She's a former beauty queen, former reality TV star and the former wife of a former Sexiest Man Alive. And now Bree Mathews has been forced into hiding on this godforsaken farm in the middle of Nowhere, North Carolina...all because some deranged stalker wants her dead. That grumpy farmer next door isn't enough to chase her back to Malibu, even with his dark and scary PTSD episodes from his army days and his lack of respect for all things Hollywood. Always up to a challenge, she sets out to prove to Cole "Plowboy" Caldwell that you can never judge a celebrity on the lam by her cover!
I write the same kind of romances I like to read – stories about characters facing real-life challenges with real-life consequences. The stories are emotional, but still have humor, and love always finds a way to pull the characters through together.
I live in coastal North Carolina with 100 pounds of dog and 200 pounds of husband – my slice of the bed is very small. When I’m not writing or reading romance novels (or clinging to the edge of the bed…), I can often be found on the back porch sipping wine with friends while listening to an eclectic playlist. If the weather is absolutely perfect, I might join my husband on the golf course, where I always feel far more competitive than my actual skill-level would suggest.
Oh my, all the emotions that this story brings forward just nearly burst my heart and it was impossible not to make a commitment in my mind to do anything I can, to work to better the world that awaits veterans when they arrive back home after their service. But have no fear, this story is not filled with angst and turmoil, even though both of those emotions are involved. But the author has managed to intertwine joy and humor in a subtle way even to the direst scenes where your heart is aching to the characters, you have tears in your eyes, yet you are smiling because, in midst of it all, there's pride, bliss, and wonder of life. Bree Mathews comes through a transformation that can only be admired. Though she is completely out of her element and comfort zone, she makes the best of it, is open to the changes in her and around her, and flourish as the story unfolds. Yes, it took a little push from her new friends to get her towards the right direction, but resistance was minimal, and the whining just token. Cole Caldwell really won my heart. With his broken soul, he still tries so hard to fit into the old life, he tries to find the peace of his mind, yet the PTSD is making a havoc and no matter what he tries, there's no stopping it, there's no calm in his mind. I loved the unity and support of the military brothers, as well as Cole's family and friends. The PTSD affected all their lives, and they were all willing to make the sacrifices it would take for Cole to get better. The connection between Cole and Bree was tangible. I laughed with them at their banter and play, I swooned from the intense passion their shared, I was in tears from the torment and hurt they had to go through, and I cheered for them to find their 'home', their place in the world, their peace of mind, and ability to move on with life. I love it when a book takes you on a journey you were not expecting. When it takes you into the dark, deep, muddy waters where you have to stop and take a breath. Where it makes you want to stand up and make a difference. This story is definitely worth losing some sleep over, the impact it made on me will carry on and will make me take action. I adore books that influence or challenge my view of the world and this one surely accomplished just that. To be read with an open mind and heart to let the message register... ~ Five Spoons
Bree Mathews is a former reality TV star, and a former beauty queen. She now has a stalker after her. Bree heads to a farm in the middle of nowhere in North Carolina to hide. She worked hard to prove herself. Bree is the type that will face any challenge head on. The friends she made there were real friends. She loved the way everyone took care of each other in the small town. She couldn't get over how everyone welcomed her with open arms. All but one sexy cowboy. Sparks flew between she, and cole from the first time they meet. I loved the way they called each other nick names. He called her hollywood, and she called him Ploy boy.
Cole served and went into combat 3 times. Each time loosing friends. Now he is dealing with PTSD. I know this book is fictional, but the information about PTSD and part of what soldier's face each day was real. It breaks my heart that so many soldier's face PTST, and few get the help they need. I know the military is working to change the stigma of asking for help. Let's face it, Soldiers are as tough and strong as they come. It takes a lot for a soldier to ask for help. They think they can handle it by them self. In this story it was his friends, and Bree that convinced him that he needed help.
I absolutely loved this book. I cracked up, and cried. It was a truly beautifully written book.
My first book by Ms. McNally and it won’t be my last. Bree Mathews was a beauty queen. She was married to one of the hottest and sexiest man alive. Now she’s hiding out in Russell, North Carolina away from a stalker. When she arrives her first stop is at a little bar called The Hide-Away. All was going pretty well until Cole Caldwell who later she dubs “Plowboy”. Well if he can nickname her Hollywood the same goes. Makes a little scene in said bar.
Cole Caldwell is a retired army veteran, and farmer. He also has PTSD. But upon meeting Bree something changes inside of him. He has issues, and it seems she does to. It’s just there constantly at each other’s throats. He wants her far away from him as possible. It doesn’t work that well.
