Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cowgirls Don’t Cry

Title: Cowgirls Don’t Cry
Author: Lorelei James
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-60928-256-1
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Jessie fell hard for Luke McKay but their marriage was far from the perfect one of love and companionship she’d always imagined. Now two years after the death of her unfaithful husband, Jessie’s ready to kick up her heels and try to find a little fun in the arms of another man. Things don’t go as planned when Luke’s younger brother, Brandt, steps in and spoils her fun, stopping her from making a terrible mistake. She’s angry, hurt and upset at his high handed attitude and determined to never take orders from another McKay man again.

Brandt McKay has been crazy about Jessie from a long time and he’s been avoiding her since the night he confessed his feelings for her and she turned him down. Brandt is suddenly faced with the proof of his brother’s infidelity when he learns Luke sired a young son who now needs someone to care for him. With no one else to help, he turns to Jessie, who reluctantly agrees—if Brandt agrees to shares her bed.

He’s determined to show Jessie he’s a one woman man and as the sexual heat simmering between them grows hotter, Brandt’s more certain than ever they belong together, not just for the short term but forever. Jessie is scared of her intense feelings for Brandt; he’s a McKay and she swore to never give a McKay man power over her again.

Cowgirls Don’t Cry is the 10th and latest release in the well written Rough Riders series by Lorelei James. In this contemporary romance series, each book leads into the next, so my recommendation is that they be read in order. If you don’t, I’m afraid jumping into the huge family with its complicated relationships will only lead to confusion.

Let me start off with the prologue. I think the story would’ve been better served if it had been omitted. Yes, its content regarding the intense emotional pain Jessie is going through is truthful but it also put her in a very unsavory light and her actions don’t fit her personality. I’m sure the author felt there was a purpose to including it but I’m afraid it might have turned off a few readers.

With the beginning of chapter one, the overall tone of the story changes dramatically. From here Cowgirls Don’t Cry becomes another great addition to the family of Rough Rider books and has a little of everything to keep a reader’s attention. There’s fear, pain, grief, passion, desire, poor family dynamics, love and hope for the future.

Despite her earlier rejection of Brandt, I liked that Jessie didn’t fight too hard against her growing feelings for him. Yes, she was understandably reluctant, based on her past experience with her dead husband, yet she allows her love to bloom and grow stronger throughout the entire story. Brandt is a rock, and a bit different from most of the other McKay men. He has a tightly controlled temper but he’s not abrasive, gruff or overbearing. Instead, he’s thoughtful, kind and considerate; just the kind of man the deeply wounded Jessie needs. That’s not to say he isn’t over-the-top sexy. The hunky cowboy is smoking hot and when he and Jessie hit the sheets, or any other horizontal surface, watch out for the flames.

It was wonderful seeing the vast number of returning McKay family members introduced in prior releases, and getting to know some of them better was a treat. One of the characters that played a more prominent role was Casper McKay, Brandt’s bitter and unpleasant father. The man was vile; making a good villain-like personality for the story and Ms. James did a great job developing him into a man you loved to hate. Landon, the illegitimate son of Luke was a cutie and made a great addition to the McKay family dynamics, and made an inspired way to bring Brandt and Jessie together.

I look forward to the next release in this keeper series. Read and enjoy.

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