Series: Coming Home #1
Author: Harper Sloan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 25th, 2017
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?
Written in the vein of Diana Palmer and Lindsay McKenna, this Texas-set series is filled with sizzle, heart, and plenty of cowboys!
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I should tell Quinn and Clay that he’s here. But one look at him and it’s like the last ten years have never passed and I’m back at the bonfire, the awkward high schooler uncomfortable in her own skin. Marching away from him in the woods. It was the last time I saw him. How is it possible that he can affect me this much after all this time?
He hasn’t noticed me, not with his head bowed, so I quickly turn around and focus on Pastor John as he finishes up his prayer. Him being here means nothing. I should be happy that I remember the pain from that night so well, it will make keeping my walls up around him so much easier.
“On behalf of the Davis family, I want to thank everyone for coming today. At this time, the family has asked for some time alone as they say their good-byes. They wanted me to remind everyone that the PieHole will be opening up for a few hours tonight starting at five for anyone that wishes to join them.”
I keep my arm around Quinn, not looking back to where I saw Maverick. I can hear the church slowly emptying and I feel a frown pull at my lips. I had hoped that when everyone started to leave that he would have come up front to be with his family, but so far, the pew we’re in is still empty save for the three of us. We sit and wait for everyone to leave, something that Clay had asked Pastor John to make arrangements for in place of the customary recessional, knowing that no one in this town would really mean a word of it anyway. Plus, I know Quinn is having a hard time. Regardless of the fact that she wasn’t the closest with her father, she was really counting on this—Maverick home. She’s still shaking in my arms, but when I look over at Clay I realize his silence isn’t because of the heaviness of Buford’s death, but instead anger over his brother’s absence that has started to build to a boil. I fear that he’s seconds away from tipping over the edge.
I stand when Clay and Quinn do, but hang back at the edge of the row we had been sitting in as they meet Pastor John and gather their father’s ashes. I can’t wait to get out of these heels. If it would have been acceptable to wear my boots, I would have, but Quinn would have killed me. As it is, I feel like I can’t take a deep breath with how tight my dress is against my chest. I never wear tight shirts. I haven’t since my boobs became beasts of their own right. I’m too busy fiddling with the straps of my dress, trying desperately to get some of the pressure against my chest to ease up so I could take a deep breath, when I heard Quinn gasp.
“Mav!” Next thing I know she’s running past where I’m standing, her black hair streaming in the air behind her as she speeds forward right into her brother’s arms. Clay moves to stand next to me and I look up to meet his green eyes, the questions he isn’t vocalizing dancing in their emerald depths. He’s not stupid and I’m doing a crappy job at hiding the memories haunting me right now. He gives me a small smile, shifting his hold on the urn to wrap his free arm around me and pulls me into a strong hold.
“You’re shakin’,” he says against my temple and I just nod.
“I’m good, Clay. Go see your brother.”
“I’m fine right where I am, sugar.”
I keep my eyes to the ground, focusing on his worn boots instead of looking up, hating myself for making this moment about me when I should be focused on them. Like it or not, I can’t fight the feelings that being near him bring me. I’m that stupid, naive sixteen-year-old all over again. “Let’s get out of here,” he says after a few silent seconds. I look up and give him a smile, hoping that it looks a hell of a lot braver than I feel. Inside I feel like I might puke.
“You think I could have a second with my family?”
My head shoots up at the coldness I hadn’t anticipated in Maverick’s voice. He’s not focused on me, though, instead looking at his brother with a hard expression and one brow raised upward.
“Mav!” Quinn gasps and he moves his attention from his brother to her.
“Sorry, Quinn, but I’m thinkin’ that Clay’s lady friend would understand that this should be a moment for our family and give us time alone.”
“Don’t you dare finish that sentence, sugar,” Clay all but spits through clenched teeth and drops his arm to take a step forward. “You’ve got something to say, Mav, then say it.”
“Nothing to say, Clayton, I just think it would be nice for your girlfriend to give us some space.”
“My girlfriend,” he parrots sarcastically, his deep voice vibrating in anger.
“Mav.” Quinn attempts to butt in, but stops when Maverick leaves her side and turns to stalk out of the church. I should find it comical that he obviously didn’t recognize me, or hell, maybe he did and he’s just picking up where he left off ten years ago in the middle of the dark woods. I take a deep breath. “It’s okay. He’s right. Y’all need some time as a family. I’ll head over to the PieHole and start settin’ up for tonight.”
Quinn brushes a tear from her cheek and just shakes her head. I look at Clay to see him staring in the direction that his brother just left.
“You’re family,” he finally says, not looking in my direction.
“Clay, really, it’s okay. It’s been a long time since y’all were back together and I don’t need to be there for that reunion. It sucks that it takes all of this to finally bring him home, but he’s here and y’all need to make up for a lot of time lost.”
“Shut up, Leighton.”
“Don’t what? You’ve got every right to be here. You’re just as much a part of our family as he is. Hell, maybe even more so than he is at this point. So just shut up, come with us, and ignore him.”
I shake my head, the fight instantly leaving my sails, knowing I would be arguing until the end of time if I
pressed this issue.
“I can’t believe he doesn’t even recognize you,” Quinn whispers.
