This is the third book in the Harts of the Rodeo series, however it can be read as a standalone.
While enjoyed this book I can’t say that it was as good as some of the other books that I haev read from the series. Much like the others there is the presence of nearly the whole Hart family in the book as well as a number of people from the town and rodeo circuit. Duke’s story helps to continue the ongoing story of the Hart, but as I mentioned above it is not required to read the other novels first as there is enough background information given in it.
Since many of the characters in this book are recurring in the series I will focus my attention on the main characters of Duke, Angie and her son Luke. Duke is your typical rodeo cowboy who fills the role Deputy on the side. He has always liked Angie but has never had the courage to really talk to her, however when Midnight gets stolen events are set in motion that put him at her doorstep and he finally gets the chance to talk to her. Angie was a great character, she loves animals with all her heart, is against the rodeo because of their mistreatment of animals, loves and is protective of her son and tries to instill good beliefs and values in him. Luke is your typical boy with plenty of energy to burn and plenty of curosity.
While the romance between Duke and Angie is slow going it works perfectly for this story. There are a great number of things that both Duke and Angie need to overcome in order for their relationship to grow and while they each struggle at times for various reasons it really adds a nice depth to their love story. Angie’s aversion to rodeo threw an extra element into their relationship as it showed Duke that while rodeo is important to him and his family it is not the same to others. The fact that Duke is not only willing to fight for Angie’s love but also to give up something as major as his rodeo career, and ensure that it is front page news, shows how committed he is to Angie and Luke.
The break ins and mystery surrounding Midnight’s disappearance is a nice addition to the story. Much like the other books in the series the romance is only part of the picture, it’s the rodeo, the ranch and everything else happening and affecting the Harts that pushes events forward and makes the story appealing. There are nice hints given about what is to come without spoiling how things will turn out.
If you’ve read other books in this series or even if you haven’t I would recommend reading this book. It is a really nice love story with that rodeo feel to it. I will be looking at finishing off this series soon and I hope to enjoy the remaining books.