Wanting to end his pattern of choosing controlling and abusive men, Vladimir ‘Val’ Mihalic figures it’s better to live alone than live in fear. Just when things are settling down—his biggest trouble recently is a Kentucky Derby hopeful that won’t load into a starting gate—his best friend Janelle’s violent ex-boyfriend kidnaps her. After she’s seriously injured in a car wreck, Wyatt Harig, Janelle’s estranged father, comes around to tend to his daughter. Despite Val’s determination to avoid relationships, Wyatt interests him in ways that make his resolve waver. As complications and repercussions pile on in the aftermath of Janelle’s kidnapping—including a gambling charge and a murder—Wyatt and Val must work together to seek answers. And the closer they get to each other, the more Val wants them to stay that way
This book had some sugar and spice, a hint of naughty, but lots of nice – it was like a comfort read with a kick!
In the space of a novella, this book overflowed with things that I love. Let me count the ways:
• A hurt/comfort theme – not once, but twice
• Best friends who are fiercely loyal and protective of one another
• A gal pal who’s warm and intelligent vs. dim-witted and clingy
• A mystery to be solved with plenty of intrigue, bad guys and surprise elements
• Furry critters! Horses, dogs and cats – oh my, but with the added excitement of the competitive horse racing industry and triple crown activity
• An age gap that doesn’t feel like one between the main characters
• A slow burn and sizzle in the heat department
• A hint of dominance/submission – just barely there, but something that could be nurtured
And just when I didn’t think things could get any more exciting, the author left me literally hanging on the edge of my seat practically drooling for more. Damn, how long am I going to have to wait? And please tell me that the next story picks up where this one left off! Absolutely loved it!!