and happy endings. Here's to staying young at heart *raises champagne glass* . . . care to join me?