New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia London brings readers another charming, sexy contemporary western.
A devil in her path...
No one cheats on a Prince and gets away with it. And Hallie—Texas socialite, would-be ballerina, and the only daughter of the renowned Prince family—is ready to give her two-timing fiancé a piece of her mind. But fate plants hot, sexy ranch hand and ex-Army Ranger Rafael Fontana quite literally in her way. Her childhood friend is all grown up. He’s sexy, he’s handsome, and suddenly, after all these years, Hallie is taking notice.
A princess in his heart...
Rafe has been in love with Hallie since they were kids, but he was always the help—and she was glamorous and popular, seemingly off-limits to a lowly cowboy. But now he’s back at Three Rivers Ranch to help his family and Hallie is there too—and she needs his support. Soon long-buried feelings boil to the surface, and the desire between them is hot and palpable and undeniable. Rafe realizes he wants Hallie—and her adorable puppy—for keeps… he just has to convince her to give true love another shot.
About the Author
Julia London is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of numerous romance novels and women's fiction. She is also the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a six-time finalist for the prestigious RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction.
Read an Excerpt
The dreams that happen just before waking, the ones that take weird turns into hippie-dippie landscapes, are the strangest of all. When Hallie Prince could recall her dreams, which wasn't often, as she was not a morning person and her first thought was usually coffee, it seemed she was always looking for something. Like her ballet shoes in a stranger's house. Her phone in a foreign country. Sometimes she was in the company of people she seemed to know well, but then again, knew not at all. Sometimes she was in places unrecognizable to her, but that she seemed to know.
Other times, she was doing something out of character, like hiding in a warehouse. That was the dream that was waking her this particular day. She didn't know where the warehouse was, or why she was there, but she knew she was hiding from Anna, a friend she'd known long ago in New York, and had not had occasion to see in several years. She also knew that it was imperative she hide, even though she was going to be late. She was supposed to dance, she was supposed to be at the theater, but she was folded into a small dark space, pressed up against something scratchy and sort of soft. But also hard. Soft and hard and scratchy.
Hallie opened her eyes, and the warehouse fluttered into the ether. She tried to blink away what looked like a caterpillar that draped one eye, but it stubbornly held on. Oh. Not a caterpillar. A strip of false lashes.
"Are you okay?"
The deeply masculine voice startled Hallie, and with a gasp of surprise, she pushed up to her elbows. The scratchy part of her dream was a plaid wool shirt. The soft and hard part of her dream was apparently the body of a man. And though a tangle of hair covered half her face, she could see she'd slept in the heavily beaded gown she'd meant to wear to her wedding reception.
But there wasn't going to be a wedding reception, so why . . .
The memory of last night slowly began to seep into her brain. Damn tequila.
Hallie knew that voice. She slowly turned her head and pushed hair from her face. "Rafe?" Her old friend, handsome, sexy-as-hell cowboy and ex-Army Ranger Rafe? She thought he was in Chicago or somewhere.
A sudden image of Rafe came roaring back to her. Rafe, standing in the driveway, illuminated by the headlights of her car, his weight shifted to one hip, holding a saddle on his shoulder and looking bemused. And she remembered thinking how relieved she was that Rafe had come. Rafe would fix things. Rafe knew what to do.
Oh please, dear God, she hadn't actually gotten behind a wheel, had she? Yes. Yes, she had. But wait! She remembered-she'd never left the garage. She'd never even put the car in gear.
Rafe's handsome face came into view. He used to be so skinny, a scarecrow of a boy, but now he was all filled out with a square jaw covered by the morning growth of a beard. He squinted caramel-colored eyes at her, examining her face. "You look like crap," he said, and plucked the strip of lashes from her eye.
"I feel like crap."
"Are you going to make it?"
No. She was most definitely not going to make it. A swell of nausea made her whimper.
"Oh no. Please don't-" A small trash can appeared in her line of vision.
It was too late-she retched into the trash can. "Nononono!" Rafe exclaimed. "Oh, man!" he said desperately as she retched, and then he made a hacking noise like he was trying to keep from vomiting, too.