Awww… Harper Sloan really gave us all the feels in this western inspired second chance romance!
I completely fell in love not only with the main characters, but all the story setting and the secondary characters, and that is saying a lot because second chance romance, as most of you know is normally not my thing, but the way Harper wrote it really captivated me and touched my heart.
Maverick and Leighton have known each other since she came into this world, and always shared a unexplainable connection, that was evident for everyone surrounding them, and even themselves, though they didn’t fully acknowledge it. But life is a bumpy road, as they, even at very young age find out, because not all the love and care can sometimes erase a life of pain, and that was what Maverick had been suffering all this childhood, which made in see no solution but to try to escape – I will not reveal all his motives, because that would ruin your ride, of course -, and for that he had to hurt the one good thing in his life, Leighton.
Young girl that she was, she never saw that her feeling were indeed reciprocated, so when Maverick decide to leave and cut all roots, she naturally couldn’t see beyond her own pain, and never again let herself get close enough to risk her heart again.
Fast forward ten years (the very start of the book) and Maverick, being somewhat forced to come back home, let’s just say he really arrived like a enraged bull in a china shop! Oh boy, was he an a major @sshole!!! But fear not, because the cowboy more than redeems himself, and it only that a very, very short time for his attitudes to awake Leigh’s feistiness and she more than is up to task to kick his butt into gear, maybe with a ‘pie-cide’ or two to the mix! LOL
This explosive clash was sure turn in a blink of an eye into sexual charged explosion, and lordy, were they hot for one another!
He needs to stop calling me that or I’ll be putty in his hands. Is there anything sexier than a deep southern drawl uttering the word “darlin’ ”? Nope—there isn’t, which is why he needs to stop that immediately.
So very true, no woman can really resist to a good southern darlin’, specially when that comes from you soulmate cowboy, which was Leighton’s case, but old wounds and a ten years of hurt don’t just blow up in the air, and her mind starts to war with her body.
I forget about everything that has ever happened between us.
My anger. His anger. It all just vanishes and it’s as if he never left.
And here is where Maverick really stood out as a amazing romantic hero, because he really opened his heart and his life to her, revealing every single thing about his past that made him leave, and he proved that he really had no choice, because staying would be dying.
No matter how much I truly did want her back then, I knew I had to cut the ties that connected our hearts.
Maverick really was a dreamy male MC, we could feel in his every thought how much Leigh meant for him, how much he loved her and thought he was doing what was best for her by leaving, even if it killed him to stay away. Since forever he craved her more than anything.
All she had to do was walk into a room and I forgot it all.
I forgot because she became the only thing I wanted more than my need to chase my dreams. The only thing I craved more than escaping.
Only now I know that those dreams meant nothing without her to share them with. I gave up one thing to chase the other, and right now I’m just praying I’m not too late to fix the mistakes of my past.
For me, he more than redeemed himself, and he fought like hell to have his girl’s love back, the thing that he wanted and craved more than anything to survive.
I didn’t know what I would be comin’ home to, but I knew that I damn sure wouldn’t spend another day regrettin’ the mistakes of my actions. Not when I have the power to do somethin’ about it now. A chance.”
Yes, I’m sorry but I have to say it, because he really took the bull by the horns and did everything in his power to win Leigh. He knew it was the fight of a lifetime.
Settled in for the long run, and it’s gonna last a lot longer than eight seconds. You better believe I’m ridin’ this out with you until you buck me off. And darlin’, there hasn’t been a ride I’ve ever been more prepared for.”
I want you, Leigh. I want what’s inside of you that has always pulled me in and made me feel like I was the only man in the world.
And he sure made her feel like she was the only woman he the world. She was all he could see, the center of his universe.
She was my compass when I was lost without direction.
She was the pull I always felt to come home but never had the balls to try, knowing that it might be too late.
She was my biggest regret, but she will be my biggest accomplishment—God willing.
Once she truly let go, and embraced everything he had to offer it was just as beautiful to see/read as it was his battle. Their mutual love and devotion shone through for anyone to see. A true companionship and love beyond measure!
Together I just know we’ll be unbreakable.
It really was an amazing love story and Maverick and Leighton stole my heart. This Coming Home series, with this incredible first installment, went straight to my favorite series, and after the glimpse we had of the rest of the Davis siblings, and fantastic setting, and story development, I can’t wait to see what Harper gives us next with Kiss My Boots, Quinn’s story! <3 <3 <3 <3
“I love you, Maverick Austin Davis. I loved you then. I love you now. I’ll love you always.”
There it is. All of her. And finally, with that, I’ve found all of me.
“I, God,” I breathe, closing my eyes while her words wash over me before opening them again. “I love you right back, Leighton. Loved you then. Love you always.”
No . . . ridin’ doesn’t define me anymore. Not when I’ve got the love of the woman made for me. She gave me me back, and in the process, I gained everything.
ARC kindly provided by the author via InkSlinger PR for an honest review
KISS MY BOOTS (Coming Home #2)
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Harper is a NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL and USA TODAY bestselling author residing in Georgia with her husband and three daughters. She has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books, hibachi, tattoos and Game of Thrones. When she isn’t writing you can almost always find her with a book in hand.