A rodeo champion returns to his small hometown and has to figure out how to repair the relationships he damaged years ago when he left, both with his siblings and with his soul mate.
Days after a career-ending injury, Maverick Davis gets word that his father has died and makes his way back to Pine Oak, Texas. Arriving just at the end of the funeral, he immediately antagonizes his family and insults Leighton, his sister’s best friend and the girl he’s never forgotten. Maverick left to follow his rodeo dream and to escape his father, who was abusive to all his children but brutal to Maverick. Now that his father is gone and his career is over, he needs to figure out what to do next, and he’d like to plant new roots in Pine Oak, but between his uncertainty about his work life and everyone’s mistrust of his declared intentions to stay, it’s hard. Yet he knows that his future lies with Leighton, and her future is in Pine Oak. Establishing a sexual relationship bonds them in a new way, yet it also confuses them, given their prickly past. Sloan begins a new Western series with engaging characters and an appealing small-town setting; her second-chance-at-love romance resonates emotionally even though the conflict becomes problematic as Maverick and Leighton continually overthink their own and each other’s motivations and choices. The back-and-forth dance about what they may or may not want, and whether or not they can trust each other to be honest about their feelings and hopes, gets a little tedious. There’s no question, however, that Sloan knows her way around sexual tension and emotional intensity.
Sexy and mostly satisfying.