Synopsis from Goodreads
Maverick Austin Davis is forced to return home after a ten-year career as a rodeo star. After one too many head injuries, he’s off the circuit and in the horse farming business, something he’s never taken much of a shine to, but now that it’s his late father’s legacy, familial duty calls. How will Maverick find his way after the only dream he ever had for himself is over?
Enter Leighton Elizabeth James, an ugly duckling turned beauty from Maverick’s childhood—his younger sister’s best friend, to be exact, and someone whose heart he stomped all over when she confessed her crush to him ten years back. Now Leighton is back in Maverick’s life, no longer the insecure, love-stricken teen—and Maverick can’t help but take notice. Sparks fly between them, but will Leighton be able to open her heart to the one man who broke it all those years ago?
Maverick left his hometown 10 years ago to pursue his dream of becoming a star rodeo rider, severing the emotional ties that bound him to Pine Oak, namely his feelings for his sisters best friend, Leighton. Although he destroyed her heart in the process. The circumstances surrounding Mavericks desperation to leave his family and hometown are revealed piece by piece building a devastating picture of emotional and physical abuse by his father added to the abandonment issues he endures due to his mothers taking off.
Leighton was wrecked when Maverick tore her heart apart having harboured strong feelings for him most of her life. Although she was unaware of his suffering. Shortly after Mavericks departure, Leighton suffered another emotional blow with the loss of her parents, although the remaining members of the Davis sibling were there to support her. Leighton has grown emotionally and physically since Maverick’s departure, blossoming into a confident, beautiful, successful business woman although she does still harbour some insecurities stemming from the wounds Maverick inflicted.
When Maverick’s career comes to an end due to injury coinciding with the death of his estranged father, Maverick returns to Pine Oak to offer emotional support and comfort tho his siblings. Confronting his past, both the good and the bad, in order to move forward with the next stage of his life he has to face his demons head on.
The chemistry between Maverick and Leighton is electric from the very first moment of their reunion, However, the scars of the past result in very volatile interactions.
Unable to deny their attraction that has only built over their time apart, Leighton and Maverick quickly make up for lost time. Unfortunately, the barriers are still in place dues to their shared history and personal demons. I loved the way in which Maverick and Leighton were able to provide a strong foundation for each other to enable them to make themselves vulnerable in order to build a future together.
As Maverick and Leighton overcome their emotional barriers it serves to highlight the underlying afflictions both of the remaining Davis’s siblings try to hide. Quinn and Clay also have a lot of emotional baggage they need to confront in order to achieve their own happily ever after. I am looking forward to seeing them shed the ties that bind them.