I’ve read Victoria Vane’s historicals and have thoroughly enjoyed them. But you know how it is when one of your favorite authors switches genres – you just never know if the writing style will survive the jump. This is the first of Vane’s Hot Cowboy Nights series.
Nicole Powell’s estranged father just died and she’s on her way to small-town Montana to do what she needs to do and get out. While at the airport waiting for his flight, lawyer/cowboy, Wade Knowlton sees Nicole having her own personal meltdown over her flight. After some internal debate, Wade gives up his seat to Nicole and decides to drive home. Well lo and behold – they both end up in the same destination and it turns out that Wade is Nicole’s father’s lawyer. Small world, I know.
The pacing in the first few chapters was slow but once it got going – it really got going. There’s a certain amount of expectation that I have with an author whose work I’m familiar with, so I kinda sorta knew that this story would eventually pick up. Thank goodness I wasn’t disappointed.
It took me a little while to figure out if I liked Wade. When the story starts out, he’s clearly sleeping with a woman and I’m not a fan of either the hero or heroine bed hopping, but he ended up growing on me about half way in, so that was good. As the romance builds pretty quickly between Nicole and Wade, there’s not a lot of time to get to know his other relationships – it’s a lot of he said/she said stuff and that was fine because it did keep the story going without too many lulls and Wade did have his share of anxieties.
Then there’s Wade’s family – his parents and brother Dirk, who I find utterly fascinating for his boorish ways (but only towards Wade). I don’t know what direction the series is going to go, but I’m hoping that Dirk gets his own story (just putting that out there) as he’s a former soldier who lost half his leg in Afghanistan. He not only has PTSD but he’s also got some pre-war stuff that instigated joining up in the first place.
Nicole was a nice blend of angst and ‘I know what I’m doing.’ However, she did some things with Wade a bit too fast for what she was saying she wouldn’t do; for that she lost some credibility with me, and my sympathy was a bit lacking. Overall, she was likeable, fun, and had a responsible head on her shoulders. That last part had more to do with her lack of a father upbringing than anything else. For some reason that responsibility also included her sister (half if you’re keeping score), who was supposed to be smart but made some pretty crappy decisions. What I didn’t get was why Nicole would put up with it – maybe she didn’t want to lose what little family she had left, I don’t know. But what I do know is I didn’t like the sister, nor did I find her presence in Nicole’s life to be a positive one.
The chemistry between the H/h was good especially when Wade’s feelings got hurt and he got mad at Nicole. (He was right, by the way). The ending was a bit rushed and predictable, but I recommend this one for you to give a go if ‘cowboy’ is one of your happy triggers.
Happy Reading folks!
*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Victoria Vane
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca