Forever's Country Cowboy
His heroic rescue of a stranger caught in a flash flood just changed Liam Murphy's life -- big-time. With Whitney Marlowe's help, the laid-back country-and-western singer could be a star. Only now, with the dynamic LA talent scout stranded in his Texas town, during the holidays no less, Liam has another dream: a permanent duet!
The long, lean cowboy with the soulful eyes makes the most beautiful music Whitney has ever heard. Fate brought her to Forever, and the town embraced her, inviting her to help decorate the community's Christmas tree. Though reluctant to return home, she isn't leaving without her newest discovery. It's dangerous mixing business and pleasure! Together, can she and Liam find their forever after?
Good book. Whitney is an LA talent scout on the way to Laredo to audition a band for her family's record label. She looks at a map and decides to take a shortcut that ends up being anything but. She gets caught in a sudden thunderstorm that turns into a flash flood, sweeping her car away. If it hadn't been for Liam hearing her scream, she would have drowned.
What follows is pretty funny. Whitney is LA born and bred and has absolutely zero experience with small towns and their people. The flood has deposited her car up in a tree, and she watches in disbelief as Liam and his friends try to find a way to get it down. While that is going on, he decides she needs food and warmth and they head to Joan's diner, where she gets still more shocks. Joan being who she is, Whitney doesn't know how to react to the things she says and does. To cap it all off, her car will need repairs, the parts have to be ordered because no one in Forever drives those fancy foreign cars, and there's nowhere to rent a car so she can move on. Nor is there a hotel in town, other than the one under construction. Somehow Whitney finds herself sucked into life in Forever while she waits for her car to be ready. She's under some stress because she can't make it to Laredo to audition the band, news that her brother/boss doesn't take well. He's really obnoxious but Whitney does appear to stand up to him pretty well.
There's a strong attraction between Whitney and Liam from the moment they met. Liam is pretty laid back but there's something about Whitney that gets him wound up. I loved how he tried to take care of her, even arranging for her to stay in one of the few completed rooms in the hotel. He even drove back and forth outside the room to make some noise, because the total quiet freaked out the city girl in her. I loved seeing the attraction build between them, and how the sparks flew when they kissed. But Whitney fights the attraction because Liam is a few years younger than she is. Her mother deserted the family when she ran off with a younger man, and that has left Whitney with a bit of a phobia about age differences.
Whitney is also stunned to find out that Liam is the lead singer for his own band, and that they are really good. She thinks they're even better than the band she was sent to sign. I loved seeing her enthusiasm and how she pushed her brother to listen to the video she took. Again, I found her brother to be totally obnoxious. His attitude when he deigned to show up at the saloon to listen to the band was snobby and rude. I was shocked by the proposal he made to Liam, as were he and Whitney. I loved Liam's response to Wilson, though its carryover to Whitney was a little extreme.
I loved the glimpses of both Whitney and Liam as they tried to deal with being apart. Both of them came to realize the strength of what they felt for each other. I loved Whitney's big moment at the end and the surprise she brought with her to Forever. The epilogue was really sweet, too.