Author: Sharon Gillenwater
Review by: Sabrina
Blurb: Jenna Callahan has a young son and rewarding work on her father's ranch. She's content. But she never expected to see Nate Langley back in town--the first guy she noticed, the one her father sent away all those years ago. And she never thought the attraction they felt would be as strong as ever. Jenna's cowboy has some healing of his own to do, though, after two tours of duty in the armed forces. With te help of good friends, strong faith, and a loving family, he hopes to put the horrors of the past behind him--and become the man Jenna deserves.
Welcome to Callahan Crossing where the Callahan men and friends are to die for. At least if you are for that Texas, goodlooking cowboy type. I haven't read the other books yet, although I'm defenitely going to give them a go, but what I liked most about this book, is that the hero, the cowboy isn't perfect. Nate Langley may be hot, built, tough, loving, but he has his own demons to fight. No one in this world is "perfect" per se and this book does a wonderful job of showing that.
The book centers around the two main characters, Jenna Callahan and Nate Langley. Both are childhood friends. Jenna marries a big time football player and ends up divorced and raising her little 2 year old son. She moves home to the Callahan Ranch to make a new life for her and her little boy. Nate Langley grew up in Callhan Crossing, left home and served two tours in the armed forces and returns home after the last tour left him with wounds, both physical and emotional. Jenna and Nate reunite and immediately the sparks from long ago are re-ignited.
Both Jenna and Nate secretly had a crush on the other as childhood friends so it's easy to see in the book how they can quickly fall for each other again. Except for this time, they both carry issues. Jenna has somewhat of a hard time trusting (although she gets over this pretty quickly), but Nate's issues go deeper. The scars he is left to dealt with from the Army are deep. He suffers from nightmares, a quick temper, and worst of all flashbacks that make him forget where he's at and at times what he's doing. Certain things, fire for example, trigger these flashbacks and Nate has to learn how to fight back to get control of his emotions and feelings.
Nate's PTSD is something that I can closely relate with in my own personal life. Not from his point of view but from the daughter and spouse's point of view. I have seen it firsthand and it can be a pretty scary situation.
"Sometimes he wondered if he'd ever get out of the tense, high-alert combat mode. Or if the nightmares would go away. They'd started about a month ago, but sometimes it seems as if they'd haunt him forever."
As a child, it was always understood in my home not to wake up my dad unless from across the room and we never questioned if my parents had to sleep in separate rooms from time to time. My own dad was a vet from Vietnam. A couple of purple hearts and a long tour left my daddy with nightmares that has plagued him his whole life.
My ex-husband was also a U.S. Marine. We were stationed in North Carolina for a few years and during our marriage, I got to witness the demons he fought as well. As soon as he came back from one deployment, I remember leaning over to wake him up and he opened his eyes, but you could tell he thought he was somewhere else. This scared me so bad that I went to wake up his brother, who was with us at the time, to come help me awaken him. One other occasion, a nightmare he fought almost ended up with a broken nose for me. I started to learn real quick, to leave an extra blanket near in case I needed to make a quick exit for the couch.
Sharon Gillenwater did her research and that makes for a wonderful and fantastic author.
The story was heartful, full of romance, full of the love of God, and full of understanding. The supporting cast including the Callahan family, Nate's family, and many more make this story complete.
My only complaint about this story...WARNING...THIS IS A SPOILER ALERT SO PLEASE DO NOT READ BEYOND THIS POINT IF YOU HAVE A THING AGAINST SPOILERS...
Nate Langley happens to be a virgin and not only that, but also has never been kissed. He waited for Jenna in a way. This was a little hard for me to believe. I know it's possible, don't get me wrong. I'm a Christian and grew up in a Christian home but I also know how the modern world is. Peer pressure is right up there with bullying these days and in the "civilian" world it's bad. In the "military" world, it's even worse. So although, I praise the character for his restraint, it was just a little hard to believe in today's society.
All in All: The book was a wonderful read. I highly recommend it. I enjoyed it very much and plan on reading and reviewing the other books in the series.
This is Free for Kindle!