Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Jane Porter shows us that She's Gone Country,in the best sense of the word
Shey Lynne Darcy seemed like the quintessential New York City success story;a former fashion model who once had her own business,plus a loving husband and family to devote her time to. All of that changed when said husband John announced that he was leaving Shey for another lover,one that she couldn't compete with-a man.
Devastated,Shey packed up her three teenage sons and moved back home to Texas,where not only her tough as nails mother and loving but overprotective brothers Brick and Blue Callen are there to support her but also a man she hasn't seen in a long time, Dane Kelly.
Dane was her brother Brick's best friend as well as a good friend of the family and Shey's very first love ever since she was a little girl. When she was sixteen,Shey openly pursued Dane,who was six years older than her but their romance was cut short when her family shipped her off to boarding school. That change of scene eventually lead to the two of them taking separate paths in life and love.
Over the years,a riff between Brick and Dane has arisen,partly due to business dealings in the area that conflict with one another,not to mention a major disagreement about Cody, the youngest Callen brother afflicted with untreated bipolar disorder that lead to drug addiction and a too soon death. Their main bone of contention,however,was the budding romance between Shey and Dane.
Shey has a lot on her plate to deal with already,as her divorce is not yet final and her sons are having a hard time adjusting to a more rural lifestyle. Eldest boy Hank is scheming to return to New York in order to complete his private school education at any cost while middle child Bo is going through bouts of depression that cause Shey to worry about him inheriting her brother Cody's illness.
It's her youngest,Cooper,however,who unwittingly helps Shey to reconnect to Dane. Cooper loves the cowboy lifestyle and wants to become a professional bull rider so once he realizes that his mom knows Dane,a former champion who had to retire due to injuries,Cooper pesters her to let him train with Dane.
Shey has her concerns but knows that Dane is the best man for the job and is secretly thrilled that one of her kids has the country spirit. He's reluctant at first to get that involved with Shey and her boys but after awhile,Dane takes on Cody's training and is impressed by his natural skills:
All of her new interest in Dane is far from motherly concern;Shey still has feelings for Dane but is wondering why Dane went and married someone else all those years ago(who he later divorced)and somewhat jealous of the new woman in his life.
Eventually,Shey gets to the truth of those situations,both past and present,and learns that Dane has a few personal sorrows of his own which still need healing. As she tries to bring back her former lively personality,Shey discovers that part of that process involves renewing her bond with Dane.
Regardless of what her brothers feel about their relationship,sparks soon reignite between Dane and Shey,causing them to fall in love all over again. This emotional revival is a boon to them both,helping Shey and Dane to renew their wounded souls and bask in the glow of true mature love that gives them the strength to face whatever lies ahead:
She's Gone Country is the latest female friendly novel from Jane Porter,who succeeds in making tales about moms looking for a new lease on life more than just standard TV movie fare. Her characters are charmingly conflicted about their predicaments without being too quirky-cute for their own good.
Also,the leading lady's maternal drive does not dilute her attractiveness to her former flame,rather it enhances his desire. That's something you don't see enough of in pop culture romances,especially for folks well out of their twenties. Kudos to Jane for showing how maturity can be just as sexy as the first blush of youth,if not more so.
She's Gone Country is a delightful entertainment that can keep you turning the pages until all hours of the night and the perfect way to cap your summer reading season. It's available in paperback and should be on sale by August 23,so set your sights on this one at a bookseller near you. Be sure to share it with your friends and book club buddies,as this down home novel will definitely give all of you something to talk about,indeed:
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