His Last Rodeo
Sierra Legacy #4
By: Claire McEwen
Releasing May 1, 2017
Back in the saddle again…
Tyler Ellis catches Kit Hayes completely off guard when he swaggers back home and into the bar she manages. Since high school, he's been a champion rodeo star…a notorious playboy…and now, apparently, a bar owner.
She accepts his offer of a hefty bonus and helps him transform the place because she's desperate to escape their tiny town in the Sierras. She doesn't expect him to work this hard beside her.
Where's the cocky cowboy he's supposed to be? Instead she discovers he's still the sweet, genuine young man she once knew.
And so much more…including a threat to the adventurous life she craves.
I have really enjoyed the Sierra Legacy Series, the plots and characters are original and fresh, the author does not choose the easy way out but deals with the gritty and often rough choices and lessons the characters has to learn to find their way to their destiny.
We met Kit Hayes in the previous story when the love of her life, Arch, fell in love with another woman and left Kit with a broken heart. Just to note to the new readers of the series, Arch is not the bad guy Kit and her friends paint a picture of, just like Kit didn't turn out to be the kind of person the last book hinted about.
Kit's personality does come off as raw and abrasive at first, and it took me some time to see her under the shield she hides. Because there is a kind hearted and caring person under all the tough and at times rude exterior.
Tyler Ellis did the smart thing and left the rodeo world while still on the top and with his health intact. I really liked Tyler, what you see is what you get. He is charming, take charge, caring, and kind. He is humble with his weaknesses, he admits his problems and seeks help and support when needed. He went after his dreams, even though he knew nothing about the business or what it entails. He was not afraid to fail, he had guts more than most. His willing to make compromises and his priorities are admirable.
The timeframe in the story is perfect, it takes months to built up the easy relationship between Kit and Tyler, especially since Kit is still so hang up on Arch and the old feelings. I liked the connection between them, the obvious love and affection Tyler had for Kit, and always have had, was adorable.
The story has a smooth flow in it, it wraps around your mind as you read so that the rest of the world seize to exist until 'the end'. I got emotionally invested in the story from happy and elated to frustration and disbelief. Like I said, the author does not choose the easy or predictable way when plotting and without giving anything away, the ending, or Kit, took me by surprise, that I am still digesting.
An entertaining tale about friends, family, forgiveness, and acceptance, going after your dreams and not settling for less.
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Kit glanced at his towel in horror. “Use the lint-free kind.” She handed him a towel from the stack on the shelf over the sink. “Jeez, you are green, aren’t you?”
“Green at this,” Tyler admitted. “But rumor has it I’m a pretty quick study.”
“Well, I guess we’ll find out if the rumors are true,” she teased. “It’s your first Friday night, isn’t it?”
“It sure is.” He tried to smile, but it felt a little weak. “I’m looking forward to it. But I’ve got a few nerves.”
“You should. You have no idea what you’re doing.” Her intoxicating combination of sass and mischief had the glass slipping out of his hand, so he had to hustle to catch it.
“Nice reflexes,” she murmured. “Maybe there’s hope for you yet.”
“If you help me out tonight, there is. I can pour a pint—”
“—and measure out a shot. But if I get anything more complicated than that, I’m toast.”
“You don’t know your cocktails?”
“Don’t drink ’em myself. I’ve been reading recipes, but I’m more of a hands-on learner.” A nice way of saying that half the words he read made no sense. He glanced hopefully in her direction. “I just need a good teacher.”
“You want me to train you? You won’t be embarrassed?”
“When you rodeo, you learn by falling on your ass in front of hundreds of people. This can’t be more humiliating than that.”
She studied him from underneath her thick black lashes. “What’s in it for me?”
“A boss who’s not totally incompetent?”
Her slow smile could melt metal. “But that could be kind of fun to watch.”
“No shit-show is fun to watch for long. Plus I saw you with those customers. You pretend to be all tough, but you have a soft spot for the lost and lonely. I’m part of that club right now.”
“You?” She laughed, soft and bitter. He’d give a lot to know what put that resentment in her soul. “Not the words I’d ever use to describe someone like you.”
“Someone like me will pay you a training stipend. A hundred extra bucks each night.”
“Now you’re trying to buy my help?” She scrubbed the pint glass in her hand with extra vigor. “Not everything can be bought, you know. Loyalty, for example.”
“I’m not asking for your loyalty, though that would be nice,” Tyler said. “I’m trying to treat you like a professional. You have years of experience. I have none and I need to learn. So I pay you extra to share your expertise with me. It’s only right.”
“Fine,” she said quietly. “I’ll do it. But you have to be willing to move fast and do what I say.”
“I’m yours to command,” he said, liking the flush creeping up her cheeks at the tiny innuendo. “And I appreciate the help.”
She grabbed a stack of dry glasses. “Well, let’s get going then. It’s getting loud out there, which means it’s getting busy.”
They rounded the corner and Tyler was amazed to see a crowd that stretched almost to the door. A quick scan revealed a collection of some of the most rugged-looking folks he’d ever seen in one place. Bikers in leather, ranch hands in hats, jeans and bowlegs. Women in tight T-shirts and big hair. Kit glanced over her shoulder.
“Welcome to the Dusty Saddle. Hope you’re ready to earn your spurs.”
Claire McEwen lives by the ocean in Northern California with her family and a scruffy, mischievous terrier. She loves writing stories where strong heroes and heroines take big, emotional journeys to find their happily-ever-afters. When not dreaming up new books, she can be found digging in her garden with a lot of enthusiasm but, unfortunately, no green thumb. She loves discovering flea-market treasures, walking on the beach, dancing, traveling and reading, of course!
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