Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Book Review & Excerpt - Lost Rider by Harper Sloan


Book review
By Suze
 
Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Maverick was a successful rodeo star until he injured his head so badly it ended his career. After ten years he has to return home, to his brother Clay and sister Quinn and to the girl he never allowed himself to love, Leighton. Maverick only has bad memories of the past. His father was a cold and abusive man and Maverick was forced to leave Pine Oak before the situation would have gotten completely out of hand. He never told Leighton how he felt, instead he hurt her feelings, so she wouldn't think about him anymore. Did that really work or is Leighton still in love with him? Will being in Pine Oak be as awful for Maverick as it used to be or will he have a future in his hometown together with his siblings and the girl he never forgot?
 
Lost Rider is a sexy romantic story with plenty of moving layers. Maverick built a huge wall around his heart and he constantly tries to push the people who love him away, so they won't be able to hurt him. Being back in Pine Oak is difficult for him, but Maverick wants to make up for the hurt he's caused by leaving his siblings and Leighton behind. His rodeo career left him with enough money, but he has to find something new to fill his time with. My heart ached for both Maverick and Leighton, they went through so much pain because of everything that was done to Maverick when he was a child. He treated Leighton badly, but she can't resist him and when she finally finds out the truth she has no reason to anymore either. I loved their chemistry, their deep emotional connection and the sweet way they treat each other. Their relationship is both hot and tender, which is a great combination.

Leighton is a strong, determined woman. She used to be an insecure teenager and Maverick didn't make her feel better about herself, but she's now a stunning grown woman with a successful business. She has a wonderful caring personality and her generosity and kindness are heartwarming. She's always there for Clay and Quinn and when Maverick returns she shows the warm and forgiving side of her character and acknowledges his pain. She's a beautiful person inside and out and I liked her from the start. She gives Lost Rider a lovely spark and makes the story extra charming.

Harper Sloan's sentences have an easy flow. I love reading small town romance and Lost Rider is definitely a good one. The setting is stunning and I liked how Harper Sloan's writing style perfectly suits the surroundings. The amazing dialogue kept putting a smile on my face. Harper Sloan knows what she's writing about and her main characters are interesting and real. She writes about their struggles with plenty of empathy and honesty, which makes them come to life incredibly well. Lost Rider is a terrific story with an endearing ending. I enjoyed reading this gorgeous compelling story very much.

Advice

If you love small town romance with plenty of depth and sexy scenes Lost Rider will be a great choice.


About Harper Sloan


Harper is a NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL and USA TODAY bestselling author residing in Georgia with her husband and three daughters. She has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books, hibachi, tattoos and Game of Thrones. When she isn't writing you can almost always find her with a book in hand.
 
Author links


 
Excerpt
 
I should tell Quinn and Clay that he’s here. But one look at him and it’s like the last ten years have never passed and I’m back at the bonfire, the awkward high schooler uncomfortable in her own skin. Marching away from him in the woods. It was the last time I saw him. How is it possible that he can affect me this much after all this time?

He hasn’t noticed me, not with his head bowed, so I quickly turn around and focus on Pastor John as he finishes up his prayer. Him being here means nothing. I should be happy that I remember the pain from that night so well, it will make keeping my walls up around him so much easier.

“On behalf of the Davis family, I want to thank everyone for coming today. At this time, the family has asked for some time alone as they say their good-byes. They wanted me to remind everyone that the PieHole will be opening up for a few hours tonight starting at five for anyone that wishes to join them.”

I keep my arm around Quinn, not looking back to where I saw Maverick. I can hear the church slowly emptying and I feel a frown pull at my lips. I had hoped that when everyone started to leave that he would have come up front to be with his family, but so far, the pew we’re in is still empty save for the three of us. We sit and wait for everyone to leave, something that Clay had asked Pastor John to make arrangements for in place of the customary recessional, knowing that no one in this town would really mean a word of it anyway. Plus, I know Quinn is having a hard time. Regardless of the fact that she wasn’t the closest with her father, she was really counting on this—Maverick home. She’s still shaking in my arms, but when I look over at Clay I realize his silence isn’t because of the heaviness of Buford’s death, but instead anger over his brother’s absence that has started to build to a boil. I fear that he’s seconds away from tipping over the edge.

