Adam Lockwood, bull rider and owner of the local feedstore, is having the best year of his rodeo career. He’s also a bit distracted by the pretty new neighbor living in his old bunkhouse. But Adam has no time for matters of the heart. He’s got his future all mapped out, and that future doesn’t involve a woman just yet. It doesn’t involve parenting a little girl either. However, Carly Fowler still suddenly leaves five-year-old Zan—the daughter Adam didn’t know he had—in his care.
Is it possible that the future holds a life even better than what Merry Anna and Adam had each dreamed of? One that includes both tenderness and even love—not just for each other but for Zan too.
Naigle has given readers a touching story of two people finding their way to being open to love. It is sort of an adult coming of age story. Both Adam and Merry Anna must work through many obstacles to consider the possibility of romance. While all of the characters are written well, my favorite was Zan. What a sweet girl. The plot is typical for romance, a budding relationship progressing with misunderstandings and hurt. The ending seems a bit rushed and is somewhat inconclusive. Perhaps we are to be expecting a sequel.
My frustration with the book is in the mixed messages it contains about sexual morality among Christians. Merry Anna divorced her husband mainly because he had an affair. She appeared to have definite convictions about sexual fidelity in marriage. When she learns Adam has had many sexual encounters outside of marriage, it seems to be of no concern to her. Adam's attitude toward his sexual sin is disappointing. While he admits he has had his share of women, he claims he has always done the “right” thing, I suppose meaning using condoms. (2464/4158) He never owns up to his sin nor is he ever repentant, even though he is depicted as a Christian. Adam's character is certainly not what I expected nor am pleased about.
This is a romance for younger readers who are of the opinion that causal sex outside of marriage is fine and not against God's will as long as one wears appropriate protection. For older Christians who still believe sex outside of marriage is sin and needs to be addressed as such, this novel will be a very frustrating one to read.
My rating: 3/5 stars.
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(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)