Out Riderby Lindsey McKenna (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Series: Jackson Hole #1
Published by HQN Books on April 26, 2016
Genres: Adult, Military, Romantic Suspense
Source: Kismet Book Touring
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I received this book for free from Kismet Book Touring in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
With her return to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, New York Times bestselling author Lindsay McKenna shows how love can find a way out of the darkness…
A fresh start—that's all Devorah McGuire wants. As a former Marine and current Ranger with the US Forest Service, she's grown accustomed to keeping others safe. But when the unthinkable happens, she can only hope that a transfer to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, will allow her to put the past behind her for good.
Dev's mentor at Grand Tetons National Park is fellow canine handler and horseman Sloan Rankin. He shows Dev the spectacular trails, never knowing the terror that stalks her every move. Despite her lingering fear, Dev feels an attraction for Sloan as wild as their surroundings.
With Sloan, Dev can envision a new life—a real home. Unless a vengeful man fresh out of prison succeeds in finishing what he started…
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Out Rider is the eleventh installment in the Jackson Hole, Wyoming series featuring former military members in a western setting. This is the second book in this series that I’ve read, and I was instantly at home with these characters. The book was written as a standalone,just featuring a new set of main characters with some recurring secondary characters that span all of books. This installment wasn’t as heavy on the military aspects as the previous book since both of the main characters were pretty settled after their military careers were over, but the parts about Dev’s deployments were enjoyable to read as we got to learn more about her and her life before she became a civilian again. Out Rider wasn’t very ranch or country living heavy either since these characters worked for the forest service; instead, we were treated to many wonderful descriptions of the beautiful mountains, trails, and forests in the national parks in Wyoming.
Dev McGuire is still skittish from an attack by a coworker-turned-stalker at her former park service assignment across the country, and she thinks she’ll never be able to trust a man again. While the different scenery and the change of post bring new responsibilities and new dangers for her and her rescue dog Bella at Grand Tetons National Park, she can’t help but be drawn to fellow park ranger Sloan Rankin. He’s calm, collected, and a great listener–all the things that the men in her life have never been. Just when her life seems to be getting back on track and she’s feeling great, her stalker gets out of jail and comes for her–disrupting her calm new budding relationship and life with Sloan.
Sloan is a park ranger and farrier for the park service and the local ranches, but he was also in the Army and was able to keep his combat assault dog when his enlistment was over. Strong and protective, Sloan is drawn to Dev from the start, especially since they both have combat dogs (Dev has a bomb and IUD sniffing dog). But he senses that something else is going on with Dev, and he slowly befriends her and she opens up about her stalker and the fear that he’s still out to get her.
Dev and Sloan’s relationship develops as a friendship first, and once things get tense, things become much more serious. Dev and Sloan are both very likeable characters, and their dogs are very present as secondary characters that play big parts in the story. Miss Gus and her family, along with Talon Holt, his wife, and mother make appearances, and Sheriff Cade Garner and Dr. Jordana McPherson are significant players in this installment.
I give Out Rider a four out of five. I love how easy it is to jump right into these books and feel like you live there with the characters. The country, mountainous setting was beautifully described, and the author really knows her horses and wildlife. Little things interweave between the books, but you can easily enjoy the books individually with no problem. This isn’t the typical weak-woman-needs-saving-by-the-strong-man book, which was really refreshing. Dev definitely was a strong, likeable character who took Sloan’s help when she needed it. A great romantic suspense with awesome characters and great scenery. I’m definitely a fan of this series!
About Lindsay McKenna
A U.S. Navy veteran, she was a meteorologist while serving her country. She pioneered the military romance in 1993 with Captive of Fate, Silhouette Special edition. Her heart and focus is on honoring and showing our military men and women. Creator of the Wyoming Series and Shadow Warriors series for HQN, she writes emotionally and romantically intense suspense stories. Visit her online at www.LindsayMcKenna.com.
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