My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing
After losing everything dear to her, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy spurs her to wonder if maybe love is worth the risk. Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the homey town of Wishing Springs, Texas, after her favorite advice columnist found love and a home there. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby too . . . if she's brave enough to reach out and take it. Bo Monahan isn't interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become--or the women who might be looking at him like he's their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn't looking for serious romantic commitments. But unexpectedly the young child he never knew about appears on his doorstep and Bo's world is turned upside down. This confirmed bachelor might not need a wife, but he sure needs a woman . . . and newcomer Abby Knightly is definitely a woman. When she comes to his rescue to help him navigate fatherhood, he slowly uncovers her own history. And suddenly Bo's thinking maybe, just maybe, together they can help each other work through the problems of the past to create a future of their own.
I was fully engaged in the story the entire time I was reading this book. Abby portrays a wide range of emotions as she daily struggles with her feelings of guilt, grief and ultimate desire to feel happy again. She is a perfect example of how our perceptions of self and situation can be distorted while we are weighed down with heavy emotional burdens. Abby experiences unconditional love for Bo's son Levi and that love works to heal her deep hurts. Allowing herself to love the baby opened her heart to be able to allow romantic love then blossom. Bo is adorable in his adoration of Abby which was unexpected since he seemed pretty gruff in the previous book in the series. His devotion to Pops, his grandfather with Alzheimer's, shows how both hope and acceptance of the hand life deals you help to still celebrate the good memories and daily joys however small. I loved the cast of family and community members who emphasize the importance of reaching out, connecting with others, and surrounding yourself with positive friends and people. The message I took from the book is that we can't do it alone- we need each other and we need God. This story is full of heart in an idyllic setting with realistically flawed characters reaching out and supporting and trying their best.
(Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing and BookLook Bloggers for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)