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?
This is the first book I have read in the Porter Family Series. I’m wondering if I might have enjoyed it more if I had read the first two in the series.
Wade did a great job introducing the characters in the novel for those readers that had not read the first two books. In fact, I didn’t even realize it was the third book until late in the book.
However, this book just didn’t ever grab me. It took me about four days to get through it, which is very unusual for me. Obviously in romance books, the guy is probably going to get the girl in the end. They all tend to be a little predictable. With that in mind, I always look to the characters and the conflict to pull me in. Unfortunately, I never got to the point where I cared about Jake or Lyndie.
At the beginning, I had high hopes. Jake’s struggle with PTSD and Lyndie’s family with a grown child with disabilities and a grandparent living with them after the death of a spouse had so much potential. I wish that Wade had done more with any of those sources of conflict, but there just wasn’t much.
Furthermore, I never quite understood why Jake and Lyndie couldn’t just pick up their friendship where they left off before Lyndie and her family moved away. They were best friends at 12, never had a falling out, and experienced a fairly typical fading away of their friendship through letters as they developed other friendships. Granted, Jake experienced a great trauma as he served in the Marines, but it their unease with one another never made sense to me as they renewed their acquaintance.
Finally, Lyndie’s solving the “mystery” of Silver Leaf was a little thin in my opinion. It was just too unbelievable that after working with him for a short time, she would solve the problem of why he wouldn’t run to his potential.
Overall, Wade did a good job technically with this book and crafting a stand alone novel in her series. The plot was just a little too thin for me.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.