April 29, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Well, I definitely meant to get these up last week, but between Easter weekend (a killer at work – 40+ hours in 4 days killer) and my final paper for my Applied Psych class due this week, book reviews were not first and foremost on my mind. Hopefully you understand…
Emma Jensen was raised by a man who loved to indulge in life’s pleasures, but she never thought the desensitization she went through as a child would help her when she became an adult. Posing as a widow, Emma heads to London with her new housekeeper who’s just escaped her abusive husband just before the season starts to win a fortune that she can finally make a life for herself from. When the Duke of Somerhart first meets Emma, he doesn’t realize that he’s met her before, but it’s been so long he can’t remember and Emma isn’t complaining about that. When Emma realizes just what her attraction to the Duke could cost her, she had to find a way to stay away from him and make her fortune so she can begin that new life.
I finally got my hands on a copy of A Rake’s Guide to Pleasure – and isn’t that a horrible title? – the last of Victoria Dahl’s novels I had to read to be caught up, and I loved it. While it’s not surprising that I loved this, I’ve liked everything I’ve read from Dahl at this point, I’m still going to tell you about it, mainly because I loved Emma and the Duke together. When I read my first historical from Dahl, the Duke had a part, but we don’t get to know him very well. He’s mostly a quiet man who loved his sister, though most seem to think of him as severe. Who doesn’t love someone who is dark and broody, though? Having the chance to know him here, well certain parts of his character surprised me, but all in all I still liked him. Emma is, in my opinon, totally kick ass – in a very 19th century, daring woman way. If I had been a woman in 1800s England, I hope I would’ve been like Emma – embracing life the way she wants to, even if she’s doing it because she is so badly in need of money. I have yet to be disappointed by Dahl and very much look forward to more of her work.
Rodeo Queen Jodi Brand beat feet out of her small Wyoming hometown to grab her chance at college and hasn’t been back since. During the time she’s been away she’s done far more than get a college degree, she’s overcome her resentment against her mother and she is pretty sure she’s over Purvis bad-boy Teague Treadwell. Armed with her degree and her determination to open a horse therapy clinic for children with disabilities, she’s ready to head back home to the family ranch to make her dreams come true. But when Jodi get back to town, things are a little bit different, and it seems that maybe she isn’t over Teague, and perhaps there is some competition.
Last year, I discovered Joanne Kennedy and she quickly became a favorite author. While I did like Cowboy Fever overall, there were certain things that I really didn’t like which made the book… difficult. At least for the first half. When Jodi lets her mother try to dictate her life, even though she’s an adult, I got seriously pissed. Why should her mother tell her what she can and can’t do, especially when she (mom) is judging someone she really doesn’t even know. Letting herself be ifluenced by this made me dislike Jodi for a while, but like I said, things pick up after a while. Her mother admits she was wrong to make Jodi promise to stay away from someone. Plus there’s the new girl in town, who I strongly disliked the entire book and misjudged for being a daddy’s girl.
Regardless of what I didn’t like in Cowboy Fever, the relationship between Teague and Jodi is fun to follow. The two are great together. Lets also not forget Teague’s brother, Troy. He is definitely my favorite character from the book, especially with his love for ACDC. Bottom line, Cowboy Fever has some down points, but is full of great characters that make the book worth reading.
Tara Daniels swore she wasn’t going to stick around in Lucky Harbor this time. She was going to meet her sisters, sell her mothers inn, and get back to Texas, where her life is. When Tara does end up sticking, she’s got to find a way to deal with Ford and that one summer from her past that keeps haunting her. When her ex-husband shows up in town, things start to get really crazy and Tara’s got to figure out how to deal with the two alpha men and the HUGE surprise that she’s not at all expecting.
The Sweetest Thing was really good, and to be honest, I’m surprised at just how much I like the book. In the first book of the series, you don’t really get a chance to know Tara and because of that, it makes her difficult to like. A few chapters into The Sweetest Thing, and I’d learned about Tara – who she is and what she’s been through, and I found out she isn’t that, sorry there’s no nice way to put this, frigid bitch she seems at first glance. As the book went on I was rooting for Tara and Ford, regardless of the fact that I knew they would end up together – and when the surprise comes all chances of me putting the book down were lost. Basically, this was just another awesome Jill Shalvis book, and let me just say I cannot wait until the last book comes out in a few months!
