Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.
When Lyndie James, Jake’s childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake pairs her with Silver Leaf, a horse full of promise but lacking in results, hoping she can solve the mystery of the stallion’s reluctance to run.
Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake’s will, Lyndie’s sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he’s built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he’d thought he’d lost returns, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?
My source for book: Review CopyMy Thoughts:
Becky Wade has done it again and given us another winner! I really liked the relationship development between Lyndie and Jake, and the fact that they were old childhood friends made it even better. Who doesn't love a story with that much history to the relationship!?
Jake's PTSD means there are a few flashback scenes to his time in Iraq, but they are placed and handled very well. The scenes have enough detail to convey the trauma he experienced, but they are short enough in length so the war angle does not overtake the story as a whole. I did sometimes feel like Jake was a bit too overprotective of Lyndie, however this was very obviously just a natural part of his personality that had been amplified due to his experiences in Iraq.
The horse subplot was interesting, and the atmosphere at the stables and race track was great. The horse details seem very authentic and genuine. I enjoyed seeing Lyndie work to figure out the quirks and personality of Silver Leaf, especially since her own quirky personality gave her the ability to think outside the box and consider odd possibilities.
I do have to admit that the side story revolving around Amber and Will often just seemed like space filler. The characters themselves were fine, and even the general plot of their story was okay, but in my mind it seemed to stunt the flow of the main story whenever the point of view switched to Amber or Will--especially Will. I would've preferred for the point of view to always stay with Lyndie or Jake instead of bouncing back and forth between all 4 characters.
Overall, I enjoyed the story very much.... despite my nitpicking on a few things, it really was a great read. I enjoyed Lyndie immensely, and even Jake's brooding temperament was entertaining when contrasted and paired with Lyndie's quirky, bubbly nature. Fans of contemporary romance will not be disappointed with this one. I highly recommend it!
My Rating: 5 stars
Thanks to the publisher (Bethany House) for providing me with a review copy via NetGalley.