Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Lost Rider (Coming Home, #1) by Harper Sloan

Title: Lost Rider (The Coming Home Series)
Classification: Erotic Adult Fiction
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Coming Home Series (Book 1)
Format: Paperback; 400 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books (April 25, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1501155199
ISBN-13: 978-1501155192
Author's Website: http://authorharpersloan.com/
Notes: I received an eBook loan from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sometimes people come and go from our lives like a wrecking ball, and leave havoc and chaos in their wake. For Leighton James, that wrecking ball was one Maverick Austin Davis, her first crush. At the tender age of sixteen, he'd broken not only her heart when he'd left, but destroyed her self-esteem as well. That was ten years ago and in those years she's been successful in every aspect of her life but love. The owner of a successful bakery--the PieHole--people come from miles, sometimes even states, away to buy her wares. She's dated, but a string of failed relationships have left her believing she somehow isn't enough. Truth be told, that sentiment probably stems back to Maverick and the hatefully cruel words he spoke all those years ago.

Maverick "The Unstoppable" Davis' rodeo career has come to an abrupt stop. Ten years of living the dream and it was gone. Just like that. For ten years he'd been the biggest name in professional bull riding--there wasn't a beast he couldn't conquer until Lucifer. One too many falls while riding had left him with head injuries so severe that the next could have him leaving the arena in a body bag. It was time to go home and try to mend the bridges he'd not only broken but in some cases pretty much annihilated. He'll try to put right what he once put wrong...

'I was lost once. A rider without the ability to do what he loved. I came home even though it was the last place I thought I wanted to be, and in the process not only did I find myself again, but I also found that my reason for livin' didn't have sh*t to do with ridin'.'

This is Maverick and Leighton's story.
This was a story that tackled some heavy topics--abandonment and abuse--and the long term affects they have on people. Maverick Austin Davis (personal note: MAD--I love those initials and wonder if the author chose them on purpose because they're so fitting.) grew up in an abusive household and while it was obvious what was going on (although perhaps not the extent of it), no one ever stepped in to stop it. When he was old enough to live on his own he left home quicker than you can say 'ready, set, go' and never looked back, until now. His father having recently passed and his career in shambles, he realizes it's time.

Leighton James had given her heart to her best friend's older brother years ago and had it cruelly handed back. While the two hadn't actually dated, something had been stirring between them. Maverick, with the use of a few choice words that cut to the bone, had intentionally and effectively ended that. Unfortunately, he'd also ripped Leighton's self esteem to shreds in the process, something that at the age of sixteen was very fragile. The event had repercussions that Maverick could never have predicted and it made it hard for me to like him at the beginning. It wasn't until we get the whole story of what was going on behind the scenes at the Davis family ranch that I understood why he did what he did. While words are just words, they sometimes have a devastating effect, and in this case a long lasting one.

Maverick is a complex and complicated individual who went through a lot and has kept people emotionally at bay for years. My guess is this is in part due to the fact he had to come to terms with what had happened to him when he was growing up. The author didn't hold back with all the things she piled up on this character and his personal baggage was so immense I felt he probably would have done well to seek out the services of a psychologist.

Overall, I gave this one 3 out of 5 roses. A sweet story about love, understanding, forgiveness, and letting go of the past so you can move forward with your life. I loved the chemistry between these two, but would have liked Leighton to have put Maverick through the wringer and make him jump a couple of hoops before taking him back. I felt she should have put his feelings to the test before giving in to her own. It could have proven quite fun. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a SHOWER rating--a cold shower is necessary (need I say more?). Some books should come with a warning - make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. lol

Order of the Coming Home series:

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