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AdamAdam (Riding Hard #1) by Jennifer Ashley

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Synopsis: Stuntman Adam Campbell returns home to Riverbend, Texas, after being seriously injured in a movie stunt gone wrong. He settles in to heal at his family’s ranch, where his four brothers, famous trick riders, train horses.

Adam is stunned to find Bailey Farrell working there—she was the shy girl who’d helped Adam graduate high school so he could run off to Hollywood. Except the budding Bailey, with whom Adam had a brief but intense affair, has blossomed into a beautiful woman. Now the sparks that had once ignited between them threaten to explode.

Adam is beaten-up, broken-down, and has lost his nerve—the stunt that injured him also killed his best friend. The only one he can turn to is Bailey, but will Bailey, who has come back to Riverbend to lick her wounds after a painful divorce, be willing to help him again?

Book 1 of Riding Hard. A 230-page (approx) novel—20 chapters, plus bonus sneak peek at Grant’s book and a recipe for Mrs. Ward’s Harvest Pie.

Review: This was a very entertaining story about a stuntman who is seriously injured and goes home to recuperate and finds the bookworm that helped him graduate high school and who he had a quick fling with has grown up into a spirited and confident woman with her own scars.  She is the only one he can turn to to help him over come his PTSD in order to reclaim his life, but the more time he spends with her, the less he wants to return to the Hollywood life he left behind in a flaming wreck.

Bailey has been burned before.  She left her high end Austin lifestyle and her excheating husband to torture to her home town to lick her wounds and move on.  What she finds is a reason to be happy and get out of bed, working on the Campbell ranch training stunt horses and learning how to do stunts herself.  What she doesn’t expect is her high school crush and very brief lover, Adam, to come back ten years later and jeopardize what she has built with his charming smiles and smoldering looks. She tries to keep her distance but when he comes to her one night and begs her to help him overcome his fears and panic attacks in order to beat an old high school rival, she can’t help but agree. What happens next is sure to shake up her life and break her heart, again, when he goes back to his LA life.

I enjoyed the story.  It was fast, well-paced, had a good emotional struggle that pulled the reader into the plot, and the characters are well developed and entertaining.  I enjoyed watching Adam work to win Bailey back, beat he fears, and in the end prove to Bailey that she is more important to him then any sort of Hollywood lifestyle and that he will not walk away from her a second time.  Fun story, sexy cowboys, action and suspense that kept me turning the pages, and great passion.  Will definitely pick up more in this series.

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