By: Eliza Freed
Published By: Forever Yours
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Page Count: 368
Source: Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: New Adult - Contemporary Romance
What do we owe the dead?
This is a thought that pervades this story as Charlotte reels from the sudden and tragic death of her parents. They wanted her to graduate from Rutgers University, land a job in a city, and marry a man with a white collar job. Their death has Charlotte questioning everything about her future. The only place that she seems to find solace is in the arms of the handsome cowboy, Jason Leer. Jason is the sort of guy Charlotte's parents would not have approved of, but she can't seem to let him go. It doesn't matter that Charlotte and Jason are from two very different worlds with two very different plans for the future; the two are determined to find a way to make their relationship work.
The course of true love doesn't run smoothly for these two. Charlotte is trying to finish up her Senior year of college in New Jersey while Jason is studying and working the rodeo circuit from Oklahoma. Their relationship largely consists of texts, letters, and the occasional phone call in between the moments when they can manage to be in the same state. The struggle that Charlotte and Jason endure is probably fairly typical of long distance relationships. The distance makes everything more difficult. To make matters worse, Jason hates the city and is constantly worrying about Charlotte's safety. Charlotte is headstrong and stubborn so she fights against Jason's controlling nature - even when it's warranted. There are moments when Charlotte seems to be engaged in nothing but self destructive behavior. On the other hand, Charlotte hates the rodeo and the danger it poses to Jason. These two have some serious hurdles to overcome if their love is going to survive.
In so many ways, this novel made me frustrated. There were moments when I liked Charlotte and Jason, but then they would do something stupid or selfish that would leave me wondering why I kept reading. Their relationship had moments of tenderness, but those would soon be trampled by the dysfunction. Both Jason and Charlotte are hurting after significant losses so I understood why they felt they need to lose themselves in each other, but I couldn't help but think about unhealthy their relationship was overall. In many ways, their relationship mimics the unpredictable Oklahoma weather - beautiful one minute and downright hostile the next.
I was also seriously over the volume of gratuitous intimate scenes. I'm a reader who likes something left to the imagination. I know more about these two characters than I ever wanted to know as far as that area of their lives is concerned. Seriously - these two could give rabbits a run for their money. Some readers clamor for this, but it's not my cup of tea.
I went back and forth in my mind with the rating for this one; I waffled between 3 and 4. I loved it and loathed it in equal measures at certain moments. (That ending - GRRRRR) I finally decided if it made me feel so intensely AND I am starting the second installment tonight just to see what happens next that it warranted a 3.5. I just can't get past my aversion to the explicit details and the toxic nature of the romance.
One Last Gripe: I was frustrated that Jason kept smothering Charlotte. He didn't seem to take her goals as seriously as his own.
Favorite Thing About This Book: It was nice to see Charlotte's transition from broken to strong.
First Sentence: My foot will bleed soon.
Favorite Character: Noble - he was solid and unwavering
Least Favorite Character: Charlotte and Jason found themselves in this spot at varying points throughout the novel, but there were also moments when they were vying for the favorite character spot.
When two lost souls find each other, are they still lost?
Charlotte O'Brien is lost in the devastation of her parents' death. With her foundation in ruins, she buries herself in an unlikely lover, Jason Leer.
When they're together it's everything, but when they're apart it's utterly frustrating. Can love survive when distance is measured in more than just miles?