Paperback, 448 pages
Published October 23rd 2012
by Harlequin MIRA
My Rating: ❀❀❀❀❀
Genre: Contemporary Romance
After growing up in cheap motels, moving from town to town with her sister and mother, Cheyenne Christensen is grateful to be on her own. She's grateful, too, for the friends she found once her family settled in California. But she's troubled by the mystery of her earliest memories, most of which feature a smiling blonde woman. A woman who isn't her mother.
Although Cheyenne has repeatedly asked for explanations, the people who could help aren't talking. Cheyenne is set on finding answers, but without so much as a birth certificate, it won't be easy.
Things get even more complicated when her closest friend is attracted to the man Cheyenne has secretly loved for years. For Eve's sake, she decides to step aside — which lands her right in the arms of Dylan Amos, oldest and baddest of the hell-raising Amos brothers. He's the kind of guy she's sworn to avoid. She can't afford to make a mistake, not when she finally has a chance to learn who she really is and change her life for the better. But . . . maybe there's more to Dylan than she thought. Maybe letting him go would be a bigger mistake.
I'm just going to come out and say, I loved this book. I think it was because it left me wanting. Not that I felt it was incomplete, but because there was still so much I wanted to know about the characters. Initially I was confused when it seemed that the author was setting up Cheyenne with a love interest that was not named in the blurb, but later I saw how much better off she was with Dylan. Because Dylan wasn't a dream she was in love with, he was a real person who loved her far more deeply than Chey's dream man ever could.
I loved that Chey was a mixed up character. It was darn frustrating at times, because she was so hot and cold with Dylan, but it really highlighted how much her childhood had hurt her. And it opened up a layer of emotion with her sister that was really beautiful and meaningful--I can't wait to read Presley's story.
What really resonated with me was how much Chey came into her own in this book. It was really hard for her to live life authentically because she was always living a life of shame--she was the good girl in her family, and her mother and sister were the shame she had to carry around in small town Whiskey Creek. That made her more responsible, more kind, it earned her respect and friendship, but I found that she also was living a life where her choices were largely made because she had to keep up that respectability she'd earned for herself. Dylan was a blight on that since he was a bad boy, or at least from the wrong side of the tracks. Tracks that Chey lived among, but didn't belong to. These dividing lines were very interesting since Dylan wasn't all that much of a bad boy. I think that's why I thought they fit together--Chey was the good girl, but she had lived a life that wasn't all roses and sunshine just like Dylan. Dylan had the bad boy rep still, but he had cleaned up big time, and no one had noticed. By being with Dylan, letting herself become drawn into his world bit by bit, even when she did doubt the wisdom of this, Chey was letting go of being the good girl, and beginning to live authentically, and I really liked that because it takes true courage to do that, especially for someone like Chey who sought for approval all of her life.
I loved this book, pure and simple.