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?
A unique interview from Dirk’s point of view
- What is your favorite memory?
Dirk – The stormy night I knocked on Janice’s door after winning the Casper Rodeo Finals.
- What’s the sexiest outfit a girl can wear?
Dirk – A pair of boots and a smile
- When was the last time you and your significant other had a long passionate kiss?
Dirk- This morning. I believe in starting every day right.
Excerpt from ROUGH RIDER by Victoria Vane:
He looked abashed. “We didn’t just have to leave the party, we got kicked out of the hotel too.”
“Evicted from your room?”
“Yup. And there aren’t any others available in all of Casper.”
“I know,” she said. “It’s why I’m camped out here.” She paused to digest what he’d left unsaid. “So you and Rachel?”
He shook his head with a scowl “We’re done now. Quits.”
“Nope. History. Case closed.”
“It’ll blow over.”
“Don’t think so. It was her idea to boot us. Said she didn’t give a shit if I had a room tonight or not. Then I couldn’t even try finding anything outside of town because my asshole brother took my keys so I wouldn’t drive. My next move was to pilfer a blanket and pillow and camp out under the stars in my truck bed, but then it started pouring on me.”
“So you came here. How’d you do that with no wheels?”
“Three miles in the pouring rain? No wonder you look like something the cat dragged in.”
“Can I crash for a coupla hours? Maybe just camp out in the back seat of your dually? All I need is to get warm and dry again.”
Janice’s mouth went dry as sawdust. Dirk Knowlton. Cold. Wet. Here. Now. Wanting a bed? She’d give her right arm to warm him up. Heck yeah.
Misreading her silence he mumbled a curse. “Sorry, Janice. It’s my damned head. I’m not thinkin’ right. It’s still throbbing like hell. Haven’t been myself all night. M’pologies for being such a dumb-ass and imposing on you—” He turned to the door.
“No! Wait. It’s not that.” She grabbed his sleeve. “I was just thinking of your injuries. You don’t need to make matters worse by sleeping all cramped up in the truck.” She gnawed her lower lip and then blurted. “Y-you wanna just stay here instead?”
“Here? That’s mighty generous but there isn’t a whole lot of room for both of us.” He glanced up at the gooseneck with a frown. “If you’ll just gimme a blanket, I’ll take the floor.”
“You don’t need to do that,” she said. “The bench here flips down over the table and converts into a single. It’s really narrow and not very comfortable, but still better than the truck. Warmer anyway. Besides you need to get dry.”
“You sure about this?” he asked.
“Yeah.” She smiled. “What are friends for? I’m sure I’ve got a shirt for you too.”
“Thanks, Red. That would be great.”
Red? The single syllable rippled warm and tingly, all the way to her toes. He followed up with a lopsided grin that stopped her in her tracks. She turned to the small cabinet that served a dual function as dresser and closet and shut her eyes on a sigh—but the same air stuck in her throat the minute she turned back around.
He’d shed the denim jacket. And the black tee. His bare torso with well-developed pecs and a mouthwatering six pack greeted her. He was drying his face with his discarded shirt. Janice tore her gaze away and cleared her throat. “Here.” She thrust an extra-large Dixie Chicks T-shirt into his hands, a souvenir from their Top of the World Tour. “I—I can get you a towel too.”
He eyed the shirt skeptically. “No thanks.”
“What? You don’t like female musicians?”
“Don’t like their politics. Natalie should just shut up and sing.”
“Ah.” She nodded slowly. The shirt was from the tour that caused the “incident.” A lot of her friends had since thrown out their Dixie Chicks CDs, but Janice still loved their music. “I Can Love You Better” was her favorite. The lyrics, she’s got you wrapped up in her satin and lace. Tied around her little finger…but I can love you better, perfectly summed up all the heartbreak and frustrations of unrequited love; all her secret feelings for Dirk. She only wished she could show him now that he was here. In the flesh. A big strong, blue-lipped and teeth-chattering fantasy come true.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Dirk Knowlton in book one of the Hot Cowboy Nights series by Victoria Vane, Slow Hand. However, You just cant help but fall from him in this installment. Rough Rider, explained to me why Dirk is the way he is, and I felt more compassion towards him. The relationship between him and Janice Combes, has one that has been slowly building through book one, however due to circumstances in their lives that were mostly out of their control, they could never get it together. In this book though, they found their way back to each other, but they have to fight to rekindle that romance that once was there.
This gut wrenching, heartfelt, sensual romance was a joy to read. You find yourself, rooting for them on, and you will love the road they travel to get to that HEA you seek. This is an easy, enjoyable, read that will have you turning those pages without any breaks in between. Definitely one I would recommend to my fellow romance readers!!!
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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