Monday, January 25, 2010
Book Review: "Jenna's Cowboy" by Sharon Gillenwater
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 the 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.
I had read Sharon's earlier books in the past and had really enjoyed reading them. Therefore I was looking forward to her newest book as it had been a while since she had a new one released. From the cover, the book looks like it would be a light casual romance but it was much more than that. The townsfolk are charming and bring life to the story. The chemistry between Jenna and Nate is done really well and I enjoyed watching their relationship bloom throughout the story. What I liked best was just sitting back and learning about the family and the town. Little details brought the story to life such as the big deal about the mums at the football game. I never would have imagined so much hoopla about flowers but apparently in towns like Callahan where football games are considered the biggest event possible they are.
This book is a real eye opener to the trauma that the men and women in our armed forces face every day. Just because they have come home from the battlefront does not mean the war is over. Life was a struggle for Nate every day as he had to battle his own personal demons and memories of being in the war zone. Little things that most people would dismiss would put him on high alert and bring him back to the dangerous places from his memory. It was extremely powerful and left me really grateful for the services that our armed forces do for our country every day. It's a task not to be taken lightly and stays with you forever even after you've left it behind. Honestly, this was one of the few books that really show how post traumatic stress disorder really affects everyone and not just the person suffering from it.
The only thing that irked me a bit was Nate's refusal to get any help for his problems. I understand how he didn't want to get hooked on any prescriptions but the fact that he didn't even want to go the VA and get help just sort of got on my nerves. I know there's the pride thing and all but it just grieves me when people refuse to get the help they need because they think it'll make them look weak. Other than this I really enjoyed reading the book. At first the cover kind of turned me off because it looked like a straight up predictable romance. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised at how the focus of the story angle and really liked how the book progressed. The characters are all very engaging and I really enjoyed being in the town of Callahan Crossing. I know I will be eager to make a return trip and read more about the adventures of the Callahan siblings.
Jenna's Cowboy by Sharon Gillenwater is published by Revell (2010)
This review copy was provided by the publisher