Cowboys. I haven’t meet one in real life but I’ve fallen in love with quite a few in my books, and Victoria Vane just added two more to that list: Wade and Dirk Knowlton. Wade was the hero in Slow Hand while Dirk is the main man in Rough Rider.
Victoria Vane just released Rough Rider last February 3, and in conjunction with Rough Rider’s release, The Racy Lit Reader is doing a spotlight on Rough Rider. I’ve read and personally loved Dirk and Janice’s story. I can’t wait to share my thoughts about this book, and also give you the opportunity to win one of the three copies of Slow Hand, the first book in the series.
So…about Rough Rider…
Two wary hearts …
Janice Combes has two loves, bucking bulls and Dirk Knowlton. But Dirk only has eyes for a dazzling rodeo queen. How can Janice ever compete while mired ankle-deep in manure? Exchanging playful banter with Dirk is all Janice can expect—until the stormy night he knocks on her door dripping wet and needing a place to crash.
Dirk Knowlton is living the cowboy dream. Life should be good—roping, branding, backing broncs, riding bulls, but there’s a void he can’t seem to fill. After getting hung up by a bull, he wonders if this is really the life he wants. Restless and rebellious, he bolts…but there’s a certain cowgirl he can’t forget.
When a battle-scarred Dirk returns to his Montana ranch he’s determined to hang on at any cost. Janice has come back home to lick her own wounds. When old dreams turn to dust, can two wary hearts take another chance on love?
This book is essentially about two flawed and broken characters. Janice and Dirk when through a lot in their lives. And because they are flawed, they don’t always make the best choices. But the fact that they messed up, and messed up bad is what endeared them to me as a reader. I love reading about flawed characters.
Anyway…Dirk was such an ass in the first book so naturally, I wanted to read his book. And boy, Dirk was definitely a character and his story with Janice was definitely more to my liking than Wade in Slow Hand. And the reason for that was I felt the connection between Janice and Dirk from the very beginning which lasted until the very end.
I wasn’t annoyed with Janice too much. Not as much as I did with Nicole anyway. She definitely made some wrong decisions but she thought they were the right ones based on the facts and evidence she got. I couldn’t blame her for it because she suffered too.
Dirk — not too crazy about the name by the way — was broken physically and emotionally.It was great to see the juxtaposition of the pre-injury Dirk and then the post-injury Dirk. The difference is startling. Dirk became a different person after serving in Afghanistan. The war not only changed him physically but emotionally as well.
If you’ve read the first book, then you’d know the backstory between Dirk and Wade and the woman who came between them. I was afraid that the whole book would be about Dirk pining for another woman, which is why he never got together with Janice. Well, Victoria definitely put my fears to rest. The Rachel angle wasn’t played up at all. Yes, it was part of Dirk’s history but that’s just it. It was history. After a certain point, that relationship was relegated to the past. So I was happy with that.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I felt the connection between the two main characters. And I loved the whole second chance at love theme as always. I think Dirk and Janice wasted so many years and endured so many heartaches, but the HEA made it all worth it.
And as a bonus, there’s also a giveaway on Rafflecopter here.
***An ARC was provided by Sourcebook Casablanca in exchange for an honest review.