This second book in the Hot Cowboy Nights series by Victoria Vane takes a different direction with Dirk, the hero, than the first book in the series,Slow Hand. In order for the reader to get a feel for Dirk's true personality, Victoria Vane takes us back to when Dirk Knowlton was a carefree bull rider enjoying his life. When a pretty little cowgirl named Janice Combes had her eye on bull rider, Dirk Knowlton for what seemed like forever.
Pretty twenty one year old, Janice has a lot on her plate with running her father's company, Combes Bucking Bulls. Even though she has has a crush on Dirk since high school, she knows that his preference leans towards beauties like his girlfriend, Rachel Carson who is a rodeo beauty queen. After a bad fall that leaves Dirk with a few aches and pains and a complaining Rachel making demands that Dirk isn't prepared to succumb to he walks away, Dirk goes in search of Janice in hopes of some normalcy if not intimacy. Janice cannot believe that Dirk actually sought her out, and she is willing to do whatever it takes to even have one night of passion with the cowboy who sets her heart aflutter, even if it goes no further than that.
Standing on the sidelines, just waiting to swoop in and take over is Dirk's cowboy buddy, Grady, who puts the seed of doubt in Janice's head every chance he can get so he can be her savior when things go South with Dirk. After some misunderstandings between Dirk and Janice, he disappears into the sunset leaving Grady to pick up the pieces of Janice's emotions.
Fast forward ten years. Janice is now Grady's widow and she struggles to raise her son Cody. After a disappointing life with Grady, Janice is left without means to live on her own, so she returns to her hometown to live with her mother and work a job she really doesn't like.
Dirk Knowlton has become a very different man after returning from the war in the Middle East where he was in the military and lost his leg during fire. The happy go lucky Dirk has turned into a loner and a cynic who cares for nothing but the ranch he lives on and the breed of cattle he is trying to raise. When Janice comes knocking on his door he realizes that the feelings he had for her never went away, but he feels he has nothing to offer her being a broken man.
When Dirk offers Janice a job as a ranch hand, things begin to steam up with their proximity to one another. Janice and Dirk yearn for what once was, and what could possibly be, but both need to take a deep look into themselves before they can move on. So much has happened in the ten years they were apart and coming to terms with that takes a bit of getting used to. Once Dirk and Janice open up to each other with the truths of their pasts, loving each other seems to come naturally, but one truth might shake both Dirk and Janice in the form of a little boy named Cody.
Rough Rider by Victoria Vane will make your run the gamut of emotions throughout the story. I loved so much how the author went back in time and gave us the so very needed personality traits and goings on surrounding the relationships between the characters. I felt like I knew them as friends and it made me more invested in the outcome. Reading the struggles that both Dirk and Janice went through made me love them so much more. Rough Rider is a well written and intriguing story that places Victoria Vane on my go to list when it comes to authors. I cannot wait for her next book in the Hot Cowboy Nights series, I could use another sleepless night! Well done!
In Victoria Vane’s second Hot Cowboy Nights book, ROUGH RIDER, readers’ hearts may in fact soften to the rough and bitter Dirk Knowlton they met in Hot Cowboy Nights #1, Slow Hand.
A big thanks to Book Obsessed Chicks for sharing an excerpt with their readers so y’all can get to know a little bit more about the rough and tough hero of ROUGH RIDER. Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win one of three copies of Slow Hand by Victoria Vane!
DIRK KNOWLTON ON TOUR – Oil and Water
Another grunt followed and Dirk disappeared, leaving Wade staring down at his boots and shaking his head. After a time he exhaled an exasperated breath.
“Is it always like that with you two?” Nikki asked. They were so different from one another, he and Dirk—like oil and water—and seemed to mix about as well.
“Yeah. Pretty much. A real lovable type, my big brother.”
“What’s the story anyway, Wade? Why are you and he at each other’s throats?”
He gave a crooked grin. “Noticed that, did you?”
“Yeah. Kinda hard not to.”
“Yeah. I s’pose it’s a combination of things. Dirk’s problem is mostly disillusionment. He isn’t the man he was before he joined the Marines, either physically or emotionally.”
“But you said his disability has hardly slowed him down much.”
“That’s true when it comes to the ranch, but how many one-legged rodeo cowboys have you seen?”
She had no answer to that.
Wade continued, “Dirk’s still struggling to adjust to life in general—and not making it easy on any of us. Deep down he knows things can’t go on like they used to in the old days, partly because he can’t go on like he did before. The ranch isn’t the same either but he’s not ready to accept that and let it go.”
“And your father? What does he say?”
“He’s torn, of course. He knows how it is, but he and Mama so desperately want the old Dirk back, and the old life, that they keep hanging on, too. In the meantime, I keep dumping money into the place.”
“I can understand why. So what will you do now?”
He gave her a grim look. “Whatever has to be done. I hate to see the place go but I’m a pragmatist. I’m not going to hold onto a losing operation out of misplaced pride. We had an offer on the table. It was a decent offer. We may not get another one. I’ll try to reason with my brother, but if it comes down to it, I may have to beat some sense into him.”
“You’re joking, right?”
He shrugged. “Let’s just say all the options are on the table.”
“Really? Then what happens if he kicks your ass?”
“Wouldn’t be the first time.” Wade rubbed the bridge of his nose.
Nikki was incredulous. “Your brother broke your nose?”
“And a few ribs, but he had two good legs then. I figure we’re more evenly matched now.”
By Victoria Vane
Contemporary Western Romance
February 3, 2015
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?
Praise for Slow Hand by Victoria Vane:
“A “red-hot cowboy tale...their sexual chemistry crackles. Well-paced, scorching scenes and witty banter move the story along while setting the stage for Wade’s war-hero brother to find his own true love in the next installment.” – Publishers Weekly
“SLOW HAND by Victoria Vane is delightful, funny, page turning steamy sexy… I'm beginning to think Victoria could write a phone book and make it sexy.” – Unwrapping Romance
“PULL THE FIRE ALARM & STOCK UP ON FIRE EXTINGUISHERS FOR THIS STEAMY ROMANCE!” – Avon Romance
Victoria Vane is a multiple award-winning romance novelist and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog.
Rafflecopter Giveaway for 3 copies of SLOW HAND by Victoria Vane:
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