Reporter Merinus Tyler has finally gotten her brothers and father to let her work with them on the case surrounding Callan Lyons, a man who was actually created by a group of scientists experimenting with human and animal DNA. Callan wants nothing to do with the reporter or her deal, he simply wants to protect his pride, the five others who are just like him, but believed to be dead. Callan realizes that Merinus isn’t just going to leave town, and when something attracts the two to each other, an urge that neither can deny, he’s got to do something. Eventually, soldiers serving the group that created Callan and his pridemates track him down, and now they don’t just want him, they also want Merinus and Callan’s got to find a way to protect Merinus and get the council off his back once and for all.
Fifteen months ago, Taber broke Roni’s heart. Fifteen months ago, she didn’t know the truth, but now she does. Taber, the man she’s loved all those years is the result of a genetic experiment, and the reason she hasn’t been able to feel a thing for any man other than Taber the last fifteen months… the mark on her neck. A mating mark. When Roni is assaulted by media reporters one day, she is flown to the compound that Callan’s pride has taken over for protection. For the first time in over year she sees Taber, and she needs answers. Taber has always wanted Roni, he has spent months apart from her, out of respect for her wishes, but when he see’s that she’s been chased by reporters he’s got to get to her first, before the people from the genetics council that created him can get to her.
Since reading the first review I ever had for Lora Leigh’s Breeds series, I’ve been curious – even the terrible covers couldn’t keep me from reading these books. I found the first two books to be really interesting and read them in quick sucession. I’ve read from some of Lora Leigh’s other series and liked them, but for some reason I expected these would be all sex with little and terrible actual story behind them – not so. While these are first and foremost erotica novels, I found that for the life of me I couldn’t stop reading.
I loved the idea of the genetics council, government backed, but never acknowleged. That they never gave up going after Callan. Even after everything is exposed and hundreds of others come out of hiding, they don’t give up, they just find a way to be more quiet about what they’re doing.
As for the characters… The breeds are certainly interesting to read. A mix of human and animal instinct, a biological change that no one ever expected and isn’t understood – it’s a great addition to the rest of the story. The leading females, Merinus and Roni, aren’t difficult to dislike either. Their lives are irrevocably changed with the mating, and it all happens quick enough that there’s not much time to deal with things. The men have to deal with their man and beast sides – they need to find a balance and learn along with their mates what is happening to them. Very little is understood about the mating attraction – but it is undeniable, and it changes the men in an instant.
Basically, the Breeds series (or at least what I’ve read of it so far) is made up of a great story and great characters, but it is erotica, and if you don’t do stories with lots of sexual content, I wouldn’t suggest even cracking the cover.
November 27, 2010 § Leave a Comment
It has been a while since I’ve gotten any reviews done, and while I said I was going to catch up I just have not been able to with the semester winding-down and holiday season coming in for work. But here I am, and what a better way to get back into the game than with Lorelei James’s Rough Riders?
Tied Up, Tied Down is book 4in the Rough Riders series. Kade McKay has just come back from spending a year out in the middle of nowhere for a cattle experiment. After everything that happened between him and Skylar in book 3, Cowgirl Up and Ride, he figured some time away wouldn’t be the worst thing. However, what he comes home to is unexpected. Days after arriving back home his mother comes home in a tizzy demanding to know how he could have hidden something so important for her. Kade, however, has no idea what she is talking about. A three month old baby girl with McKay eyes was born to Skylar, father… Kade McKay.
Skylar had attempted to inform Kade that she was pregnant when she found out, but he had already gone off into the country for the cattle experiment and his twin brother Kane was no help in getting word out. Skylar did the only thing she could think of. She went through the pregnancy and birth of a child with only the help of her sister India.
Kade is determined to do what is right by his baby girl and her mother, so after meeting his daughter Eliza, he moves in with Skylar so he can be there to help out. Everything from making dinner and doing the grocery shopping to getting up in the middle of the night to feed Eliza, Kade is there to help Skylar out, and she appreciates it. After some time though, Skylar wonders if Kade is no longer attracted to her. After all, they are sharing a bed and he has not made a single move on her.
Enter romance into the story. At the beginning Kade and Skylar are parenting partners, and that’s good, but they want each other and make no move to do anything about it. The sexual tension is great, and when they finally give into the passion again, it makes for some explosive love scenes.
I really liked Tied Up, Tied Down. This is probably my favorite of the series behind book 3. I don’t want to give away anything to those who have not read book 3 already, so I will just say that after reading Cowgirl Up and Ride I was wondering what would happen next with Kade and Skylar.
Skylar is one of my favorite female characters in the series. She’s had a rough past, but she has managed to make a life for herself. She is strong and independent. She is a leader, runs her own business, and looks out for those around her. While that is all fine and dandy, she is made more human by the fact that she does still have doubts. All those little things that women think of in real life like, does he not want me anymore because my figure is different, she goes through that. She is strong, but she still has feelings and she is easy to relate to, something I value in a character.
