Raphael (Angel) Coleman and Laurel Sitko were thick as thieves throughout their school years. The unlikely friendship between the rancher’s son and the preacher’s daughter might have gone unnoticed by most, but their shared laughter and connection were the best parts of Rafe's life growing up. Now that she’s returned to Rocky, he’s eager to move from friend to something far more intimate.
After three years away, Laurel’s ready to start over with the gorgeous cowboy who’s always owned a piece of her heart. But when her college ex shows up in town, she’s got a lot more to deal with than expected, including one suddenly possessive cowboy determined to protect her even as he tutors her through every sexual lesson in the book.
Desire flares hotter and hotter through stolen moments and willing seduction. But when tragedy strikes, Rafe’s left on shaky ground, his biggest fear now a reality that could tear them apart and rip forever from their grasp.
Will the connection forged by time be strong enough to see them through to the other side?
Themes: contemporary, erotica, cowboys
Rating: 4.5 stars
Another cowboy bites the dust and the sexy single Coleman’s are almost all claimed! Vivian Arend has taken us on an amazing journey as the Coleman clan has grown up and one member after another has fallen in love and found their soul mates. Life hasn’t been easy for these cowboys and girls, but each of them has found a way to prevail and prove that they are survivors. It becomes more obvious with each installment of this series that this family is full of love, laughter, and the strength to weather any storm. I have been a fan of this series since the very beginning, including the spin-off Thompson’s series which was also great, and while I am sure that other authors might have lost that spark by now, Arend keeps my interest every time with the challenges she puts these couples (or triads) through and the way she is able to bring them together despite all odds. While I will say that you are missing out on a great experience if you haven’t read other books in the series, Rafe and Laurel’s story is wonderful all by its lonesome and I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you are looking for some sexy fun with a handsome cowboy and a bad girl hiding in a proper lady Rocky Mountain Devil is just the story you’ve been looking for. I cannot wait to read the next novel, which I believe will be Jesse’s, and hopefully get more chances to see the Coleman’s in action.
Rafe has been in love with Laurel since he was six years old, even though he didn’t know to give his emotions that name. She was the other half of his life for all of his young life and when they both hit an age where friendship wasn’t enough, they gave each other the chance to grow and experience life. But now she is back in Rocky Mountain House and no way is he going to give up the chance to have her for his own. Laurel has returned home, with a troubling past that she has kept to herself for years, but having a chance at happiness with Rafe is what she’s always wanted. When her past comes back to bite her there is no way she will let it keep her from being happy, but will she be able to share with Rafe the pain she lives with each day? Then tragedy strikes for the Coleman’s and the connection between these two longtime friends turned lovers is tested to its limits.
I loved every second of getting to know Rafe and Laurel. The hits of Rafe’s humor and silliness in previous novels were slim, but it soon becomes obvious that he is a sweet prankster, while also being a hard-working, sexy bad boy with a penchant for naughtiness. Rafe is the kind of man that could easily turn quiet and somber without the right woman to bring out his sweet and playful side, having to deal with the bastard that is his father and understanding that he’s not the same as his father. His flaws are just as interesting as his virtues, but the best thing about him has to be his loyalty to the woman he loves. When he is with Laurel, she is the center of his attention and the most important person in any room, even when she is busy with others. I enjoyed seeing him falling in love with his best friend and learning to lean on her for emotional support in times of stress and pain. It’s obvious that Laurel is the perfect match for him in every way and the one woman that could complete his soul. Laurel herself is an enigma in a few ways; she is obviously well loved and was once centered, but when her world was rocked by circumstances, she never learned how to handle the trauma and lost faith. She is back in the world of her youth and hides the darkness she experiences from everyone, pretending it never happened instead of really dealing with her pain. I was thrilled to see her standing up for herself when it came to Jeff, but I wish she had shared her pain sooner with Rafe, which might have allowed her to heal fully. But even with her own issues, she was always there for Rafe, even when he attempted to push her away, and her love for him is enough to heal them both. Her perky personality might have been annoying if not for her mischievousness and naughty side balancing out the good girl side of her nature.
I loved every second of Rocky Mountain Devil, even when the story was bringing tears to my eyes and making me think of my own issues, but honestly isn’t that what makes a story great—that ability to draw on the readers’ emotions? Rafe and Laurel were a destined match in every way, perfectly balancing one another in moments of crisis and quiet. Rafe is a sexy and challenging cowboy that has spent most of his life hiding his solemn emotional side, trying to keep his father from tearing him down. He has grown a lot from the annoying little brother we met in Gabe’s story and seeing him become a truly good man, despite his fears, is one of the good parts of reading a long time series. Laurel has always been the spirited adventurous girl, even though she has never gone too far off course and remained the sweet girl that Rafe knew all his life. While she is certainly a good woman, she has her wicked side too and that makes her a wonderfully rounded character. The love between them started out quietly, love between two longtime friends, but quickly heated up into the full-blown passion that I expect from a Coleman and any woman that conquers his heart. Seeing the two of them burning up the town, the sexy cowboy and naughty librarian clichés notwithstanding, was beyond stimulating and kept my attention every minute. I cannot wait to read Jesse’s story coming soon and see him also find his place in the Coleman clan and see him fall for a woman that will capture his heart and soul. Arend’s skill with words is astounding to me and she is one of my favorite authors. A sexy read with all the tears, pain, and laughs that make a life worth living, Rocky Mountain Devil, will take you through all the emotional turmoil of a truly loving relationship that will obviously last forever. Another stroke of genius for Vivian and great addition to any library.
*eARC provided by author for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.