In the second book of in Victoria Vane’s Hot Cowboy Nights series, ROUGH RIDER, Janice Combes has been crushing on Dirk Knowlton since high school. After college Dirk is on the rodeo circuit tour attempting to ease the restlessness that’s been consuming him. He only has eyes for Rachel, Rodeo Queen and girlfriend of several years.

Janice is working the rodeo circuit meeting her family ranch’s contractual obligation to supply bulls.
When Dirk takes a beating from a bull it starts a domino effect that still resonates ten years later.

First I have to applaud Ms. Vane for the timeline progression. ROUGH RIDER begins ten years ago with the fateful rodeo circuit tour that set in motion events leading to the treacherous triangle, estranged the Knowlton brothers, and ended in death.

ROUGH RIDER has a maturity and satisfaction that can only be found in second chance romances.

Though Wade and Dirk have each been through their own personal hell, for me, Dirk possesses a depth and intensity Wade lacks. Whether these can be linked to his military service, the injuries he sustained, or what he’s striving to accomplish with the ranch is anyone’s guess, it just is. Dirk has a manliness, reminiscent of the Marlboro Man, giving him an appeal all his own. I’ve been anticipating Dirk’s story since meeting him in SLOW HAND and wasn’t disappointed. ROUGH RIDER meshes perfectly with that Dirk, filling in all the blanks and answers the how and why of Dirk.

As a heroine, Janice gets two thumbs up from me. She’s strong, loyal, and honest. Janice is the kind of person who’d have your back come hell or high water. Janice is absolutely the perfect helpmate for Dirk.

ROUGH RIDER brings life full circle for Janice and Dirk when both return to the town they left years ago.
Epitomizing young and dumb, their absence of life experience precipitated decisions that led them to heartache and regret.

Janice is now a single mom to Cody and Dirk is battling Wade over the ranch, well on his way to becoming bitter. Fate offers a second chance for the one-time lovers to set things right, but only if they can get beyond past mistakes and pride.

ROUGH RIDER has a maturity and satisfaction that can only be found in second chance romances. So, climb up and hang on for dear life. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride because everyone knows sometimes you have to go through hell to reach heaven.

Reviewed for Miss Ivy’s Book Nook, Manic Readers, & Novels Alive TV.

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About the Reviewer

Ivy Truitt
Transplanted Southerner and avid reader. My tastes are eclectic. I discovered mysteries first then historicals in the era of Kathleen Woodiwiss & Rosemary Rogers. I was never able to finish Gone With the Wind, Scarlett got on my nerves too bad, but I loved Alaina in Ashes in the Wind. I also manage the guest author blog for Manic Readers. In addition to here you can find me on FB, Twitter, Goodreads, Librarything, & Riffle. Always up for talking about books, just gimme a holler!!