Kade had his own process that he goes through. Because he and Kane are identical twins and Kane happens to be a jerk, Kade is constantly judged by his brother or mistaken to be his brother and treated like shit for something he did not actually do. This along with the suprise baby girl, who is a huge deal because Keely is the only other McKay born girl for several generations, gives Kade great depth as a character. He is learning to be a father and dealing with the backfiring of his brother and cousins actions.
I have to mention the family party scene. It was awesome, and a bit out of control. There are a lot of McKay’s and a lot of West’s and when you put the two together, it gets even crazier. Kids everywhere, other McKay women talking about everything from babies to their husbands, it’s a bit hectic. But I love when the whole family gets together in the books because it makes for interesting story time, and in this one, it’s no different.
Seeing as how it is Lorelei James I’m talking about I have to say that this book has a lot of heat. When compared to her other books, the sex in Tied Up, Tied Down is quite tame, but it is no less steamy. Remember to keep that in mind when looking for a good, sexy read.
When it comes down to basics, I love how Kade and Skylar overcome their differences, clear up miscommunications, and work through trust issues to become the hardworking successful couple they are. The two get to know each other on a deeper level than before and build a relationship on a good sturdy base. They are devoted t each other and their daughter, and that happily ever after we all love is most certainly achieved.
The next installment in the Rough Riders series, book 5, is Rough, Raw, and Ready. Chassie West Glanzer has been married to her husband Trevor Glanzer, whom we met in book 1 Long Hard Ride, for about a year. Both Chassie’s father and brother have passed away so their part of the ranch is hers and Trevor’s to run. Regardless of the money problems and the stress of getting the work done, Trevor and Chassie have a good relationship. However, things are tossed upside down when the Glanzer’s receive a visit from Edgard Mancuso, Trevor’s past lover.
Chassie is unaware that Edgard was ever more than just a friend to Trevor, and a part of Trevor struggles with the feelings that Edgard still rouses in him. Chassie agrees to let Edgard stay with her and Trevor and she ends up spending a lot of time with him and getting to know him, especially since Trevor seems agitated about Edgard’s being there. However, one day Chassie makes something of an untimely appearance coming upon Trevor and Edgard as they were kissing him. Chassie was floored, she had no idea what to say or do, and ended up leaving to clear her head and think about what she witnessed.
Chassie ends up at Channing and Colby’s house, and after speaking with Channing, she has a better idea of the way things are between the two men. With her head cleared and her determination to get things figured out, Chassie heads back home to Trevor and Edgard.
Chassie, Trevor, and Edgard begin a spicy menage relationship. They work through their troubles and come to realizations that the three of them can be happy with each other.
What I Thought:
Rough, Raw, and Ready was a bit different from the other books in the Rough Riders series, and while I’ve never really gotten into the whole menage craze, I actually really enjoyed the book.
I got to get to know each of these characters better and it was interesting reading. Each of them has their own familial demons to overcome. Edgard deals with the death of his mother and the fact that after she passed he was essentially disowned by his survivng family because they could not accept his sexuality. Trevor faces his family and realizes that he does not need to care what they think. To hell with them, if they can’t accept the life he has chosen to live so be it. Trevor does not want to end up like his father and so he takes steps to ensure his own happiness. Chassie’s demons are in the form of accepting her fate on the ranch, she still struggles with the death of her father and brother, but she is living and doing her absolute best to keep the family business going. In addition, she overcomes her initial shock of Trevor and Edgard’s past while forging ahead to a future with both men.
As you can guess, there is quite a bit going on in this book. Separate and together, the three face their lives and come out of it for the better. There is some hot and heavy sex between the three and even though I have not explored much menage romance, Rough, Raw, and Ready was still a steamy, sexy read. All in all, another great installment in the Rough Riders series.
November 9, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Today is November 9th! We all know what this means! Lorelei James releases of Slow Ride and Cowgirls Don’t Cry are here! While I did get the free read Slow Ride, and loved it dearly, I have not yet gotten my hands on a copy of Cowgirls Don’t Cry. Why is this? Well I’ve been checking Barnes & Noble every half hour or so (yes I am THAT anxious to read this book) and they still have not put it up for download yet while Amazon and MBaM have had it since, well, midnight. Part of being the poor college student that I am, the only form of currency that I currently had to my name is a B and N giftcard. Go figure. But I’m at the point where I’m going to take up my friends offer to let me use their credit card and just pay them back with the cash. That way I’ll shut up and stop bitching.
