#XOXperts ARC Review | Lost Rider by Harper Sloan

Title: Lost Rider
Series: Coming Home, #1
Author: Harper Sloan
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback ARC

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!

I just don’t read enough cowboy romance novels, but Harper Sloan definitely makes me want to change that. LOST RIDER is a standalone in the Coming Home series featuring a deliciously sexy cowboy. This novel has a great southern feel to it that I thoroughly enjoyed. 

There was minimal angst within this story, which was particularly great for me considering I’ve been reading nothing but. Something else that’s been on replay is the second chance trope which I am utterly obsessed with. In my opinion, you can never read too many of those. There were some transition chapters from present to past in which we get flashback scenes of the younger versions of the main characters. These worked wonderfully to get me hooked on their love and future. This was a beautiful tale of second chances and love, both romantic and amongst family. Adding the family in made this story that much stronger in my eyes.

The secondary characters were absolutely lovely as well. There was a really strong familial bond highlighted in the story that put a smile on my face. I’m guessing and hoping to get their stories in the rest of the series. I’ve already formed attachments to them.

In regards to the hero and heroine, I loved them both, eventually. Maverick is a perfect example of an alpha male with charm, but we don’t exactly see his good side right away. As the story progressed and he began to explain his actions, he grew on me. It was important to get answers and understand his reasoning in order to get closure and move on.
Naturally, Leighton had a lot of development from her teen-self to adult, but it was nice to see how strong she became. She didn’t let Maverick’s leaving ruin her forever, but instead, made something of herself and found a way to be happy.
It wasn’t an easy road to happiness for anyone. Maverick had to repair all his relationships, and it took time and effort.

I typically don’t like extensive inner discourse in my romance novel reads, especially when there’s no wit or humor mixed in, but the author had a lot of that in the book. It did help me get to know the characters a little more, but it made the reading experience go slow. It sort of took me out of the flow every now and then. 

Overall, I thought this was a great beginning to this new Harper Sloan series. The drama and residual pain and resentment made for an entertaining story. I look forward to reading the next book, and getting back into this cowboy world.

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.

Email authorharpersloan@gmail.com