5 Stars Out Of 5
Definitely one for the keeper shelf!
August 10, 2017
As this is my first book by Courtney Walsh, I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew it was contemporary romance, but would I like her style? Would it be a new take, or "the same old thing"? I'd heard so many excellent things and one of my friends very highly recommended it, so I decided to give it a go. And I'm so glad that I did! I immediately found myself drawn into this story, pulled into these characters' lives and wishing I could take a trip to Harbor Pointe, MI. I have definitely found another favorite author, whose books will be finding a home on my keeper shelves.
The story line itself, intrigued me. A character that hides behind her phone, keeping it as a shield between herself and the world. It is so fitting for the time, where electronic devices are everywhere and so many seem so attached to them. I was curious to see how Ms. Walsh would tackle this subject and I have to say that I think she did an excellent job! I felt as though every time someone admonished Lane Kelley to "look up," they were also speaking to me, challenging me to pay attention to the world around me. I loved that! I found this story to be a journey, both for the characters and myself. The further I read, the more I found myself pausing to really see the people around me, wondering what I'd been missing. I also loved how Ms. Walsh took care to describe the world around Lane, placing emphasis on the things she was missing by always running, going full speed ahead.
I have to confess, when I first met Lane Kelley, she didn't impress me. She seemed selfish and stubborn, unwilling to bend. But, as I got to know her and saw beyond the cool facade she showed everyone, I found someone I would love to have as a friend. She's spent most of her life feeling as though she doesn't belong, doesn't measure up. My heart broke for her, for the lies she's believed, for how hard she's worked to attain something that was always right in front of her. I loved watching the transformation her character goes through, learning to love and allow herself to be loved in return.
What do I say about Ryan Brooks? So many things . . . . first, he is SO swoony! Not only is he nice to look at, but he's got a great sense of humor, doesn't always take life too seriously, knows how to have fun, focuses on the important things in life, and is willing to drop everything for a friend in need. Oh, and he has a chivalrous streak a mile wide, which just adds to the swoony-ness. I loved getting to know him and seeing his heart for Lane, despite her standoffish behavior and sometimes cranky attitude. And their romance was so sweet! There were definitely several *sigh* worthy moments, a couple where I just wanted to "Gibbs slap" them, and the great "just have to smile" ending.
Overall, I would highly recommend reading this book, whether romance is your genre of choice, or not. I loved being challenged by the message with this story and would happily give it more than 5 stars, were that an option.
*My thanks to the publisher for my advanced copy of this book! I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.