Responses from those who are not facing my dilemma of only have B and N purchase availability have been loving the book. I’ve heard great things about it and truly cannot wait to get my copy. All day I’ve been jumping. Since yesterday really.
I’m not going to divulge any of the details behind Slow Ride, yet, except to say it was a great short story. I want to first get CDC read and then get all of the reviews up. I have a feeling I’m going to be posting a couple of quickie mass reviews ove the next two days to make sure I can talk about the new book, so keep your eyes peeled.
From here I suppose its ttfn. I’m going to go pretend to accomplish some school work or work on my Nano novel whilst I continue my anxious blabbing about CDC until I get my own copy.
November 1, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Montana Glory is Zane McCord’s story and the third book in the McCord Cousins trilogy by R.C. Ryan. Zane McCord is set in his ways. He likes working the ranch now that he’s back home, he enjoys searching for his family’s gold with his family, he likes his video technology, and he likes being single. Now that his cousins are married, it’s up to him to live up to the wild McCord name. Riley Mason, on the other hand, is looking for a quiet simple life. She doesn’t want or need a man; she just wants a dependable job, income, and a safe place to raise her four year old daughter Summer.
Riley and her daughter end up at the Lost Nugget Ranch when Cal Randall is in need of an accountants help. He’s managed to make a mess of all things paperwork involved and the accounting firm used by the ranch sends Riley in to straighten it out. To make it easier for Riley to get her work done, she is living with her daughter on the ranch.
During this time she and Zane get close. Everyone on the ranch falls in love with Summer. Riley ends up involved in the family’s search for their gold and she and Summer begin to build bonds with the family.
When Riley finds out that he past is catching up with her she is frightened. She never wanted to put anyone else in harm’s way and truly believed that she would not be traced to the middle of nowhere Montana. Becoming a team, Riley and Zane work through Riley’s issues in the past while also moving forward themselves. The hunt for treasure takes an interesting move as well.
Most important to mention is that I was very satisfied with the ending of the trilogy. I had to wait a long time and the anticipation built and built, but there was no let down. At the end of book two I was left with a multitude of questions and hopes, and they were all answered.
Zane and Riley had this great tension building relationship at first. The two continuously fought their attractions to each other. Zane also ended up being one of those guys who, even though Riley has a daughter, he built a relationship with the daughter because he wanted to, not just to get into Riley’s bed. Both Zane and Riley do a lot of moving forward throughout the course of the book. Zane’s development is in the form of realizing that maybe he doesn’t want to stay the single wild man, that perhaps having a family is the path to fulfillment. Riley’s progress is in coming to trust the McCord family. I don’t mean just by being happy that they decided to allow her to live on their farm with her daughter, but allowing herself to trust them, especially with her daughter.
One of the big things I wondered about was what would happen between Cal and Cora. I was so rooting for the two of them to realize the love they shared together and get married. Well I wasn’t let down. And that’s all I’m going to say.
In an attempt to not give too much away, I’m not going to say what happens with the gold. I will tell you that there are four extremely happy couples at the end of this trilogy. A big, happy family has laid their foundation and they continue to build on it.
Read the trilogy. Montana Legacy, Montana Destiny, and Montana Glory. They are filled with fun, tearful, and fist-pumping moments. Especially this last one. Grab the hot cocoa and a comfy blanket, curl up on the couch with said items and books, and enjoy a few great stories. I recommend it!
October 12, 2010 § 1 Comment
The third installment of the Rough Riders series, Cowgirl Up and Ride is Cord McKay and AJ Foster’s story.
AJ Foster grew up on the ranch next to the McKay’s. When she was five years old, Cord McKay saved her from a rattlesnake after being thrown from her horse. Ever since AJ has been in love with Cord. Cord on the other hand has no desire to get into another relationship. After his wife left him high and dry with their infant son because she couldn’t survive ranch life in Wyoming Cord buckled down and focused on raising his son and working the ranch. When Amy Jo - all grown up now – makes Cord an offer, he’s got to decide if it’s the right thing to go for it.
AJ has a lot to give to Cord and she’s finally ready to go for it, to put herself out there. She is the shy, goody-two-shoes girl next door no more. Now that the ball is in Cord’s court, only time will tell what’s going to happen…
So I had to keep my summary short and sweet for this one lest I divulge too much. Reason being; this is my favorite of the series thus far. I am overly biased towards Cord and AJ’s story and absolutely love the book. I’ve probably read it like 15 times in the last month. I will, without a doubt, come out swinging if you tell me you don’t like this story.
