REVIEW: The Devil Inside by Kate Davies
Dear Ms Davies,
I’ve always enjoyed westerns – the genre is the first that I began reading when I came back to romance – and cowboys so a modern version of this old faithful attracts me as well. And given that I’ve started watching PBR events, your book was a timely find.
As Chris LeDoux and Garth Brooks ask, “Whatcha gonna do with a cowboy when he don’t saddle up and ride away?” Well, in the case of Sam Quincannon, she decides to ride him. That is after the doctor has checked Cody out for internal injuries and he’s had a couple of days to let his concussion heal while staying at Sam’s apartment.
These two have a “history,” and Sam has her own issues with rodeo and the people involved in it. Can they work things out or will this reunion be over in eight seconds?
This seems to be a good, realistic view of rodeo life. The danger, the thrills, the “day in day out,” what drives people to put themselves into the sport despite the risks and injuries that almost all of them eventually get. Sam’s father died right near the time that the PBR was formed and when there were quite a few deaths from bull riding injuries so this also makes sense.
I like that you make it clear that the stockmen aren’t all out for money. Most are honest workers who supply healthy stock and make sure the stock is cared for. The rodeo people are also concerned with the events, the people involved and the stock and are ready and willing to makes sure that the show is run cleanly and take complaints seriously.
I realize that “The Devil Inside” is the bull’s name, but it seemed so awkward to keep reading the whole name during the scene when Cody rides him.
Cody’s stay at Sam’s apartment is believable instead of seeming like a ploy to get them into the same vicinity since he doesn’t have a great deal of money or insurance to pay for a longer hospital stay. Can any of these riders get insurance? The rates must be horrendous if they even can.
Cody and Sam don’t immediately start doing the dirty hours after he gets to her place. Thank you, thank you. The man was badly hurt and needs to heal first. His recovery also shows a realistic view of how these men see and deal with their injuries. A rodeo performer can’t afford to let injuries – to us major but to them minor – keep them out of the game for long. They know the injuries must be dealt with but making a living comes neck and neck with healing.
Major points for you when Sam and Cody take the time to discover the people they are now instead of thinking the other has remained static. It’s been thirteen years and both have changed and matured. Their separation years ago also works for me since she was (slightly) underage and he had been warned off by her mother. I like that Cody appreciates the fact that Sam doesn’t hero worship him or have a crush on him any more. And that he likes the woman she is now. Sam has to be persuaded to consider a relationship with a rodeo man. She has good reason and I would have frowned on her if she’d tossed her concerns and dived right into a romance.
I like that both are willing to compromise. Cody loves the job he has and the life he leads. Sam watched her beloved father die in the ring from injuries sustained from a ride. They’ve got some real issues to work out. They take the time to do that and think about their relationship, what it entails and what it will take to make it work. But most of all I appreciate that Sam starts back into horse riding mainly for her. The book ends with them still working out the details of their lives and the things it will take for them to be together – for her getting comfortable around the rodeo world again and for him wearing gear to protect him. Which is close to perfect. B+
This book can be purchased in ebook format.