When she had emptied the contents of her stomach into that can, Hallie collapsed, facedown, onto her pillow. "I thought you were supposed to be a tough army guy."
"I am a tough army guy. But my gag reflex is a baby."
She felt his weight lift up off the bed with the can. "Don't throw up until I get back," he warned her. She heard him go into her bathroom, heard water running, heard him muttering.
Why was Rafe still here? What was good ol' Rafael, the ranch majordomo's very hot oldest son and Hallie's lifelong friend, doing at Three Rivers at all? She thought he split his time between San Antonio and Chicago. Wasn't he moving there soon?
When they were children, Martin would bring his kids-Rafe, who was her brother Nick's age; and Rico, who was the same age as Hallie and her twin, Luca; and Angie, the youngest of them all-to the main compound on weekends, and they would swim or her dad would grill burgers for them. Rafe was a lot like Nick, the steady, dependable son in the family. Rico was a party animal, and if he were around last night, he would have told her to move over and let him drive to Houston. Angie was the squirt some adult was always shouting at them to watch.
Thank God it was steady Rafe who'd happened upon her last night. Hallie couldn't begin to remember what she'd done, but whatever it was, she was pretty sure she was going to want to open the window and dive headfirst into the bushes below.
Rafe reappeared, sans can, and stood over her, studying her very closely, like a lab specimen.
"Stop looking at me like that. I'm hideous. I could die," she said, mortified.
"You're not hideous," he said, as if she still had a few steps to go before she reached the certifiably hideous level. "You just look a little beat up. I think the dark circles under your eyes-"
"Okay," she said, weakly waving her hand at him. "Don't tell me."
He patted her shoulder. "Look at the bright side-you're probably going to live."
"Do I have a choice?"
"What's the dark side?"
"The dark side is you won't believe you're going to live until tomorrow."
"Maybe you should have a little hair of the dog that bit you. You might feel better."
"Nooo," Hallie moaned, and squeezed her eyes shut as she swallowed down a swell of nausea. "Don't even say it."
"How about food? Do you think you could keep something down?"
"Stop talking." She rolled over onto her back and squinted up at him. "What happened last night?"
Rafe smiled. Very slowly and very sexily. That smile used to drive her friends crazy with lust. "I don't even know where to begin."
"Must have been epic." No wonder her head was pounding.
"Pretty spectacular," Rafe agreed.
Hallie groaned and rolled onto her side, away from him. She wasn't much of a drinker, so she would lay the blame for however she might have humiliated herself squarely at the feet of her recent ex-fiancé, Christopher. Everything was his fault. Her terrible, piteous mood was his fault. Her five-pound weight gain was definitely his fault. She wouldn't be the least bit surprised if even the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be traced back to him.
She could clearly remember rambling around the twenty thousand square feet of the main house at Three Rivers Ranch, where she, a grown woman of thirty years, was living with her mother (God help her), and her grandmother (adding salt to the wound since 1936). Nick and Luca came by a couple of times a week to check on things, but all of them, all of them, had been out last night and left Hallie alone in abject peril, because without any good reality TV to distract her, she had only her thoughts to keep her company.
Anyone who knew her knew that being alone with her thoughts was a train wreck waiting to happen. Well, she'd pumped that locomotive right into a ditch.
Oh, but she'd worked herself into a good lather over Chris. She could remember coming up with the brilliant idea that she ought to drive to Houston and confront him and her supposed bridesmaid, Dani, whom she'd last seen naked beneath Chris. Hallie could even remember convincing her weakly responsible self that she wasn't that drunk, that she could make the three-hour drive to Houston, no problema.
She could vaguely remember putting on her reception dress with the dumb idea that Chris ought to see what he would be missing-her looking exquisite on her wedding day to be precise, but not in her actual wedding dress, because he'd lost that privilege when he pile drove his body into Dani's. But she hadn't been able to fix her hair, and this was not the sort of dress one could don without assistance. In fact, she could feel the cool air the ceiling fan kept pushing against her bare back.
Who really understood the power of tequila until one had empty shot glasses up to her elbows? She couldn't remember much of anything after squeezing herself into this dress. Mostly just snatches of Rafe, now that she thought about it.
"Want me to get Frederica?" Rafe asked.
Frederica had been cooking the meals at Three Rivers Ranch since Hallie was a little girl. "She's probably not here. Mom cut her to three days a week."
"You're kidding," Rafe said flatly.
That's what everyone said-Frederica was like family. But when Hallie's father had died so unexpectedly earlier in the year, things changed. The Princes were having to do a lot for themselves around the ranch, which none of them were really accustomed to doing. "I'm not kidding," Hallie said. She wrapped her arms around a pillow and lay on her side. "Did you really stay with me all night?" she asked, feeling immeasurably pathetic.
"You insisted," he said. "But now that I have assured myself you are breathing, I'll just tiptoe on out of here." He made a move toward the door.
"No, wait," she said. "Don't go yet."
He glanced at her sidelong, clearly debating. She didn't blame him-babysitting hungover debutantes was probably not his cup of tea. But Hallie didn't want to be alone again. Not until she could at least drag herself to the bathroom by her own power. "At least tell me how we ended up in my room."
"You want to hear the truth, huh?" he said, smiling a little. "That might take a minute."
"What else am I going to do while I die my slow and agonizing death?"
He chuckled softly. "Okay," he said, and turned around, easing himself onto the foot of the bed. "Shall I start with the cows?"
"Great," Hallie moaned. "It's even worse than I feared. I don't remember any cows."
Rafe gave her foot a squeeze. "Last night, Mr. Creedy's cows got out."
"Again?" Hallie was immediately struck with the realization that her world had gone from high-society parties and charity events to knowing how often the Creedy cows got out. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
"Yep. About a dozen of them sauntered through a hole in the fence, I presume because they thought the eating would be better on the other side of the road. But they must have taken a moment to contemplate just how small they were in the vast cow universe, because they were bunched up on the road and wouldn't move."
In spite of herself, Hallie smiled. "Can't blame them-it is a pretty big universe. And besides, I don't know why Mr. Creedy won't fix that fence, because those cows keep getting out."
"Mrs. Bachman wondered the same thing," he said, and crossed one booted foot over his knee. Had he left his boots on all night? Rafe had to be the most respectful man she'd ever known.
"By all accounts, she was pretty upset," he said. "Those cows were blocking her path to bridge club."
"Oh, no. Mrs. Bachman does not miss bridge club."
"No, she does not. She was fit to be tied and called the new sheriff. What's his name?"
"That's right. Well, Sheriff Richards called Dad. He said he'd drive a patrol car down here to take care of it, but they were all tied up at the Broken Wagon."
The Broken Wagon was an old-style honky-tonk on the highway to San Antonio. They had live music most nights, a washer's pit, a pool hall, and a dance hall where they still sprinkled sawdust on the floor for all the scooting boots that went round it. "Why?" Hallie asked. "What happened?"
Rafe leaned forward and said, "Now, this is all secondhand, as told by Sheriff Richards to my dad, who, I have to tell you, doesn't always appreciate the nuance of a well-told tale. But the sheriff said they had their hands full putting down a brawl."
"A brawl?" Hallie asked, perking up. "That sounds juicy. What started it?"
"If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say it was probably a woman. Saturday night brawls at the Broken Wagon are usually about a woman."
Hallie smiled a little. "Spoken like someone with personal experience."
"I am man enough to admit that I may or may not have gotten tangled up by a woman on occasion," he said with a wink.
She would love to hear that story. In high school, Hallie and her friends would openly swoon as they lay around the pool while Rafe walked around with a weed eater in his hand. He would roll his eyes at them and tell them to get a job. Kara Mapplethorpe was absolutely tongue-tied whenever she saw him in a sweaty, threadbare T-shirt and jeans. She definitely would have thrown down for a chance with Rafe. "I haven't been to the Broken Wagon in ages," Hallie said through a yawn.
"It's a good thing you didn't choose last night for your return," Rafe said.
He was right. "So far you've told me about a brawl, some contemplative cows, and a mad Mrs. Bachman," she said, lifting three fingers as she counted them off. "But what has that got to do with me?"
"Nothing," Rafe said. "But that's why I happened to be close by last night. Dad and I saddled up a couple of horses and rode out to move the cows and patch the fence. When I brought the horses back, there weren't any lights on in the house and it looked like no one was home."
"Just me and the blues," Hallie muttered.
"You and a blue streak, you mean," Rafe said. "When I first heard it, I thought it had to be Miss Dolly. No disrespect, but your grandmother can get a little salty."
Hallie snorted. "Tell me about it."
"But Miss Dolly doesn't generally cry. And whoever was cussing was sobbing."
"Okay, thank you, that's all I need to hear," Hallie said, and, mortified, turned her face into the pillow. "Just shoot me, Rafe. Find a gun and take me out back and shoot me."
"Nah," he said, and shifted on the bed. "You're too pretty to shoot. Anyway, I went to have a look," he continued, "and as I got closer, who should I see but Hallie Prince hobbling out to the garage like she had a peg leg."
"I wasn't hobbling," Hallie said. Give her a little dignity in this tale, please.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The story of Hallie & Rafe was an awesome read. It was a fantastic trip back to Three Rivers. The characters in the book are relatable and you're always sad when the book comes to an end. Once I started the book I didn't want to put it down. It was great to see Hallie come back from the ashes of a broken engagement to come out on top. Rafe is the kind of guy that you want to be by your side forever. Can't wait for the next book!
Hallie Prince thought she life all planned out with a high society wedding to become a doctor’s wife flitting through life as a social butterfly. As the only daughter of a wealthy ranching family, Hallie learned early on what was expected of her in that rarified atmosphere. After having given up her dream of being ballerina, Hallie pinned everything on this relationship. Everything comes crashing down when her fiancé turns out to be a lying cheater. Now Hallie is quite adrift at the family ranch burying her sorrows in ice cream and one particularly bad night, too much tequila. Rafael Santana, whose father has worked at the Prince ranch his whole life, grew up with Hallie and in all that time, he secretly loved her. Rafael comes to Hallie’s rescue preventing her from driving drunk to go take a piece out of her ex. As Hallie comes out of her funk, she sees Rafe in a new light; however, she has a lot of angsty emotional mess to work through before they could ever be a reality as a couple. Rafe keeps focusing on their societal differences thinking that he could never provide Hallie with the lifestyle she is accustomed to from day one. While they keep bouncing off each other in a complicated dance, desire and strong emotions culminate in a steamy way. Rafe has his own dreams of taking his newly minted degree in Social Work to help underprivileged kids with some army buddies, but that is proving to be a challenge coupled with some serious family problems, and then there is Hallie. There are several entertaining family members including Hallie’s irascible grandmother and domineering mother. Hallie and Rafe have some very major hurdles to overcome to realize that they are meant for each other. Some of the problems are their own blind-sided stubbornness and Hallie’s lack of emotional maturity. This book is the second in the Princes of Texas series, but can be read as a standalone, the first being The Charmer in Chaps.
Classic Julia London The heart of this series is set at the Three Rivers Ranch where stereotypes and family expectations have set the course for decades. Without equal, it’s also one of the best modern romances Ms. London has ever written as she manages to capture the delicate balance of family expectations against being true to oneself. It was such a heartwarming, entertaining story to read. Hallie Prince is the darling socialite who finds herself totally lost at 30. Her fiancé cheated on her. Her family’s fortune has dwindled. And her Instagram followers love her as she posts a deconstruction of wedding plans via artfully placed yet utterly destroyed wedding items. Hallie wakes up to the reality that her life has been a bit aimless, maybe even selfish. Her constant savior from childhood and best friend, Rafe Fontana serves up a dose of reality and support at the same time. Rafe’s family has worked for the Princes for decades and his life has been a path of leadership, selflessness, and kindness –nicely wrapped up in a hot as heck package. All the while, Rafe kept his love of Hallie a secret with no hope for a happily ever after. Is it time for both of them to turn over a new leaf in life? While there are some social class undertones with the backdrop of the steadfastness of the Fontana family, this is a rom-com with a ton of humor to be found in the dysfunctional Prince family. Ms. London has beautifully constructed both the Fontana and Prince families with rich, redeemable characters, such that there is much to love and hate at the same time. It’s classic. This one is a keeper – one that will be read again and again. I received an ARC of this story. Opinions are my own.
Rafe and Hallie story was so fun to read. They have some great history. Their story switches smoothly between each of their points of view and tells their story from both aspects. Lots of times what they thought and what was reality did not match up and it was great watching them find a way to get in sync. I really enjoyed the flow of this story. I felt like I was reading one of my favorite night time soap operas, but with less soapy drama and much more miscues and laughter. Nothing like a hot, stubborn cowboy and a former socialite with some actual depth to her character who is not afraid to laugh at herself. Truly a great story.
When Halie finds her fiance cheating on her, calls off her wedding and gets blistering drunk, her childhood best friend finds her trying to get her car out of the garage. He rescues her, again. Something he seems to have been doing his entire life. This story explores Halie and Rafe's adult relationship, one built on a lifetime of friendship, but can it sustain a lifetime of love? Read anything by Julia London, you will love it!
Hallie and Rafe’s story is an emotional and moving tale in Devil in the Saddle by Julia London, book two in The Princes of Texas series. After the death of her father, Hallie Prince finds her fiancé cheating with one of her friends. Well, no one cheats on a Prince and gets away with it; Hallie breaks off her engagement and flounders for a bit. She tries getting drunk, becoming a hermit, and an instagram account about deconstructing a wedding before she lets her best friend Rafael, Rafe, Fontana help her find herself. Rafe has loved Hallie since they were kids, but he was always considered the help while Hallie was the beautiful, popular, off-limits daughter of the ranch owner. This ex-Army Ranger is back to help his family but is soon helping Hallie since she needs his support. The problem – after all these years, Hallie is finally noticing the handsome, sexy, and caring Rafe. As feelings arise, lighting the desire between them, Rafe realizes that he wants and deserves Hallie. Now he just has to convince her to give true love another chance, but with him this time. Ms. London wrote a wonderful, emotional story that is not to be missed. She provided a tale rich with sexual chemistry, amusing banter, and endearing characters giving Hallie and Rafe a chance at love, happiness, and a future neither expected as they both work to overcome the struggles and direction of their lives. I highly recommend Devil in the Saddle to other readers and look forward to reading the next book in this series. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
This book had me from page one! Rafe’s reminders to Hallie of what she had done the night before had me laughing so hard there were tears. Hallie Prince broke her engagement when she walked in on her fiancé and her one of her bridesmaids in the middle of things. For Hallie, it was just the icing on the cake after losing her father and finding out the family wasn’t as rich as they thought they were. Unmoored, Hallie realizes it’s past time to figure out what she wants to do with her life. Luckily she has Rafe, her long-time friend, to lean on. Rafe has loved Hallie forever, but as the son of the “help” he knows he has no chance, and has planned his life so he doesn’t have to watch Hallie with anyone else. All Hallie knows is that Rafe has always been there for her, and spending more time with him makes her realize that he could be more than a friend. Hallie doesn’t know where things will end up with Rafe, but one thing is for certain: she needs to figure out her life and who she is. The Prince family is one of a kind. Full of quirky characters, this is a fun read from beginning to end. Julia London has created characters you become invested in and the situations they find themselves in will keep you turning pages to find out where they will end up next. Hallie is a strong character, but she’s drifted along for most of her life. It was exciting to watch each step as she figured out who she was and where she wanted to be. This was the second book in the Princes of Texas series, but could easily stand alone (but, if you missed the first, you should really check it out…). I really can’t wait to read the third in the series. Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
4 stars to this great story!!! The Devil in the Saddle is the second book in the Princes of Texas series. I truly enjoyed reading about how Hallie Prince found her HEA with Rafe Fontana. Hallie has had the worst recent months. She has lost her father and she caught her fiance cheating on her with one of the bridesmaids. Hallie feels distraught and out of sorts. It is during this time that she reaches out to Rafe. He has been one of her closest friends since they were young. His family has worked for hers for a long time. I liked how real their friendship was. I can see a true connection between them. Though Rafe was what Hallie needed at the moment to help her in her life, it was so sad to see the hardship Rafe was going through. We learn that Rafe has been in love with her for the longest time, but he always set his feelings aside to be the friend she needed. I loved Rafe! I loved how he was with her and treated her. He was always there for her. It was painful to see how his feelings towards her had to be pushed back because it was never the right time to confess his feelings. Although she was unable to accomplish some of her dreams in the end she tried her best to make them a reality. I admired Hallie's tenacity to work out her problems on her own and her way. She took her own time to heal and truly discover what she wanted to do with her life. When she finally realized what made her truly happy, she went out and got it. I highly recommend this series and I can't wait to read about our grumpy Nick! Thank you to the author/publisher for sending the ARC for an honest review.
The Devil in the Saddle by Julia London is the 2nd book in her Princes of Texas series. Hallie Prince, our heroine, is a socialite daughter of the renowned Prince family, who in the first book lost their patriarch and the family has been living in hard times due the father’s gambling debts. Hallie recently broke off her engagement to her cheating ex fiancée, and has been totally in disarray, even drinking, which is not her norm. But when her best friend since childhood returns home, she immediately begins to perk up. Rafe Fontana, our hero and an ex army ranger, returns to of Cimarron County and the Three Rivers Ranch, where his father helps run the Prince ranch. He runs into Hallie, who happily embraces Rafe, but he has a secret he will never tell her…he has always been in love with her. Rafe is a gorgeous hunk, with a smile that would melt anyone; but Hallie has always looked at him just as a friend. But now that she has broken off her engagement, she has begun to look at Rafe in a different light. Rafe enjoys being with Hallie, but plans to leave for a new business in Chicago; as he cannot stay near her, knowing that he loves her, and feels he is beneath her. Hallie was a bit spoiled early on, but she was also a riot, especially when she puts on Instagram pictures of her destroying her wedding invitations, gown, shoes, etc. It becomes a very popular site, and also brings back her ex trying to win her back. But once cheated on, Hallie will never take him back. Hallie is determined to find herself, and along the way she totally changes, and embarks on possibility resuming her ballerina dance lessons to start her own business in training children. When she starts to feel the strong attraction to Rafe, they will both eventually succumb to their feelings, but she doesn’t understand why Rafe pulls away. What follows was a sweet, heartwarming, fun romance between two people destined to live other lives. Hallie and Rafe were a great couple, and their chemistry was hot. Throughout the story though, we didn’t see any chance for them to find a way to stay together, but fate always wins. Rafe was a wonderful hero, always there for Hallie, even if he felt she deserved better. It was great to see Hallie begin to change and discover what she has been missing is right in front of her. Will the two find a way to stay together? The Devil in the Saddle (why that title??) was a perfect small town romance that Julia London does so well. I suggest you read this series, and start with the first book, The Charmer in Chaps.
There’s something about a friend to lovers romance that makes them my favorite. This is the story of Hallie and Rafe, childhood friends who grew up together amidst different backgrounds. I genuinely liked both main characters and loved how their relationship grew throughout the story as well as themselves. It is the second book in a series and it was great to read about some of the previous book’s characters also so you could see how they were doing. I couldn’t put this book down and had a huge grin on my face for most of it. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series.
I loved The Devil In The Saddle! I couldn’t love Rafe more … he’s such a great hero! And Hallie came through with flying colors without being the “princess” I thought she could be. A great continued thread to the Princes of Texas series. I’m so excited to see where this goes, and I’m glad that additional characters are being added so the series can continue to grow.
The Devil in the Saddle is a cute and endearing second chance at love romance. Hallie Prince’s fiancé cheated on her right after she lost her father and discovered that her father had left the family with gambling burdens. Distraught over the betrayal, Hallie returns home to lick her wounds only to be caught off guard by her childhood friend Rafael. Rafael is a retired Army Ranger who has returned home to assist is father with the Prince’s family ranch, Three Rivers Ranch. Rafael has always been in love with Hallie since they grew up, but understands that he will always be the ranch hand and employee and not the social elite that Hallie deserves. When things turn difficult Hallie turns to Rafael only to discover there could be more to their relationship then she ever could imagine, only to find Rafael taking one step forward to two steps back. Now, the fun begins, with Hallie and Rafe both unequivocally draw to each other but knowing where they stand. Lots of heart, some agonizing hurt and some fantastic chemistry makes The Devil in the Saddle a great cowboy contemporary romance. I received this ARC copy of The Devil in the Saddle from Berkley Publishing Group. This is my honest and voluntary review.
Princes of Texas Book Two. Hallie Prince was devastated to find her fiance and best friend/maid-of-honor together soon before her wedding. When she tied one on and ended up by her car in her reception dress, Rafe Fontana found her and took care of her. The two have been friends since they were children, and Rafe has been in love with her almost as long. Now, Rafe is planning to finish his degree and move as far away from Hallie as he can. Hallie begins to see him in a new light, but Rafe is terrified that he is just her rebound. If you wanted more from the Princes of Texas, this book delivers. Claudia and Dolly make appearances and add comic relief to the story.
This is book 2 in the Princes of Texas series and while you probably could read it as a standalone, I would read book 1 first so you not only understand how this book comes about but the things they speak of that happened in book 1. In this one we get Hallie Prince and Rafael (Rafe) Fontana's story. Rafe and Hallie have been best friends since they were kids. Hallie has called of her wedding and is feeling sorry for herself and the life she is living. Rafe is home to visit his parents while trying to get his own dreams to come to reality. And while home, he spends time with Hallie again and rescues her yet again. I absolutely loved this one! Hallie is this young woman who is desperately trying to figure out what to do with her life in order to not only be happy but to figure out who she really is. Rafe is this beautiful man who is trying to make his own dreams happen while still keeping his heart intact. I really felt for them both but at the same time wanted to smack them sometimes to get them to wake up and understand that together they are not only perfect but strong and able to make both of their dreams come true! This book has a lot of funny parts but there are also parts that make you want to cry and parts that make you smile knowing that finally love wins! I loved it!! And after that little snippet in the back for the next one? I can't wait for that one!!
3.5 stars I had read the previous book in this series and enjoyed the characters, so I was eager for this one. I liked Hallie and Rafe well enough. They’re both good, honorable people and I liked their history together. They had some great chemistry and I loved reading them figure out how a new facet to their friendship would work. Of course, Grandma Dolly stole everything and it was delightful to see Luca again. Plot wise, it was a bit dramatic. Lots of push and pull, loads of inner monologue, and a few plot threads that seemed to be added as an afterthought. I would have liked to see more conversations instead of them basically hoping the other person would just know what was needed or wanted. Overall, again it was the characters who kept me reading. It was easy to root for Hallie and Rafe and I hope we get to see more of their HEA in the next book. **Huge thanks to Berkley Books for providing the arc free of charge**
I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. The Devil in the Saddle is the second book in Julia London’s contemporary cowboy series The Princes of Texas. Hallie Prince is at a crossroads with plans for the wedding of the year in ruin after she catches her fiancé in bed with her bridesmaid while still grieving the the loss of her father. She feels like a failure at everything she’s attempted and is unsure of what to do next. When her childhood best friend Rafe Fontana rescues her from a drunken disaster in the making she begins to see him in a new light, but Rafe has a secret and plans that will take him away from Texas to Chicago. I enjoyed this story with it’s theme of starting over and finding your dream and if things go well, love along the way. Medium Steam Publishing Date October 29, 2019. #NetGalley #TheDevilInTheSaddle #JuliaLondon #BerkleyPublishingGroup #Bookstagram #CowboyRomance #ContemporaryRomance
We are back in Texas with the Princes. They are a lovable family. This time we watch as Rafe and Hallie turn their childhood friendship into something more. But first we have to go through some things that happened in their lives as they figure things out. The families are there as usually to help. I absolutely love Dolly. Love this series!
