Date published: May 7th, 2013
Publisher: Nicole Williams
Synopsis: 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.
What I Thought:
I first read this book in 2013. I re-read it this year. I was once again blown away by how amazing this book is. It was like reading the book for the first time, all over again. I'm not sure who I'm impressed with most, Nicole Williams for such a wonderful story, or the journey Rowen and Jesse go on. In a way, they're one and the same. This is truly a book that needs to be read to be experienced. It's beautiful, surprising, thought provoking and will evoke all sorts of emotions.
Jesse is probably the perfect guy. Scratch that. He's the perfect guy. Not only is his tush tight and firm, and totally squeeze worthy, but he is beautiful down to his soul. I can't get over his attitude towards life. It was almost unreal. I love how he stayed on Rowen's case and kept encouraging her to open up and let what was eating away at her out. I loathed Rowen's mother, as much as I loved Jesse's. If Jesse was the perfect guy, Rose was one of the reasons why. I loved Rowen too. There were a few times I wanted to shake her, but as more of her past was revealed, the less I had that desire. I came to understand why she acted out. Heck, I have no idea how she handled what happened to her.
This book captured my attention completely. I read it one sitting. I didn't even stop reading to get tissues. I walked as I read because I couldn't bear to put the book down. There were so many surprises and twists. Each one caught me off guard. There was no way I could've predicted what happened in this book, let alone the affect it would have on me. I didn't want this book to end. I don't know how this book managed to be so sexy and yet sweet.
I'm so glad this book is the first in a series. That not only means more Jesse and Rowen, but also more of the wonderful Walker family, broody and delicious Garth, and Garth's sparring with Josie, a childhood friend of both Jesse and Garth. It means new challenges for them all. I'm really looking forward to Near & Far and continuing Jesse and Rowen's story.
About the Author
I’m the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the CRASH series (HarperTeen, S&S UK), LOST & FOUND series, UP IN FLAMES (S&S UK), The EDEN TRILOGY, and a handful of others. I write stories about everyday kinds of people who find themselves in extraordinary kinds of situations. I tell love stories with happy endings because I believe in making the world a better place, and that’s one tiny way I can make it so. I’m one of those people who still believe in true love and soul mates, and would rather keep my head in the clouds any day over having my feet firmly on the ground.
* I purchased a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*