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Donna Grant does it again! I love, love, love cowboy heroes, and this one is a military veteran too! *swoon* The thing I love most about Donna Grant's books is that she creates such engaging, genuine characters that are people I want to know better, even after the story has concluded. In many books, as long as there is a HEA, I am satisfied. But with Grant's books, I always crave more.
Brice Harper competes in rodeos with his brother, Caleb, but he is ready to settle down and run a horse ranch. Competing in what may be one of his last rodeos, his attention is caught by a beautiful woman with a camera, taking pictures of the contestants. When he saves her from an assault hours later, he knows that it may be more than his attention than has been caught. Naomi Pierce left the rodeo circuit a long time ago after a car accident cost her friend her life. Coming back to visit is with conditions - she's not staying long and she's not getting involved with a cowboy. Unfortunately, upon realizing her friend is in trouble and she's now in the middle of it, she may be staying longer than expected. And the cowboy who is determined to protect her is impossible to resist.
I was so proud of both Naomi and Brice throughout the entire story! Both characters were brave and stayed on the path of justice, even when it would have been easier to let it go. Naomi's friend, Whitney, has gone through something horrific for years, and even though she initially tries to get them to leave it alone, they want to help her regardless. When Naomi and then Brice become targeted by Whitney's abusers, not only does Brice care more about Naomi's safety than his own, but both Naomi and Brice still pursue what is right even while they are bruised and bleeding. It was inspiring to see the story unfold, both on the side of romance and also with the mystery of who is attacking them. Donna Grant balanced the romance and darkness really well and inserted levity when it was needed most, keeping the story from getting too deep in the sadness. I am always happy when authors tackle tough subjects with respect and honesty, which is exactly what Donna Grant did.
I'm anxious to read the next book, which I assume will focus on Brice's brother, Caleb! These cowboy veterans are hard to resist.
**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**