Casey Elder has spent her adult life as a famous singer and as the mother of two children, until she returns home and gets to introduce them to the father they never knew they had. Casey Elder was raised as Casey Elderberry and spent the majority of her childhood in Parable County, Montana where even as a young girl, she knew she was in love with Walker Parrish. He is a cowboy, through and through, and although he respects her talent their worlds are far apart. She is a famous country and western singer, who spends months on tours, and has always traveled with her children. When their first child was born, she convinced him that he was not the father, but two years later, could not repeat it when their second child was born.
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Her children, Clare and Shane, are now teenagers, and the small family have taken an extended break to her home time. Here, they see Walker regularly but only know him as a friend of the family. When chemistry still sparks between Casey and Walker, the inevitable happens and they find themselves in bed. In addition, Casey sees that her children deserve to know they were not the result of donor sperm and a Petri dish, so they decide to tell them the truth.
Clare is upset that she has been lied to and does as little as possible around her family, while Shane is ecstatic to know his father. They have many similarities, in that ranching, horses, cows, etc. are important. Clare possesses her own musical talent, but has no desire for show business and instead, wants to be a veterinarian. Throughout, it is clear that through separations, arguments and poor communication on the part of both adults, they have always been in love. Unfortunately, neither has ever told the other of their feelings, so their future is questionable at best.
A marriage that is planned to be of convenience occurs between Casey and Walker, with its stated goal of protecting their kids from the inevitable rush of tabloid writers and television crews who will not hesitate interrupting private moments in order to sell the images or story. Ironically, the marriage that will allegedly be a platonic one occurs about a week after intimacy occurs between the two and birth control fails. Obviously, the enormous differences between Casey and Walker do not keep them from being in love or of expressing that love in a physical manner, so the marriage does not remain platonic.
As Casey suspects she is pregnant again and despite her hopes of semi-retiring from the industry, she is asked to sing at a benefit for survivors of a recent disaster. While she is away, Shane safely participates in his first bull-riding contest and does well for a beginner, while Clare plans to run away, changes her mind and instead, is arrested for shoplifting. Upon Casey's return, she is more sure than ever that she should take at least a long-term break from her career and the couple finally admits their love for one another.
Best part of story, including ending:
Although I enjoyed the story, certain points were annoying. For instance, three separate events with the couple resulted in three failed condoms and three pregnancies. Frankly, I think he should have changed brands or something, because the odds of that ever happening cannot be great and I would almost suspect sabotage. At the end of the novel, after Clare is arrested and released, there is a statement that mentions if the merchant presses charges, she would have a court date. I would have liked to learn what happened from there, although there are other books in the series, perhaps it is mentioned in one of them. In essence, cute story but too many loose ends and not enough detail on many aspects of the storyline.
Best scene in story:
Near the end of the book, after Clare was arrested and even after Shane and Walker have spent extended periods of time together, Shane's vulnerability is made clear when he mentions that Walker must be sick of them by now. From a young man who has seemed completely thrilled with having a dad, it was a nice reminder that he was also feeling vulnerable with the changes, as his sister was, he simply did not express it as well. It was an excellent father and son moment, when Walker reassured him that he would never get sick of them and that he was there to stay.
Opinion about the main character:
I felt as if Casey Elder made a series of errors that dramatically impacted her childrens' lives and did not seem to understand that she had done so until the moment they returned to her home town. She spent their entire lives telling them they had no father, were the result of an anonymous sperm donation and yet she still allowed them to see Walker regularly. Therefore, it was not that she was afraid or worried to have Walker in the lives of the kids, it was simply a selfish desire that she had and it impacted her children. I also feel that her concerns and the stress from the entire situation could have been discussed more.