When 22-year-old Summer Stafford’s parents split halfway through her senior year at college, Summer’s world is rocked. Everything she thought she knew—heck, everything she thought she wanted for her own life—feels like a lie. The truth is love is a risk. And the true kind, the kind that lasts, might even be a fairy tale.
Reeling from the divorce, Summer derails her own future by breaking up with her parent-approved boyfriend and giving up her lifelong plans for a big-city career. She moves back home, business degree in hand. Dad needs her to fill the gaps her mother left behind; Summer needs to find who she is outside of the cookie-cutter life that failed so miserably for her parents.
Ford O’Neal’s future involves one person: himself. He doesn’t have a permanent address and he definitely doesn’t commit. To a place or a person. Raised by hippies, he plans just far enough ahead to secure his next stop, this one landing him at a work-study program at Heritage Plantation where he can grow his own herbal and medicinal creations.
Summer is gorgeous and smart and fun to be with, the perfect way to pass five months. It won’t be love—Ford’s got too many things to accomplish, too many places to go, before he settles down. Yet Summer pulls him in, challenging him to rethink his own philosophy.
When Ford’s five months are up, each of them must decide if love is really worth the risk.
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Summer Stafford, a recent college graduate, has just given up her dream of the big city to move home to Heritage Plantation. Her parent’s recent divorce has rocked her world – completely demolishing the foundation she’s built her life upon. Her parents seemed perfect. Their lives fit together so effortlessly – like a fairy tale. When Summer’s mother left Heritage Plantation behind, she not only walked away from the farm and her former husband, but her daughter as well – at least that’s how Summer sees it. For months she hid from the world, withdrew from the people who loved her, and recently split from her long term boyfriend. It’s time for her to find herself, to save the farm, and most importantly – to never end up like her mother.
When Ford O’Neal strolls into the kitchen for dinner on her first night home, Summer’s foundation is rocked once again. With one look he begins chipping at the walls she’s built high and thick around her heart. As she gets to know Ford, she becomes less rigid; learning to let go, live life to the fullest and do what makes her happy. Life doesn’t always need a plan. There is just one thing that constantly holds her back. Ford is at Heritage Plantation on a work-study program. In five months he’ll be on to his next adventure, and Summer will be left behind once again. Ford is determined to live his life to the fullest, to take each new adventure as they come. He won’t slow down or stop his journey for anyone or anything. He’ll live life with no regrets. But what if leaving Summer behind becomes his greatest regret? He’s always told himself that he will never settle like his father did. NEVER. In following his life’s motto, he may miss out on the greatest adventure of all.
I have a soft spot in my heart for fictional characters that are trying to “find themselves”, especially when they don’t even realize how very lost they are. Ford O’Neal is one of those characters. I absolutely love his free spirited outlook on life. I find it ironic that the one thing keeping Ford from his greatest adventure, is his obsession with being free to follow his dreams. Sometimes our dreams change. No matter how hard you fight it, there are definite times when life will up and smack you across your face. Ford needed to be smacked. He was so sure that he wouldn’t fall in love with Summer. He wouldn’t. He couldn’t. And then, he did. Choosing between your heart and your head is awfully tricky.
Have you ever wanted to strangle a character? Just reach through the pages and flick them right in the nose? I have. Summer drove me crazy! Alright, your parents got divorced. I get it. Mine did, too. You pull up your big girl panties and get on with your life. If I’ve learned one thing in life, it’s that life is far from fair. You have to take the good with the bad. Roll with it. You can’t hide out in your dorm room until graduation – avoiding anyone and everyone that loves you. That’s ridiculous and childish. One good thing came of her ridiculous behavior, she left her seemingly perfect boyfriend behind. If a man doesn’t make you feel anything, it’s time to move on.
When Summer met Ford, he made her feel. Scary as it may be, it was exactly what she needed. You need to LIVE your life. Don’t watch from the sidelines or create the perfect plan for yourself. JUST LIVE. Granted, both characters took their views on life to the extreme. Ford with his, “do what you want, go where the wind takes your” outlook, and Summer with her, “plan everything to the T, and follow said plan even when it doesn’t make you happy” ideals. You have to strike a happy medium. Being together helped them both do just that. They’re almost like a ying yang. They need each other for balance.
Admittedly, prior to reading A Risk Worth Taking, I’d never heard of Heather Hildenbrand. What a shame. While the story didn’t blow me away, it was a sweet, easy read that had me thinking about how I handle my own life. Am I more of a Ford,or a Summer? I look forward to reading more works by this talented author, and encourage you to pick up A Risk Worth Taking. I’m pretty sure the title speaks for itself.
Up for grabs –> Heather is giving away a gift basket with a hair flower, nail polish, bracelet, and a $20 Amazon Gift Card!
Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. She now lives in coastal VA, a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean, with her two adorable children. She works from home, part time, as a property manager and when she’s not furiously pounding at the keyboard, or staring off into space whilst plotting a new story, she’s lying on the beach, soaking in those delicious, pre-cancerous rays.
Heather loves Mexican food, hates socks with sandals, and if her house was on fire, the one thing she’d grab is her DVR player.
Heather is a co-founder of Accendo Press, a publishing group she operates with fellow authors: Angeline Kace and Jennifer Sommersby. Accendo (a-CH-endo), A Latin word, means “to kindle, illuminate, inflame, or set fire.” This is something Accendo strives to do inside a reader’s imagination with every title released. For a complete list of titles and author bios, visit www.accendopress.com.WEBSITE | NEWSLETTER | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS