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“Shy, quiet Kirsten Nicholson’s life on the sprawling family ranch in Oklahoma has been one of serene predictability. In fact, her rancher father, Carter, detests change. But changes galore explode when seventeen-year-old Enrique Delaire arrives on the scene. Wearing his “Bronc Busting’s a Kicker” ballcap, his Nikes, and his surfer shirt, Enrique is ready to ride. And ride he does, not only into the hearts of this family, but into the hearts of this entire rural community. Enrique is the foster son of Kirsten’s aunt and uncle from Albuquerque. They sent Enrique to help out on the ranch while Kirsten’s fiance, Dan, is away at farrier school in Colorado. Kirsten has always been content to stay on the sidelines watching life go by, quietly writing her songs and playing her guitar alone in her room. Now all she hears is Enrique Delaire saying: “You won’t know if you don’t try.” In the wake of Enrique’s encouragement, she finds herself stepping into the limelight in ways she never dreamed. Suddenly doors open to Kirsten and difficult decisions must be made. Will she make the right decisions? Or slip back into her old life of sameness?”
I’m familiar with Norma Jean’s writing, having read Flower in the Hills earlier. So I definitely was expecting to enjoy Lingering Dreams and I’m glad I did.
I loved the characters, but Kirsten’s mom was one of my favorites. She was hilarious and a quiet and fierce force. Here’s one of the scenes I loved the most:
“So I heard. I heard you been raising quite a stink in Clemetsville. I Been getting phone calls all evening.”
Kirsten glanced over at her mother who gently lifted two fingers, telling Kirsten there’d only been two calls.
There’s a light feel to the whole book, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t conflict. There was definitely conflict that I enjoyed reading about. The only real issue I had was that so many good things happened throughout the book that I was always waiting for some massive conflict, but there wasn’t. It was kinda like when you’re watching a show and everything is going super well for the main character, and they’re singing and dancing, and just loving life. Even peeing is an extraordinary wondrous event, and you just know something bad is going to happen, but nothing ever did.
But honestly, that was okay. I liked the ending and I really appreciated that it wasn’t one of those, “And he SWOOPED her up in his arms and they KISSED passionately and got MARRIED immediately” scenes. It was an ending that was wrapped up nicely.
While I didn’t enjoy Lingering Dreams as much as I enjoyed Flower in the Hills, I’m still giving it a 4/5 star rating. It’s an enjoyable book with great characters. There’s no cheesy love story, but instead a fairly realistic one that includes genuine worry, questioning, and decision making.
Would I Recommend Lingering Dreams? Yeah, I would.
Official Rating: 4/5
I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.