Nom de Plume Rating: ★★★★★
Reading Time: 6 minutes
*FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of Lost Rider from Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books in exchange for an honest review. I have in no way been influenced by the author and/or publisher's generosity. You can't fake these stars, baby!
In Lost Rider, the first Western romance in New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Harper Sloan’s Coming Home series, an injured rodeo star encounters an old flame but will she be just what he needs to get back in the saddle?
Maverick Austin Davis is forced to return home after a ten-year career as a rodeo star. After one too many head injuries, he’s off the circuit and in the horse farming business, something he’s never taken much of a shine to, but now that it’s his late father’s legacy, familial duty calls. How will Maverick find his way after the only dream he ever had for himself is over?
Enter Leighton Elizabeth James, an ugly duckling turned beauty from Maverick’s childhood—his younger sister’s best friend, to be exact, and someone whose heart he stomped all over when she confessed her crush to him ten years back. Now Leighton is back in Maverick’s life, no longer the insecure, love-stricken teen—and Maverick can’t help but take notice. Sparks fly between them, but will Leighton be able to open her heart to the one man who broke it all those years ago?
First Line: "I wince as a sharp ray of sunlight strikes my windshield just so and beams into my eyes, making me curse and briefly swerve before course correcting and picking up speed again..."
In one week, Maverick Davis will be leaving town to become a rodeo star. In Leighton James' mind, this is the perfect opportunity to dress to impress, demand some attention, and declare her undying love for him. It's now or never. Who knows? Maybe he'll reciprocate her feelings. Except the night of the bonfire (the night Leighton gets dolled up to confess her feelings) she overhears Maverick say that she is a pubescent boy trying to play dress up in her cutoff shorts and her slutty plaid shirt. She looks like a trinket.
Well. So much for that. 🙄
As we make our way out of the clearing I promised myself never to let another man hold this kind of power over me.
Now our story begins...
10 years later, we meet the bull riding master Maverick Davis. He is throwing a pity party for himself and arguing with the voices in his head. Mav's not in the best of moods returning to the home he was so eager to leave 10 years before. Back then, he had a vision and inspiration. Now, his pride has been stripped away from him and there's no one in this godforsaken town he can turn to other than his brother and sister.
Now, why has he thrown a pity party for himself?... 11 days prior, the doctor had told him his riding career is over. (How generous, doc ?) Thanks to Lucifer the Bull and Maverick's stubborn attempts to conquer the beast, he is left with countless head injuries that threaten to take his life if he continues to ride.
I was meant to ride just as I was meant to draw air in my lungs to live...
So what does a lost rider do when he can't ride?... Well, he pursues Leighton James, that's what he does!
Ayeee the delicious drama. Leighton dissolves when she sees Maverick for the first time since the night of the bonfire. (Where is your resolve, girlfriend?!) If only he could recognize her... An apology would be nice, too. If Maverick thinks he can stroll back into town acting like some sort of prince, his series of concussions has really made him cray.
My eyes are up here, cowboy... You, Maverick Austin Davis, haven't changed one bit. You would think that in the years that you've been gone from Pine Oak you would remember what happens when you treat a girl like the shit stuck under your boot... now get your head out of your own ass long enough to stop being a massive prick and have some respect for your brother, sister, and your father.
Little by little, Maverick fills the empty shell of happiness Leighton surrounds herself with. But until Maverick is able to let go of all the pain he's holding on to, she's not fully convinced that he should have her heart... Even then, Leighton will still doubt. She made a promise to herself 10 years ago, and she intends to keep it. Ohhh but her heart and her head are telling her two very different things...
I hope I've been branded, because there'll never be another man for me, not now… not ever.
And Maverick? WhoooEEE he is one heck of an irresistible alpha male!
Tell me now, Leighton. Tell me it's always been me...
Try again... 'it's always been you, Maverick.'
Woah now, cowboy. Did you just demand she say your name? Maverick channeling his inner Destiny's Child is hot hot hot! ? A man who knows what he wants, AND bends over backwards for a woman? Maverick is giddy-upping all over my little heart!
But how is Maverick going to let go of his riding career and prove to Leighton that he can start a new life? Is he going to be tempted by Lucifer one last time? How on this sweet earth is Leighton going to forgive Maverick for abandoning his family (and her) only to charge in 10 years later like nothing's changed?
A lost cowboy. A girl who's heart has been trampled on. My friends, these are ingredients for the best western romance I have ever read. Lost Rider is western romance perfection. Our cowboy, Maverick, learns to let go of the past and, with Leighton's help, he sees that he can have more than one dream. He wholeheartedly embraces the challenge of reinventing his goals and sees that bull riding was a stepping stone in a much grandeur adventure waiting for him.
I may have been king of the rodeo... but I did it with a dead heart that no one came close to touching...
Oh yea? ? Now you're starting to see the light within yourself, Mav. This is a very different statement than I was meant to ride just as I was meant to draw air in my lungs to live...
Maverick finally sets sail to the pain he's been harboring and gives his heart unconditionally to Leighton. But is it enough?
Harper Sloan. HARPER. SLOAN. I said it once and I will say it again: Lost Rider is western romance perfection. My feelings were uncontrollable as I lived vicariously through Leighton's doubts and Maverick's love. The characters are insatiable, and the romance is fervent, saucy, and the words eloquent. Lost Rider is the quintessential story of a hibernating love waiting to wake.
I love this book. I don't know how not to.
🔹 AMAZON 🔹