Title: Saddle Up by Victoria Vane
Hot Cowboy Nights Series Book Four
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 322 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Award-winning author Victoria Vane lets loose the fourth in the Hot Cowboy Nights series
WILD HORSES COULDN’T BRING THEM TOGETHER…
With exceptional talent and looks, cowboy “horse whisperer” Keith Russo once had the world at his feet – until his career was unwittingly destroyed by an aspiring filmmaker. After being rejected by his family for exploiting his Native American heritage, Keith has no choice but to turn back to his humble beginnings as a wild horse wrangler.
BUT MAYBE THEIR PASSION CAN…
Miranda Sutton always dreamed of making films, until wild mustangs captured her heart. But turning her grandmother’s Montana ranch into a wild horse sanctuary proves harder than she thought. She needs someone who knows wild horses. Keith and the mustangs need each other. And while working together to save the herd, Keith and Miranda discover a passion as wild as the mustangs they love.
In Saddle Up, the latest addition to Victoria Vane’s steamy Hot Cowboy Nights series, lead protagonists Keith Russo and Miranda Sutton are dissatisfied with the direction their careers and lives have taken. A BLM mustang roundup is a surprising catalyst for some much needed changes for Miranda but Keith remains at loose ends until their unexpected romance provides him an opportunity to put down roots.
Feeling the sting of rejection from his Native American family, Keith is especially struggling as he tries to figure out where he belongs following his return to the reservation after his career crashed and burned in a spectacular fashion. Hoping some time away from his family will heal their relationship, Keith reluctantly sings up as a wild horse wrangler for a series of BLM mustang roundups. Miranda is increasingly unhappy with her stalled career as an aspiring filmmaker and she jumps at the chance to film a wild mustang roundup in the Calico Mountains. Keith and Miranda’s paths crossed a year earlier when Miranda filmed a video of one of his training clinics and although she had little control over the film’s final outcome, Keith blames her for tarnishing his reputation as a horse trainer. Keith is less than thrilled to discover Miranda is once again filming him, but will their night together under the stars change his mind about the attractive videographer?
When Keith learned the truth about his heritage and moved to the reservation, he finally felt like he had found his place in life. As a teenager he fully embraced everything about the Native American culture and he enjoyed living a simple life with his relatives. However, as he entered into early adulthood, Keith left the reservation after gaining an impressive reputation as a horse trainer. He greatly enjoyed the perks of fame and fortune and he gradually lost sight of what was most important to him. After a vengeful producer ruins his career, Keith returns home only to discover life on the reservation no longer fits him. Frustrated by his inability to figure out where he belongs and hurt by his family’s rejection, he reluctantly agrees to help with the mustang roundup only to come face to face with the person he blames for ruining his career.
In the year since meeting Keith, Miranda continues filming commercials while hoping to finally get an assignment that will launch her career. So when she hears about the job filming the BLM roundup, she knows this could be the opportunity to make a meaningful documentary. Although she is out of her comfort zone, Miranda is entranced by the mustangs as the wranglers begin the roundup in the stark yet beautiful desert. She is also captivated by Keith’s innate ability to read and communicate with horses. Ignoring his antagonism, Miranda continues filming the roundup and when she finds herself stranded with the sexy wrangler, she slowly wins him over with her plucky attitude.
After spending one magical night together, Keith and Miranda go their separate ways. Miranda returns to LA but she quickly decides to visit her grandmother’s ranch in Montana. Profoundly affected by the wild mustang’s plight, Miranda convinces her grandmother to turn the family ranch into a wild mustang refuge. While Miranda is settling into her new endeavor, Keith continues working with the BLM roundup but he remains restless and discontented with his life. He is increasingly drawn to Miranda and their attraction remains strong, but will his stubborn refusal to accept her job offer ruin their chance at happiness?
Saddle Up is a magnificent addition to the Hot Cowboy Nights series. The storyline is engaging with plenty of depth and substance. The characters are multi-faceted with realistic flaws and their growth throughout the story is absolutely phenomenal. Victoria Vane’s research into the BLM wild mustang program is outstanding and the vivid descriptions of the entire process bring this part of plot brilliantly to life. The romance between Keith and Miranda is sweet yet sexy and it is an absolute joy watching them fall in love. All in all, a heartwarming, poignant love story that I highly recommend to fans of the genre.