What it’s about (courtesy Sourcebooks Casablanca):
In rural Montana … Wade Knowlton is a hardworking lawyer who’s torn between his small-town Montana law practice and a struggling family ranch. He’s on the brink of exhaustion from trying to save everybody and everything, when gorgeous Nicole Powell walks into his office. She’s a damsel in distress and the breath of fresh air he needs.
Even the lawyers wear boots …Nicole Powell is a sassy Southern girl who has officially sworn off cowboys after a spate of bad seeds-until her father’s death sends her to Montana and into the arms of a man who seems too good to be true. Her instincts tell her to high tail it out of Montana, but she can’t resist a cowboy with a slow hand…
Why you should read it: Nikki Powell lives in Atlanta, has a dead-end job with a merciless nitpicky boss and has just been notified that her estranged father has died in Montana. As his only living relative, it is up to Nikki to go to Montana to make funeral arrangements and finalize his affairs. What she doesn’t expect is to have one awful thing after another happen on her way, resulting in her arrival with no official identification, no money and no way to get help. That is, until she runs into attorney Wade Knowlton. Wade rescues her as best he can until she can get the ID and cards in her missing wallet replaced.
Wade’s family owns a ranch, and he winds up taking Nikki home with him because she has nowhere else to go. A horseback ride out to round up stray cattle turns into an overnight stay in a shack, and Nikki and Wade find plenty to do to pass the night. This book has some of the hottest sex scenes, I’ll tell you for sure.
Wade and his brother Dirk have some kind of bad history that Wade won’t talk about, but when that bombshell is finally revealed to Nikki, it will either bring Nikki and Wade closer or cause a permanent split before their relationship can even begin.
Nikki has her own baggage and secrets that she has a tough time telling Wade, or anyone else, for that matter. The only thing she’ll tell Wade is she has sworn off cowboys but not why. I was rooting for them to just talk to each other through the whole book, but when they did it might have made matters worse, not better.
More secrets: What does Wade know about Nikki’s father that she doesn’t know? Will it make a difference to her about returning to Atlanta and the horrible boss when she finds out?
I loved this book and in fact could hardly put it down. In the end I only have one thing to say to Ms. Vane: when will the next book be out and it had better tell us all about Wade’s brother Dirk and what’s going on with him! I highly recommend Slow Hand as an enjoyable romantic story with some comedy, some drama and lots of scorching sex.
INTERVIEW WITH VICTORIA VANE
Becky: You are known for your historical romances. What made you want to write a contemporary Western romance?
Victoria: To be perfectly candid, I have to say it was out of sheer frustration! After almost five years and 13 books that have received numerous awards and accolades, I’m still virtually unknown to readers. A good friend of mine, who is also a reviewer for several sites, kept trying to persuade me to write a contemporary romance. I balked at the idea for two years in the belief that I had the wrong voice for it, but then last year I finally broke down and decided to give it a try.
She and I brainstormed ideas for a couple of months but nothing bore fruit. I think it was because I was trying to shape a story around what seemed to be most popular with readers at the time — the billionaire/virgin trope. I just couldn’t buy into it. It was only when I began looking inward that I found my story. I’ve been a lifelong horse owner and have always loved cowboys. (Wade is named after my first cowboy crush.) Once my characters came to life in my head, so did the “voice.”
Becky: The locations of the story are so well described. How did you decide on Montana for this story?
Victoria: Once more, this is where personal experiences came into play as I have been to almost all the places I mention in the books. Nikki’s story is partly autobiographical as I was also estranged from my father for many years. He had moved to Montana with plans to retire there but then developed lung cancer. He passed away six months later and his ashes were scattered there. I went to Montana to research my story, but also to say my final goodbye to my father.
Becky: Nikki is a strong, self-sufficient woman. Would it have been easier to write a story about a woman who accepted Wade as her white knight without the guilt or angst that Nikki had?
Victoria: It probably would have been much easier, but it also would have been a really short story! Cowboy meets girl. Girl falls in love with cowboy. They live happily ever after. The end. LOL! Seriously, most of my heroines are very strong-willed and independent. They also carry some baggage, but that’s the type of woman I best relate to.
Becky: Your secondary characters are as well developed as your main characters. Will we hear more about Wade’s brother and Nikki’s sister as the series moves ahead?
Victoria: Absolutely! Wade’s brother Dirk is the hero of the second book, Rough Rider. I think readers are going to be very surprised by his journey. It’s a very intense, complex and emotionally compelling story.
As far as Nikki’s sister Shelby goes, I had planned for her story to be book No. 3 but my editor rejected the proposal because I had paired her up with a football player (the one from Slow Hand). She didn’t want a football player even though I told her he was also a cowboy, so I had to come up with a completely different storyline for No. 3, which she accepted. Later, when she read Slow Hand, she fell completely in love with Shelby and asked if that was my next book! So now it looks like Shelby and her cowboy football player will be book No. 5! It’s going to be really fun since I plan to turn the bad-boy trope on its ear. I would also like to write a story for Allie, but it hasn’t quite come to life for me yet.
Becky: Can you tell us about your works in progress? Where can readers find out more about you and your upcoming books?
Victoria: I just turned in my final revisions on book No. 3 in this series called Sharp Shooter. I have a feeling it is going to be a very polarizing book, but it is also my favorite of the three. The hero is a Marine scout sniper whose family runs a backcountry hunting/outfitting business in Wyoming. My heroine is a wolf biologist/conservationist from Southern California. It deals with a number of highly relevant issues. The tag line is: Sparks ignite when worlds collide! (You can say that again!)
I am also working on book No. 4, Silver Tongue, which features wild Mustangs, another subject that I have personal experience with as I adopted and trained one a number of years ago. I’m really excited about both of these stories.
Lastly, I have a hot Las Vegas set series called Hotel Rodeo coming from Kensingtonin early 2016. Book No. 1 is Hell on Heels and pairs a down-and-out former rodeo bull fighter with a N.Y. Investment banker. I love this series! It’s going to be fun and flirty with many colorful characters.
Find out more about Victoria and her books at www.victoriavane.com.
Becky Condit is a widow, mother of three and grandmother of 10 who reads all kinds of books, but her go-to comfort books are erotic romances. A romance novel coupled with just-out-of-the-oven chocolate-chip cookies and a glass of cold milk is her idea of heaven. She reads and reviews more than 250 books a year, so you won’t often find her without her Kindle in hand, but when you do, she’ll probably be gardening, doing needle crafts, working in her upholstery workshop and spending time with her family.