Review: COWGIRLS DON’T CRY by Lorelei James

Good girls can play rough too…

Jessie McKay has accepted her marriage to Luke McKay wasn’t perfect. After two years of widowhood, she’s ready to kick up her bootheels—until Luke’s younger brother shows up to spoil her fun. But if Brandt thinks she’ll ever take orders from another McKay male, he’s got manure for brains.

Brandt McKay has avoided his sweet, sexy sister-in-law ever since the night he confessed his feelings for her weren’t the brotherly type. Unexpectedly faced with proof of Luke’s infidelity, Brandt is forced to ask for Jessie’s help in taking care of Luke’s young son. Jessie agrees on one condition—she wants Brandt’s boots exclusively under her bed for the duration.

The sexual heat that’s always simmered between them ignites. Brandt is determined to make the temporary situation permanent, proving to Jessie he’s a one-woman man. And Jessie is shaken by feelings she’s sworn never to have again for any man…especially not a McKay.

Warning: Contains branding-iron-hot sex , the one McKay on earth who wants to be tamed, and a woman who’s decided tame is for nice girls who finish last.

Author: Lorelei James
Series: Rough Riders, book 10
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year of release: 2010, November 9
Format: eBook
Source: Bought via Samhain eBookstore

First line:
“Who’s up for a threesome?”

Memorable Scenes:
– The football game with Dalton and Tell > great scene in light of the bond between the McKay brothers and accepting Jessie in their midst
– the massage > trademark Lorelei James hotness
– the scenes with Landon > sweet, funny and frustrating (for Jessie and Brandt) moments
– the phone sex scene > scorching!
– chapter 23 > made me bawl like a baby

Jessie McKay runs the daycare at Sky Blue and the widow of Luke McKay. Jessie is quiet, shy-ish, sweet, big-hearted and wholesome. Her life hasn’t been easy. From her youth to her shot-gun, unhappy marriage that ends with the loss of her husband, to say she’s had it tough would be an understatement and this life had led to her having abandonment issues. She’s now desperate to prove to the world she’s not the mousy widow everyone takes her for. Every one, except Brandt McKay, her late husband’s brother who has always been in her corner, offering support and help.

Brandt McKay is noble, steadfast and considerate. But make no mistake, beneath that all-around good guy veneer there’s a short-fused Brandt that comes out when he’s pushed too far. He has loved Jessie forever, even before she became his brother’s wife and widow. But being the gentleman that he is, he never interfered in their marriage. A year after his brother’s death however, in a weak moment, he confesses he’d like to be more than friends but Jessie turns him down flat so he backs off and leaves her alone. Until a consequence of his brother’s meandering ways brings him back to Jessie.

I must honestly admit that as much as the sex scenes enthralled me, and they were with out-of-this-world-HOT, at first I wasn’t entirely comfortable with Brandt being Jessie’s dead husband’s brother. It’s not a trope that will appeal to all contemporary erotic romance readers. I was also wondering what would make Jessie come around to accept and even reciprocate Brandt’s feelings for her.

My worries were so not necessary because Lorelei James made it work and made me forget about my initial hesitation where the romance was concerned. I liked the premise of this book and loved the execution even more. It’s an emotionally heavy subject and Lorelei James let her characters handle it in a realistic, believable manner. COWGIRLS DON’T CRY fits right in with the rest of the series and as I’ve said before in reviews of this series: an amazingly written family saga is the only way to describe the Rough Riders series.

Lorelei James writes books that are smokin’ hot and highly emotional like few others can. The way this book was set up just blew me away. There were so many elements (the prologue, Brandt’s almost obsession with Jessie, the situation with Landon) that should’ve made me go: What? Hell no! But Ms. James made them all work splendidly. The flaws and imperfection in the characters made this a great book and a lovely addition to the series!

Secret love child, hot sex, complicated family dynamics on several levels, all my emotions raging and on high alert…COWGIRLS DON’T CRY had it all and was just like the rest of Lorelei James’ Rough Riders series: never failing to satisfy my romance reader’s needs.

Favorite Quotes:
“Why am I an idiot?”
“For not snapping that man up. I swear I’ve never seen any man look so ready to lick a woman up one side and down the other as he was when he was eating you up with his eyes.” (Jessie & Simone about Brandt)

Okay. Brandt had to keep his groin from touching her backside because then she’d know he had a hard-on, which had popped up the instant it’d gotten wind he’d be putting his hands all over her.

“I think your best option is just to walk up to him, stark naked and say, Ride me, cowboy hottie .” (Simone)

His tongue darted out and slid along the plump inside curve of her bottom lip. A leisurely, sensuous glide across the sensitive flesh that caused her mouth to tremble even as her lips parted in invitation. But he didn’t dive in for a greedy, openmouthed kiss. He lightly swept his damp lips over hers. Repeatedly. Male hunger and hot breath, tempered with softness that was unlike anything she’d ever experienced.

Holy mother of God did the man lay a kiss on her. His hands framed her face with utmost gentleness as his mouth conquered hers. Dominated. Destroyed. Ignited.

He nuzzled her hair, breathing her in. Filling his lungs, his heart, his soul with everything this woman freely gave him, no matter how much he asked of her.

Oh, it was breathtaking, watching his ferocious man master her. Teach her. Pleasure her. Mesmerized by the fire in his eyes, Jessie had just held on, as her body became his playground.

But Landon didn’t race away. He heaved a contented sigh against her neck. Then he moved back and placed a sticky hand on each of her cheeks. He locked his serious gaze to hers and gave her a kiss, square on the mouth. He emitted a noise deep in his throat, then he raced back to his mother.
It took about ten seconds to sink in.
Landon had acted exactly like Brandt. Holding her face. Kissing her. Making that possessive growl.
Her heart absolutely turned over. Landon had just told her, in his little boy way, that he loved her.

“Us being together won’t be an easy road. There will be people like Lydia, like your father, who will want us to fail. So you should know I fell in love with you not because you’re Luke’s brother, but in spite of it.
“You’ve become everything to me in ways Luke never was. I never imagined I’d find a man like you, who’s sweet, sexy, funny, thoughtful, kind. A man who makes me feel like I’m enough for him. A man I can trust without question. A man I will fight anyone for.” Her eyes filled with tears and she whispered, “God. I feel like such an idiot because you’ve been here the whole time.”

Jessie realized Joan was exactly right. No more of this giving him time, waiting around for him to come his senses bullshit. The old Jessie would stand around and wring her hands and wait for him to come to her. The new Jessie, the Jessie who’d found the man of her heart and soul, needed to go to him first.

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