Review: COWBOY CASANOVA by Lorelei James

His rough touch makes her lose control…

In Sundance, Wyoming, you can’t throw a boot without hitting a McKay cowboy, so Ben McKay is used to fading into the background. Except on weekends, when he’s Bennett, imposing Dom at The Rawhide Club, surrounded by a bevy of female subs eager for the attention of his long…whip.

As for the curvy brunette eying him from across the room? He’ll eat his Stetson if she’s the experienced Domme she claims to be. Bennett offers her a deal—he’ll let her call the shots for one night. But the next night he gets to prove to her how freeing it’ll be when he takes the reins.

Ainsley Hamilton is amazed by how well Bennett read her every secret yearning during that one explosive weekend—and she’s stunned when they come face to face in their everyday lives as rancher and new bank president. Now Ben’s urging her to explore her submissive side outside the club, and there’s something in his commanding gaze that makes it too easy to let him take control—of her desires and her pleasure.

Can Ben help Ainsley overcome her fear that a relationship built on dark sexual appetites won’t survive the light of day?

Warning: This book contains a lot of kinky sex. No, seriously, there’s A LOT of kinky cowboy sex in this Rough Riders installment. You’ve been warned.

Title: COWBOY CASANOVA
Author: Lorelei James
Series: Rough Riders, book 12
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Western Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year of release: 2011, December 6
Format: eBook
Source: Bought via Samhain’s eBookstore

First line:
The sound of leather hitting flesh was music to his ears.

Memorable Scenes:
– Ben & Angel/Ainsley in the private room on the first night > now that was hot!
– Murphy and Layla’s public scene > I put this scene with the memorable scenes because it made me feel a bit uncomfortable, it felt unnecessary for Ainsley and Ben’s story
– The McKays watching bull riding at Ben’s place > this scene was the perfect example of why I love this series so much
– Ben’s apology to Ainsely > loved that scene
– Ainsely’s dream about her stranger fantasy > powerful scene
– the scene with Ben and his mom > made me cry

Ainsley Hamilton is astute, capable and enterprising. She is looking for spontaneity, heat, zing and some variety in her sex life after a failed marriage to a man who planned and ordered their life meticulously and didn’t satisfy her sexual needs. She wants to be in control but her submissive nature doesn’t allow that. She also needs to let go of the feelings of embarrassment over that submissive nature and over losing control.

Bennett ‘Ben’ McKay is exactly the man to show her how. He’s gruff and a man of few words. Ben is intense, a typical middle child and an observer. He’s insightful, in tune with other people’s feelings and needs but a bit dismissive of his own. Feeling like an outsider all his life drives him to take his dominant nature and use it as a shield to hide his true self behind.

“keep the two halves of himself separate: Bennett, the sexual dominant, and Ben, the laid-back rancher.”

I found it a bit difficult to conceal these two halves of Ben. The laid-back peacemaker with the gruff, almost harsh Dom. This made it hard to peg Ben down, yet it didn’t prevent me from loving his complex character. Also loved that Ben fell first and even if he didn’t recognize it as love, he fell hard. However, I didn’t understand why Ben lied to Ainsley about the loan.

This book starts out as purely sexual, which is not uncommon in several books in this series, and from there it gradually evolved into something much more profound. As always the emotions soar high as in all Rough Rider books. I absolutely enjoyed the combustible chemistry between Ben and Ainsely. Also was impressed by the way Ben taught Ainsley what is was like to embrace her submissive needs.

There’s a punishment scene that I had seen comments about and when I read it, I knew this was the scene that they meant. I, however, got what Lorelei James and Ben were trying to show the reader and Ainsley. It was not about the punishment. It was about letting Ainsley see the difference between being dominated and being used. I loved seeing both Ben’s and Ainsley’s vulnerable sides next to the sexy heated moments. Of course that’s what I always praise Lorelei James’ Rough Rider books for: the perfect combination between scorching eroticism and intense emotions.

