Title: Just Not Ready Yet
Author: Brooklyn James
Publisher: Arena Books
Release Date: November 2014
Length: 286 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
***** Review *****
This book is set in my own part of the world: Austin, Texas. From the descriptions used, it is before a lot of the modernization and urban growth that has happened in the last 20 or so years.
I adored the characters. There wasn’t one I didn’t like. They all had a role to play in progressing the plot. Charlie, the main character, is a woman continuing her husband’s legacy three years after his death. She’s raising their two kids on their ranch outside of Austin, with the help of her husband’s mom, affectionately called Glamma Libby.
“Privacy is a forfeited virtue in this house.” She considers her children and their desire to be right in the thick of things.
Cage, her husband’s older brother, tries to do what he can to help Charlie, but she rarely calls on him for help. Instead, this summer she’s hired an extra ranch hand, young A&M student Hunter Bowie.
“How long’s it been?”
“You don’t date? Move on?” he inquires gently.
She looks up at him, a cynical eyebrow arched. “It’s pointless. How do you move on once you’ve had the best?”
Hunter takes quite a bit of heat for being an Aggie coming into prime Longhorn territory. He’s an all-around good guy about it, though, which speaks to his character. He also has some insight into how Charlie’s kids feel, having grown up without a father as well.
Charlie also owns a music store in downtown Austin. She has three musician employees running the show there, and she reigns in Hunter to do a show after hearing his musical talent. Charlie used to write songs – she used to sing – although that is long in the past…until Hunter comes.
The title of the novel comes from a song that Charlie finally agrees to write with Hunter. There are several sessions of their songwriting throughout the book, and it is interesting to see how the song develops. However, Charlie’s time with Hunter is developing into another issue entirely between her and Cage.
Ultimately Cage shares a bombshell secret about Cash’s death, which devastates both Charlie and Glamma Libby, and causes Charlie to really examine her future, what she wants and how she’s going to get it.
I enjoyed the flashback memories Charlie had about certain moments about her life with Cash: their first date, meeting his family for the first time, flying to New York to invite her parents to their wedding. These moments starkly contrast the differences between their families, and solidify how Charlie became and will always be a McCloud. She gave up her New York life long ago.
There is something nostalgic about riding in the cab of a pickup with an attractive man.
This novel was a wonderful read, and I could relate to it very well. The characters all served their specific roles and filled those shoes well. The setting couldn’t be any more beautiful than the Texas Hill Country, and the story was absolutely beautiful. Hunter Bowie is not the focus of the novel, but he is the pivotal character that is the catalyst for change in the story and in everyone’s lives.
“Love’s a theif, the worst kind.”
***** About the Author *****
***** Giveaway *****
There is a $15 Amazon gift card in the giveaway. Contest ends December 10.