An enjoyable second-chance romance
This story takes place in rural Louisiana and the world of ranching and bull riding. I liked this part very much. The description of the landscape, Asher’s thoughts on how to move her ranching business forward, her love for the animals (I had to smile at the dairy cows looking like Oreos), and then the hardcore competitive sport of bull riding was beautifully shown and well told. The linkages of the three families, where the fathers were best friends, and together built the ranches and helped each other in all situations were very interesting and heartwarming.
The whole setup of the story is well done and that Asher and Reagan, who were best friends years ago before becoming a couple, get a second chance is well written. The fact that Asher has trust issues with Reagan after being left by her without a word because she wanted to continue attending rodeos is completely understandable. But also the fears that caused Reagan to run away are understandable, only the way she left Asher was not the fine kind but eighteen-year-olds make bad decisions all the time. All the tension and fears at the reunion were palpable and the approaching each other again is wonderfully told. The conversations are an important part of the story, especially to work through the past, but not the easiest part.
But after the two got closer again, the story lost some of its tension. The attraction and love they have for each other is intense, but the story became a bit repetitive with misunderstandings, and hasty reactions and was also a bit predictable.
Asher is an absolute sweetheart and cares very much for her family and friends and in contrast, is a badass bull rider. You have to like her even though I had the jitters every time she sat on such a beast. Understanding and liking Reagan took me a little more time, but what she had experienced as a young woman is not easy to digest and her fears were very well founded. However, it was always clear to me that Asher and Reagan belonged together, even when other attractive women played a part in the story.
Overall an enjoyable second-chance romance with crazy bull riding action.
Thanks to Bold Strokes Books and NetGalley for providing an ARC for an honest review.