A DIFFERENT KIND OF HERO
Everyone knows Victor Vicario—he's the scarred loner who's on his way to the National Finals Rodeo in Vegas. But no one knows about the guilt that drives him. And until he achieves his goal, there's no room in his life for attachments.
So when Vic is given temporary custody of his young nephew, he is torn. He can't turn his back on family, but how can he look after a kid when he's traveling the rodeo circuit? Then he runs into feisty barrel racer Tanya McGee and makes her an offer. She helps him with Alex, and he'll pay her rodeo expenses. The problem is their little "family" starts to feel all too real.
Driven by guilt, and the ghost of his past, Victor's life gets turned upside down, by a little boy, and the one woman who doesn't see his scars.
There's a raw taste of real life in this story, life hasn't been a fairy tale either Victor or Tanya. Tanya left her cheating husband, was in a serious accident, and after gruelling physical therapy, she's back at the rodeo again. Victor's beginning of life was rough by any means of measurement. He survived, many didn't. His guilty feelings of past events had driven him into the rodeo road, and he knows he has to win the championship, to be able to get redemption.
The loneliness of the road drew them together, but as soon as the euphoria of the night in between the sheets cools off, there are complications, a roadblock Victor never thought of, little Alex needs a guardian.
I enjoyed how real, true to life, things get into the story. Life isn't easy, there are things that happen that no one plans ahead, and circumstances beyond our control take place.
Victor is a true hero, even though he would never say, or see, it himself. Under the gruff behavior, is a man with a heart of gold. His caring of Alex, the way they bond, slowly getting to know each other, and learning about each other, is heartwarming.
Tanya and Victor might not start their relationship in the best possible way, and their circumstances might not be perfect, but the connection is real, the attraction is palpable, and they are making the best out of the situation they find themselves in. How they both are making the effort for Alex's sake, and form a family unit, is commendable, and rather adorable at times.
The story also gets more into the sport side of rodeo, giving a real picture of the competition, the danger of injury, long drives, hectic travelling, lonely nights in the motels or on the road, homeless lifestyle, that seems somehow addictive to those taking part in it.
Specific, actual rodeo life on the road, where loneliness draw two people together, but it is love that holds them tied to each other. Where family is a matter of heart, and forgiveness and redemption are a matter of asking for it.
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side