What Remains True by Nancy Naigle
A corporate businesswoman escaping her past… A rodeo bull rider who vows not to be distracted for the best season of his life… A little girl who’s never met her father… And three months that might just change each of their lives.
After a messy divorce, Merry Anna finds herself stopping for gas in the little town of Antler Creek and spontaneously decides to stay. The quiet and simpler life proves to be everything she was missing, and she quickly begins making connections within the town — including catching the eye of the local “ineligible eligible bachelor,” Adam.
But Adam isn’t ready for love either. His rodeo season has been phenomenal and he’s not going to allow for any distractions from his bull riding. That is…. until Merry Anna pops into his life, followed by a five-year-old daughter he never knew existed. What ensues is a charming and cozy love story, full of warmth and hope.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a cozy, romance story like this — and I have to say, I really enjoyed it. In fact, I had a difficult time putting this story down! The town of Antler Creek is adorable, making the perfect setting for the “handsome cowboy and beautiful, never-ridden-on-a-horse city girl” love story. I was also enraptured by the little store that Merry Anna works in. The location descriptions were beautifully built and easy to picture.
While I wasn’t a huge fan of the character names (Merry Anna / Zan), the characters themselves were really great. After her all-encompassing career as a COO of a major company, Merry Anna is on a mission to “say yes to new experiences.” This storyline felt similar to a few Hallmark-style movies, but it was still very enjoyable to follow along with. I also loved the added excitement of Adam’s rodeo career.
The ending, however, was too rushed. There was a lot that happened in those final few pages and I wish they would have been fleshed out over several more chapters. (But on the plus side, that just means I didn’t want the story to end!)
All in all, What Remains True is a charming and sweet read. (It is also a clean read — perfect for those looking for love stories without steam or bedroom scenes.) Full of hope, love, and bubbling over with neighborly kindness, this book is a great pick for afternoons when you want to curl up on the couch with a cozy read! And I, for one, will certainly be back for more stories like this in the future!
Readers who want a clean romance story with a small-town setting.
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Reader’s copy provided courtesy of Waterbrook & Multnomah. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
(From the publisher) An uplifting novel about three months that may change three lives–and lead to love–from USA Today bestselling author Nancy Naigle.
Working at a little shop on Main Street in a small town is exactly the break that executive Merry Anna Foster needs following her divorce. She’s made a bet with her ex-husband that she can live on the amount of money she’s giving him in alimony. If she can do it, then Kevin will have to stop complaining and leave her alone. But after three months of this new life, will she even want to leave Antler Creek?
Adam Lockwood, bull rider and owner of the local feedstore, is having the best year of his rodeo career. He’s also a bit distracted by the pretty new neighbor living in his old bunkhouse. But Adam has no time for matters of the heart. He’s got his future all mapped out, and that future doesn’t involve a woman just yet. It doesn’t involve parenting a little girl either. However, Carly Fowler still suddenly leaves five-year-old Zan–the daughter Adam didn’t know he had–in his care.
Is it possible that the future holds a life even better than what Merry Anna and Adam had each dreamed of? One that includes both tenderness and even love–not just for each other but for Zan too.