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Far from Perfect: A Love from the Heartland Novel, Book 1 | [Barbara Longley]

Far from Perfect: A Love from the Heartland Novel, Book 1

For Ceejay Lovejoy, life in Perfect, Indiana, has been anything but. Abandoned by her parents and left pregnant by her boyfriend, Ceejay has had to fight every step of the way to carve out a future for herself and her daughter. She swears off men for good - until the day Noah Langford appears on her doorstep. Noah narrowly survived the roadside bombing in Iraq that cost him his leg, returning home to the news that his stepbrother, Matt, has died in a car accident. It is the final blow to Noah’s shattered soul - until he learns about the girlfriend and baby Matt abandoned.
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Publisher's Summary

For Ceejay Lovejoy, life in Perfect, Indiana, has been anything but. Abandoned by her parents and left pregnant by her boyfriend, Ceejay has had to fight every step of the way to carve out a future for herself and her daughter. She swears off men for good - until the day Noah Langford appears on her doorstep.

Noah narrowly survived the roadside bombing in Iraq that cost him his leg, returning home to the news that his stepbrother, Matt, has died in a car accident. It is the final blow to Noah’s shattered soul - until he learns about the girlfriend and baby Matt abandoned. Suddenly Noah has a new mission: to make amends with the family his brother rejected.

From the moment he meets Ceejay, her beauty and warmth act like a balm on his fractured heart. But when a painful secret comes to light, it threatens to break the fragile bond growing between them...and to destroy a love powerful enough to heal them both.

©2012 Barbara Longley (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

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  •  
    TexasKeyLady TX USA 08-27-13
    TexasKeyLady TX USA 08-27-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Excellent Story. Wonderful Characters."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Far from Perfect to be better than the print version?

    Using the Kindle edition and the audio edition at the same time is good listening practice as I adjust to my new Cochlear Implant. When both are downloaded to the Kindle Fire, they can be used simultaneously.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Noah. He is working at making his life better on his own. He is not waiting for someone else to make things easier for him.


    What does Kate Rudd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She is an excellent reader. As mentioned, in my case, it gave me the chance to both hear and read the words at the same time. I find when I read, I mentally put expression into the words I am reading and it was nice for her to provide that for me.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    My heart hurt for Ceejay, that she couldn't trust.


    Any additional comments?

    It was a timely, excellent story. I was disappointed in the frequent use of bad language throughout the book. It added absolutely nothing to the story, and I would have enjoyed it even more without the bad language. I won't recommend it to my friends because of that. I like the story and have bought the next in the series to continue practice for the Cochlear Implant, but again, I can't recommend the next one to anyone who is offended by such language, for the same reason.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 12-04-12
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 12-04-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great first part, but heroine became unlikeable."

    The adorable 4-year-old daughter has a large part in the story.

    The first four chapters were really good (a fourth of the book). I was enjoying it and full of anticipation. Then in chapter 5 Ceejay was bitter, narrow minded, angry and mean to the well-meaning grandmother. I would not have done what she did. Ceejay was angry at Matt, but she directed her anger at others. And Ceejay continued being rude, angry and mean later in the book (several times). I don’t require perfect heroines. That would be boring. I’m ok with heroines doing stupid or unlikeable things when it fits, but here it made me angry. I would have preferred circumstances and other characters create the conflicts.

    The last part of the book reminded me of TV/Lifetime movies. Major life events happen for various characters - health issues, accidents, marriage, children, careers, moving. This was ok, but filming doesn’t pick up the depth and inner feelings that books can. I wanted more chemistry and interesting relationship development between Ceejay and Noah, and maybe with some of the other characters as well.

    I loved Noah. He is close to being the ideal boyfriend/husband. I’d love to have a mother-in-law like Allison. She was meddlesome in a compassionate, loving, and helpful way.

    The narrator Kate Rudd seemed ok. I wonder if her tone of voice made the heroine less likeable for me. I’m not sure.

    Genre: contemporary romance, amputee.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 05-19-14
    Jennifer 05-19-14 Member Since 2012

    sugarpucker

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ok if you and logic are not bedfellows"

    Ok. So. I know I gave this book two stars, but I think there are some people who would really like this book. The story line was reasonably complex and sweet. But you need to read it without really thinking about any of it. If you can do that - you will definitely like the book. I just could not. I can overlook one or two, but as the number of these events increased, so did my frustration. I can't really give examples of what I mean without spoilers, so I will separate them into the next paragraph.

    SPOILERS BELOW
    This author should not write about ptsd. You could tell that the author had respect for the problem and for military personnel, but her portrayal of it lacked depth and accuracy. It was problematic.

    So, a big point of contention in this book is that Ceejay (this right here annoys me too. I am glad I listened and didn't read 'Ceejay' instead of CJ over and over again) take out her anger at Matt (the abandoner) on his brother and the rest of his family. While this is true, the book focuses on this too much. Even when Ceejay has valid reasons for being angry with the family, it is attributed to her angst. For example, the non-abandoning brother Noah lies to Ceejay in the beginning and she has no idea he is related to Matt. Then, after a couple months of getting to know eachother and kind of dating, he wants to adopt Ceejay's (and Matt's) little girl. I'm sorry, WHAT? She is supposed to give a person she has know for a couple months (an acquaintance that started with a lie) legal rights to her daughter? This is insanity. But her anger is presented as being wrapped up in her anger at Matt. Her feelings are not ridiculous and have nothing to do with past hurts. The suggestion is just nuts. Also, the father of Noah and Matt is an asshole. But her anger at him is mostly presented as being wrapped up with the whole Matt thing and not really addressed in its own right.

