One of the perks to having a friend who is an author is the sneak peeks and never having to be without a little something to read. Chautona Havig, author of favorites such as Everard and For Keeps, has a new book that was released TODAY!! (Make sure you don’t miss the Release Party!)
Jack (Ballads from the Hearth) is a bit of a unique tale inspired by a ballad, “Cowboy Jack” and Shakespeare’s, Much Ado About Nothing. Yes. Lonely cowboy meets Shakespeare.
Jack Clausen has faced difficult and harsh circumstances in his life. Circumstances that have driven him to a hard, lonely, quiet life of a cowboy. Jack is content with a life of working hard alongside his horse, Sadie, and the Lord. However, when Jack least expects it, life takes a sharp turn and forces this lonely cowboy to question his life….and his heart.
Hazel Meissner is young woman who finds herself drawn to the quiet cowboy. Jack and Hazel soon find themselves with strong feelings toward one another and are looking toward a future together. Life does not always go as planned and love is not without its challenges. Jack and Hazel find themselves faced with lies, deceit, broken trust, and devastating hurt. Is there any future with Hazel for this lonely cowboy?
While Jack’s and Hazel’s story appears to take center stage in this tale, it doesn’t take the reader long to find another couple that demands attention: Deborah and Dirk. Friends of Jack and Hazel, the duo’s dynamic discourse in insults and bickering is a constant theme through the book. They are quiet the contrast to Jack and Hazel and definitely provide plenty of comic relief.
I must confess that I struggled “liking” the characters in Jack. In different situations, they did not respond as I expected or wanted them to. At times I found myself frustrated. Isn’t that life, though? We see others’ lives playing out before us and we think we know exactly what they should do next or how a certain situation should be handled. Thankfully, I am not in control of those lives before me because I would most definitely miss the beauty of forgiveness, grace, and strength. Thanks for the reminder, Jack.
If you are looking for a light-hearted read with a message of forgiveness flowing underneath, consider adding Jack to your To Read list. It is perfect for a rainy afternoon or a chilly evening by the fire.
Disclaimers: I received a copy of this book, Jack (Ballads from the Hearth, Book 1) in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. Any opinions I have expressed are fully my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations.