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Lost Rider
     

Lost Rider

4.4 28
by Harper Sloan
 

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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

Overview

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!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 04/10/2017
Sloan (When I’m with You) hits it out of the park with her first Coming Home contemporary western romance, the tale of a lonely cowboy and the hometown sweetheart who has never stopped loving him. Rodeo rider Maverick Davis hightailed it out of Pine Oak, Tex., the minute he could, desperate to escape his abusive father. But in leaving, Maverick deeply wounded Leighton James, the shy girl who had loved him since they were children. A decade after his departure, Maverick’s father has died, and Maverick’s high-profile rodeo career is ended by a serious injury. He returns to his hometown hoping to forge a new life for himself. Leighton has closed herself off from love, instead channeling all of her energy into her successful bakery, the PieHole. Now that Maverick is back, she struggles to overcome the hurt and to trust the love of her life to treat her more kindly the second time around. Maverick is a perfect hero: multilayered, complicated, deeply damaged, yet blooming with the new promise of love. Leighton is appealing and real, as are a strong supporting cast of characters whom readers will be glad to follow into sequels. Sloan enhances the gripping story with country songs that open each chapter. This absolutely spectacular effort catapults Sloan to the top of her genre. Agent: Marisa Corvisiero, Corvisiero Literary. (May)
--RT VIP Salon
“The first book in Sloan’s Coming Home series is a super-sexy second-chance read with a handsome ex-rodeo cowboy hero and the girl he left behind. The characters are well-written and the bedroom scenes are hot…Sloan does a wonderful job with portraying the secondary characters, and it looks like Quinn’s story, which is next up, is going to be a good one.”
--Booklist
“Sloan brings plenty of heat to this otherwise very thoughtful, building love story."
—RT VIP Salon
“The first book in Sloan’s Coming Home series is a super-sexy second-chance read with a handsome ex-rodeo cowboy hero and the girl he left behind. The characters are well-written and the bedroom scenes are hot...Sloan does a wonderful job with portraying the secondary characters, and it looks like Quinn’s story, which is next up, is going to be a good one.”
—Booklist
“Sloan brings plenty of heat to this otherwise very thoughtful, building love story."
Kirkus Reviews
2017-02-21
A rodeo champion returns to his small hometown and has to figure out how to repair the relationships he damaged years ago when he left, both with his siblings and with his soul mate.Days after a career-ending injury, Maverick Davis gets word that his father has died and makes his way back to Pine Oak, Texas. Arriving just at the end of the funeral, he immediately antagonizes his family and insults Leighton, his sister's best friend and the girl he's never forgotten. Maverick left to follow his rodeo dream and to escape his father, who was abusive to all his children but brutal to Maverick. Now that his father is gone and his career is over, he needs to figure out what to do next, and he'd like to plant new roots in Pine Oak, but between his uncertainty about his work life and everyone's mistrust of his declared intentions to stay, it's hard. Yet he knows that his future lies with Leighton, and her future is in Pine Oak. Establishing a sexual relationship bonds them in a new way, yet it also confuses them, given their prickly past. Sloan begins a new Western series with engaging characters and an appealing small-town setting; her second-chance-at-love romance resonates emotionally even though the conflict becomes problematic as Maverick and Leighton continually overthink their own and each other's motivations and choices. The back-and-forth dance about what they may or may not want, and whether or not they can trust each other to be honest about their feelings and hopes, gets a little tedious. There's no question, however, that Sloan knows her way around sexual tension and emotional intensity. Sexy and mostly satisfying.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781501155208
Publisher:
Pocket Books
Publication date:
04/25/2017
Series:
Coming Home Series , #1
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
2,003
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

Lost Rider

1

MAVERICK


“Traveller” by Chris Stapleton

I wince as a sharp ray of sunlight strikes my windshield just so and beams into my eyes, making me curse and briefly swerve before course correcting and picking up speed again, my truck blazing a path down the 35. The highway is barren, no other cars to my left or right. It would feel lonely, but luckily I have a son-of-a-bitch hangover and a stinging sense of hurt pride to keep me company right on through.

It’s been eleven days since the doctor told me my career was over. Eleven days of pretty much drowning in the bottom of a bottle. I did the one thing that I swore I would never do—become the man that raised me.

Everything I’ve worked for, gone.

Everything I had ever dreamed of, vanished.

I had every single thing I ever wanted in the palm of my hand. Riding was all I ever needed, and now that it’s gone, the only thing I have left to show for my broken dreams is a fat bank account, buckles thrown carelessly in the backseat, a duffel bag of clothing, and one fucked-up body. Everything I own shoved into my truck, one measly cab’s worth of belongings.

Over.

Just like that, Maverick “The Unstoppable” Davis was, in fact, stopped, and every second that I’ve pushed myself to reach the top might as well have been for nothing. Ten years of living my dream, gone like it never existed.

You haven’t lost the only life you’ve ever wanted. The small voice in the back of my head just pisses me off even more. Like I need another reminder of what my chasing these now lost dreams cost me. That voice is right, though, riding isn’t the only life I wanted for myself . . . not that I have a chance at the other now though. Not after I made sure to destroy every chance for it.

My head starts pounding even harder. Adjusting my hold on the wheel, I grab my Stetson and place it beside me on the passenger seat, resting my head against the headrest as my mind starts to wander, again.

Bull riding is one of the two things in my life that bring peace. I was meant to ride just as I was meant to draw air in my lungs to live. The drive I felt to ride beat alongside my heart. Without it, I wouldn’t be me. Since I was old enough to walk, I would climb on the back of our ranch’s sheep and pretend I was fighting for that perfect eight seconds on the back of the biggest, baddest motherfucking bull on the circuit. The fearless streak has never left me, and it’s always been the driving force for me to take on any beast that was in the way of me claiming the championship.

I left home before the ink on my high school diploma was dry. All these years later, I’m not sure what pushed me to hightail it out of town: my need to chase my dream, or to escape the life I had that I was barely surviving. Deep down though, I knew I couldn’t stay, no matter how much I wish I could have. I had already burned the only bridge that meant something to me in that town, because I believed that I couldn’t have anything pulling me back, tying me down. I knew for certain that if I couldn’t have it all, at least I was going to make sure everything I gave up wasn’t for nothing. I vowed from that day on I would rule the world.

And I did.

For almost ten years I’ve been the biggest name in professional bull riding. There wasn’t a beast I couldn’t conquer.

Until I met Lucifer.

One hundred and four consecutive buck offs, and his hundred and fifth was the one that took everything away from me.

Too many head injuries, the doctor said, shaking his head at my scans. One more and I’ll be leaving the arena in a body bag, he warned. I would be a dead man riding if they cleared me, he promised.

So just like that . . . it was gone. That dream vanished right along with the only thing I had left in my life that didn’t cause me fucking pain.

I slam my palm down on the steering wheel as the doctor’s words come back to me again, running in the same continuous loop that I had been trying to drink out of my mind for days. Haunting my memories and reminding me that I’ll never be able to get back what I had.

My phone rings, breaking into my self-loathing thoughts, and I know without looking at the phone or my truck’s dashboard that it’s Clay, my older brother, probably calling to ask me—again—what time I’ll be in Pine Oak.

I press the hands-free button on my steering wheel.

“What?” I snap.

“Well, well . . . seems my always pleasant little brother is excited to be headed home,” Clay responds to my short-tempered greeting with sarcasm dripping from his words.

I reach over and pull a pack of smokes from my cup holder, putting off responding so I can light up and take a deep drag, blowing the smoke out audibly. My headache ramping up another notch at my brother’s annoyed, scornful tone.

“You smokin’ again, Mav? Thought you gave that shit up.”

“I’ve got a lot on my mind, Clay.”

“Yeah, you and me both, brother. What time are you gettin’ here? Quinn’s wantin’ to wait for you before we leave for the church, but if you’re not close, we’re going to have to just head on over.”

“Don’t wait for me, Clay. I’m not really sure I want to go.”

“What?” His voice is hard, unforgiving, and it fucking kills me that I’m letting him down. Again.

“You heard me, Clay. What’s the point? The old man didn’t want me around ten years ago, so makes sense he wouldn’t want me there now either.”

“Roll your goddamn window up so I can hear somethin’ other than your fuckin’ tires,” Clay demands.

I take another long drag before flicking my cigarette out the window and rolling it up, switching the AC on before the thick Texas heat kills me.

Clay’s silent for a beat. I hear his boots striking the ground through our connection, the heavy tread his tell that he’s pissed. “Here, asshole. You’re thinkin’ of not comin’, tell Quinn that, and I’ll talk to you later.”

He says a few words that I can’t make out before my little sister’s voices takes his place, coming through sweet and sorrowful over the speakers in my truck.

“Hey,” she says softly. “You almost here, Mav?” She sniffles a few times and I silently curse Clay for playing the Quinn card.

“Hey, hell-raiser,” I say with a sigh, wishing I wasn’t driving and I could go to the nearest liquor store and spend the next few hours blissfully drunk. “I’ll meet you guys at the church. I’m still an hour or so out.”

“Okay, Mav. Love you.”

“Love you too, darlin’.”

I wait, knowing Clay isn’t going to miss a chance to get back on the phone after getting what he wanted by using our sister.

“I’ll see you there, Mav.” He lowers his voice, probably so Quinn won’t hear him laying into me. “Don’t fuck this day up. You don’t want to be there, I get that, but things weren’t like they were when you left. You didn’t want to hear it before, but it’s time. Get over your pride and make sure you show up, if not for him—do it for Quinn. Don’t let her down when she needs you the most.”

I don’t respond, instead disconnecting the call, shutting off the stale AC, and rolling the window back down. The steady hum of my tires against the hot asphalt is the only thing I hear as my thoughts consume me yet again.

It’s been a decade since I last stepped foot in Pine Oak, Texas. Other than Clay and Quinn, there was nothing left for me there.

That’s a lie.

My foot jerks on the gas as the whispered thought floats through my mind. I can’t let myself go there. Not when there is so much unknown in my life. Not since the one way I’ve been able to find peace in my mind is now gone—and the other is the one thing I can’t allow myself to hope for anymore.

I kept in touch with my brother and sister over the years, but Clay’s right—I didn’t want to hear shit about the goings-on. There was only one person other than them that, at one time, I would have soaked up any mention of, but pride stopped me from ever asking, the regrets eating me alive too much to bear. Not for the first time, I wonder how things would have turned out had I not been so hell-bent on escaping.

With every turn of my tires, the dread in my stomach multiplies and the pounding in my skull grows louder. My skin flushes hot then cold as my breathing speeds up. All this time away, and just being close to home makes me feel trapped all over again, which makes not a damn bit of sense seeing as the one man who held the keys to my metaphorical cage is dead.

I told myself all those years ago I would never look back. Nothing would ever make it worth coming back to this hellhole.

That’s a lie.

“Goddammit!” I bellow, the sound harsh and a little panicked even to my own ears.

Yeah, I used riding as an excuse to get away from Pine Oak. It wasn’t a lie, per se; the need to ride has always been an inch just below the skin, something I couldn’t ignore. It was what I used to leave, my excuse to escape. But there was one thing I might have actually wanted more than even riding—and, because I ran away from it, I’ve spent every day with the ghost of regrets licking out of the shadows.

I left to chase my dreams—but I also left to escape him, knowing that after the hell he put me through my whole life, leaving to do the one thing I knew he despised so much would be a giant fuck you to him.

Ironically enough, the same man that helped push me out is now dragging me back.

Looks like the old man was right when he said one day I would be crawling back with my tail tucked between my legs. A failure that would be begging him to take me back when I couldn’t make it out on the circuit.

“Well, laughs on you, ain’t it,” I grumble, reaching out for another smoke.

I might be crawling back, but it damn sure ain’t to beg him for shit. I can still see his face when I said my parting words to him.

Over my dead body.

Only it’s not my dead body, it’s his.

The thing I’m struggling with the most, though, is the deep regret that’s filled me since I found out he died. And fuck if that doesn’t piss me off more, because if I was honest with myself, I would know that it isn’t the loss of my career that has been eating away at me. Instead, all I can focus on is the fact that, even at my peak, I wasn’t good enough for him to be proud of me.

No matter what, the silence from him over the years said it all. He couldn’t give two fucks what I accomplished out there on the circuit.

It took me a long time to realize that I had been pushing myself for so long to prove to him I was worthy, but even when I fucking knew it wasn’t worth it, something inside me still wanted to matter to Buford Davis.

All those lost dreams and unmet goals will die right along with the little piece of hope that I’ve been carrying around for years, unknowingly, but fuck if that little piece didn’t make itself known in the past few days.

So, like it or not, with no career left and the summons from home that I couldn’t ignore, I’m headed back to Pine Oak. A town that I always feared would suck me back in. The same town that is now the only future I can see in front of me, since the dreams I left to chase are just as dead as the man that drove me from my hometown in the first place.

Irony, ain’t you just a bitch.

Ten Years Ago

I should have known she would be here. Hell, if I’m honest with myself, I came here because I knew she would be. Right or wrong, I can’t help the pull I get when it comes to Leighton. She’s the only thing that can calm me when I feel like I’m spiraling out of control and fuck it’s so selfish and unfair of me to put that kind of unspoken pressure between us—especially now.

My heavy booted feet take me from the wood edge and into the clearing at what I like to think of as our pasture. The flowers are blooming bright this time of year, the bluebonnets that her mama loves so much surround her as she lays gazing up into the blue cloudless sky.

She looks like an angel.

Even from the distance between us I can tell she’s upset. Leighton is always happy, it’s something that used to annoy the hell out of me, but in the same breath, it was something that calmed me in the oddest ways.

When I decided I was leaving Pine Oak—leaving her—I knew that I would mourn that part of her. I didn’t understand it at first, but it’s also a big part of why I know I have to break away clean. The feelings that I’ve come to realize are a lot bigger than she’s ready for—I’m ready for—aren’t something I can deal with. Not when escaping this town—my father—is right within my grasp.

“Hey, you!” Leighton says with a smile, lifting up on her elbows and turning her head in the direction that I’m trudging through the flowers, careful not to harm any of them on my path to her.

I’m silent as I drop to my ass on the blanket next to her. I can feel her eyes on me, but I focus my attention on the fields around us. There’s a slight breeze, the flowers blowing and flowing in the gentle flow of air.

“What’s on your mind, Mav?”

“Nothin’, Leigh,” I mumble, my mind back at the ranch and the hateful words that my father threw at me when I told him I wouldn’t be changing my mind and sticking around. That was before he threw his full bottle of beer at the back of my head. Thank God I had just taken off my Stetson. If he had ruined this hat—the one that meant a whole hell of a lot—I probably would have killed him.

“That’s a whole lot of nothin’ to be frowning about, cowboy,” she jokes, reaching out one dainty hand to grip my wrist in a stronger hold than she should be capable of. “Talk to me, Maverick. You wouldn’t have come out here if you wanted silence.”

“Just got in a fight with my dad, it’s nothin’ new, Leigh.”

She makes a noise in the back of her throat and I look over to her, her gaze hard and angry. “About you leaving?”

I nod. Her anger isn’t something I’m used to, but on the rare occasion that she knows I got into it with my dad, it’s something she has no trouble showing me.

“You know, he isn’t the only one that doesn’t want you to leave, but he’s the only one that wants it for the wrong reasons. I know Clay and Quinn want you here, but like me, they know you’re meant for greatness. Don’t let his options on the matter sway you, Maverick. One day, years from now, you’re going to look back at the moment and know that, regardless of what he said, you did the right thing. Even if I wish you weren’t leaving.”

She adds the last almost as an afterthought, her eyes rounding the second the words slip through her mouth and I know she didn’t mean to say them out loud. I’m not stupid, I know she’s had a crush on me for years, but I always knew this moment would come—me leaving—just as certain as I was that Pine Oak was the place Leighton never wanted to leave. She’s always wanted to stay here. To grow old and raise her own family on the land her family has owned for decades.

And it doesn’t matter one lick that if I close my eyes and think about that future, I could see myself right next to her if I stick around here—the same town that my father’s nasty words can reach me—I know it will kill me quick.

“I leave in a week, Leigh,” I mumble, twisting the arm that she’s still holding and shifting slightly so that our hands are linked tight. “I leave in a week and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever come back. You know that right?”

She blinks a few times, clearing the moisture that had started to gather, not letting the tears fall. “I know,” she whispers, looking down at our hands and giving a squeeze. “I’m going to miss you, Maverick.”

“I’m gonna miss you too,” I tell her, honesty dripping from each word.

Then, as if my mind had given my consciousness a giant middle finger, I let go of her hand, lace my fingers through her hair, and pull her lips to mine. I feel her braces press against my closed lips at the same second her squeak of shock fills the air around us. I ignore it all and open my mouth, using my tongue to coax her own. She follows without delay and before I know it, I’m panting with my forehead against hers and her swollen lips just a breath away from mine.

Those tears that she had done so well at keeping at bay fall in slow succession now and I know that kiss managed only to fill her with a little hope when I had done so well to make sure that never took root.

Fuck.

Without a word, I get up and stomp back to the woods, taking me from my heaven and back to my hell.

One more week.

One more week and I’m free.

I’m just not sure now if I’m really going to be escaping or running into another prison—one that keeps me from the peace that only Leighton can give me.

Fuck.

Meet the Author

Harper Sloan is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the Corps Security and Hope Town series. She started writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night. Harper lives in Georgia with her family. Visit her at AuthorHarperSloan.com or Facebook.com/HarperSloanBooks.

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Lost Rider 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
gaele 3 months ago
AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4 A more traditional-feeling second chance at romance title here, this was very much a character and relationship driven story, with plenty of time spent hearing interior voices of the characters, and finding the dual perspective gives a nice insight into each character that gave a solid basis to their choices and reasons. See, Maverick left town years ago with a dream – to be the best bull-rider the rodeo had ever seen. He was well on the way to it all: fame, fortune and notoriety when the next fall and head-first crash landing could be his last – and he needed to leave his rodeo dreams behind him to find something else. With the death of his father and the family ranch needing management, Mav comes back to town to try and adjust to a new career that he never wanted in a town he never intended to return to again. Leighton was Maverick’s little sister Quinn’s best friend, and she’s always had a thing for Mav. But, before he left town intending to never return – he dismissed her and her feelings in the cruelest way possible – in public, intending to cause shame and humiliation thinking she’d move on. Well, all that shame behind her now, Leighton is all grown up, gorgeous, determined and never allowing another man in close again. And now, Maverick, the one she’s never quite forgotten is back in town…… This book carried a solid feel of ‘old school romance’ novels with a character driven plot where we see more of the characters thoughts and emotions than the more heated back and forth, chemistry off the charts steam that is prevalent today. Maverick was more than lucky with Leighton, she forgave him WAY too fast, and was more than willing to let him back into her life. He should have been far more open and forthcoming about the realizations he had regarding his bad behavior toward Leighton years back, and how that wore on him. But, even with that hiccup: the story was engaging and emotional, and the connection felt real, probable and right. Narration for this story is provided by Elizabeth Louise and Jason Carpenter, and as a pair I truly enjoy these two together. Their voices and presentations play off nicely against one another, and each gave honor to each character’s emotions in dialogue and in the more introspective moments. Other secondary characters were clearly portrayed and presented, and the sweetness of a childhood crush growing into adulthood love was clear and present. I received an AudioBook copy of the title from Simon and Schuster for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
JWright57 7 months ago
Book one in a new series from Harper Sloan and what a way to start !! This book is a beautifully written moving story , it's about second changes, it's about forgiveness but most of all it's about love. Harper Sloan gives us yet another side to her writing talents. Maverick Davis left Pine Oak at the first opportunity he got, he never thought he would be going back to the family home he ran as far away as he could get from, but an injury meanns his professional bull riding days are over so he is back to the place he hated the most, the place he left his heart when he left the only girl he has every really loved...... Leighton James is now running her own business, she is the successful owner and baker at the PieHole in Pine Oak, Maverick broke her heart and made her feel worthless all those years ago, how is she going to react to him moving back into town..... This book is full of drama and at times I found myself not liking Maverick very much but as the story processes and you find out why he behaved the way he did you can't help falling for yet another Harper Sloan leading man, this author has a nack of giving us just what we want in a hot sexy alpha male and this story certainly has it's fair share of them. Looking forward to the next in the Coming Home Series.
MaimeosAngelsEL 8 months ago
5 Star Review Lost Rider (Coming Home #1) by Harper Sloan This is the first book in Harper Sloan's new series Coming Home and I have to say she is off to a flying start. This is the story of Maverick Davis,a retired rodeo star who due to one too many injuries is forced to return to the little town and the woman he ran from Leighton James,many years ago. Ms. Sloan is a writer I have followed for several years and I was excited to learn about this new series. It did not disappoint in any way. Lost Rider is a well written and beautiful story about a second chance at love and in my humble opinion Harper Sloan nailed it. Bitter that he has been forced to retire, Maverick returns home to attend his father's funeral, not because he cared for him, but because his brother and sister need him. Maverick is angry, withdrawn and obviously fighting demons within; all around him, people are willing to help him but he pushes them away.Trouble comes straight to him when he comes face to face with the woman he hurt bitterly prior to his leaving 10 years ago. He is shocked to realize just how much he still cares for Leigh and how bright the attraction burns. Has Leigh forgiven him for the hurt he caused her? Does she still have feelings for him? I will admit that at times I wanted to punch Maverick in the face, he was an arrogant jerk; whilst Leigh was such a feisty heroine that I fell for her immediately. However, it didn't take me long to fall for the gruff cowboy. It is obvious that there is a great deal of attraction and unresolved feelings between Mav and Leigh, in fact their encounters are filled with passion almost to the point of exploding. With a great deal of stubbornness and determination, Mav and Leigh work through their past. At times Lost Rider reminded me of a roller-coaster, as the emotional impact of the past keeps coming back to haunt the present, but in the end, love wins out. The secondary characters were also amazing, I cannot wait for Quinn and Clay to get their stories. Who will be next?
LynnLTX 8 months ago
3.5 stars 3.5 Stars Since I am a Texas gal, I decided to give this book a go as I also like a good romance. It's always fun to see some of my favorite Texanisms such as "lower than a snake's belly in a mud rut" as a metaphor for feeling bad. Maverick blasted out of Pine Oak as soon as he was able to get away from a father who probably had Attila the Hun as a hero. His mother had abandoned the family long before that so he has been an emotional mess for quite some time. He also broke the heart of the only girl he ever loved under the guise of some very stupid reasoning that Leighton was better off hating him. When chickens and cowboys come home to roost, feathers and emotions fly. Pretty much the whole book is about Mav and Leigh trying to work out their past hurts, current relationship, and possible future with the whole small town as onlookers and nosey parkers. Mav's older brother and younger sister also have their own damaged childhood to deal with although Mav bore the brunt of their father's fury. If small Texas towns and cowboys who come home burdened with lots of bottled up memories of a dark past coupled with an angsty romance is your thing, then this book has plenty of it along with emotional melt downs and steamy scenes.
Anonymous 30 days ago
reececo331 4 months ago
Lost Rider (Coming Home, #1) by Harper Sloan Maverick Davis has been running all his life. His homelife was so bad he ran away after high school, he made a name for himself on the Rodeo circuit. What he needed at face was always at home. He returned on the eve of his father’s life, to help his family mourn his passing. What comes to life is that he still loves the girl next door. Although she has made a name for herself in the small town. Funneling her energy and frustration into a profitable business around Pie. The book looks into the demons that follow us in life, those aspects of trust and love that we learn from those nearest and dearest to us. How the weaving trails of our parents can influence our ability to love and allow love to walk in our lives. These two lovers find out that they have lost everything in their world and their lives can be repaired. The explicit gratifying connection between these two characters makes you wish that in your life the one who got away will come back and say all the things we wanted to say.
BoilerUpBaby 5 months ago
Have you ever picked up a book and just known you were going to love it? No? Yes? Well, Lost Rider was just that type of book for me. I’ve been a fan of Ms. Harper’s work for quite a while now so this was an instant one-click for me. From the moment a pie flew into Maverick’s face, I was hooked. Sloan as this ability to weave in humor to heartfelt and emotional scenes in her books. Lost Rider is no different. It’s underlying dark tones of the Davis Family closet of skeletons is perfectly balanced with the light humor throughout the book. Just like Leighton, I was head over boots for Maverick. Even though he made a misguided young man move before getting out of dodge, his heart was always back in Texas with her. No matter how hard he tried to ride away his feelings for her. And, the same went for Leighton. Love has a funny way of enduring the most painful words and long distances when it’s real, true love. It’s stories like these that give anyone hope that someday lost love will come back to us. Lost Rider is a heartfelt, emotional ride on the back of the world’s largest and meanest bull. Sure the bumps and bucks are hard to get through, but at the end of that eight seconds ride, it’s all worth the pain. Perfect start to an amazing series to come.
BookSnuggle 6 months ago
Lost Rider by Harper Sloan is book number one in the The Coming Home series. This is Maverick "Mav" Austin Davis and Leighton "Leigh" Elizabeth James' story. Wow! Loved it! This book covers so many emotions from anger, sadness, humor, and twists to intense chemistry. The author did a great job of where the reader could feel the characters emotions. It pulls you in and everything around you just disappears. I absolutely fell in love in Mav and Leigh and loved their story. Love stories in Texas and with cowboys. I also love hearing a cowboy say darlin'. I look forward to reading the next books in this series. This is a must read! FYI, contains mature content.  I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
book_junkee 7 months ago
I'm a sucker for second chance romance when it comes to sorbet, but add in a family friend situation and I'm 100% here for it. I struggled with Maverick right from the beginning. He's a jerk. He says some reaaaaally hateful things about {and to} Leighton and I just couldn't root for him. Not unless he groveled at her feet and begged forgiveness. Sadly that never came. As for Leighton, she's sassy in the beginning, but quickly succumbs to the bs that Maverick is selling. And then it just becomes rehashed and repetitive conversations and mildly cringeworthy sex scenes. I'm not entirely sure why I kept reading. I was pretty done with this book at about 35%, but something compelled me to finish. I will not be reading any others in the series. **Huge thanks to Pocket Books for providing the arc free of charge**
FS_Meurinne 7 months ago
What a captivating story, it got straight to my heart. A story about second chances, not only in love but life; Harper Sloan created a new couple that will mesmerize you in every way. Maverick and Leighton will be hard to forget. What happens when everything you worked hard for is suddenly taken away? What happens when that love that left you years ago comes back? Lost Rider will take you on a roller-coaster of emotions, get this book, is just that good and might even need to re-read it sometime in the future.
joyce_merces 7 months ago
I love Harper Sloan’s male characters. She knows what she is doing when she is creating the amazing alpha males in her stories. Then she goes and creates a COWBOY! #Swoon Maverick Davis is broody and has a temper, but he is one of the good guys. And he is my favorite kind of male character: a broken hero! #SwoonAgain Leighton and Maverick have a complicated past. When they were young he was a jerk, she was too shy. But now, 10 years later, they have a second chance. These two have become one of my favorite couples ever. They are perfect for each other, both so damn broken that only together they will be able to get past all the pain. The book is full of drama. I love the kind of drama that Harper creates, so I was ready! But beware: you will swoon, sigh, cry and get frustrated with Lost Rider. And you will laugh a lot too. (Leighton should drink more often…) Quinn and Clay (Maverick’s sister and brother), I’m ready for your stories!
jeanniezelos 7 months ago
Lost Rider,  Harper Sloan Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Genre:  romance,  I'm just about to do my review, having finished this yesterday and it’s a difficult one to write. I liked it but....I just didn't love it as I thought I would from the description, felt it was a little underwhelming, slow paced.  Its a well written tale, great characters and I loved the description. In practice though I just didn’t really feel much was happening, felt it was very slow going. I’ve just read another story where the backgrounds are very similar, H has father who hates him, there are secrets in his background, abandoned by mother, and the h hasn’t seen him for 11 years, since she was 16. Familiar? Yep, they even shared one, toe curling, ecstatic kiss before hearts were broken. In contrast that story was a five for me, I loved it. Same premise, just very differently executed and where that was perfect for me and this one less so I know that others will have the reverse reaction. Horses for courses... I liked Maverick, even if at first he was a total jerk. I wasn’t convinced though that he’d return if it wasn’t forced on him, even though he is supposedly in love with Leigh. I liked her character too, strong and resolute, but she’s never forgotten Maverick and That Kiss, and seems to have put her love life on hold, never letting anyone match up to the perfect image she has of Maverick. I’m not so keen on that side of her, it wasn’t like they dated or anything, she just has a teen crush on him and of course now they are two very different people. She’s holding to a man that isn’t real, and as they didn’t have a close connection may only ever have existed in her mind. That’s a lot to base your life around. She’s got on with her life otherwise and I liked her enterprising spirit and loyalty to her best friend and her brother, Mavericks siblings. I usually like day to day details as they bring the characters thoughts and actions to life, but somehow it just didn’t grab me here. My favourite part of the book was when they were in the restaurant and the two “ladies” come up and blatantly run down Leigh, and offer their services in her place. Maverick gives them the perfect reply!! I adore that kind of scene where the b itches get what’s coming to them. Sadly the rest of the book didn’t have anywhere near that character for me, though of course for others its perfect. Its one of those where its not the book, it’s a good, well written story, its just me :-( Stars: Three, a good story, just a bit low key for me.   ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers
lisaher 7 months ago
I've been a massive Harper Sloan fan since the Corps series. So this is something a bit different and I liked it just as much. Lost Rider is about the lost rider Maverick Austin Davis, after being told his rodeo career is over he's forced home to a place he escaped ten years ago. His return is fraught with the pain, troubles and emotions of the reasons he left, but one thing above all, apart from his brother and sister, was Leighton Elizabeth James that he left behind. Leighton has been in love with Maverick since she can remember but he completely broke her heart before he left. So with his return Leighton is no longer the little girl he left behind,she's a beautiful strong woman and won't stand for Maverick breaking her heart a second time. I loved Leighton even with her insecurities she was the powerful one of this relationship, while I'm used to over the top alpha from Ms. Sloan Maverick wasn't so, he was alpha, but different and refreshing, he had many side's which was understandable from the hurt of his past. This is Maverick's second chance at happiness with his family, but more importantly with Leighton, the woman who is has had his heart just as long as she's loved him. Let's just say Maverick and Leighton are so perfect for each and once Maverick finally realised she was his everything, he just has to make her realise her Lost Rider is her happy ever after. I do love these cowboy romances and this one definitely didn't disappoint. So saddle up for an emotional ride.
VeraMachado 7 months ago
Ten years ago, Maverick Austin Davis left Pine Oak to follow his dreams, leaving behind a broken hearted Leighton Elizabeth James, his little sister best friend and his crush. Now he's back and it's time to face his family and Leighton. He's determined to make Leighton forgive him and conquer her again, but Leigh isn't the same naive girl he left behind. Will Mav win Leigh's heart again? I loved Lost Rider. The book is amazing and has an incredible sweet, funny, and sexy story. It hooked me from the first page and I couldn't stop reading. I loved the banter between Leigh and Mav. It's hilarious! And the chemistry between them? Off the charts! I also loved the little glimpses of what happened in the past and that the story was told from Leigh's and Mav's POVs. Maverick Austin Davis is a rodeo star. Or was. Due to his injuries, he had to give up his career. Now he's reluctantly back home. The only good things about behind back are his siblings and Leighton. He has a lot of demons to deal with and they're all related to his parents. He loves Leighton and knows he made a huge mistake when he hurt her and then left. Now he wants to win her back. I loved how he never gave up when trying winning Leigh back. Leighton Elizabeth James always had a crush on Maverick. But he crushed it the day before he ran away from Pine Oak. She lost a lot in the past ten years, but she's content with her life and the success of her shop. She really wants to hate Mav, but deep down she always loved him and always will. I loved that she made him grovel a little before allowing him back into her life. Another amazing book by the awesome Harper Sloan! An incredible sweet, funny, and sexy second chance romance. The story is amazing and the characters are great. Lost Rider will suck you in from the first page and you won't be able to stop reading. I can't wait to read Quinn's and Clay's stories!
shobeteener 7 months ago
