As a child, Barbara Longley moved frequently, learning early on how to entertain herself with stories. Adulthood didn’t tame her peripatetic ways: she has lived on an Appalachian commune, taught on an Indian reservation, and traveled the country from coast to coast. After having children of her own, she decided to try staying put, choosing Minnesota as her home. By day, she puts her master’s degree in special education to use teaching elementary school. By night, she explores all things mythical, paranormal, and newsworthy, channeling what she learns into her writing.
Far from Perfectby Barbara Longley, Kate Rudd
Noah narrowly survived the roadside bombing in Iraq
For Ceejay Lovejoy, life in Perfect, Indiana, has been anything but. Abandoned by her parents and left pregnant by her boyfriend, Ceejay has had to fight every step of the way to carve out a future for herself and her daughter. She swears off men for good until the day Noah Langford appears on her doorstep.
Noah narrowly survived the roadside bombing in Iraq that cost him his leg, returning home to the news that his stepbrother Matt has died in a car accident. It is the final blow to Noah’s shattered soul until he learns about the girlfriend and baby Matt abandoned. Suddenly Noah has a new mission: to make amends with the family his brother rejected.
From the moment he meets Ceejay, her beauty and warmth act like a balm on his fractured heart. But when a painful secret comes to light, it threatens to break the fragile bond growing between them…and to destroy a love powerful enough to heal them both.
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Heavy-handed. Having first read Book 3 and really liking the characters, it was a total letdown to read the back story and find I couldn't stand Noah or his family as presented here. I highly recommend reading the 3rd book, A Change of Heart.
The first book in Longley's Love from the Heartland series leads us to the peaceful residence in the town of Perfect, Indiana - the idyllic post-civil war town nestled on the banks of the Ohio River. What's not to love about the slow pace of small town country living besides everyone knowing your life history. Add to that fact, your family was a founding family so you can't turn around without bumping into your relations. That is exactly the way Ceejay Lovejoy sees her life -- stuck, belonging nowhere, going nowhere and alone. She has spent her life working to get out. Then Noah Langford enters the picture. A former soldier who has commanded troops, watched his men die and come home with more than a wounded spirit who is unsure of his life only to have his younger stepbrother die a senseless death - killed by a drunk driver. It's Noah's job to pick up the pieces for his stepmother and go through Matt's condo. Noah had no idea that he truly would be sorting out the pieces of his somewhat forlorn stepbrother's life. He's headed to Perfect, Indiana to see how bad his stepbrother messed up and maybe, just maybe, put things to right. Ceejay and Noah have sparks...not always positive. What are they to do when they don't realize they need each other to heal. Ceejay offers solitude and understanding for Noah's PTSD. While Noah offers strength and support for Ceejay to face what she's spent a lifetime runnning from -- her life, her family. We watch them both take mis-steps and do the inevitable open mouth and insert foot. You cringe because you know what was meant but it just didn't come out right for these two. You just yearn to step in and help them out...exactly what more than one person in Perfect would like to do for them both! What's not to love as you watch their story unfold. Barbara Longley not only creates a happily ever after in this contemporary romance with Ceejay and Noah but provides us with amazing supporting characters that provide both depth and purpose. Not a single character is introduced in a "mere throw-away" manner. You truly get to know the entire town. My wish for future books in this series? A deeper look into the effects of our veteran's coming home to deal with PTSD. We get a quick introduction but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we will get to hear more about the steps Noah took in the VA BEFORE he came home and started his journey to find Ceejay. This issue is prevalent now than ever before and every author that tackles this issue as soldiers move into personal relationships should be thanked for their efforts to get misperceptions and real life experiences out in the open. Bravo for this heartwarming story and introducing us to this little piece of the heartland!