Shey Darcy, a 39-year-old former top model for Vogue and Sports Illustrated led a charmed life in New York City with a handsome photographer husband until the day he announced he’d fallen in love with someone else. Left to pick up the pieces of her once happy world, Shey decides to move back home to Texas with her three teenage sons. Life on the family ranch, however, brings with it a whole new host of dramas starting with differences of opinion with her staunch Southern Baptist mother, her rugged but overprotective brothers, and daily battles with her three sons who are also struggling to find themselves. Add to the mix Shey’s ex-crush, Dane Kelly, a national bullriding champ and she’s got her hands full. It doesn’t take long before Shey realizes that in order to reinvent herself, she must let go of an uncertain future and a broken past, to find happiness–and maybe love–in the present.
Shey Darcy is a former internatational supermodel and now a full time mom, separated from her husband of 17 years and recently relocated from New York to her hometown in Texas. In Texas, she has her mom, though they don’t really see eye to eye, her brothers and sisters-in-law, and Dane Kelly, her first love. And looking at Dane still gets her heart racing and her mind wondering what it could have been like if she had never been shipped off to boarding school when she was 16.
Cooper, Shey’s youngest, has really taken to the cowboy way of life and wants to get into the rodeo game, despite the fact that he’s too old and too tall. Bo, her middle child, has a history of depression and reminds Shey of her favorite brother, Cody, who killed himself several months before. Hank, the oldest, is not happy in Texas and wants to go back to New York and Shey is upset because she doesn’t want to lose him, but she knows she cannot keep him tethered where he doesn’t want to be.
Dane Kelly is six years older than Shey, which explains why her family shipped her away when she was sixteen and in love with him. In the meantime, he’s been married and divorced and had a child. Now he’s a successful businessman, raising bulls for the rodeo. Though Shey doesn’t want to become involved with him because she is still confused about her marriage and Dane and her brothers are feuding, she can’t deny the fact that he still does it for her. They keep getting thrown together because it’s a small town and they’re connected in a way that makes it hard to push aside their attraction.
There is so much going on in Shey’s life right now. She doesn’t know if she’s going to be staying in Texas or return to New York so the boys can be with their dad. There isn’t any way to save her marriage, but she feels lost and lonely and confused about the separation. Her family, though they mean well, particularly her mother, are far too opinionated about what she should do. Add that to the fact that her sons are teens (or nearly) and they have their own issues and Shey struggles to allow them room to grow and be themselves.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from this book. I don’t know why, maybe because Jane Porter is a new to me author, but I liked the premise of the book, so I took a chance. I fell in love with it in the first chapter. Shey was such a tough, self-sufficient woman and the mother in her spoke to the mother in me. All of the issues she has with her sons hit me hard not because I’ve gone through it, but because I understand how helpless she felt through all the obstacles that were in her way to be the best version of herself for her sons. Shey kept getting pushed down but she kept getting back up, and a lot of it was her natural resilience, but it was also so that she could be a role model for her sons. There were a few times I nearly cried because of the stuff she went through because I felt as frustrated as she did. But Shey always got back on the horse and put on her happy face. And bravo for her and all the women who do it everyday. I really cannot say enough how much I liked this book and I’m so glad I stumbled upon it.