Smokejumpers, country singers, wonderful scenery, a change of pace, and a kick-started muse. There are also secrets, trauma, sparks (both good and bad), and well-meaning friends. Like a River has a lot going for it and I enjoyed reading it. Between Dusty's and Damon's characters, I must say that I liked Dusty a shade more than I did Damon, especially at first. In the end, I still liked Dusty a shade more, but Damon grew on me - especially when all of the backstory came out. That is not to say I didn't sympathize with what Damon was going through - I did, and could also empathize with why he would want to live at his friend's cabin. I think that the only aspect of the story that didn't entirely work for me is some of the dialogue as it felt a little stilted to me, but it may not to another reader and certainly did not detract from the overall story.
Dusty Walker is suffering from writer's block and has been since he broke up with someone he thought he would spend the rest of his life with. If it was just him, he might find a way to make do, but he has his bandmates to consider. One day, one of the band members suggests a change of scenery and Dusty warms up to the idea, heading to Missoula, Montana. The scenery, the chance to use his carpentry skills, and meeting a new face all help his music flow. The man that sparks his interest is a wounded vet and smokejumper who may no longer be able to do his job in any capacity - if he allows the anger that burns within to take control of his life. He also does not like secrets, so can the relationship between the two last if Dusty won't be able to let Damon know who he really is? Or will love be enough?
Dusty Walker’s country music career came to a screeching halt after the heart-wrenching breakup with the man he thought he'd be with forever. As a result, his band is in jeopardy of losing their recording contract. Determined to help break Dusty’s writer’s block, one of the band members suggested a change of scenery -- cowboy country. Intrigued, Dusty booked a flight to Missoula Montana and was amazed at the sights and sounds of the stunning, snow capped mountains. Hurting for money, fixing up the cabin nestled in the woods seemed like the perfect opportunity to boost his carpentry skills while penning several new songs. Hiding behind a new persona, Dusty worked hard to rebuild his career while his demons nipped at his heels.
Damon Shade was a smokejumper by trade. Wounded in Afghanistan, he lost not only his innocence to the war but his pride as well. Anger burned within him and he couldn’t control his raging emotions as more than one secret threatened to derail everything he had left. When Damon met Dusty, he didn’t like the guy but little did he know, they were both holding their pasts at bay in an effort to begin new lives. As sparks flew and they began to open their hearts, another tragedy intervened. Would their respective secrets stymie what was awakened in a secluded cabin in the woods?