We are back in Texas with the Princes. They are a lovable family. This time we watch as Rafe and Hallie turn their childhood friendship into something more. But first we have to go through some things that happened in their lives as they figure things out. The families are there as usually to help. I absolutely love Dolly. Love this series!
Hallie Prince is the princess of the Prince clan but ever since her father died she's been restless. She broke her engagement when she walked in on her fiance and one of the bridesmaids and has been drifting since then. Rafe is Hallie's lifelong friend, son of the ranch majordomo, former Army Ranger and general good guy. He splits his time between Chicago and San Antonio where he's working on a project with some fellow vets. Hallie doesn't know what she's supposed to do in life. She starts projects and doesn't finish them. She needs a purpose. Rafe helps her see that she has a lot to offer. She just needs to follow through. Oh and he's been in love with her his entire life. He decides her can't tell her because his father works for her family. Hallie finds her groove but is it too late for them to be together? Rafe returns to Chicago to finish his project but his heart isn't in it any longer. A great second book in the series.
Hallie Prince is struggling to get her life back on track. Her fiancé cheated on her with a bridesmaid. Her dream of a perfect wedding was destroyed. Now she's living at home and has no purpose. She rekindles her friendship with Rafe. His father is the Prince Family's majordomo. He understands Hallie and has always loved her. I felt their connection. The interaction between them seemed playful and light hearted, but was really hiding deep emotions. I didn't want them to be kept apart by their social station. Julia London's characters are so well written that They leap off the page. I cared for them. They made me laugh and cry. I appreciated their spirit and determination as they worked to find their purpose and fulfill their dreams. I wanted them to find love and happiness. Miss Dolly was a breath of fresh air. She's a free spirit who doesn't let age stop her. Her mock battle with her daughter-in-law were epic. This family drama pulled me in. I couldn't stop reading The Devil In The Saddle. Julia London has written an amazing story filled with passion and heartbreak. The characters and the dialogue were compelling. I love the Princes of Texas. I received a copy of this book which I voluntarily read and reviewed. My comments are my honest opinion.
The Devil in the Saddle (Princes of Texas, #2) by Julia London ...Another great book Julia.... Thanks to Julia, the publisher and #NetGalley for letting preview this book. This is a wonderful series but this book can be read as a stand alone if you have not read the first book... But I do suggest you read The Charmer in Chaps (The Princes of Texas Book 1). Hallie Prince (has her hangups ..failed ballerina, cheating now ex-finance, trying to find herself) Rafael "Rafe" Fontana (he has loved Hallie forever..but feels he is not good enough, ex-Ranger, wants to start a business with friends from service) The Prince family still working through the loss of their father and the fact that they are not as wealthy as they used to be. I love the interaction between Hallie's mother and her grandmother(her deceased father's mother). There is so much love, laughter, tears, angst and steam..lots of steam all leading to a very HEA. I am so looking forward to The Billionaire in Boots... Nick and Charlotte's story. Reasons I enjoyed this book: Great world building Page-turner Easy-to-read Romantic Wonderful characters Tear-jerker Funny Steamy Happily Ever After Entertaining
The Devil In The Saddle, Julia London writes about the essence of a couple’s friendship and the depth of their emotions toward each other. Hallie Prince finds herself at the crossroads of her life and tries to do something about it. Her childhood friend, Rafe Fontana, is always someone she could count on, but she then notices her childhood friend is no longer a boy but a man all grown up. Rafe is handsome and sexy. As for Rafe, he has been in love with Hallie since they were kids, but he sees himself as a lowly cowboy, and Hallie Prince is the glamorous princess of the Prince clan. The attraction between them is hot and palpable and undeniable. It is a romantic story of starting over and giving true love another chance.