    So, besides this 'justified anger being downplayed' issue, there is this whole other aspect of Ceejay being weak and whiney. She spends most of the book lamenting her small town and how every one knows her business and pities her. She also spends the whole book whining about how everyone leaves her. Now, I get that these are legitimate issues. But Ceejay is presented as having worked her way through nursing school as a single mother, clawing and scraping for everything she got. This Ceejay does not jive with whiney Ceejay. The contradictions become annoying. Her mother left her when she was 3, she didn't know her father and she had a boyfriend run out on her while she was pregnant. I get these are emotional obstacles, but they should not have been so insurmountable to her as they were presented in the book.

    When she contacts her father, who had no idea she existed, she is devastated that he does not want her immediately and buy her a pony. I mean, WTF? The man asked for time (a mantra she repeated constantly throughout the book) but she was all pissed. Whatever. Stupid. I don't think the author should have put that in there at all. The way Ceejay gets over everyone abandoning her is to find out the never meant to abandoner her at all, not by any inner strength. Ugh.

    Then there is the matter of the house Ceejay lives in. Her aunt's house, the ancestral home. The aunt was planning on leaving it to Ceejay. Ceejay doesn't want it. Aunt needs money and decides to sell. Ceejay freaks out, because of course she wants the house, and how is she going to afford a riverfront property. Ok, what? If her aunt was going to give her the property, why would she make her pay full market value for it? Who the hell would do that? And what kind of mortgage can they have on it? It's been in the family since the civil war. Ceejay should be able to buy it from her aunt for a reasonable sum. There should be no cause for the drama that ensued.

    Also, Ceejay constantly harps on Noah about getting a job and finding a dream. This man had a dream. He wanted to be career military. Instead, he came home a COUPLE MONTHS AGO with ptsd and a stump. I feel like taking a little time to adjust and find a new dream is not asking too much. But is is for our heroine Ceejay, apparently. Annoying.

    This is a little thing, but why the hell was her kid taking naps all the time? She was about to start kindergarten. I don't know any kids that are about to start kindergarten that take regular naps everyday. Even when my kid was in daycare, they made the kids relax and be quiet but none of them reliably slept every day. This kid was forever napping. It seemed weird.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sandy 10-26-13
    sandy 10-26-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "didn't expect. to like it"

    I liked reading "The heart of the druid laird" so I decided to try another Barbara Longley book. I really didn't expect to like it because the subject matter was not my usual choice. The narrator was good and the book drew me in so I have to give it a "thumbs up"

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Paragould, AR, United States 05-22-14
    Joseph Paragould, AR, United States 05-22-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Great Story!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    As a Combat Veteran and personally experiencing the struggles of PTSD, I would encourage anyone in a relationship with similar hurdles to either listen to or read this book. I see many reviews already posted that declares this book a "typical love story"; however, those men and women who are susuffering from and coping with PTSD will find this book anything but typical.


    What other book might you compare Far from Perfect to and why?

    I am confident in saying that in my opinion, Far from Perfect can't be compared to any other book or title. The emotions I personally felt throughout this book as a soldier, a friend, a father, a human being can't be compared to anything either.


    What about Kate Rudd’s performance did you like?

    Ms Rudd did a wonderful job with the multitude of male voices she had to overcast. The voices remained bright and active and never hit a monotone base.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    My reaction to this book was so personally inspiring, I am going to suggest my VA doctor recommends it to her patients. The subtle insight the book offers on PTSD is invaluable.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mona 10-05-14
    Mona 10-05-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Great book"
    Would you listen to Far from Perfect again? Why?

    great love story


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Far from Perfect?

    learning to live with meager supplies


    Which character – as performed by Kate Rudd – was your favorite?

    don't remember the names.... but the young man


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    almost, had trouble putting it down


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DonnaRussell Tempe, AZ, United States 08-20-14
    DonnaRussell Tempe, AZ, United States 08-20-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hearts and Roses"
    Any additional comments?

    Every once in a while I want a romance. This is a good romance. I liked the characters, the story, the setup with the dead brother and materialistic grandparents. You knew from the beginning what was going to happen, and it did, and all's right with the world. It's not a book you would sit down and just listen to, but it is great for waiting in line, or painting, or cleaning the kitchen. I found it quite satisfying for that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rad33 Texas 07-14-14
    rad33 Texas 07-14-14 Member Since 2010
    ratings
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    16
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    Story
    "Great story"
    Would you listen to Far from Perfect again? Why?

    Great Story - however the narrator leave much to be desired. Everytime she says "to" it sounds like she is reading from a script.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Far from Perfect?

    all


    How could the performance have been better?

    different narrator


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no - over a couple of days


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lit Chick 07-07-14
    Lit Chick 07-07-14 Member Since 2011

    Litchick

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Average"

    Average says it all. Just an ok story, the narrator was just ok. Too much story not enough romance for my tastes. It was just a sweet story with a HEA ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole Bednar 06-25-14 Member Since 2014
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    4
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    "Wonderful feel-good, human interest story"
    What made the experience of listening to Far from Perfect the most enjoyable?

    The character development and voice recordings were really enjoyable and really had me looking forward to my next opportunity to listen.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Far from Perfect?

    The transformation of both families to unite into one.


    What does Kate Rudd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her voice couldn't have been a more perfect match for this story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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