This was nothing like I expected. What I expected was a typical Contemporary Western Romance, and this felt next to nothing like it.
At least 3/4 of the book was spent in the past, with Liberty growing up. Although some of it felt relevant towards the end (it gave great insight to her feelings), there were many (many) times when the author would start on a topic that seemed insignificant. Whereas most authors would hint to a scenario, not going into much detail, this one almost pushed the boundaries into boredom—not quite there, but almost. There were several times I would start reading about a situation expecting to quickly be transferred to another topic and was surprised to find that we were going to stick it out until the topic was complete. And I felt like it detracted from the parts of the story that were important to me—not the heroine’s character development (which is important, but we don’t need to know every single detail), but the relationship development and dynamics. And yet, despite being a romance novel, the reader spends A LOT of time without a hero; and once the final hero was revealed, I felt like there wasn’t enough life and details between them to really and truly feel a connection. Don’t get me wrong, you definitely felt a connection, but it felt subpar to what it could have been if the author had distributed her details in (my opinion) more important categories.
Overall, however, this was a good read. It felt deeper than your average romance novel (contemporary or otherwise) even though I was sometimes left wishing there was a little more of this and little less of that. Unfortunately, right now I’m not interested in the second book because one of the “heroes” in this one (who stars in the next) left a bad taste in my mouth. (I wish the author had chosen a different—maybe new—hero for the next novel.)