Sunday, February 26, 2012

Early Review of The Rancher and the Rock Star by Lizbeth Selvig

  • Title:  The Rancher and the Rock Star 
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Format:  Paperback, 432 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Impulse (March 27, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0062134655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062134653
Notes: Liz entered RWA’s Golden Heart contest in 2010 with The Rancher and the Rock Star (then titled Songbird), and won the Single Title Contemporary category.

Sometimes we get caught up in the daily grind that is life and lose sight of what's important. We get lost in the here and now and don't see what's going on around us. It's something made more difficult for Gray Covey because his son, Dawson, lives an ocean away. Gray, a modern day rock star, let his job be his first priority. Only seeing his son a few times a year, he mistakenly thought everything was great. That is until he found out from his ex-wife that his son had run away.

Dawson Covey left the posh English boarding school his parent's had paid for, hoping to stay with his grandmother. Only after he made the trip across the ocean did he discover no one had bothered to tell him she'd moved into a nursing home. He felt this validated his earlier feelings which led him to run away--that he just didn't fit into his parent's lives, and they didn't have any time for him. Not even enough to let him know what was going on with his grandmother. He found a haven, however, with a friend he'd made over the internet and her mother. He figured his parents probably wouldn't even notice he was gone.

Abby is a kind hearted soul who always liked helping others. She thought Dawson was from New York  and 18 years old. After all, that is what his driver's licence said. When Dawson's father comes around looking for him, she thought he must be looking for a different Dawson. Once he shows her his son's picture, however, there is no doubt. She's been played. Dawson could never have suspected he'd set something in motion that could potentially make his wish to fit in somewhere come true...

There is a religious overtone to the book which may turn some off, but it's not overpowering, and I thought added an endearing quality to Abby's personality. Abby is a widow whose husband and son died over 12 years ago. She's never really gotten over the loss and probably never fully will. Anyone who's ever lost a loved one knows their loss never truly leaves you. You just find ways to deal with it and go on. Abby's been content to focus all her energy on raising her daughter who is now 15. While her priorities are definitely in order, she's lost a piece of  herself on that fatal day years ago when she lost part of her family. While the loss left no physical scars, emotionally she was devastated and she has a tendency to keep anyone new, whom she could get attached to, at bay. She keeps a sort of protective emotional barrier around herself, if you will.

Gray finds himself not only clueless about how to handle his son, but distrusting of those around him. Fame comes with a price and it's a high one. Everyone seems to want a piece of you, and he can't help but questions people's motives around him. While he does put his son first, he doesn't quite get it's more than a one day type of deal his son is looking for. Dawson wants more. He doesn't want to be kept in the sterile environment of a boarding school, he wants a relationship with his parents. He wants to be noticed and feel like he belongs.

I did not have high expectations when I started reading this book. The title did not really reach out to me and, I must confess, if Avon had not given me an advanced eBook loan of it, I'd probably have glanced right by it on the shelf. That said, this was a very sweet and, for me, surprisingly enjoyable read. There was plenty of drama, engaging characters that I could relate to, and enough going on to keep my attention and stay in my thoughts well after I'd finished reading. I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a FAN rating--the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees. Your face may be slightly flushed and a fan would be nice. I thought the chemistry between Gray and Abby was undeniable and the two complimented each other very well. A truly heartwarming love story that left me with a smile on my face. 

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