I went back to some cowboy romance for my latest read with Riding Heartbreak Road by Kiernan Kelly. The story follows closeted rodeo rider Jake and the out New York City boy Brent.

Brent gets stuck in a small Texas down when his car breaks down. He meets Jake in a local bar and the two discover they are both looking for the same thing–someone to spend the night with. Of course, what they didn’t expect was to fall in love during that one night stand. During the days it takes to repair Brent’s car, they spend time together at the rodeo and at around town. Unfortunately, a couple of no-goods find out about them and they beat Brent nearly to death.

It’s here the two find out how tight their bond has become as Jake stays by Brent’s side while he recuperates. They have to negotiate getting to know each other’s family and friends. The ultimate issue to take care of is the aftermath of the hate crime and the ensuing trial.

The book was a great, fast read. It would’ve been an ideal beach book if I’d read it during the summer. The romance was great (especially the lengths these two would go to support each other), the steamy scenes were good and the drama ratcheted up very nicely. Most importantly, the characters were well drawn and were people you’d like to know.

The clinker in the book was the epilogue. It completely changed the vibe of the story and was really unnecessary. Will had warned me not to even read it so I could just stay in love with the ending of the story itself. I would carry that suggestion on to anyone else who reads the story. Let your imagination work with the ever after for these characters rather than what the author actually wrote.

Next up: Changing Tides by Michael Thomas Ford