Alexis has been doing her best to raise Gib, her autistic, adopted brother, since their parents' death, but it looks like she'll lose custody; country music star Ethan has just learned he's Gib's father, and plans to gain custody -- at least until he meets Alexis and Gib.
(Though reviews are inherently subjective, I prefer to provide some organization to my opinions through the use of a personal rubric. The following notes may contain spoilers.)
Plot and Setting: 3 -- Plot mixes cliche/overly convenient with unique/interesting. Plot points in sub-plots are dropped or not resolved. It's a suitably interesting idea, with a custody battle for a challenging autistic child, plus the added issues of fame and romantic attraction. But it doesn't feel well-executed. It also felt like the most interesting/important aspects of the story -- how they actually moved forward with building relationships and satisfying CPS -- were skipped entirely, as we leap from one Christmas to the next. Setting (including timeline) is somewhat unclear or inconsistent. Though I deduced that Jasper Falls is in New York from context clues, it never actually says so.
Characters: 2.5 -- Main characters are only partially relatable, realistic, interesting, or dynamic. Minor characters are almost exclusively stereotyped or simplified. Relationships between characters are not especially well developed. I didn't feel a connection to the characters, and their relationships felt tenuous. I didn't really believe the romance between Alexis and Ethan. She seemed unsure of the nature of their relationship right up until he proposed, which is problematic. It also took a while for me to realize that Jasmine was meant to be a friend from California who moved to be with Alexis and Gib. It's unclear exactly how old Gib is, and while his behaviors do show one possible face of autism, there seemed to be many generalizations that aren't really accurate.
Mechanics and Writing: 2.5 -- Frequent typos, punctuation issues, and word errors. Repetition, misuse of words (wanton and iridescent), trouble with commas and hyphens, and some weird formatting with a few paragraph and section breaks. Generally solid use of POV (Alexis and Ethan). Average writing, with strong parts and parts that struggle. Some really awkward phrases, such as 'sweetness too often caged by misfired neurons caressed her spirit.' I wasn't always sure what exactly these odd phrases were trying to convey.
Redeeming Value: 3-- Incidental uplifting themes or lessons. Ethan credits the dramatic shift in his lifestyle to a new faith in God. Both Alexis and Ethan want what is best for Gib, and Alexis is particularly self-sacrificing in the process. Sex, alcohol, violence, etc, are not glorified, though there was clearly some of this in Ethan's past.
Personal Enjoyment: 2 -- I’m not a fan. Some good bits, but reading it felt rather like a chore. Not one I plan to re-read.