Sunday, January 1, 2012

Book Review: Rough Riders Series

Rough Riders Series 
by: Lorelei James
Published by: Samhain Publishing

Buy it at Amazon
Source: Nook editions owned by reviewer
Audience: Mature (erotica with mild BDSM)

A friend of mine approached me a few months ago and asked if I like cowboys. Well, I grew up in southern Louisiana, 35 miles from the Texas border, in a rodeo city. While I was never a cowgirl myself, I’ve always been able to appreciate a pair of tight blue jeans and a low-drawn cowboy hat on a rough and rugged male body. I was ready for a break from YA books, so I jumped in. I had no intention of reviewing any of the books in the series, and I had no idea it was a 10 book series. It was a guilty pleasure read and nothing more. I thought I’d finish it quickly and go back to reading the books I committed to reviews for. Now almost 2 months and 10 books later, I look back and realize that I have to share this series. Trust me, the McKay boys are worth sharing, and many of them are more than willing to be shared. ;)

Please note - this series is not for everyone. It is erotica – there are very graphic sex scenes, light BDSM (light bondage and mild sexual dominance and submission), and a few male/male/female threesomes. So if this is not your type of reading, this is where you’ll want to stop. No hurt feelings – I promise!

Upon starting the first book of the series; my first thought was “This is straight porn!” However, I couldn’t put it down. Colby McKay and his rodeo scene had me enthralled. I couldn’t believe half of what I was reading, and at the same time, it was so very realistic. There was no wait time between the first and second books. I finished the first and was immediately ready for more. I soon found myself addicted to the McKay/West family. The more I read, the more I wanted. My friend laughed at me because with each book I read, I’d text her and say, “I’m in love!” and she would respond telling, “Just wait!” Each book was better than the next, and like many series I’ve read, the writing got better with each book, while the characters got richer. There was not a single book in the series that lost my interest. I tried several times to take a break and move on to a book I had committed to read, but I just couldn’t get this family out of my head.

Lorelei James has a way of writing that digs into the deepest, darkest of fantasies, and combines them with everyday hopes and dreams. The Rough Riders series follows the McKay/West family through life as a rodeo and ranching family. The family starts with four McKay brothers. Two West sisters marry two of the McKay brothers, and the family grew from there. The books are about the grown children of these 4 brothers, but I have to admit that I would love go back in time and read the stories of the four original brothers. The McKay family is a close-knit family, with each brother, sister, and cousin having a book of their own. I tried at one point to choose a favorite book, and I just couldn’t. This is the first series I’ve ever read that I can honestly say I don’t have a favorite. I loved them all.

The thing I love most about the McKay/West family is the realistic nature of it. Growing up in a large family, I completely relate to the ups and downs experienced by the family throughout the series. This family loves deeply, fights harshly, and when the going gets tough, they stick together. They share their lives with each other and they have fun together. I love how the McKay/West men are protective and possessive of their women, while also appreciating them for who they are without trying to change them. Along the same lines, I love how each of the heroines is a strong woman who won’t back down from how she feels and what she knows is right for her and her family, no matter what others may think about the choices they make.

This is a series that I can see myself coming back to more than once. If you love cowboys, Midwestern ranch life, or if you just flat out appreciate a rough, rugged, protective, and possessive man, then I strongly suggest you read this series.

My favorite thing about The Rough Riders series: The family dynamics, and of course – the McKay boys.

My only gripe: The titles of the books are horrendous! Geeze – can we please make it a little less embarrassing to be reading an erotic series?
Reading Order:1. Long, Hard Ride – Colby McKay & Channing
2. Rode Hard, Put Up Wet – Carter McKay & Macie
3. Cowgirl Up and Ride – Cord McKay & AJ
4. Tied Up, Tied Down – Kade McKay & Skylar
5. Rough, Raw, and Ready – Chassie West & Trevor
6. Branded as Trouble – Colt McKay & India
7. Shoulda Been a Cowboy – Cameron McKay & Domini
8. All Jacked Up – Keely McKay & Jack (*)
9. Raising Kane – Kane McKay & Ginger
10. Cowgirls Don’t Cry –Brandt McKay & Jessie

*Slow Ride - Short story of Keely & Jack

Coming Soon:
11. Chasin’ Eight

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