Now that I’ve violently illustrated my love and devotion for this particular McKay escapade…
Lorelei James has a 10 out of 5 book here, at least by my scale. The way things played out between AJ and Cord was fantastic. In the first two books AJ comes off as quiet and keeping to herself. In Cowgirl Up and Ride, she asserts herself, finds her womanhood, summons up the strength to get what she wants. Cord is still at odds with every that happened between his and his ex, he lets his pride lead the way which is not the best move to make. The development of the two characters was fantastic and getting to know them better was fun.
I had a fierce emotional moment towards the end of this book where my heart broke and I did the “Awwwwwe,” thing that woman do generally when in sight of a baby or puppy. It was pretty sweet.
There is a lot going on with the development of secondary characters in this book, but James manages it well and she doesn’t let them take over the main line of Cord and AJ. I will also, again, offer a warning. Lorelei James is not shy about the erotic part of erotic western romance. This is a spicy book, be prepared for the heat.
All in all, another hit from Mrs. Lorelei James! I cannot wait for her next release (Book 10 of the Rough Riders series is out in November. Less than a month!)
September 30, 2010 § Leave a Comment
I am officially all caught up with Lorelei James’s Rough Riders series. I am now awaiting book 10 Cowgirls Don’t Cry as well as the short story Slow Ride which are to be released November 9. Want to know more? Here’s Lorelei’s site. Without further adieu, my reviews for books one and two of the Rough Riders series.
In Long Hard Ride we meet Colby McKay and Channing Kinkaid. When Channing finds out that the cowboy she was looking for an adventure with is married, she finds herself alone again. Colby is unable to resist making an offer to her. Travel with him and his buddies Trevor and Edgard to be their personal buckle bunny for a week. Channing’s fantasies are fulfilled and Colby finds himself in an unusual position. Wanting to settle down with one woman. He wants Channing to himself for good.
Channing is independent and intelligent, but she hasn’t found that one place she belongs yet. Her parents carved out a perfect life for her in the world of BMW’s and high-class private schools, but that’s not what she wants out of life. In fact, a cowboy hat and chap wearing man seems to be all she needs. Colby is only too happy to be her man. He’s confident and dominant and taken aback by the strength of his feelings for Channing. Their chemistry is off the charts though, and makes for a steamy relationship, but there’s much more than just a roll in the hay for the two of them.
I’ll admit it, when I first started reading this book I was shocked. I didn’t know what to expect. The book is graphic – here’s a quick hint: the warnings on the back of the book and on the website in the descriptions, listen to them. There was an emotional depth to the romance, that tear-jerking sensation that one usually looks to a good romance novel for but it was matched with equally potent sex scenes. There is a constant sexual tension throughout the book which makes the rest all the more gratifying, but the erotic part never takes over the rest of the story. Hot sex aside, I was sucked into the story really quick. I fell head over heels in love with the McKay/West family.
The family dynamic seen in this series is crazy amazing. It’s a big old family. A realistic one. This is the type of book where you read about the family and figure that if you hop a plane out to where it takes place – Wyoming in this case - and drive out to a small town, you’ll find them working hard and having large family dinners. They face real challenges and struggles and have real emotions and you can just understand them as if it were a friend telling you a story.
Colby and Channing’s relationship was certainly fun to watch grow. I really loved Channing’s character, she’s strong and doesn’t take any shit. And of course Colby is your sexy, cowboy hat wearing Wyoming rancher. Another plus about Long Hard Ride is this. It isn’t just the two main characters, Channing and Colby who we get that emotional insight into. James sets the stage for future books here as well, introducing the emotional states of other secondary characters, giving us the chance to glimpse their current situations.
Rode Hard, Put Up Wet is book two in the Rough Riders Series. Gemma Jansen is a widowed stock contractor who’s situation is getting tougher by the day. She’s a woman in a man’s world and ultimately is showed so. She’s used to providing stock for the rodeos, but they too have been slowly pushing her out in favor of her male counterparts. Finally she realizes that she’s got to break down and get some decent help. Having opened her eyes she goes in search of Cash Big Crow. He’s a dependable cowboy who’s moved out of the realm of the rodeo into the realm of working. Cash lost everything when his family needed him to cover debts so he has no ties, no place he needs to head home to.
Cash and Gemma have been circling around each other a long time. Cash wants Gemma and she knows it, but she hides behind her widow status and age in an attempt to get Cash to leave her heart alone. But Cash’s terms are clear, he’ll work Gemma’s ranch, but only if she allows him to be in charge during after hours. Gemma agrees, though she knows it’s going to take time for her to re-adjust to the idea of being attractive to a man who wants, and can have, her when he wishes. Throughout the story, Cash helps Gemma not only re-build her business but also re-find her inner vixen and overcome her excuses of age difference and widowhood. In return Gemma gives Cash the thing he’s been looking for for years… family, love, and a home.
