Series: Lost & Found #1
Publisher: Createspace on May 7, 2013
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There’s complicated. And there’s Rowen Sterling.
After numbing pain for the past five years with boys, alcohol, and all-around apathy, she finds herself on a Greyhound bus to nowhere Montana the summer after she graduates high school. Her mom agreed to front the bill to Rowen’s dream art school only if Rowen proves she can work hard and stay out of trouble at Willow Springs Ranch. Cooking breakfast at the crack of dawn for a couple dozen ranch hands and mucking out horse stalls are the last things in the world Rowen wants to spend her summer doing.
Until Jesse Walker saunters into her life wearing a pair of painted-on jeans, a cowboy hat, and a grin that makes something in her chest she’d thought was frozen go boom-boom. Jesse’s like no one else, and certainly nothing like her. He’s the bright and shiny to her dark and jaded.
Rowen knows there’s no happily-ever-after for the golden boy and the rebel girl—happily-right-now is a stretch—so she tries to forget and ignore the boy who makes her feel things she’s not sure she’s ready to feel. But the more she pushes him away, the closer he seems to get. The more she convinces herself she doesn’t care, the harder she falls.
When her dark secrets refuse to stay locked behind the walls she’s kept up for years, Rowen realizes it’s not just everyone else she needs to be honest with. It’s herself.
“’We all have secrets, Rowen. Every last person on the planet. And you know what else? We all experience the same kind of things. We just go through them at different times and to different degrees…If we were to just accept that we’re not so different from each other, we wouldn’t have to feel so alone.’”
“There are low points, and there are low points.”
My Musings: I haven’t had the chance to read any other novels of Nicole Williams’, although I’ve had Crash on my kindle app for a while now. If her other novels are as good as this one was, then I really need to be getting to those! Williams has a gift. A gift of being able to write a fantastic story with real life, relatable problems, and resolving them in an almost flawless manner.
I really enjoyed this novel, and not only for the romance! This novel explored lots of deep, real life problems such as rebellion, parent neglect, and various other issues. The fact that Williams addressed a variety of problems such as these at the same time is very admirable. The characters in this novel, especially the leading lady, Rowen, we the epitome of troubled characters. And that was okay, because, as readers, we got to watch her work through all of her problems, with the help of a certain imperfect cowboy.
“He admired his truck as if he could see no wrong. I suppose if you were cool with your vehicle having more dents and dings than there were stars in the Milky Way galaxy, or if you didn’t mind the car being new when your parents first got their licenses, there was nothing ‘wrong’ with it.”
I really enjoyed Rowen’s character. She was snarky. She was funny. She wasn’t afraid to be different. Yes, she had some baggage, but who doesn’t? She was eventually able to make her way through her problems and to overcome them. She was able to break away from what was holding her back, and she blossomed into a fantastic young woman. I felt proud for her come the end of the novel.
“’We don’t deserve anything, Rowen. We didn’t deserve punishment, we don’t deserve happiness, life owes us nothing. Realize that.’”
Jesse had to be my favorite part of the novel. And no, it was not just because he was a smokin’ hot cowboy who said swoon worthy things. It was because he felt real. Jesse was not perfect. He had his problems, and he had his past, just like Rowen did. But he did not let his past define him. Instead, it gave him the drive to be who he became, and I find that attractive in itself. And he has to be the wisest book boy that I have ever read. The things this boy said…they were just wow.
“Nope. The reason I’d remember Jesse’s name from that day forward was because of the way he looked at me. He didn’t study me like I was something different and scary. He looked at me like I was a human being, no different from himself, and yet unique just the same.”
Rowen and Jesse appeared complete opposites. But they really were that much different. They fit together perfectly, just like a puzzle. And what I liked about their relationship is that Jesse was the naïve one. He was the one that got hurt sometimes. Usually when you read a book nowadays, it’s the girl who gets hurt, or it’s the girl who is naïve regardless of how old they are. It was nice to see the vulnerable one being the boy in the relationship. And don’t get me wrong, Rowen had plenty of times when she was the vulnerable one; many times, actually. But my point is, they shared that vulnerability. It was both of them at different times and different circumstances, but they both had the ability to be the rock when the other needed it. And that is what I believe made their relationship so great.
“’Every morning we get a chance to be different. A chance to change. A chance to be better. Your past is your past. Leave it there. Get on with the future part, honey.’”
In the end, Lost and Found was a great novel that explored characters that had to learn to let go of the past and live life as they want to. A truly phenomenal story, this novel is sure to impact you in ways that you cannot even fathom.
(1) Print copy of Lost and Found – Open International
(1) Leather cuff bracelet with metal inscription “Love is organized chaos” – Open International
(1) $50 Amazon Gift Card – Open to countries that can use Amazon