Lost Rider is Book One in The Coming Home Series Maverick Davis is heading back home after promising his siblings he'd be there for their dad's funeral. Going back home to a place he never wanted to see again. He's reeling after the loss of his career in the rodeo due to too many injuries. Leighton James is the girl next door who's known the Davis' all their lives and is best friends with Quinn, Maverick's sister. Leighton has had a deep crush on Maverick since being a teenager. In a conversation with his brother, Clay, the night before he leaves to join the rodeo circuit Maverick says some very harsh things about Leighton. Which she overhears and is devastated. Quite frankly at first I didn't care much for Maverick. He was quite a bit of a jerk and when he came back into town he again, was pretty mean to Leighton. But as the story went along I got to know the terrible childhood he had and that being mean to Leighton was his way of running from his feelings. He soon finds out that Leighton is no pushover. She has her own business now and can take care of herself. My absolutely favorite part in this book was when she threw the pie in his face! I don't know who was more surprised her or Maverick! The townspeople loved it! Maverick struggles in this book to find his way to putting down roots and decide on a future career. I do think that Leighton should of made him suffer longer for being so mean to her but these two have known each other all their lives so overall it wasn't fast at all. By the end of the story Maverick proves to Leighton and to everyone around that he's there for keeps and his future includes her. I absolutely love the secondary characters in this book. Quinn with her no-filter mouth. The stuff that comes out of her mouth that embarrasses her brothers and Leighton is absolutely hilarious. Their brother, Clay is the strong silent type, that takes care of everyone. I think he might be my favorite. I know Quinn's story is next in the series but I really hope we get Clay's in the very near future. This is a very well written book that I really enjoyed reading. It's not often that an author can have you disliking a character at the beginning of the book and have you loving them by the end.
Boundlessbookreviews 7 months ago
Lost Rider is a beautiful second chance cowboy romance.  Maverick had to getaway and at a young age, left the one girl who would have done just about anything for him. Leighton is the girl. The one and only in his eyes. Their connection runs on such a deep level.  After 10 years, he’s brought back to the one place, he never really wanted to go back too. Through those 10 years, a lot has changed for both of them. But one thing stands true, the connection they have for each other.  This is an emotional story, with a lot of deep rooted anger and pain. But in the end, they find the one thing in each other, that they knew was always there. Harper, made this beautiful romance, just pull you in. It’s a great start to a series, I have a feeling that I’m going to truly love.  Overall, I give this Five Boundless Stars.
Boundlessbookreviews 7 months ago
Lost Rider is a beautiful second chance cowboy romance.  Maverick had to getaway and at a young age, left the one girl who would have done just about anything for him. Leighton is the girl. The one and only in his eyes. Their connection runs on such a deep level.  After 10 years, he’s brought back to the one place, he never really wanted to go back too. Through those 10 years, a lot has changed for both of them. But one thing stands true, the connection they have for each other.  This is an emotional story, with a lot of deep rooted anger and pain. But in the end, they find the one thing in each other, that they knew was always there. Harper, made this beautiful romance, just pull you in. It’s a great start to a series, I have a feeling that I’m going to truly love.  Overall, I give this Five Boundless Stars.
RomanticReadsandSuch 7 months ago
with Lost Rider you better be ready for the angst! This book is full of all sorts of emotions - both Maverick and Leigh go through a lot to find happiness, plus there are secrets in the Davis family that cause a little tension to go with all the love between these siblings. It doesn't make for a simple read but it definitely helps make a worthwhile one. I've heard of Sloan before but this is the first of her stories that I've read. And I can guarantee it won't be my last :) She's got a real writing style, delivering earthy country people with a down home realism to them. They are honest and natural in their reactions, living life as big as the Texas sky ... even when it means running from their troubles. But they grow them tough in the South and when push comes to shove they figure things out. As long as you are OK being a little worn out when you finally get done, Sloan's new series will definitely give you a ride to remember. And have you looking forward to what comes next! *** I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s. ***
Rhondaz 8 months ago
Lost Rider by Harper Sloan......This book was amazing, I could not put it down. Leighton and Maverick were awesome characters and very likeable you will fall in love with them. I loved seeing the story play out for these two. This is my first book by this author and it will not be my last. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book from publisher via NetGalley.
etoile1996 8 months ago
in lost rider, the first book in the coming home series, maverick davis has lost his sense of purpose. ten years ago he left everything behind to pursue his dream of bull-riding. he left behind his siblings. he left behind the girl he loved—not that she was aware of the fact. because in order to really leave, he behaved despicably, unforgivably. he couldn't risk anything keeping him close to his abusive, drunk, poor excuse for a father. except now that bull-riding is no longer a viable career, now that his father is dead and buried, and now that his siblings need him more than ever, he's come home. and what he did ten years ago still flays at him. especially now that his dream is gone. so he gave up love for nothing. he hurt leighton james for nothing. and he did hurt her. she's survived and grown stronger and tries so hard to hold on to her anger. she wants to hate maverick so much. and when he first returns he does his best to help her continue hating him. but so much anger and pain and emotion and longing and love can't stay hidden. and soon enough they realize that it is useless to fight their connection. if ten years of hurt and pain and loneliness didn't kill it. nothing will. and now they just need to figure out who they are together. because not being honest with themselves or each other is what has them so twisted up in knots. and maverick has plenty of amends to make. for a while there is such a disconnect between what is going on in his head and what his mouth is actually saying that it's hard to know how to feel about him. he does redeem himself. once he stops getting in his own way, things move forward. really, most conflicts in life can be resolved if only we stopped being our own biggest obstacle. **lost rider will publish on april 25, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/gallery, threshold, pocket books (pocket books) in exchange for my honest review.
KindleKat64 8 months ago
3 1/2 stars. This was a deviation from Harper Sloan's usual and it was enjoyable although at times a bit annoying. This is a second chance romance about a cowboy and the girl he left behind after he crushed her teenage crush on him years earlier basically. He was a real tool back then. Now having been forced to retire from bull riding, Maverick returns home after 10 long years. Leighton has never gotten over him. She has always loved him even though she has tried so hard all this time to forget him. He hurt her. She doesn't know why he acted the way he did. She thinks it was just her. Well it wasn't. Emotional at times but also some of their interactions seem a little childish to me. Maverick realizes the mistake he made all those years ago going for his dreams and not keeping the one person with him he would have loved to have shared it all with. Now he needs to make her see he loves her and how sorry he is. Can they make it work all these years later? You'll have to read and find out.
