Published: August 28, 2018
This is the first book I have ever received from NetGalley. Honestly, I was kind of skeptical considering I wasn’t a huge fan of the first novel. It was good but it wasn’t phenomenal. Even though this one never hit the phenomenal level either (few ever do) this novel was much better than the first one and I actually enjoyed it a lot. It did take me a while to get into the novel but within the first couple of chapters I was hooked. I want to start though with a trigger warning for people. This novel deals with sexual abuse and I just want readers to be aware of that.
Brice Harper may be remembered as the cattle rustling kid from the first novel. Well, this novel is based 12 years later and he is now a man who has is own past. Having grown up with a Navy SEAL as a brother-in-law he has learned a few things and then he had his own stint in the military. Now he is home with his dream of being a rancher and being the best damn twin roper that the circuit had ever seen. Him and his brother are a team and one that rarely loses. However, when he sees Naomi in the stands one night he can’t get her out of his mind. Then he saves her and her friend from being attacked. From that day forward Brice knows that he needs this woman like he’s never needed anything. But when not is all as it seems in the rodeo circuit he needs to get to the bottom of all that is happening in order to save Naomi’s life.
Naomi Pierce is a photographer who lives in Washington, DC. She is back in her hometown in Texas because her best friend, Whitney, is a rodeo queen and she is determined to support her. But her friend is acting strange and when they are attacked she swears she doesn’t know who did it but Naomi knows when she is lying. Through trying to figure out what is going on at the rodeo she has found an unlikely ally in Brice. He is determined to help and protect her. Even going so far as to take her to the family ranch to keep her safe. He is everything she has ever wanted in a man but can she leave her life in DC for a new one back home? Does she really have a choice in not returning home after everything Whitney has gone through? These are tough questions for one person to answer in a couple of days.
There were parts of this novel that just made me so disgusted and angry but those were the emotions that I’m sure Donna Grant was trying for. These came out in the scenes that showed the group who were behind raping the rodeo pageant contestants and the chaperones who facilitated it. Honestly, (and here is a big SPOILER) I was glad that the chaperone died. She facilitated the rape of a girl she was supposed to protect. But thankfully in a novel (unlike the real world) the bad guys do get it in the end. Though everyone is a little worse for wear at that point. All of the emotions this novel elicited had me wrung out by the time I was done with it but it has also made me think that the next one will be even better because they just keep going up.
—“If you shoot me, I get to shoot you.” -Caleb to Brice—