by Maisey Yates
Release Date: April 23, 2019
Publisher: HQN Books
Book #5 in the Gold Valley series
Number of Pages: 384
Source: Amazon purchase
Contemporary Romance/Western M/F
Read 4/25/19 to 4/26/19
Dane Parker traded in his trailer-park roots for glory as a bull rider. But when a serious injury sidelines him for months, it’s the first time he can’t just pull himself up by his bootstraps. The last thing he wants to deal with is sweet family friend Bea treating him like one of her wounded animals—or the unexpected attraction that suddenly flares between them.
Beatrix Leighton has loved Dane for years, while he’s always seen her as another sister. When she enlists his help to start her animal sanctuary, she thinks it will give him purpose. Instead, it brings all the desire she feels for him to the boiling point. Bea’s father taught her early on that love means loss. But could her forbidden crush turn into a love that will last a lifetime?
If I remember correctly, this story has been in the making before this series even spun off from the Copper Ridge series. The bits and pieces and peeks into what could be with Bea and Dane was worth the wait. These two really understand each other in a way nobody else does.
Everyone in Gold Valley and Copper Ridge loves Beatrix. They don’t get her, but they love her. She’s a sweetheart to everyone, human and animal. The only people who seem to shun her are her parents and brother. They’re all jerks anyway so that’s no surprise. While everyone likes Bea, they also look at her as a child still. Mostly because of her kind nature and her habit of flying under the radar so as to not draw any sort of negative attention. But Beatrix is not as naïve as they all want to think. She’s innocent, to a certain extent, but she’s not an idiot.
From the book Good Time Cowboy, we know how Dane grew up. Unlike his sister Lindy, who stuck around and built her life and career in Gold Valley, he got out of town as soon as he could and made his name on the rodeo circuit. He had a lot of glory on the back of a bull…until he didn’t. After a serious mauling/trampling Dane is back in Gold Valley to recuperate and rehabilitate. He’s just not very good at relaxing.
Circumstances throw Bea and Dane together over and over. They are living on the same property and she can’t help but want to take care of him. Partly because that’s her nature, partly because she’s had a crush on him since she was a teen. What happens when your lifelong crush goes from a fantasy you see once or twice a year to a reality living a stone throw away? And what happens when that crush starts to see you as the woman you are instead of the girl you were when you first met? Can the reality live up to the fantasy?
The answer is yes…and then some. Dane and Bea are amazing together. Heat, respect, understanding, and more heat. Once Dane is in, he’s all in. He not only sees Beatrix for who she is, he also sees the way others treat her and wants to help her show her true self to the world. He’s so caring and sweet with her and she just doesn’t know what to do with that a lot of the time. Heck, Dane doesn’t know what to do with it either.
This couple has a lot to overcome. Not so much as a couple, although their friends and family aren’t all on board right away, but individually. They’re both very much lone wolf type of people, not wanting to show their weaknesses to anyone so keeping everything inside. They start to open up to each other, but until they can air all of their fears they can’t truly be happy.
It hurt my heart to read their big fight. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say there WILL be an explosion. There has to be. It was heartbreaking and got me mad at both Dane and Beatrix. Mostly Bea, but they’re both to blame. Either way, Maisey Yates wrote that scene with great skill and got me in the gut.
Like I said, this story was well worth the wait.