I stand when Clay and Quinn do, but hang back at the edge of the row we had been sitting in as they meet Pastor John and gather their father’s ashes. I can’t wait to get out of these heels. If it would have been acceptable to wear my boots, I would have, but Quinn would have killed me. As it is, I feel like I can’t take a deep breath with how tight my dress is against my chest. I never wear tight shirts. I haven’t since my boobs became beasts of their own right. I’m too busy fiddling with the straps of my dress, trying desperately to get some of the pressure against my chest to ease up so I could take a deep breath, when I heard Quinn gasp.

“Mav!” Next thing I know she’s running past where I’m standing, her black hair streaming in the air behind her as she speeds forward right into her brother’s arms. Clay moves to stand next to me and I look up to meet his green eyes, the questions he isn’t vocalizing dancing in their emerald depths. He’s not stupid and I’m doing a crappy job at hiding the memories haunting me right now. He gives me a small smile, shifting his hold on the urn to wrap his free arm around me and pulls me into a strong hold.

“You’re shakin’,” he says against my temple and I just nod.

“I’m good, Clay. Go see your brother.”

“I’m fine right where I am, sugar.”

I keep my eyes to the ground, focusing on his worn boots instead of looking up, hating myself for making this moment about me when I should be focused on them. Like it or not, I can’t fight the feelings that being near him bring me. I’m that stupid, naive sixteen-year-old all over again. “Let’s get out of here,” he says after a few silent seconds. I look up and give him a smile, hoping that it looks a hell of a lot braver than I feel. Inside I feel like I might puke.

“You think I could have a second with my family?”

My head shoots up at the coldness I hadn’t anticipated in Maverick’s voice. He’s not focused on me, though, instead looking at his brother with a hard expression and one brow raised upward. 

“Mav!” Quinn gasps and he moves his attention from his brother to her.

“Sorry, Quinn, but I’m thinkin’ that Clay’s lady friend would understand that this should be a moment for our family and give us time alone.”

“I’ll just—”

“Don’t you dare finish that sentence, sugar,” Clay all but spits through clenched teeth and drops his arm to take a step forward. “You’ve got something to say, Mav, then say it.”

“Nothing to say, Clayton, I just think it would be nice for your girlfriend to give us some space.”

“My girlfriend,” he parrots sarcastically, his deep voice vibrating in anger.

“Mav.” Quinn attempts to butt in, but stops when Maverick leaves her side and turns to stalk out of the church. I should find it comical that he obviously didn’t recognize me, or hell, maybe he did and he’s just picking up where he left off ten years ago in the middle of the dark woods. I take a deep breath. “It’s okay. He’s right. Y’all need some time as a family. I’ll head over to the PieHole and start settin’ up for tonight.”

Quinn brushes a tear from her cheek and just shakes her head. I look at Clay to see him staring in the direction that his brother just left.

“You’re family,” he finally says, not looking in my direction.

“Clay, really, it’s okay. It’s been a long time since y’all were back together and I don’t need to be there for that reunion. It sucks that it takes all of this to finally bring him home, but he’s here and y’all need to make up for a lot of time lost.”

“Shut up, Leighton.”

“Don’t, Clay.”

“Don’t what? You’ve got every right to be here. You’re just as much a part of our family as he is. Hell, maybe even more so than he is at this point. So just shut up, come with us, and ignore him.”

I shake my head, the fight instantly leaving my sails, knowing I would be arguing until the end of time if I

pressed this issue.

“I can’t believe he doesn’t even recognize you,” Quinn whispers.


11 comments:

  1. This sounds good, and I appreciate the excerpt!

    --Trix

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for the review and excerpt.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful review and fun excerpt. This is the perfect summer read.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sounds great I have this on my tbr! Can't wait to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It sounds like a lovely story.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This sounds amazing! I need to know what happens next.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This makes me think of Hope Floats or The Horse Whisperer. I'm not usually one for romance novels, but this one sounds interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm already such a fan of Harper. I can not wait to read zis story.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I like reading stories with strong women characters. I've never read anything by this author but from your review, it sounds like this book has descriptive writing and well developed characters. That definitely makes me want to read it! Thanks for the great information!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love small town romance books,added to my wishlist :D :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great descriptive prose AND dialogue? Sounds like Ms. Sloan knows what she's doing!

    ReplyDelete