Monday, July 19, 2010

Raising Kane

Title: Raising Kane
Author: Lorelei James
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-60928-063-5
Genre: [M/F] Contemporary Western
Rating: Recommended Read
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Ginger Paulson is an independent minded woman who splits her time between working at her law practice and caring for her disabled father and small son. She’s also tall, smart as a whip and hates to ask for help from anyone, which becomes a problem after she slips and falls down a set of icy stairs, landing her in the hospital. Used to depending on herself, she doesn’t know who to turn to for help. Her son, Hayden, doesn’t have the same problem. He immediately calls his mentor in the Big Buddies/Little Buddies program, Kane McKay.

Kane is the only remaining older McKay cousin, who’s unmarried and childless. His days of partying until dawn are long gone and he spends most of his time working the ranch, with his little buddies or just hanging around his trailer, being bored and lonely. He’s kept Ginger at arm’s length for nearly two years but when he learns of her injury, rushes to the hospital, volunteering to take care of her, Hayden and her father. The feisty redhead might not like needing his help but he’s determined to stay at her side while she heals, showing her the domesticated, caring side of his nature. When she gets a little better, he also shows her the dominant side of his personality, a side that demands total control of their pleasure in the bedroom.

Please be aware that, although Raising Kane is the 9th release in the Rough Riders series, it actually takes place between the epilogue of book 7, Shoulda Been a Cowboy and book 8, All Jacked Up. While reading the books in the correct order would be beneficial, this one will work as a standalone without missing much in the ongoing character relationships.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this series since I read the first release, but Raising Kane is now my new favorite. There just isn’t anything in this book that I didn’t like. It grabbed me on the first page and didn’t let go until the last word. The emotional impact is huge and watching Ginger, this control freak woman who’s denied her own needs, open her life, heart and body up to love is a joy. Then there’s Hayden. This kid is too cute for words and I loved his bond with Kane—how they enjoy spending time together. Ginger’s father, Dash, is just as strong willed as his daughter and he’s determined to protect his family, despite being wheelchair bound.

Once Ginger and Kane give into their feelings for one another, their physical relationship is spread pretty evenly throughout the remainder of the story. Some readers might find the amount of sex off-putting but I didn’t find it so. The desire and passion always fit what was going on in the story and it never felt like it had been written solely for the purpose of another sex scene. Yes, it was frequent and graphic, but it was true to the new and growing relationship of Ginger and Kane.

There’s a fair amount of returning McKay and West family members interspersed throughout the story, just like in the previous releases. The author did a nice job showing the love, understanding, pain and passion of their relationships. She also wrote in enough new faces in Kane’s poker games with the younger cousins to fuel a few more books.
I have to commend Ms. James on her ability to keep the writing in this series just as fresh, focused, tight and entertaining in this last release as she was with the first. Great job and keep up the good work! I look forward to the next book in the series, Cowgirls Don’t Cry in early fall 2010.

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