First in a new series by bestselling author Harper Sloan, Lost Rider absolutely oozes aww-shucks Texas country. The country songs at the beginning of each chapter only add to the feeling, and yes, I was sure from the beginning that Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy was going to wind up being one of the songs.
Told in alternating first person points of view from Maverick, a champion rodeo rider coming home to the small town whose dust he shook from his boots a decade ago, and Leighton, the young woman he regretfully left behind, Lost Rider is a love story about second chances. About moving on from past hurts and learning to trust again.
The book should probably carry a warning for mature language and scenes - there are a couple of really steamy sex scenes, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and more cussing than a bar full of rednecks, which I didn't. I'm no prude when it comes to strong language, but the F-bomb loses its impact when it's dropped every couple of sentences. Pretty much every time I finished one of Maverick's PoV scenes, I wanted to wash his mouth out with soap. It's unnecessary and a turnoff to readers, even ones as comfortable with strong language as I am.
That said, I felt Maverick - potty mouth and all - was a lot more 'real' character than Leighton, who seemed a bit too good to be true. I'm not a fan of the little woman sitting around waiting for The Man to come back into her life, and honestly she seemed to epitomize that trope. She hadn't moved on emotionally from the sixteen-year-old girl he left behind.
I enjoyed the read and cowboy romance fans will doubtless love it, but I don't think I'll be rushing out to grab the next in the series. Four stars.
Lost Rider is released on April 25 in ebook, paperback and audiobook.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.