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Sunday, November 9, 2014
ARC Review: Slow Hand by Victoria Vane
This is my first Victoria Vane novel, though I had heard of her prior to this through friends who absolutely love western novels. I not only found myself loving the book, but also greedily reading it, so quickly that I was done with it in less than a days’ time. Not only does Victoria know cowboys and the worlds in which they thrive in, but she clearly knows how to capture the honorable and memorable side of them. Honestly, this is the best western novel I have read to date, and I am beyond excited to read the next installment. The characters, the theme, the setting, and the plot were remarkable.
We have Wade Knowlton and Nikki Powell as the hero and heroine; both loveable! Wade is charismatic, smooth-talking, intellectual, suave, and oh-so-sexy! Even better, he is a rugged cowboy and sharp lawyer rolled into one (oh the possibilities!). Then, there is Nikki who is ridiculously humorous at times, and has the sharp tongue of a viper; I loved her spicy attitude! These two had unbelievable chemistry. I could not get enough of their witty remarks and constant battle of words and sexual innuendo. Seriously, by the time I would get through a scene involving Wade making sexually charged comments, I would be salivating to read the scene where he would follow through.
Then, there is the drama factor. Who doesn’t love a hero who is a little lost? A heroine who is stubborn and vulnerable? Truthfully, the pieces of these characters that were broken added to the beauty of the story. Wade, who has endured loss along with his brother Dirk, has also been betrayed. Naturally, he is weary of love and commitment especially when the one he thought he loved, wanted someone else. Of course, Nikki has her own reasons to be apprehensive. As is the norm when it comes to women and bad relationships, she does not trust men. She has dated and been committed to almost every type of no account bad boy. Now you add in the factor that they were all “cowboys,” she associates the boots and hat with said type of men.
Well, Wade is a cowboy, but he is the real deal. After all, any girl who grew up watching Westerns (or met a few cowboys), knows that honest-to-goodness onesraised by a good family usually grow up chivalrous, honorable, and hard-working. There are bad guys and naughty gals, but there are always good with the bad; no one starts out that way. So, through what I consider unique and fun circumstances despite the reason for Nikki’s being in Montana (the death of her father), her and Wade are brought together. She is resistant and very off-standish, but Wade’s appeal only allows her to stay away for so long.
She goes to Montana for closure, and to maybe learn a little more about who she is (her father and her were estranged). Moreover, she wants to figure out if maybe there is something more out there: love, a new career, a life to live possibly? Needless to say, aside from finding out that there are good men out there, Nikki finds herself realizing that she needs to take risks if she wants happiness. So through learning more about her father, discovering the beauty of a new place, meeting Wade’s family, and some adventures in the mountains (maybe some liquor and bed play too *wink*), Nikki grows a lot throughout the story.
So does Wade of course! However, I can say that I loved how he came around naturally to opening up to Nikki and was ready to fight for her despite her constant shying away. It was refreshing to see the hero lay everything on the table, so to speak, as well as give all of himself with hardly any resistance. Most of the time, the tables are turned, or it plays out more equally, but Wade was one of the most upright, honest male characters I have encountered. Even better, he was so attentive and considerate when it came to Nikki’s feelings, discomfort, and sexual needs. Good grief, let me just say that Victoria can write some of the best sexual scenes I have ever read….and I have read many of them. In fact, I will openly admit that after reading some of these scenes I wanted to attack my significant other (snort).
Now, let me just say that the extras in the book were fabulous as well. The Knowlton’s (Donna and Justin), were sweet characters, though Donna (Wade’s mom) was present more. With that said, even though they weren’t in the book a lot, I still felt the love of both of the parents for Wade as well as how polite and respectful Justin (Wade’s dad) was. Oh boy though, let me just say that Dirk had me going. Dirk, is Wade’s older brother, and damn is he rough around the edges. He and Wade have some seriously twisted history (which has to do with Wade’s current problems), and well, Dirk is definitely the perfect example of the tortured cowboy. He is pretty damned sexy from what I gathered, crass, and undeniably unhinged in some fashion (makes for a man full of potential, yes?).
Dirk, is trying like hell to save the family ranch; the Flying K. Furthermore, his loathing of Wade is quite clear (Wade is trying to sell it despite Dirk’s need to save it). Well, I understand both sides of that coin, so I choose no sides. However, I am intrigued by the brotherly scorn and hope that somehow those two will make things right with one another. What is even better is that I know Dirk’s story is next. Now, I loved Wade (oh, how I loved him), but Dirk will definitely be even more intense! After all, he has been burned by his love for one woman, through tragic personal experience in a warzone, and lost more of himself than many. Need I say more? Truly, I am looking forward to finding out who saves his soul, and his life.
There are others of course; ladies like Allie and Janice. Janice is cute bartender who seems to have a thing for Dirk, and Allie is the obnoxious former bedmate of Wade (as well as a real estate shark). She still chapped my hide, despite her trying to help Nikki later on in the book. Honestly, it’s pretty clear that her reason behind doing anything is slanted in a way that ultimately makes her life easier. Then, of course there is Shelby, Nikki’s little half-sister. This girl, she cracked me up with her bluntness and skewed view of the world. I am hoping that somehow maybe she finds her way as well, and finds a man like Wade to help her become who she could be, if given the chance.
In the end, I was sad to put the book down, it was that wonderful. I just loved all the characters (even Allie had her moments and her need to be in the story for plot-based reasons). Plus, the way in which the story brought Wade and Nikki together through fun chance made me smile. The two of them were meant to be from the beginning, and I enjoyed watching their love blossom. Nikki gave Wade the ability to open up and show just how beautiful he is on the outside as well as in. While Wade gave Nikki the ability to not just be sassy, tough, and independent, but tenacious and brave. I cannot possibly express how badly one must read this story. I am anxiously waiting for Victoria’s next!
*ARC provided by Publisher**
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