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A more real-life drama that a lot of books. It kept my interest from the beginning. This is a Clean, Romance but is also about his growing up on a farm and her growing up on a ranch. Her marrying the high school star quarterback, having a son then divorces and his joining the army and fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and his have PTSD. But overall, they all had a close relationship with Jesus Christ despite their making mistakes in life (no one is perfect) ---- I greatly enjoyed the times described on the farm, picking cotton (with machinery) and life on the ranch (horses & cows & family). And even reading about what it is like to have PTSD and the struggles our warriors have when they return home.
-- I know this is fiction but who is to say that some with PTSD do not overcome enough to get on with life sooner than others do. And I feel a lot has to do with putting their trust in Christ.
---- This is not what some call a preachy book, instead it tells the story of how these families lived and how they overcame problems when they occurred. -- The ending tells of a horrible fire that came in their small town & damaged parts of the town & destroyed homes - so that is another part of this story. A very life-life story and kept me reading until the end (which worked well on this cold day)
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on June 10, 2016
I am just adding my voice to the rest: this is a well done faith fiction romance that is, of course, clean. It is the best kind of faith fiction: the people are real, good hearted, flawed (as we all are), and are depicted living their faith, so there is no preaching--it's simply not needed. The PTSD issue is very well presented and accurate, which makes me--a mental health therapist--very happy. The more we understand, the better support we can be for others. My thanks to the author for taking the time to get it right. The medication for trauma nightmares mentioned does exist and is effective for many people. There is a mention of mixed feelings about taking medication; this too was described and addressed exactly as it would be in real life. I am impressed at the author's attention to details like this, the not so small things that matter and make this story real. Her list of veterans' resources is also well done.
Some people may think the main character's (MC) recovery from issues with fire was unrealistically sudden, an unrealistic miracle of faith, but in truth such things do happen even where faith is not part of someone's life. Jenna's 'Cowboy' had been going through intense therapy (twice weekly) and on medication for some time. It was in that moment his mind made the final shift needed to stay in the present and not be pulled into a debilitating flashback or blackout. The peace he describes coming over him is very real, something people of faith are familiar with, and something I have experienced myself.
This is an uplifting and thought provoking read, not too heavy nor too light. I can recommend this book freely, as a fellow reader, a woman of faith, and as a professional therapist.
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on March 12, 2016
I gave Jenna's Cowboy five stars because besides great characters and story, post traumatic stress syndrome was explained so well I was able to recognize problems I have had from my life of past trauma. The explanation was informative and comprehensive Christian treatment related especially well. Feelings were described in a manner that made understanding the continued problems experienced are not under the individuals control nor their fault. Help is available and should be obtained without further damage to self-worth. Truly a magnificent book helpful in teaching about the problem of PTSD not only for our returning servicemen and women but realizing other professionals may also experience the disorder and we can recognize the trauma sufficiently to be supportive. This book is a blessing to others and very timely in our society. Also to include these individuals, their families, support groups, and medical staff in all their roles in our regular prayers. Blessings to all.
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on January 18, 2014
At first I was pulled into this story and found Nate’s character appealing – his early years, military service and struggles with coming home. Jenna’s character was OK and her family could have been interesting. However as I progressed through the story, I became more and more dissatisfied. Details are good – but they need to be the right details. Details that set the scene and develop characters are good. Excessive details that don’t add to the scene just bog down the reading. In my case, I started to skim areas.

Jenna’s child, Kyle, didn’t seem like a two year old. I am familiar with children and his character didn’t ring true. Authors have to be very careful how they weave children’s dialog into a story and this part of the story didn’t work for me. I started to groan every time the child had dialog.

I appreciated that Nate’s character had PTSD as too many romance novels don’t want to deal with this topic which so many of our men and women come home with. However, at this point in the story I felt like I was reading a text book example of a person with PTSD versus a novel. I also found the resolution of his issues a little too easily solved to the point of being unbelievable.

