Right off the bat I want to say, don't judge this book by its cover or its title, neither do the book justice! Yes, this is a book about a small-time rancher and rock star, but not in the way that you might think. Abby Stadler runs a small horse farm, and Gray Covey is a rock star, however, he's not a down and dirty, gritty rock star as is being depicted in so many popular reads of late. I would attribute him to a "Bruce Springsteen" type, famous in his day and that popularity has proven itself over time and spans the generations. He's 45 years young, a seasoned performer, and I found him to be refreshingly appealing! Abby is a widow and single mother to Kim, who befriends Dawson, Gray's son. Unbeknownst to Abby, Dawson has run away from home and lied about his age when she offered him a place to stay and work.
There is more than one storyline here, and they are all woven together very nicely. These are two single parents that are trying to do right by their children. Abby is making a go at providing for Kim the best she can and is a very hands on parent. Gray needs to re-connect with Dawson and find common ground in their relationship. His fame, hectic life and living on different continents, has him at an impasse with his son. Dawson's also bitter towards his father when it comes to his beloved grandmother and his father's decision to put her in assisted living. This was handled very well by the author and brought another sense of realism into the book.
The attraction between Gray and Abby is evident early on, but the physical and romantic element is slow to build. Oh, they have moments that are touchy, feely and heated, but when they are intimate for the first time, they make love, they do not have sex. The author is descriptive, but it's done very tastefully, yet it's steamy and breathtaking. It was exceptionally well done, sweet and appropriate for the story.
"You're like a living fantasy in the middle of a nightmare, and I hope you know I wish I could hold you like this forever."
So, now I want to touch on a part of the book that I don't want readers to ignore, but I just don't think more needs to be made of it then what it really is. There is an element of faith in the book. This is not Christian fiction, and don't close the book at the first mention of God...please! Abby has faith, she doesn't bible sling, she has moments of reflection that give her hope, that somehow she will find her way through the tragedy and difficulties that have found their way into her life. She's a strong independent woman, who, for reasons you will read about, needs to provide for her child and finds it tough to accept help from anyone. At times she annoyed me, but I understood, because in many ways I am her, I like to do things on my own. In any respect, all this will bring you to a beautiful moment between Gray and Abby at the end of the book. This wonderful man helps her to understand that sometimes the sign you are looking for doesn't come in the way of the heavens opening up, the sun shining through and the angels singing Hallelujah! See it for what it's worth and in order to help yourself and those you love, you have to push your pride aside, reach out and grab the hand that's offered. Quite possibly, the hand your grabbing is in need of rescue too!
"Life is simple for you, Abby Stadtler. You're right. I needed to find you."
I enjoyed the simple complexity of this book. Every day real problems woven into a unique story, but not blown out of proportion. Two people who are attracted to each other, but take the time to know one another before they move on to the next level in their relationship. Real life teenage drama, that makes parents want to bang their heads against a wall. What to do, what to say, because no matter what, it's going to be the wrong thing! The ending was a little melodramatic, but to bring the characters together it was somewhat necessary. That's not to say I didn't like it!
Lizbeth Selving wrote a beautifully descriptive book, filled with wonderful dialogue, an enticing story, endearing characters, humorous and heart felt moments, and sweet ending that is sure to satisfy many readers.