It seems Cole and Bree are thrown together so many times it’s like the whole town is trying to set them up. They know it’s temporary. She’s going back to Hollywood once the stalker is caught.
Buy the book to see what happens. I couldn’t put this book down.
I for one can not wait to read more books by Ms. McNally.
It wasn't easy to put down...that's for sure! Loved Nell and definitely would choose her for a BFF. good friend. Loved the tie-in with the military/veteran. Will share this book with friends as it's truly a good read. Enjoy!
This story would have been a five star read if there had been more about her stalker. If he had gotten close, or sent her threatening messages to her hide-out. Instead, as far as the stalker aspect goes, he was there in the background, and then he was caught. It was very anti-climatic in that respect.
However the "slow burn" romance between Cole and Bree definitely made up for it! I loved they way they would fight at every turn, not only fighting with each other, but fighting the chemistry between them as well. I found both of these characters to be more complex than they seemed on the surface. The fact that Cole has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder isn't a new thing to stories, however I felt the author had a completely realistic take on it. Most people over look how even the simplest things (a thunderstorm for example) can affect a Veteran. I also enjoyed the way she gave Bree a backbone. This girl wasn't just a pretty face, she had a strong worth ethic, and refused to back down from a challenge.
Overall, I am sure this story will appeal to those who enjoy slow burn romance novels with complex characters. I would read more from this author.
DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.
Bree Mathews just wants her life to become normal, but what does that mean? She's been a beauty queen, a reality show star and the recently-divorced wife of another actor. But then a stalker shows up and she flees to a friend's farm in rural North Carolina. Not exactly like her mansion overlooking the Pacific swells.
The farmer next door is a war veteran with PTSD and an attitude about her, and he wants her gone. But she can't leave, not until the stalker is caught and jailed. To pass the time, Bree becomes involved in farm life, doing everything except staffing the vegetable stand at the nearest road. After all, she doesn't want anyone to know where she is. Doing so is puzzlement to Cole Caldwell and he's drawn to the feisty redhead. So much so that both end up losing their hearts when neither wanted that.
But that pesky PTSD nearly does them both in. How can Cole get a handle on his nightmares and fears that one day he'll end up hurting the very people he loves--including Bree? How can Bree get him to see that she really does love him? An intriguing story that doesn't shy away from the realities of painful pasts.
I laughed and cried and fell in love! I can't believe this is Jo McNally's debut novel, it was so good! Bree started out as a real Hollywood snob but when her true colors came out they were as blue as a Carolina sky. I love the delicate balance of respect and honesty Ms. McNally gave to the veterans and PTSD. She made Cole real, showing how a man could be strong and fragile at the same time. "She's Far From Hollywood isn't just a great first book, it's a fabulous story. I can't wait to read more from this amazing new author!
This is a beautifully written story about a former beauty Queen, reality star and famous actor’s ex wife who finds herself plopped down in a hick town of North Carolina. She is hiding from a stalker that has decided that he wants her. Her cousin Amanda’s best friend Caroline tells her to go stay with her mother on a farm. There’s no way her stalker can find her there. Since she has no direct connection to Caroline or her mother it sounds like a great idea. She just doesn’t realize how small of a town Russell North Carolina really is. Caroline said once she gets to Russell to ask for directions to Miss Nell’s farm. The thing is how would she know if whoever she asks would even know who Miss Nell is? Once she sees the welcome sigh she realizes how they would know! The sign says welcome to Russell population 249! Holy cow that is a small town!
Cole is sitting at a table in The Hide-Away drinking his lunch when in walks a gorgeous red head that is obviously very lost. She’s wearing expensive clothes and driving a Ruby red Mercedes. He can’t help himself from laughing at the “lost” woman that walks in.
This book is about personal growth, love, forgiveness and acceptance. This book has some interesting twists and turns and it will leave you very happy and satisfied with this author’s beautiful writing. The characters were so real I could easily picture them. I had a hard time putting this book down! I highly recommend this book!
“Hollywood” Bree and “Plowboy” Cole meet when she comes to his small town to hide out from a stalker and sparks fly. They can’t seem to get along, even though they’re neighbors, and I loved their repartee. She works hard, helping her landlady on her farm, surprising both herself and Cole. He has PTSD from 3 tours of duty and keeps trying to push her away, thinking he’s not good for her and she’s going back to Hollywood, anyway. She thinks she can help him, but he needs more than she can offer. I laughed and cried; this really goes into detail about PTSD and other problems our military face when they come home. It was a great book that I read in one sitting.
What a great book filled with plenty of angsty romance with some rather delightful steamy parts ! I love a wounded soldier that gets his medical help AND HIS HEA!! What a great wholesome country romance !