Author: Renée Carlino
Publication Date: November 11, 2014
Published: Atria Books
From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a deeply emotional contemporary romance about the second chances waiting beyond the shattered dreams of youth.
Under the bright arena lights of a rodeo show, young Avelina Belo falls for a handsome cowboy with a larger-than-life personality. After a whirlwind courtship, she happily moves away from her family in northern California and settles into married life with her cowboy on a seven-thousand-acre cattle ranch in Montana. One freak accident later, Avelina’s hopes for the future come to an end.
Nate Myers graduated from UCLA medical school at the top of his class, ready to follow in the footsteps of his father, a superstar cardiothoracic surgeon. Six years later, Nate’s career is being ruined by a malpractice suit. Questioning himself for the first time, he retreats to a Montana cattle ranch to visit his uncle and gain perspective. There, he meets a beautiful young woman named Avelina who teaches him more than he ever knew about matters of the heart.
Now, I didn’t dislike this book but I won’t say that I was immediately in love with it either. The concept was great. Avelina, Ava, was someone who had a bright future. She had fell in love early with Jake, a cowboy who became her whole world. But when a horrible accident and devastating choice took him from her, that whole world that she had built around him, came crashing down. Ava, now lost and closed off, continues to work on the ranch that she and Jake lived, basically living as a ghost of her previous life.
Nate was a cocky surgeon in L.A. and when he loses a patient, his whole world and confidence is rocked. His father, chief of surgery, sends him out to Montana to spend some time at the Ranch that his uncle owns, to gain some perspective and clear his head of the loss. What Nate finds instead is the broken Ava and immediately, he wants to fix her. Falling for her happened when he was least expecting it.
The struggles that these two characters had wasn’t my issue with the story. All of their pains and heartaches were understandable. What bothered me most was how frustrating they both could be. Ava, was very young and had experienced more lost in her life at that point than most do in a whole lifetime. But something about how pigheaded she was didn’t feel believable. Nate’s immediate connection to her didn’t feel as strong to me to be considered love. Something about the two of them together didn’t feel genuine. Especially, there was one scene where Nate left Ava to go perform an emergency surgery. Ava waited for hours in the cold for him. Nate was insensitive and Ava, to me, was a little silly. She could have left but she didn’t. I think there were times where they showed immaturity and in the end, I wasn’t sure that they really overcame it.
In the end, everything works out and I like how they eventually got over all the bullshit but ultimately, I felt like what I liked about the story was continuously clashing with what I didn’t. Will I read more books from her? Of course! This just wasn’t a homerun for me.