Book Talk Reviews; Unstable
Author: S.E. Hall
Genre: Contemporary Romance
After eight years, Henley Calvert is headed home. Back to the family farm and small town she left behind, never to be thought of again.
Too much regret and shame to bear.
But she’s the only one left to see to her family’s legacy, so she must return to Ashfall and face all the ghosts that haunt her.
Gatlin Holt, the family farmhand, awaits her arrival, and lends a hand—in more ways than one. He reacquaints Henley with the lay of the land while helping her heal her soul with a new outlook on life.
Yet every time she thinks some peace may be within reach, Henley hits another roadblock. The biggest of which is Keaton Cash—her childhood nemesis who owns the farm next door.
And no, it’s not a love triangle. That’s impossible when Henley’s heart is closed, incapable of love.
Unstable. First of all, this title is genius. But that's SE Hall for you. She uses the simplest title that really packs a punch once you get into the story and realize just how much it means.
Unstable is the beautifully told story of a girl named Henley, who goes back home to her family's farm after having been gone for eight years. Upon entering the small town of Ashfall, Henley comes face to face with her past and the life she ran away from.
Enter Keaton Cash, Henley's neighbor since childhood and her arch nemesis. It's quite fun to read their ongoing banter and you will question why exactly does she not like him? I mean, he's perfect!! A sweet, caring, sexy cowboy that's always there to lend a hand. His alpha attitude is SO hot and the way he always threatens to "tan her ass" is really not a threat at all. It's more like a promise... a welcome promise.
Their journey together is not a straight path. It has many bumps in the road that were very emotional. Henley struggles with her feelings for Keaton, guilt over her past and the responsibilities that have fallen on her shoulders. Her one saving grace is her friendship with farmhand Gatlin and his highly insightful advice that she comes to rely upon.
As secrets are revealed and truths are brought to light, pain and emotion threaten to break the carefully constructed walls around Henley's heart. But it's what she does after that shell is cracked that truly shows who she is as a person.
I love reading books with a strong female lead who is able to face the ghosts of her past and realize her own strength and capabilities and I got that with Henley. Through all her pain and loss, she not only survived, she thrived. The ending of Unstable was very unexpected, yet perfect and really made this story better than I could have ever imagined. As always, I can't wait to read more from SE Hall.
“No, Keaton. I was bored and thought I’d come play ‘tag’ with ‘em for a little while.”
“Then you’re doing a helluva job, ‘cause they’re fixin’ to tag ya back.”
What’s he blathering about now? I turn and look…but refuse to sigh or show any sign of defeat…that some of the cows, are in fact, wandering back into the field I just shooed them out of.
Really? I seem to remember—open the gate to where the food is—they’ll go. So why they’re not cooperating now, in what has to be the first time since Noah let two of them on the Arc, has to be some weird conspiracy just to embarrass me in front of Keaton.
“Let me help you,” he says too kindly, moving to do so before I can refuse.
He uses his hat to swipe at the few remaining anarchist cows, sending them on their way. And Lord knows why, but I take a moment to peruse him…see just exactly how he turned out, physically anyway.
Hair still as black as the Stetson in his hand, jeans still as tight as he’s always played his cards to his chest. Every movement precise and purposeful, nothing wasted, just like he’s always been: good at everything.
Except recognizing value in the most valuable.
Back in the day, he’d been the boy to watch. A football star, a rodeo champ…and watch them they did—every girl in town.
S.E. Hall, lover of all things anticipation and romance, is the author of The Evolve Series: Emerge, Embrace, Entangled, Entice, Endure and companion novellas Baby Mama Drama and Guide for Tools Looking to Date My Daughter by character Sawyer Beckett. S.E. also wrote the stand-alone Finally Found novels Pretty Instinct and Pretty Remedy. Her co-written works include The Provocative Professions Collection: Stirred Up, Packaged and Handled 1&2, One Naughty Night and full-length, standalone novels Matched and Filthy Foreign Exchange with Angela Graham as well as Conspire, a romantic suspense, written with Erin Noelle.
S.E. resides in Arkansas with her husband of 18 years and 3 daughters of the home. When not writing or reading, she can be found “enthusiastically cheering” on one of her girls’ softball games.