I read this a while back and neglected to post up a review – so here it is. What a beautiful, moving, heartwarming story. Such a gorgeous debut novel.
No one in the quaint town of West Yellowstone, Montana knows that unassuming geography teacher Keira Knudsen moonlights as sensational travel blogger Kat Wanderfull. No one, that is, except for her first love, Robbie Matthews, who has just discovered the woman he is falling for online is the same one that broke his heart five years ago.
But Robbie has another problem: the mother of his daughter, Anabelle, has resurfaced after a three-year absence determined to rip Anabelle away from him. Robbie needs a steady paycheck for a chance at custody, and now, on the eve of a grand adventure that could give Keira a chance to flee her old, troubled life once and for all, she is in need of assistance.
With so much broken trust between them, Keira and Robbie must keep an arms-length away to make this partnership work. But the more time they spend together, exploring majestic places and sharing new experiences, the closer they get–until their secrets and dreams threaten to cost them everything.
As far as debut novels go, this story is breathtaking. Immediately you feel the tension and the struggle and the attraction between two people with a gulf between them built on a pile of insecurity, misunderstanding and abusive upbringing. The journey of overcoming this gulf is raw, heartwarming and so romantic.
I loved the layers of each of these characters. To see both their strengths, and then to begin to see their weaknesses underneath as if I were becoming friends with the characters, is beautiful writing. To not even realize you’re being given backstory is perfection.
Besides the characters and their relationship, and the gorgeous backdrops of the small resort town plus the various world destinations they visit, what i enjoyed most about the story was the modern touches. The creation of an instagram-like platform, and the initial You’ve Got Mail vibe drew me in instantaneously. The modern storyline woven into the rustic backdrop – that’s what Janine is all about right – is what really set this story apart for me. I really enjoyed all of the adventures Kiera experiences through her work as a social media influencer.
I have to tell you my favorite part – hopefully without spoiling anything major. There’s a scene where Kiera is standing on a hill top facing the sun getting her photo taken and she’s wearing a scarf and it’s blowing all around her and
well you’ll have to read the story to find out why that scene is SO GOOD.
Have you read the Madison River series yet? Are you looking forward to her next new release? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.