Since Cash has agreed to work Gemma’s ranch he also has to change plans with Macie, his daughter. Where they had originally intended to take a trip together to spend some time, Macie heads out to the Bar 9 with her dad. She meets Carter McKay who has also agreed to helping Gemma out at the ranch. Macie didn’t grow up knowing her dad too well. He was young when he got her mom pregnant and she ended up taking Macie away. Now Macie is taking her chance to get to know her dad, and even though it’s not the way she thought it would be she’s taking what she can get. Carter McKay is the youngest of his McKay brothers (he’s Colby’s brother). His calling isn’t in ranching like his other brothers, but in art instead. But when Gemma asked for his help he couldn’t say no. So Carter is staying in a trailer on the Bar 9 with a barn to use as his temporary art studio. Carter and Macie grow close, and while Cash isn’t very approving, they go about themselves anyway. All is not easy between the two, and Carter definitely oversteps his bounds a time or two, but in the end the two are able to claim their love.
Another amazing read from Lorelei James.
I really loved reading Rode Hard, Put Up Wet. The big reasons are Gemma and Carter. The two characters are just so real. Gemma is so determined to make it, almost to a fault. Yet she realizes that she needs to exercise some humility and asks for help. It takes a strong person to do that. Another reason that I love Gemma’s character is her own self-doubts. As weird as that may sound, this is what I mean. She is a divorced woman in her late 40s. While I have never been divorced and am only 20, seeing Gemma come into herself again and feel good again, even with a man around ten years her junior was a delight. It not many women in her situation get that chance, so it’s good to see it happen. Carter on the other hand has moments where he plain doesn’t use his brain. While I usually shook my head and laughed at those moments, he really was just so blindly in love with Macie that he didn’t realize that what he was doing was idiotic. It was cute in an ‘Oh. My. God.’ way. His ability to admit his two left feet was also quite cute.
Again there was a high sexual tension (James actually manages this in all of the Rough Riders books) and many highly erotic scenes. They all fed into the relationships in there own way (another thing she manages throughout the series). There was the same deep emotional field in this book as the others. Moments where your laughing and crying with the characters. I love that kind of feeling in a book.
Watching the two couples learn about each other and grow together was very gratifying in this book, and when they become the strong couples that they are now, ten books in, is just plain awesome.
The bottom line here is: Long Hard Ride and Rode Hard, Put Up Wet are two amazing installments in the phenomenal Rough Riders series by Lorelei James. I cannot wait for the next release in the series November 9th.
September 21, 2010 § Leave a Comment
So! My eyes may be burning. It may be just short of 5 am. I may have put aside homework and sleep. But I’m just so excited to say that…
I am officially caught up with the Rough Riders series. Hallelujah!
So worth the missed sleep over the last month and a half that I’ve been reading and agonizing over the delivery of my books.
I’ll say quick here that I only have two complaints about the nine novels and three short stories involved, and seriously they are just personal type weird things that I have. First, there was no epilogue for book 9. I don’t know why, but I love me an epilogue for my romance novels. Second, the timeline for books 8 and 9 were reversed, but like I said, timelines and orders are just one of my things. It really doesn’t take away in the end. So! Keep your eyes peeled for whatever sort of review I conjour up for ya. And believe me when I say, it’s all good stuff that I have to say! =]
With that, I really do need to sleep for a bit… then get up and go to work… then go to classes.
Any books or series that have you excited, skipping out on responsible stuff, and awake until the crack of dawn?
September 14, 2010 § 3 Comments
While I haven’t decided whether or not I want to wait until I’m all caught up to review each of the books in Lorelei James’s Rough Riders series, I do feel the need to talk about them. And this is why:
I read book 6 last Thursday when I was home sick as a dog (I needed something to cheer me up since I’m a miserable sick person). I don’t have book 7 yet. Not cool. Not in the least. I ordered book 7 online and am still waiting for it to be delivered, I have books 8 and 9 because they are e format only at this point. Now, I’m pretty much a stickler for reading a series in order, whether or not you need to. Several times over the last few days I’ve found myself back at the B&N website debating whether or not I want to purchase Shoulda Been A Cowboy (book 7) because after all ebooks are instantaneous, I don’t have to sit here and wait for Barnes and Noble to ship it out. So even though I spent 13 dollars on one copy I’m willing to spend another five, or six, or seven (or however much the e copy costs) because I’m too damn impatient to wait for a damn hard copy.
The other thing I’ve been considering is breaking my own rule. I have, on several occasions, opened my Barnes and Noble eReader and gone for book 8, saying fuck waiting, I’ll just go back later. But I’ve behaved and have not done anything drastic, as yet.
