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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Finding Their Way Back by Stacy Dawn, Cindy Spencer Pape, Roni Adams

Finding Their Way Back (Wayback, Texas) by Stacy Dawn, Cindy Spencer Pape, Roni Adams
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary / Western
Length: Full (338 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

When Elizabeth O'Leary meets up with the cowboy she's been avoiding for over two years, she doesn't know whether to trust her heart or her head. One tells her Grey Wulfsen just might be The One, the other tells her it doesn’t matter because he'll never forgive her when he finds out what she took away with her on that one starlit night.

Free Wulfsen learned early on that rodeo relationships never last. After one wild weekend, the barrel racer finds herself married to bull rider Zane Malone. She’s all set to ask him for a divorce when she takes a fall—and finds out she’ll have more to remember him by than a ring. Now it’s up to Zane to convince her that love can last after the rodeo’s over.

Bull rider Dusty Wulfsen has been thrown to the ground by more bulls than he can remember, yet nothing caused as much pain as losing Carrie Montgomery. When she shows up in Wayback determined to have a second ride at his heart, he knows he'd be a fool to let her near him. But memories of those nights under a rodeo moon have him coming back for more.

Characters that have difficulty separating who they are from what they do, as a profession make this antilogy an exciting look at the rodeo world and the contestants that at times seem bigger than life. As they work to resolve conflicts or to reach compromises in relationships, the reader in pulled into the subculture of the rodeo. Love, that survives the challenge, runs deep and true. Some of the love scenes sizzle; others are sweet, while some are breathtaking.

“One Starlit Night” by Stacy Dawn
Quiet, pragmatic Elizabeth O’Leary, and accountant that feels like she is invisible much of the time, stepped out of character one starlit night two years ago. Now, with bronc rider Grey Wulfsen back in Wayback, she finds her heart and the teachings of the two angry women that raised her in conflict. Like a moth to flame, she goes to watch Grey ride. When he recognizes her, she disappears quickly. However, when he does find her and they touch his hand wakes the woman deep inside her, making her emotions feel ‘like an electrical storm out of control”.

Grey Wulfsen, the Lone Wolf of rodeo, remembers her eyes and that life-changing night. The rodeo circuit is his life with buckle bunnies galore especially since his successful venture into music. His life, with no ties, is far removed from Elizabeth’s.

The secondary characters like Paige and Gretel help make this story a joy to read as they apply their own type of love as they interact with Elizabeth and Grey.

“After The Rodeo” by Cindy Spencer Pape
Blonde and beautiful independent rodeo-wise, barrel racer Free Wulfsen shows up at the Wayback rodeo with papers in hand. She plans to connect with Zane Malone, get the papers signed, and move on down the road to the next rodeo. She and her two horses had prizes and money to win. She had no illusions about rodeo cowboys nor does she see herself with feminine appeal but as a rodeo rider—until! Mistrunner slips circling a barrel. Free falls. Her life changes.

Zane Malone, circuit rider and Dusty Wulfsen’s competitor in bull riding, finds himself challenged in more than bull riding when he stakes his claim on Free. Unaware of Zane’s life off the circuit, the three Wulfsens find themselves dealing with a new facet of an old friend, a facet they are inclined to shy away from. When a manipulative female from his past plays havoc with Zane’s life, his rodeo family rallies around to help set things back to right with him and Free.

Cindy Spencer Pape creates a love story with a heart-warming hero and a heroine that knows she can manage on her own. But does she really want to?

“Under A Rodeo Moon” by Roni Adams
Carrie’s strong personality and sense of self are evident from the beginning. Only her insecurity about Dusty’s love for her makes her question her decisions. She pays a high price both emotionally and physically to pursue a love she feels will make her life complete.

Dusty Wulfsen, a bull rider, still holds to some “macho” ideas that send Carrie away. His life has not been the same since her departure. When he sees her in Wayback, Texas in an entirely different setting, he is thrown off balance. He does lots of self examining as he evaluates what he has always believed as it relates to his unrelenting desire and love for Carrie. His pride becomes a real obstacle that he can’t seem to get around.

These three stories about three siblings reveal much about rodeo culture but they reveal so much more about love finding a way through the dust and testosterone. The plots are predictable but the twists and turns in each story make for some rough rides for the characters both physically and emotionally before they get to the prize.

FINDING THEIR WAY BACK is a good one for the bookshelf. It will be fun to read more than once.