A new-to-me author that I will definitely be reading more of…soon!
About GLITTER AND GRIT:
A sexy small town romance from New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jessie Evans…
This ride is going to last a lot longer than eight seconds…
Female professional bull rider, Reece Hearst, graduated from the school of hard knocks. With honors. Because life is like bull riding–when it sends you to the dirt, you do whatever it takes to get on your feet, even if you have to crawl. Like when officials stripped her of her rodeo queen title on the basis of vicious gossip years ago and not even her father would believe her side of the story. Reece could have stayed in the dust, wallowing. Instead, she fixed Lonesome Point in her rearview, joined the pro circuit, and never looked back. But now a serious injury threatens to end her career and she’s back in Lonesome Point, living next door to the family that once made her life a living hell.
After multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan and his father’s death, all Grayson Parker wants is to get his family’s cattle business back in the black and live a quiet life. But the return of Reece Hearst opens old wounds, throwing his ordered world into chaos. Grayson was serving overseas when Reece was a teenager and can’t believe the girl he once knew has grown into a heartbreaker as hardened as she is beautiful.
Grayson finds a kindred spirit in wounded Reece and soon longs to be the man to show her that there is life after pain and loss. But can two people as damaged as Reece and Grayson find their way to happily ever after? Or will the scars on their hearts forever keep them apart?
(Cole and Layla’s story is out next–yesss! In the meantime I can backtrack and read 1 – 3 while I wait. This one worked well as a standalone, fortunately–the couple from Diamonds and Dust are mentioned, since Tulsi’s Reece’s sister, but that’s about it.)
Neither Reece nor Grayson are looking for a relationship. Reece is only looking for a place the stop and tend her (literal–she’s been kicked in the head by a bull) wounds and had no where else to go to do it, and Grayson’s still trying to get his recently deceased father’s ranch afloat. Reece doesn’t really do relaionships–just mutually satisfying one night stands, and Grayson’s disastrous marriage doesn’t have him looking to repeat the experience.
But neither of them can deny the instant attraction they feel toward each other. Reece tries her best, and that’s before she finds out that Grayson’s the son of her oldest enemy…
I loved Grayson. He is prime book boyfriend material. He wants to protect and take care of those he loves, but he’s not caveman-jerkish about it. If those loved ones don’t need him, he lets them have their space. He’s retired Air Force, and was quite a bit ahead of Reece and his sister Layla in school even when he lived in Lonesome Point, so the two don’t recognize each other at all when they meet. His relationship with his dad had always been rocky and he’d been deployed during the Neil / Reece scandal, and he entered into that drama with an open-mindedness that was the last thing Reece was expecting from him.
Reece throws up barriers galore to try to keep Grayson at arm’s length, but even at her worst it’s hard not to like her. Even she knows (and realizes, and apologizes fairly soon after) when she’s being unreasonable in her attempts to keep him away, so it’s hard to even fault her too much for that since you know the reasons behind it.
Together they’re a fantastic couple, and even while you’re acknowledging the valid reasons why they won’t work you’re hoping they will. Ms. Evans throws some pretty major obstacles in their way, including a major (and surprising) plot twist, and Reece and Grayson really have to work for their HEA.
Which they do, fortunately.
Did I mention I’ve added the rest of the series to my TBR already?
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
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About Jessie Evans
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jessie Evans gave up a career as an international woman of mystery to write the sexy, contemporary Southern romances she loves to read.
She’s married to the man of her dreams, and together they’re raising a few adorable, mischievous children in a cottage in the jungle. She grew up in rural Arkansas, spending summers running wild, being chewed by chiggers, and now appreciates her home in a chigger-free part of the world even more.
When she’s not writing, Jessie enjoys playing her dulcimer (badly), sewing the worlds ugliest quilts to give to her friends, going for bike rides with her house full of boys, and drifting in and out on the waves, feeling thankful for sun, surf, and lovely people to share them with.
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