I’m back with another round Rough Riders cowboys. As you may or may not know I am in midst of a self imposed summer reading challenge. I have challenged myself to catch up on several well loved, ever popular series that I’m constantly missing out on. I’ve been sticking to my schedule and doing quite well if I do say so myself. Lorelei James Rough Riders series was not on the list of series books I needed to catch up on but luckily those hot cowboys wiggled into my summer reading pile. I have fallen head-over-heels or more appropriately hat-over-bootheels for the McKay/West cowboys and I’m a little nervous because I’m about to read the final (available) book in the series. Good thing Lorelei James has a new cowboy series on the horizon called Blacktop Cowboys, with the first book in the titled, Corralled. I’d do just about anything to get my greedy little hands on a copy ASAP. 🙂
Last week I did mini reviews of the first three Rough Riders books and I’m back today with books 4, 5, & 6.
The strongest bonds are the ones unseen
Businesswoman Skylar Ellison is firmly in control of her life. So getting tangled up with a sexy Wyoming cowboy — and conceiving a baby in the parking lot of a honky-tonk — wasn’t in her plan. Since it appears the daddy has taken off for greener pastures, the only thing to do is pull up her bootstraps and carry on alone.
Cattle rancher Kade McKay returns home after a year on the range, and is knocked for a loop when he learns he’s the father of a three-month-old baby girl. When Skylar refuses to marry him, Kade grits his teeth, moves in and plays house by her rules to prove he’s a man in for the long haul.
Despite Skylar’s insistence they are to remain strictly parenting partners, their old passions flare hot as a brush fire, spurring Kade to demand absolute sexual surrender from the headstrong woman. Skylar willingly submits her body to the hot-blooded cowboy but she’s leery of handing Kade the reins to her heart.
Can Kade convince Skylar the wicked sex games aren’t a temporary distraction? Or will he have to bust out the ropes to show her he wants to be tied to her…forever?
They only dated briefly but Kade fell hard and fast. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out and they broke up and went their separate ways. Kade was going through a hard time and he volunteered to live on a remote area of the McKay ranch for a year for a cattle grazing experiment. In the mean time, Skylar discovered was pregnant with Kade’s baby. Not knowing where he went and not having anyway to contact him, Skylar was on her own. When Kade returned a year later and realized he had a three month old daughter with Skylar—whom he’s been in love with since before they broke up—he becomes determined to be a father to his daughter and charm his way back into Skylar’s bed and ultimately her heart.
This is my favorite book in the series so far. I absolutely loved Skylar and Kade and sweet baby Eliza. I’m not always a fan of couples having children in an erotic romance novel, not every author can pull this off authentically. But Lorelei James has written a wonderful love story that captures the the joys and difficulties in becoming an unexpected family while managing to keep the romance, and sexual chemistry smoking hot. It was refreshing to see one of these McKay cowboys find himself in the family way and cowboy up in more ways that one. I also was happy that as a single mother, Skylar didn’t use her baby as a tool to get the upper hand in the relationship. I am not a fan of that scenario and was pleased to see two adults come together and parent responsibly. And did I mention the sexy times were HOT? 🙂
Chassie West Glanzer hasn’t been a stranger to drama and tragedy. A year of wedded bliss to sexy-as-sin cowboy Trevor Glanzer has brought her the happiness and contentment she never thought she’d find, and mellowed Trevor’s rodeo wanderlust. Then Trevor’s old roping partner ambles up the driveway and Chassie’s life changes drastically.
Trevor never expected to see Edgard Mancuso again, after it became clear he couldn’t be the man Edgard needed. Now Edgard is back from Brazil to sort out their tangled past, and Trevor is plagued with feelings he thought he’d buried over three years ago. Although Trevor is hat-over-bootheels in love with his sweet, feisty wife, the sense his life is missing a piece has always gnawed at him.
Chassie’s shock that Edgard and Trevor were once lovers turns to fear of losing her husband. Or worse, fear that Trevor will stay with her only out of a sense of duty. Yet as the three of them spend time together, the sins of the past blur and fade, leaving raw emotion and unbridled passion.
Passion that could heal-or cause irreparable damage to their future.
First let me say that I cannot read the title of this book without giggling like a school girl. I might even blush a little. Just sayin’. Now, I’m going to confess, I cheated. I started with this book, rather than starting with book 1 first. I’m a sucker for m/m/f ménage and I just couldn’t pass it up. I asked around and was told I could read the series out of order but most people recommended that I not. Since it was my first time trying a book written by this author I went ahead and went m/m/f. What can I say? As it turns out, this has been my least favorite book so far. I do wonder if I would have felt differently if I had read in order but somehow I don’t think so. I did enjoy this book however I was not fully convinced by the three way relationship.
Trevor and Edgard were roping partners back when they were competing in the rodeo circuit. They traveled together and eventually became lovers. When things didn’t work out for them, Edgard left for Brazil and Trevor eventually went on to become happily married to Chassie. When Edgard shows up on their doorstep years later, Trevor is forced to deal with feelings he thought he buried long ago. When Chassie finds out about her husbands past love affair with Edgard she fears she will lose her husband to Edgard. Eventually Chassie comes to terms with her husbands relationship with Edgard and finds herself immersed in their shared passion.
While I enjoyed this story very much I was a bit skeptical of the relationships. Trevor claims to be straight but has only ever been attracted to one man—Edgard. Edgard is gay and the only woman he’s ever been attracted to is Chassie. Chassie is deeply in love with her husband Trevor but welcomes Edgard into her marriage rather easily. This just didn’t work for me. Their relationship as a threesome did mature and grow with the story but I was never fully convinced in how they all come together. Still, this was an enjoyable story.
It’s hard to trust the future when you’ve been branded by the past.
As a walking advertisement for the tattoo shop she’s set up in a small Wyoming town, India Ellison is well acquainted with preconceived notions. Despite the odd looks and off-color comments about her off-color hair, life is good. She’s clean and sober, dotes on her sister’s kids and, best of all, spends most of her free time with her best buddy, cowboy Colt McKay.
Reformed bad boy Colt never expected three years of sobriety to lead to three years of abstinence. Curbing his craving for booze and random sexual encounters is nothing compared to the ever-increasing craving for his hot-tempered, hot-bodied best friend, India. Too bad she’s his A.A. sponsor. Too bad she hasn’t a clue that Colt’s been head-over-bootheels in love with her from day one.
After an unexpected, steamy interlude, all India can think about is riding the sexy cowboy instead of her motorcycle, even when Colt is determined to show her a slower ride is worth the wait.
Or are they risking their friendship for a fling that could burn them both?
Branded as Trouble is a friends to lovers story. Colt is a recovering alcoholic and India has been his A.A. sponsor and friend throughout his recovery. India is a city girl, who rides a Harley and makes her living as a tattoo artist. Colt is a tough as nails Wyoming cowboy through and though. Opposites attract and an undeniable attraction between the two of has begun to blossom into something more than just friendship.
I always love a good friends to lovers story because there is a good solid relationship before the romance. Colt and India’s friendship runs deep and they’ve already set a good foundation. They are attracted to each other, now they both just need to admit it. I loved watching the spunky tattooed India and reformed bad boy make their way through ups and downs of newly realized love. This was a sweet, romantic story and as always, a very sexy read.
I’m nearly caught up on this series I have enjoyed each and every book. Check back next week and I will have three more mini reviews for Rough Riders books 7, 8, & 9. In the meantime, save a horse, ride a cowboy girls…or boys if that’s your thang! 🙂