That’s saying something right?
So… the farm girl in me absolutely LOVES the Rough Riders series. What’s it about? I’m sure you’re wondering. And I’m anxious to tell you.
Can you say, erotic wild west romance? Lorelei James sure can. =] The Rough Riders series follows the McKay/West clan, notorious hard working Wyoming ranchers/rodeoers, at least mostly. Each book follows a different McKay or West on their path to relationship bliss. (I’ve always wanted to find a way to use that word, bliss) After the initial shock of all the C and K names, you figure out who’s who, and who belongs to who. That’s one of the reasons its good to read the books in order, there’s a lot of people. It’s a damn big family.
I’ll be blunt for this next part, there’s a lot of sex in these books, hence the erotic part of the whole wild west romance. If you’re offended or made uneasy by lots of different situations in (and out) of the bedroom, I’d suggest skiming those parts of the books. That being said, I’ve found that in each of the books I’ve read by her, the six Rough Riders books, the first Blacktop Cowboy book, and the little novella that comes after Branded as Trouble (book 6), each sexual encounter plays an important part. It may mark a new direction or the next big step of an existing relationship, perhaps its simply forming a deeper connection (there’s a lot of those), and no shit when I say you can actually feel the bonding, for lack of a better word.
Also, and I’m dead serious again here, the men in this book are the type of men you see in movies, TV, and literature that make you ‘swoon’ (I believe thats the correct present day term).
I’ll also stress this, hot sex is NOT the only thing that you’re going to find in these books. There are everyday problems such as unexpected pregnancies, single parenting, addiction, strained relationships, injuries of the mental and physical sort, as well as self-battles going on. I find it amazing that James is able to incorporate all of these real life things into her novels, all while still creating a heart stopping romance. It makes the stories so much more, and sometimes I swear that if I flew myself out to Wyoming and started driving I would find these people.
The bottom line: I love these damn books. I’ve read them in one sitting. It’s pretty ridiculous. So, assuming you like romance novels and the explicit nature of the book isn’t going to bother you (don’t say I didn’t warn you) go out and buy them! The reading order is below.
(I was gonna do pictures with it, but my computer wasn’t cooperating, sorry…)
1. Long Hard Ride – Colby and Channing
2. Rode Hard, Put Up Wet – Gemma and Cash, Carter and Macie
3. Cowgirl Up and Ride – Cord and AJ – This is my favorite thus far!
4. Tied Up, Tied Down – Kade and Skylar
5. Rough, Raw, and Ready – Chassie, Trevor, and Edgard
6. Branded as Trouble – Colt and India
7. Shoulda Been a Cowboy – Cam and Domini
8. All Jacked Up – Keely and Jack
9. Raising Kane – Kane and Ginger
10. Cowgirls Don’t Cry – Brandt and Jessie
11. Chasin’ Eight – Chase and Ava
12. Cowboy Casanova – To Be Released Dec 2011
So, go pick up a book or visit Lorelei James’s site to learn more!
August 29, 2010 § Leave a Comment
In the second of the three McCord cousins books by R.C. Ryan, Wyatt McCord has gotten back into the swing of ranch life. He’s got his family, a job, and a treasure hunt. What more could he need?
Marilee Trainor is the ambulance driver from out of town, and she caught Wyatt’s eyes right as he came back to town. But she really isn’t looking to be tied down. She fought long and hard for her independence and she isn’t going to give it up easily
People have been killed before over the McCord gold, and when Marilee accidentally stumbles across one of the clues to the treasure no exception is made for her. Someone’s got it out for her, and when they find out she and Wyatt are working together, they begin to gun it for him too.
Marilee and Wyatt had a really interesting relationship and I think that is what I liked most about the book. While the search for gold and the family dynamic are all pluses of both the first and second book, seeing how the two dealt with each other was quite fun.
Marilee is very independent, almost to a fault at times. She makes a comment in the book about how her mother depended so much on her father that she couldn’t even choose a dress to wear without his approval and hell if she’d ever turn out the same way.
Wyatt is also quite interesting, but in a get yourself thrown off a bull for the attention of a woman way. He traveled the world, but didn’t find what he was looking for until he met Marilee. Wyatt lost both of his parents to a plane crash which left him with a small fear of flying – or at least takeoffs – which works because, of course, Marilee is a pilot on the side. The two push and pull constantly so it makes for an interesting dynamic between the two.
Delia and Ledge Cowling and Deputy Atkins also made for an interesting story. While I didn’t expect things to work out the way they did with the two men, I was pleasantly surprised with how things worked out for Delia and her attempts to work at a better life for herself after everything she had to deal with.
