Country Roads by Nancy Herkness

Cover_Country Roads

Country Roads by Nancy Herkness
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (375 pgs)
Heat: Spicy
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Poppy

When sheltered artist Julia Castillo flees her hometown, she has one goal: to prove to her overbearing family she can make it on her own. She knows they only want the best for her, but when they question her artistic vision, it’s time to break free. Julia’s search for independence carries her to the small town of Sanctuary, West Virginia. There, her courage is tested as never before—by her love for a handsome country lawyer, her bond with a dangerous black stallion, and a secret she is desperate to keep…

Paul Taggart abandoned his high-powered legal career to return to Sanctuary, giving up his own dreams to care for his troubled brother. Then Julia Castillo blows into town like a fresh mountain breeze, changing his staid, predictable life forever. Has Paul earned his second chance at happiness? Or does loving Julia mean having the strength to let her go?

An engaging and sweet romance, I read this in nearly one sitting.

Julia has been incredibly sheltered her entire life, and so watching her find her courage and spine and break out on her own was wonderful. Honestly, there were still times I wanted to smack her, and I did not like her family at all — until I “met” them. I’m a pretty independent person, so simply couldn’t imagine allowing anyone to have the kind of control over me that Julia’s family did over her. Still, while their behavior was far too overbearing, her family had her best interests at heart. They just didn’t realize that she’d grown up and had a mind of her own. Thank heavens she finally broke free, because she’s really a great heroine.

Paul is a sweetheart. In fact, I’m still trying to figure out whether he has any flaws. He’s kind, intelligent, handsome, smart and self-sacrificing. Of course, there are several times he’s resentful of the sacrifices he’s been forced to make, but ultimately he’s just a really nice guy. He leans toward being a bit controlling, too, so watching him try to curb those tendencies as Julia struggles to become more independent was interesting. This was especially true when it came to Darkside, Julia’s “whisper horse”.

This was my first trip to this town and its people. I’ve since discovered that Country Roads is book two in a series, but very easily stands on its own. The book has the small town flavor I enjoy, where everyone knows everyone and folks are in each other’s business. The characters, including some of the horses, are unique and interesting and really make the story as strong as it is. The plot didn’t have tons of conflict, especially in regards to the romance, but even so it kept me completely engaged and interested. I’m looking forward to revisiting this town, and perhaps going back and reading book one. Nancy Herkness is a skilled writer and I’m glad I read this book.


  1. Wow, what a fabulous review! I’m very honored to be on your terrific blog and delighted by your very perceptive comments on COUNTRY ROADS. I hope you’ll enjoy TAKE ME HOME just as much. Many thanks for reading my book!

  2. The story sounds great.

  3. Maryjane Hoffman says:

    The cover reminds me of the fields across the road from my Grandparents home in a small West Virginia town named Pickaway. I have read both books of Nancy’s, Take Me Home and Country Roads and loved them both! Now looking forward to the next one. Nancy’s books’s are so real and inviting that you feel like you are there and know these people personally. Thank You, Nancy for such great reads!!

    • Maryjane, thank you for being such a great reader! My family used to picnic at Pickaway Park. Do you remember that? It was right on the highway and had a little tiny pond where we tried to catch turtles–unsuccessfully, thank goodness! So nice to see you here on LASR! I appreciate your stopping by.

  4. Hope Stern says:

    Okay, this one sounds so delightful….I cannot wait to read it.
    I have read a few now from Nancy and I adore her writing styles but mostly her characters!

    Small towns always make me think of how close everyone is. I love that. Even though knowing everyone’s business can be difficult at times .

    • Hope, how lovely to know you enjoy my characters so much! Thank you! You’re right about the pros and cons of small towns. It reminds me of a tee shirt saying I love: “I know I should mind my own business, but yours is so much more interesting.” 🙂

  5. Elise-Maria Barton says:

    Lovely review! Thanks for sharing.

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