One thing I noticed about COWBOY CASANOVA was the extensive list of secondary characters. This time it seemed even more than usual and a lot of walk-ons too. In my opinion it could have done with a few less walk-ons and more looks into how the other McKays are faring.

I was intrigued by the bits of McKay family stuff going on. Some things were explored further, some were new things and some things from previous books were wrapped up. And as always Lorelei James does an awesome job of putting the family dynamics to paper. However, I wasn’t thrilled with Dalton’s reaction to discovering and witnessing Ben at the club. And his behaving like a meddling little shit after that.

Though not everything in this book worked for me, I really enjoyed reading Ben and Ainsley’s story. Lorelei James gave me another Rough Rider book that makes me want the next one immediately after finishing this one.

Favorite Quotes:

She perched on the edge of her barstool, every inch of her so prim and proper Ben’s fingers itched to muss her up.

His finger followed the curve of her jaw. “Make no mistake, I’m a very rough man. And if I had to venture a guess, I’d say you’d prefer to see that side of me.” He briefly pressed his finger across her protesting lips. “But not tonight.”

He lapped at her delicately, making greedy masculine sounds, teasing the flesh hiding her clit with firm-lipped bites.

Then his fingers were under her chin, lifting her face up. “Eyes on me, please.”
Took her a couple tries to remember how to open her eyes and Bennett laughed softly. She smiled at him. The way he looked at her made her feel like a goddess.

Ben wasn’t looking for a lifestyle sub, but a woman who understood this wasn’t a phase with him. He was a dominant to the core and always would be. He couldn’t be with a woman who wouldn’t accept that side of him—no matter where they met.

Ben kissed her. Sweetly at first. Softly nibbling her lips while his thumb stroked her jawline. He patiently coaxed her to kiss him back. Once she opened her mouth wider, he dove right in, blowing all her circuits with a kiss packed with desire, laced with passion. Her head went muzzy and she wrapped her arms around his neck.

Her eyes searched his. “You really believe I’m submissive.”
“Yes. It’s not control you want, Ainsley. It’s freedom from control. Freedom not to have to micromanage every aspect of your life. Freedom to trust that your sexual well-being will be tended to by a man you trust. Freedom to feel instead of think.”

“Now imagine having sex with me.”
“You know it’s not that civilized with me. Sex with me is raw, dirty and demanding, but you’ll never feel there’s something missing because I will see to your needs above my own. Every. Single. Time.”
“So you’re more of a giver than a taker?”
“Don’t get me wrong, I take plenty. But never at your expense.”

“What?” he asked.
“Will you kiss me?”
Ben leaned over and captured her mouth. He fed her flirty kisses, tickling kisses, kisses laced with passion, kisses tempered with sweetness. When he nibbled on the inside of her lips, she pulled him closer. Threading her fingers through his hair, holding him in place as she took a hungry kiss.

His mother threw a gaudy sequined scarf over her shoulder like a Hollywood diva. She placed her hands on Ben’s cheeks and stood on tiptoe to peck him on the mouth. “I love you. So here’s some advice, and please don’t take this the wrong way. You are a strong, independent man. A good man. A man who deserves happiness. But don’t be a stubborn man. It doesn’t make you weak to want to rely on someone or to want someone in your life who understands you fully. Who accepts you completely. Who gives you something you can’t get from anyone else. Everything in life is about compromise. If it’s worth it, you’ll change to get it. Changing things about your life that don’t fit who you are anymore doesn’t mean you have to change who you are inside.”

Ben’s mouth went dry as the words he’d never said to a woman poured from his mouth, from his heart. “I love you.”
“Oh. God. Ben.”
“I feel whole with you. Before I kept the two halves of myself separated. But when I’m with you, I’m a whole man. I’m the man I want to be. I’m the man I was meant to be. You are everything I’ve ever wanted in a woman but thought I’d never find. And here you are.”

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