Sandy-thereadingcafe 8 months ago
3.75 stars--LOST RIDER is the first installment in Harper Sloan’s contemporary, adult COMING HOME erotic, cowboy, romance series focusing on the Davis siblings. This is rodeo star Maverick Austin Davis, and bakery owner Leighton James’s story line. Told from dual first person points of view (Maverick and Leighton) including memories from the past, LOST RIDER is a story of second chances, family, betrayal and heartbreak. All of her life Leighton James’s was in love with Maverick Davis but ten years earlier Maverick walked out of her life, leaving family, friends, and his hometown behind. Raised by an abusive father, and a mother who abandoned her family years before, Maverick’s need to leave was fostered by his love of bull riding. Fast forward ten years, wherein the now injured Maverick, returns home to Pine Oak, Texas for the funeral of the man who almost destroyed his life. Enter Leighton James, the woman that calls to Maverick’s soul, but the woman whose heart he broke without looking back. What ensues is the rebuilding relationship and romance between Leighton and Maverick, and the revelation behind the many reasons Maverick left town so many years before. Leighton has never forgiven Maverick for walking out of her life. A successful business owner, Leighton has a difficult time forgiving the man that destroyed her heart, abandoning his siblings to deal with the father from h*ll. Maverick’s younger years were filled with abuse and neglect, and Maverick believed the only option was to run when the opportunity presented. An all star rodeo rider whose career is cut short by too many injuries, Maverick returns home to reclaim the woman he loves, and move forward from a dark and destructive past. We are introduced to Maverick’s older brother Clayton, and his younger sister Quinn. Quinn is Leighton’s best friend and champions her brother’s need for the woman that calls to his heart. The world building looks at fractured family dynamics, abuse, betrayal, friendships and love. Pine Oak is a small town with a close-knit population where everyone knows everyone else’s business including Leighton’s broken heart, and Maverick’s abusive past. The slow building story line meanders as Maverick struggles with the truth, and the potential loss of his relationship with the siblings he left behind. There is plenty of self-loathing as it pertains to our story line hero. LOST RIDER is an emotional and heartbreaking story about one man’s need to escape his past, and one woman’s struggle to heal her broken heart. The premise is engaging; the characters are broken, tragic, passionate and inspiring; the romance is captivating and fated.
Suze-Lavender 8 months ago
Maverick was a successful rodeo star until he injured his head so badly it ended his career. After ten years he has to return home, to his brother Clay and sister Quinn and to the girl he never allowed himself to love, Leighton. Maverick only has bad memories of the past. His father was a cold and abusive man and Maverick was forced to leave Pine Oak before the situation would have gotten completely out of hand. He never told Leighton how he felt, instead he hurt her feelings, so she wouldn't think about him anymore. Did that really work or is Leighton still in love with him? Will being in Pine Oak be as awful for Maverick as it used to be or will he have a future in his hometown together with his siblings and the girl he never forgot? Lost Rider is a sexy romantic story with plenty of moving layers. Maverick built a huge wall around his heart and he constantly tries to push the people who love him away, so they won't be able to hurt him. Being back in Pine Oak is difficult for him, but Maverick wants to make up for the hurt he's caused by leaving his siblings and Leighton behind. His rodeo career left him with enough money, but he has to find something new to fill his time with. My heart ached for both Maverick and Leighton, they went through so much pain because of everything that was done to Maverick when he was a child. He treated Leighton badly, but she can't resist him and when she finally finds out the truth she has no reason to anymore either. I loved their chemistry, their deep emotional connection and the sweet way they treat each other. Their relationship is both hot and tender, which is a great combination. Leighton is a strong, determined woman. She used to be an insecure teenager and Maverick didn't make her feel better about herself, but she's now a stunning grown woman with a successful business. She has a wonderful caring personality and her generosity and kindness are heartwarming. She's always there for Clay and Quinn and when Maverick returns she shows the warm and forgiving side of her character and acknowledges his pain. She's a beautiful person inside and out and I liked her from the start. She gives Lost Rider a lovely spark and makes the story extra charming. Harper Sloan's sentences have an easy flow. I love reading small town romance and Lost Rider is definitely a good one. The setting is stunning and I liked how Harper Sloan's writing style perfectly suits the surroundings. The amazing dialogue kept putting a smile on my face. Harper Sloan knows what she's writing about and her main characters are interesting and real. She writes about their struggles with plenty of empathy and honesty, which makes them come to life incredibly well. Lost Rider is a terrific story with an endearing ending. I enjoyed reading this gorgeous compelling story very much.
RHolub 8 months ago
Harper Sloan has done it again!!! I'm true HS form, she has written a book that her fans are absolutely going to love!!! This book has everything I love in a book!!! A second chance love affair as epic as any ever was, an Alpha hero who is somewhat broken and not afraid to let the h know, and supporting characters I fell in love with and can't wait to read more about!!! It is well written, the "country" doesn't sound forced, and that ending, OMG I LOVED IT!!!!! Really looking forward to the next book in this new series by a beloved author!!! I received this book through Netgalley!
Bette313 8 months ago
I give this one 5 seriously hot cowboy stars!! This was such a great story I hated to see it end. Great writing and characters with low angst, lots of fun, and some sizzling sexy times. Simply a purely pleasurable read. Leigh had a serious crush on Maverick ten years ago and that one night she thought maybe he cared for her too. The next day everything had changed and Maverick was out of her life. Now ten years later Maverick is back in town and threatening to break her heart again. Can she be strong and resist him the way she knows she should?? I highly recommend this one to everyone.