Some of you are going to recognize today’s author right away. If the name isn’t familiar to you, you may have just found a new author with a LOT of books for you to read 🙂
by Diana Palmer
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (November 24, 2015)
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Diana Palmer is back in Wyoming with a tale of love born in Big Sky Country…
Billionaire oilman Blair Coleman has always taken care of his business. After having been used and cast aside by a woman he thought he loved, his personal life is far from his first priority. He knows only one has ever truly cared for him—but the irresistible blonde beauty is the daughter of his best friend.
Niki Ashton has seen her father’s friend wounded and she’s seen him fight. Blair is the strongest—and most stubborn—man she’s ever known. That very heart and passion makes him the man of her dreams, but whenever they’ve been in danger of getting close, Blair has always pushed her away.
It takes a possible tragedy to strip away all of Blair’s misgivings. Now it’s all or nothing: marriage, baby, family, forever. But will the choice be too much for Niki…or too late?
When I think of western romances, I almost always think of Diana Palmer. I definitely haven’t read them all but I’ve read a few over the years. To be that successful for that long, you know she’s good at what she does 🙂
It’s mentioned in the blurb that Niki is the daughter of Blair’s best friend, but it isn’t as clear that the age difference between the two of them is the big issue of the book. I got the idea that it was his heartbreak that was going to be the trouble spot but it turned out not to be the deal breaker.
A May/December conflict isn’t seen as much as it was a few decades ago, but Palmer does a good job of explaining Blair’s concerns. He’s a powerful, rich business man who has traveled the world and he’s got a strong sense of duty. Dating someone so much younger isn’t something he’s comfortable with, even if he has trouble avoiding that attraction.
I’ve seen some complaints in other reviews about Niki’s innocence. She is awfully young when the book starts, and falls for Blair, but she’s definitely old enough that by modern standards she should be more worldly than she is. And while it was a little bit much for me at the very beginning, she grew on me and I started seeing that as just a part of her personality. She did grow up with just her dad on their ranch, even living there while going to college, and she is a good church goer, so it does seem possible that she avoided some of that. Once the book gets going, it stops being an issue for me so I think that is just going to be a personal thing for each reader.
Overall, I enjoyed Wyoming Rugged. There were a couple of places that I shook my head – there were some conversations that would have definitely benefited both Niki and Blair … but then the book would have been a whole lot shorter. And I’m not sure that I would have been as quick to forgive as Niki after Blair does the hot/cold routine more than once, but she’s not a thing like me. I definitely thought things were going to go in a different direction and if I’d been Niki there would have been some words. Good thing for Blair he got her instead 🙂
It’s not going to be for everyone – between the age difference (which some found kinda icky because Blair tries to treat her like a kid when he first figures out that he’s attracted to her), Nikki’s innocence, and the old-fashioned feel that these things give the story. But I do think that there are a lot of people out there who will enjoy it. There are Palmer’s fans, but also those that like that kind of book. (If you are iffy I recommend checking out a couple of reviews on Goodreads, both good and poor – you’ll figure out quick enough if you are going to like it.)
An icon in western romance, Diana Palmer has been writing with Harlequin since 1980 and has published over 180 titles, with over 61 million books sold! When not writing, Susan’s hobbies are gardening, knitting, crocheting, astronomy, archaeology and animals. She also has dogs, cats, birds and lizards.
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