"You and me are a bad idea, Hollywood."
She's a former beauty queen, former reality TV star and the former wife of a former Sexiest Man Alive.
And now Bree Mathews has been forced into hiding on this godforsaken farm in the middle of Nowhere, North Carolina...all because some deranged stalker wants her dead.
That grumpy farmer next door isn't enough to chase her back to Malibu, even with his dark and scary PTSD episodes from his army days and his lack of respect for all things Hollywood.
Always up to a challenge, she sets out to prove to Cole "Plowboy" Caldwell that you can never judge a celebrity on the lam by her cover!
Oh my, all the emotions that this story brings forward just nearly burst my heart and it was impossible not to make a commitment in my mind to do anything I can, to work to better the world that awaits veterans when they arrive back home after their service.
But have no fear, this story is not filled with angst and turmoil, even though both of those emotions are involved. But the author has managed to intertwine joy and humor in a subtle way even to the direst scenes where your heart is aching to the characters, you have tears in your eyes, yet you are smiling because, in midst of it all, there's pride, bliss, and wonder of life.
Bree Mathews comes through a transformation that can only be admired. Though she is completely out of her element and comfort zone, she makes the best of it, is open to the changes in her and around her, and flourish as the story unfolds. Yes, it took a little push from her new friends to get her towards the right direction, but resistance was minimal, and the whining just token.
Cole Caldwell really won my heart. With his broken soul, he still tries so hard to fit into the old life, he tries to find the peace of his mind, yet the PTSD is making a havoc and no matter what he tries, there's no stopping it, there's no calm in his mind.
I loved the unity and support of the military brothers, as well as Cole's family and friends. The PTSD affected all their lives, and they were all willing to make the sacrifices it would take for Cole to get better.
The connection between Cole and Bree was tangible. I laughed with them at their banter and play, I swooned from the intense passion their shared, I was in tears from the torment and hurt they had to go through, and I cheered for them to find their 'home', their place in the world, their peace of mind, and ability to move on with life.
I love it when a book takes you on a journey you were not expecting. When it takes you into the dark, deep, muddy waters where you have to stop and take a breath. Where it makes you want to stand up and make a difference. This story is definitely worth losing some sleep over, the impact it made on me will carry on and will make me take action. I adore books that influence or challenge my view of the world and this one surely accomplished just that. To be read with an open mind and heart to let the message register...
~ Five Spoons
MY GRADING SCALE:
5 Spoons - Amazing, memorable story that I loved and want to read again. The best of the best and not given lightly
4 Spoons - Fantastic, entertaining story that I enjoyed and connected with and will gladly recommend to readers
3 Spoons - A good story, not much that stood out but I was engaged enough to spend the time to read it through
2 Spoons - A story with some issues, that were a problem to me
1 Spoon - Not for me