This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life
This was the second time I experienced this wonderful story and I still like it as much as I did the first time and maybe even a little more. I still remember picking this book up the first time at my local library shortly after its release. I remember looking for something new to read and the bright colors on the cover of this book called to me. I had never heard of Lisa Kleypas but I decided to take that book home with me and give it a try. I fell in love. Liberty's story grabbed me and I was soon telling all of my friends to read this book. I have now read a good portion of the books that Kleypas has written and have enjoyed every one of them but I have a soft spot in my heart for this story - maybe because it was my first.
Since it has been years since I read this book, I decided it was time to listen to the audiobook that I have had sitting in my audible account for quite some time. I must admit that I was not in the love with the narration right away but in the end I really enjoyed Jeannie Stith's narration of the story. She did a fantastic job of giving each character a different voice and I think she was able to show Liberty's voice maturing through the story. I was pulled in the story just as completely during this audiobook listen as I was when I read the book.
This is Liberty's story. I really think that this is a coming of age story more than a romance. Yes, there is romance but the focus of this story is Liberty. The book starts out with Liberty as a young awkward teenager living in a trailer park in Welcome, Texas. She experiences many of the things a typical teenager does - crushes, boyfriends, school, and spending time with friends. Liberty is forced to grow up quickly when tragedy strikes. Instead of giving up, Liberty works hard to find a career and takes her responsibilities seriously. Through her work, Liberty meets Churchill and a friendship quickly forms. She eventually takes a job as Churchill's assistant and moves into his home.
The romance in this book is different in many ways. As you may be able to guess from the cover, there is a love triangle (see there is 2 cowboys and only 1 cowgirl - big clue right there). The romance really comes at the very end of the book and it is intense. The big difference is that Liberty dates others during the course of the story. She doesn't have a lot of boyfriends but she does have a few. She also spends a lot of time thinking about the boy she met back in the trailer park, Hardy Cates. I must admit that I have spent a lot of time thinking about that boy myself. There is just something that I love about Hardy - where was this kind of teenage boy when I was a teenager? Then we finally get to see Liberty fall in love and try to figure things out and I couldn't help but be happy for her. I absolutely love how this story ends.
Lisa Kleypas does a lot of things right in this book. I fell head over heels in love with her characters. The only character that I didn't like in this story was her mother's boyfriends and a couple of the losers that Liberty dated. The pacing of the story was perfect and I found that I had a really hard time putting the story aside. I actually sat on my bed with my headphones one evening because I had to know what happened next, despite the fact that I have read the book before and already knew. This says a lot both about the story and about the narration.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good coming of age story. This story of Liberty Jones is really hard to put down because everything is so vivid. I know that this is a book that I will come back to read again many times in the future.