From goodreads: 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.
This is such a wonderful story that I got lost in everything that was Jesse and Rowan. I must admit, I have a new-found appreciation for cowboys who wear tight jeans!!! This is a very detailed story of two individuals with a heartbreaking past and their unlikely romance will warm your heart.
“Every morning we get a chance to be different. A chance to change. A chance to be better. Your past is your past. Leave it there. Get on with the future part, honey.”
I thoroughly enjoyed Rowen because she’s made some awful decisions but she owns it and yet there’s a part of her that doesn’t think she can ever recover from her past or the mistakes she’s made. A past that was partly created by her mother, who is absolutely awful! What Rowen doesn’t expect is for her life to change the moment she gets to Montana.
“We all want to open up to someone, Rowen. The hard part is finding someone we trust enough to open up to. That person we’re not afraid to let into the darkest parts of our world.”
When Rowen meets Jesse, the god of all cowboys, sparks immediately are ignited and a friendship is forged. He’s a kind and gentle spirit who sees right through Rowan’s façade and her emotional barricades start to slowly crack. He fights for her the way no one ever has and thinks she’s perfectly imperfect. While Jesse seems to have the perfect life, far from it because his past is equally as flawed as Rowen’s. Willow Springs Ranch is the place where Rowen and Jesse fall in love and discover that they need each other more than they realize. Their journey is filled with chemistry and some angst but most importantly that love doesn’t have limitations despite a tragic past.
Lily gave me a nod and a smile.”I wish I could be more like you. You’re so confident in who you are.”I had to look away from her eyes full of admiration. “I don’t know who I am, Lily. I’m just really good at pretending.”
While I loved this story, it’s definitely predictable but this is the type of book that’s perfect to read in one sitting, at the beach, the bus stop, by a fire place…see where I’m going with this? This is the kind of book that takes your mind off your troubles like eating chocolate or having a glass of wine. It’s a light read but an enjoyable one with a little bit of everything and I’m looking forward to the second book in the series, Near and Far!