At the beginning of the novel God was woven into the story, however by the middle of the story it felt forced, preachy and overbearing. I found it difficult to believe that a 29 year old Texas cowboy/military man/high school football star had never kissed a girl until he kissed Jenna at age 29. As the story progressed, I didn’t feel like I was reading a romance novel which is why I choose it. Although categorized as a Christian romance, due to the extensive nature of God in this book it should have been included in the description of the book. I was disappointed that the characters in the story seemed to judge not on a person's good deeds but on whether a person professed to be a Christian.

Towards the end of the story I had to force myself to read it just to finish it. I am truly baffled by all the five star ratings. I could only recommend this to those who want to use the story as part of their daily devotions, but not for individuals who fall into the nominally religious category looking for a clean romance. I myself will not be following this author.
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on January 25, 2018
This book brings back a log of memories. My husband was in the Vietnam War and experienced some of what Nate went through. After being married for 48 years, he still goes through the dreams and some flashbacks. These men and women need as lot of prayer and to know they are honored by our country. I'm glad you wrote this book and hope to see more written on PTSD. This is devastating to the veterans experiencing this. If you know someone with PTSD, help them, don't make fun of them and most of all love them unconditionally. If it weren't for them, we may not have the freedom that we do now. God bless them all.
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on January 5, 2017
Full stars Gillenwater writes a story of two people who have loved each other from a young age though time and many miles apart kept them apart. Jenna and Nate overcome many challenges as their love grows while Nate fights through his personal war with PTSD Jenna struggles with her own battles of trust and her heart while raising a child. Follow Nate and Jenna as their story takes you on a journey throw in some humor, tears and the sweet antics of a little child that brings them closer together for a happy ending worth waiting for.
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on May 25, 2017
A very clean, Christian book. It was a bit difficult for me to stick with it because there was more of a focus on personal issues than relationship development. The couple gets together near the beginning so the only thing left is to work out personal issues.
The characters were also a little too perfect for me. They never seemed to say the wrong thing. Even when one character finds out about something a family member did that changed the course of her life and led to a lot of misery, she immediately forgives and moves on. I know that's what we are supposed to do, but I don't know many people, even Christians, who wouldn't be a little more angry for a while.
If you want a clean, sweet, predictable read with no romantic angst or drama-this is for you.
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on August 7, 2016
This is a romance story with real life issue and complications that didn't break them but made them stronger. This is not a simple fairytale it has meat n potatoes and so much more. Definitely faith n God throughout but if not religious you'll still enjoy the book. Jenna and Mate were best friends in high school and later in life find friendship is not enough. Test if love is enough to survivor everything thrown their way. This story unravels lots of complex life experience and the most intimate is no sex scenes which for some is a plus n others a minus...but the love intimacy is special. I am definitely getting the follow books I need to know about Jenna brother's Chance and'll fall in love with the family. Excellently written.
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on March 26, 2015
I'm writing this ambiguous about what to say.

Jenna and Nate have a romance that never came to fruition in high school suddenly spark once he comes back to town after leaving the military. She's hesitant to jump in to a relationship again after her failed marriage and he is suffering from PTSD and doesn't want to burden anyone. They slowly start sending out romantic vibes to each other and the build up is slow... extremely slow. I know this is a clean Christian romance, but there was a lack of even G-rated passion until the end. The best part of the book, was the action packed end. It was so good, it bumped the book up a star.

I understand this was a Christian romance, but most of the Christian/God references felt forced and out of place. The story might have been better if they had been left out, because they mostly felt shoved in so that this could be called a Christian romance.
I wanted to stop reading about halfway through, the pacing was slow, the language was forced, and the author has a habit of over explaining things. I kept trudging through, and was pleasantly surprised by an action filled ending.
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on October 11, 2013
Like I said in the title of this review, it started out okay and then it just started to bog down. Part of the problem I think is too much detail on differing subjects. You want an example of what I mean? For me, a little bit about the cotton harvesting would have been okay but it just seemed to go on and on This was also happened with several different things too. I have to be honest and say that I had to skim over page after and wasn't sure that I would even finish the book. I was enjoying the personalities and histories of the people until the author went off on another tangent. The strong sense of family and community that author managed to weave into the story was also enjoyable. I wasn't offended by it but there is a lot of religious references that some non- Christian readers might not appreciate.
I wish I could give it 2 1/2 Stars.
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