Title: Wyoming Rugged
Series: Wyoming Men, Book 5
Author: Diana Palmer
Publisher: HQN Books
Release Date: November 24, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Western, May-December, Romance
ARC (Paperback) Received From: HQN Books
Reviewed For: TLC Book Tours
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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?
Other books in this series
Age really is just a number. I know a couple with a twenty year difference between them. I know another with a fifteen year difference. When it comes to the heart, age really shouldn't matter.
It did to Blair. For the majority of this book, that was his hangup. It was what kept him from claiming the only woman who didn't want him for his money or for what he could buy her. I won't lie. It got annoying after a bit, especially when it became increasingly obvious his heart was fully invested in everything that was Niki. But his insistence that their age was a big deal got me thinking: maybe it was why he married Elise in the first place? Oh, there were plenty of hints that he loved his wife at the beginning of their marriage so I can't dispute that a part of his heart belonged to her. But his reaction to Niki after things started falling apart got me wondering if it'd all been a cover-up.
Niki was a likable character. Young, beautiful...naive. I think her innocence and wide-eyed view of the world was what Blair needed. Jaded businessman that he was, she allowed him to see the world differently, experience things differently. But her naivete was exaggerated, expounded on one too many times, as was her delicate nature. While she didn't seem to mind the ailments and illnesses she had, everyone else did. Niki was made of sterner stuff because she knew she wasn't like everyone else. Her lapse in judgement when it came to that hike could have been fatal, but she pulled through and lived thanks to a nurse on the hike and her attentive doctor.
The sexual tension and/or attraction between Blair and Niki was, at first, just words on paper to me. I didn't feel that connection initially. He was her father's best friend, her protector, her confidante. Maybe it was because he was those things that I didn't feel that spark between them. It wasn't until later in Cancun that that attraction flared to life for me. It simmered on the beach there then increased with intensity when they made it back home. I would have loved to have seen it explode from there. I know I would have felt that "Finally!" feeling if it had.
But it didn't and Blair is to blame. His constant battle with self almost had no bounds and it resulted in this tug-of-war of I want you/I don't want you that just grated my nerves. At that point, I wondered why Niki even bothered. The man was a shark in business, sharp and on point. But when it came to the obvious, he was clueless.
I don't know if Ms. Palmer's other books are like this one with the constant back and forth and exaggerations but I'm willing to read others to see if they are. Maybe it's this one book. Maybe it's just me. Could be that. All of my issues aside, this was an okay story for me. I liked the idea that drove it, just wanted a little more than I found in 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.