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Not able to bear the grief, Trey Turner, an award-winning country music superstar, had boarded his bus and left a week after burying his little girl Callie. His wife, Sierra, had been ten weeks from her due date when the accident occurred. She had gone into labor, but their baby had not survived. Since he had been driving at the time and had gotten distracted by his argument with Sierra, he blamed himself, running away from the sadness rather than staying to support his wife. His flirtatious manner in the bars where he performed and his absence from home had led her to doubt him, so she was filing for divorce. Deeply in love with her, he was willing to do anything to get her to stay. Now, five years later, he is supposed to be writing new songs for an upcoming album, but his inspiration is gone. He is stuck with writer’s block and the only thing that seems to ease the pain and get him through the day is alcohol. After the divorce, he had gotten sober, but a year ago, he was involved in a vehicle accident with a drunk driver in which a little girl and her mother had died. The little girl had died in his arms and it seemed like repeat of his own loss. So, after years of sobriety, he had gone back to drinking. He felt absolutely alone. Even his relationship with his sister Marissa has not been the same since the divorce and it looked like his music career was over. During his college years, a knee injury had ended his dreams of a college football career and making the pros, it had been Sierra who had pulled him through it. She had steered him toward his music and even co-wrote some of the songs for his first album. Sierra had believed in him before he believed in himself and he knew she was the only one who could help him now.
Although she possessed a wonderful singing voice, Marisa had refused to pursue a music career, despite Trey’s urging. She had walked away from her marriage without anything, thanks to Trey’s lawyers. Moving out of state, she had even reclaimed her maiden name, Brooks, and had put her efforts into starting the Rainbow Fund, a charity that helped parents who had lost a child. Still she knew her love for Trey would never die. Still she kept in touch with Trey’s sister, Marissa, and his parents. So she knew he was hurting, but she could not do anything about it. Together, they could have gotten past their daughter’s death, but he had turned to alcohol instead of her. Although he had gone on the wagon after the divorce, the accident a year ago had pushed him back off again. Now his drinking was worse than ever. Through anger and resentment she had tried to kill her love for him, but it had not happened, even though now she is about to marry someone else.
After Marissa convinces Sierra to talk to Trey one last time, they meet once more at the bar they used to go to. Singing together onstage for the first time in years to help raise money for the Rainbow Fund, Sierra sees some changes in Trey. She is not in love with her fiancé, but he loves her and can give her a stable life, something she yearns for. But she cannot deny that she still loves Trey. Needing to be near her, Trey asks her to help him with the songs for his new album and in exchange, he will be the spokesman for her charity. She agrees, but being with him just makes her want him more. Still she is afraid to trust him, fearing that if she lost him a second time, she would never survive it. Will his mission to win her back succeed, or will he lose her forever?
An emotion-packed read, SHAMELESS, the first book in gifted author Cheryl Douglas’ NASHVILLE NIGHTS series, is a heartwarming, passionate contemporary romance that I found nearly impossible to put down. Trey and Sierra were very realistic, with all of their foibles and vulnerabilities and I was quickly captivated by their story. I could not help empathizing with them and rooting for them to get back together. The secondary characters add even more depth to the story. Filled with witty repartee, realistic emotions, believable characters, tragedy, country music, divorce, forgiveness and true love, this story is a wonderful beginning to a great series. Ms. Douglas succeeds in touching all of the emotions with this one and I look forward to reading the next book in this series, FEARLESS. In the meantime, do not miss out on her intriguing story, SHAMELESS. Highly recommended!
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