One thing I picked up on while reading Montana Legacy and Montana Destiny was that the McCord men are very stubborn when it comes to their women. I can’t wait to see what happens when Zane finds himself a lady in the third book.
My one complaint about Montana Destiny, it seemed a bit chaotic towards the end. The author seemed to do a lot of jumping between paragraphs and I found myself going, “Oh, we’re from Wyatt’s perspective now” or “Oh, it’s the next day.” However, it did not take away from my overall enjoyment of the book. It just took some getting used to.
The bottom line is this, once you get over the initial jumpy, jumpy, which, again, I only noticed towards the end, Montana Destiny is quite enjoyable and can join its predecessor on my cozy reads list.
There is one book left, Montana Glory, which doesn’t come out until November, go figure. So now I’m stuck waiting and waiting and wondering, and I have all of these questions. I constantly wonder why I keep picking up series that aren’t finished yet when all I do is wait, in a very impatient manner and drive my mother and my friend’s insane about it.
Will they find the treasure? Does the treasure not exist? Which is followed by, even if the treasure doesn’t exist they’ll be able to laugh it off after their initial disappointment, because what does it matter if it doesn’t exist when the search brought forth all this love? OR, was the treasure already claimed or perhaps destroyed? And what’s going on with Aunt Cora and Cal? All of these questions are just waiting to be answered. November, why don’t you hurry on up so I can find out what happens.
August 27, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Montana Legacy, is the first book in R.C. Ryan’s (who is actually Ruth Ryan Langan) McCord cousins trilogy. And while I’ll be waiting until November to find out what happens in the third book, I can tell you all about book one here.
Jesse McCord has been living on the Lost Nuggest ranch all his life. It’s a huge operation and he loves it to death, just like (most) of his ancestor’s did. But Coot, his grandfather, has just passed away and now it seems that the family is about to get back together. Jesse’s cousin’s are coming home for the first time in over a decade, and he’s not happy about it. They were close growing up, left unwillingly because of their parents, and it took a death to bring them back. During the funeral for his grandfather Jesse see’s a familiar face, Amy Parrish, which only helps to throw him off balance even more.
With Amy back, his cousins back, and a renewed effort to find the McCord gold that Coot died searching for, Jesse’s sure got his word out for him.
The first thing I have to say is this, Coot apparently made himself a nice fortune with his ranching. During the reading of his will I found myself going, “Goddamn!” I had no idea that there was that kind of money in ranching, or perhaps there isn’t, that was creative license at work, and I’m just looking to deep into it. I will say this though, I work on a farm – we might not do animals – and we definitely are not making that kinda bank.
What it really comes down to, I actually really liked this book. I was wondering who the behind the scenes bad guy was, and even though it makes sense after finding out, I really just didn’t think to considering that person while reading.
I also like how Coot thought to bring his grandson’s back together after his death. He gave them the incentive to rebuild the relationship they shared as kids. It was certainly tough going at first, but that’s what makes it realistic and what makes me like the story.
And now the good stuff. The love and romance of Jesse and Amy. While a certain aspect of their failed relationship might have reminded me of The Notebook, I still really like the two of them together. Sometimes relationships work out and sometimes they don’t. And sometimes it will, but its just not the right time. That’s essentially what happened with Jesse and Amy, while they were together as teens, the separation came, and then it went. There were very real strains on the relationship too, Amy’s fathers illness and his blatant dislike of anything to do with the McCord’s, which is another reality, or plus factor.
Another thing I’d like to metion. I remember reading a review for Montana Legacy and one of the things that had me chuckling was when she brought up the sex scene. There’s only one sex scene in the book and it happens to take place in a barn. There were comments made about how that must be miserable and itchy and such. That of course got me thinking when I actually read the sex scene and this is what I came up with… If you live on a ranch or grew up on a ranch, etc you ought to be used to it, right? I mean I work on a farm and you just sort of get used to the feel of hay and straw when you’re loading, or unloading, large amounts. The other thing, I’m guessing since he was planning on sleeping in one of the barn stalls he would’ve brought a blanket, yeah? I know I’d bring a blanket, especially as a just in case. Lastly, if it’s not allergy season or you don’t have allergies, you really ought to be fine with it, assuming the guy thought it through and brought a blanket. After all, clean hay doesn’t smell bad, or maybe that’s just the farm girl in me?
There’s just a touch of my thought process.
So, what is my bottom line? I enjoyed reading Montana Legacy. A bit of romance, a bit of suspense, a lot of western and cowboys. This one’s going in my win column for a cozy day read.