Lost & Found by Nicole Williams
Series: Lost & Found #1
Published On: May 7, 2013
Published By: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary
Source: Free from Amazon
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There’s complicated. And there’s Rowen Sterling.
After numbing pain for the past five years with boys, alcohol, and all-around apathy, she finds herself on a Greyhound bus to nowhere Montana the summer after she graduates high school. Her mom agreed to front the bill to Rowen’s dream art school only if Rowen proves she can work hard and stay out of trouble at Willow Springs Ranch. Cooking breakfast at the crack of dawn for a couple dozen ranch hands and mucking out horse stalls are the last things in the world Rowen wants to spend her summer doing.
Until Jesse Walker saunters into her life wearing a pair of painted-on jeans, a cowboy hat, and a grin that makes something in her chest she’d thought was frozen go boom-boom. Jesse’s like no one else, and certainly nothing like her. He’s the bright and shiny to her dark and jaded.
Rowen knows there’s no happily-ever-after for the golden boy and the rebel girl—happily-right-now is a stretch—so she tries to forget and ignore the boy who makes her feel things she’s not sure she’s ready to feel. But the more she pushes him away, the closer he seems to get. The more she convinces herself she doesn’t care, the harder she falls.
When her dark secrets refuse to stay locked behind the walls she’s kept up for years, Rowen realizes it’s not just everyone else she needs to be honest with. It’s herself.
When troubled ‘bad girl’ Rowen is sent to work on a ranch in the middle of nowhere in exchange for her mother paying for her to go to art school, she expects nothing but the worst. In fact, working there all summer is her worst nightmare. However, things are not quite as Rowen expects on this ranch, and when Jesse Walker appears in his extra tight jeans, the summer might not be so bad after all.
I picked up this book for free from the Kindle store so I really wasn’t expecting much. I have read a few ‘girl gets sent to the middle of nowhere and happens to meet cute boy’ stories and I didn’t think this one would be anything special. It may not have been the most unique story I have read but it was enjoyable and I liked it much more than I was expecting to.
I really like reading about troubled characters so I loved reading about Rowen. She is not the most likeable character at the beginning of the book but her tough, bad-girl shell began to crack quite early on. From very near the beginning, character development was a very strong aspect of the book and added a great deal to the story. Rowen became a very relatable, and actually quite likeable, character.
I can’t resist a cute cowboy so of course I loved Jesse. Not only was he a great love interest and I liked the developing relationship between him and Rowen, he was a great character in general. I am so used to the ‘bad boy’ love interest but it was great to see a genuinely nice guy, and one who had his own story to tell as well.
I loved the family aspect of this book. Though Rowen comes from a very dysfunctional family home, the Walker’s are a great family unit. I loved reading about their relationship with each other, and with Rowen. A very important aspect of this book was the idea that family does not need to be biological. This is a very important theme throughout the book, both in relation to the family feeling of the ranch workers, and the relationship Rowen has with the Walker family. Also, I have mentioned in reviews before that I always love kids in books and the younger children in the Walker family are just adorable. I love their inclusion in the book.
Though there was much that I enjoyed about this book, the plot was very predictable in places. For a lot of the book I knew what was coming and nothing was really much of a surprise. Obviously, as I have mentioned, the concept has been done many times before, which may be why this is not the most unique story out there. This point, and the fact that it took me a little while to get into, is the main reason for my lower rating.
Overall, though I was not expecting much from this book, it was a fun, enjoyable read. The plot is a little predictable but the great characters, and the very well written character development, make up for that. It is a fun read, though there are serious aspects to it, and I will likely continue on with the series in the future.