This was one of those stories where if I had gone by my first inclination then I would not have finished the book. And that would have been a shame because it got better as it went for me.
The premise of the story is about how a small town girl, Ana Reynolds, with a few dreams and little self-confidence in the relationship department sees an incredibly handsome Lakota man who to her is out of her league and off limits- Lakota’s only choose Lakota women. Ana is working a bartending job, but she’s taking cooking classes to advance to dinner cook at the bar and she has plans to go on to college and pursue her art. Meeting Kane, or Howahkan, changes all that.
Howahkan, or Kane as he goes by off the reservation, is instantly attracted to Ana. Her sweet spirit calls to him and he wants to be with her. But he has chosen to live and work at his leather crafts and work with horses on the reservation and to help support and promote his people’s way of life. He was hurt before by a woman for whom his chosen path was not enough and will not open himself to that again. He can only promise Ana a one time fling or at most occasional getting together.
Ana agrees to his offer and they come together, but it is soon evident to both of them that there is something real between them that has now been strengthened. Kane sticks to his promise though and will not allow the spark to deepen. They are both hurt, but go their separate ways. Only-
They get another chance. What will they do with it? Is what they have together strong enough to overcome outside prejudice and ambition?
The plot was simple since this was not a long story and it was fairly straightforward. I struggled because I’m not a fan of the insta-love and lust stuff. In this one, one hot look and a hotter weekend fling has Ana convinced that they are fated and I could only shake my head over that. She gets burned not just once for getting all dreamy eyed over a guy who uses her and swears she’ll not let it happen again. Then she meets this lovely man who is straight up honest with her about the expectation of just a weekend, she tells him yep she’s good with that. They have their weekend and it was good for them both. Then he reminds her of their agreement and sends her on her way, she gets all hurt and angry about him. Girl! Fortunately for her Kane was privately just as affected by their weekend and the story gets a different ending.
I also struggled with how stilted the story felt in the first few pages. But once I got used to the author’s voice (or maybe it got better, not sure), I really enjoyed the story that unfolded. It brought up real issues that these two had to deal with- cross culture relationship, insecurities brought on by the past, and the possibility that their dreams would interfere with them being together. After the passionate weekend, the relationship did turn into one of growing attraction and discovery about each other though the sultry bedroom scenes did continue.
The world building was nicely done. I enjoyed the little peeks at the Lakota traditions and the back drop of the small ranching community.
I really liked Ana and Kane once they started really trying to be a couple and opening up to each other. The secondary characters added to the story and I liked them too. One of the secondary characters, Daphne, has her own story and I’ll probably check that out at some point.
Glad I kept reading to the finish! Enjoyable read for those who like me enjoy Western Contemporary Romances.
I requested this book from Net Galley for review and this review is in my own humble opinion.
*Book provided through NetGalley
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