Monday, May 23, 2011

Five Umbrellas: Cowgirls Don't Cry by Lorelei James

Is there a 12 step program for Lorelei James addicts? I was this way when I discovered Suzanne Brockmann and Julia Spencer-Fleming and Karen Marie Moning and Pamela Clare too--roaring through their backlist. Whose backlist have you devoured in the least amount of time?

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars. Book 10 in the Rough Riders series, Cowgirls Don’t Cry, is actually the perfect introduction to James’s amazing voice for readers more used to spicy contemporaries and who haven’t yet ventured into Romantica. Brandt is quite possibly my favorite hero of the whole series. He really showcases James’s range as a writer—he’s not her usual alpha hero at all, yet she imbues him with layers of complexity and succeeds in making him strong and attractive while still showing him to be more sensitive than the rest of the McKay clan. I found him even sexier for this sensitivity—he makes choices that come from his heart, and he gives Jessie the space to make her own choices. At first the plotline of the widow and her former brother-in-law coming together to raise the deceased’s love child seemed far fetched and rooted in category romance tropes, but James transforms this into a complex story about what it really means to be a family and what love can overcome. There’s also a few nice twists along the way that make this feel fresh and different.

Brandt’s respectful treatment of Jessie extends to the bedroom, and one of the most fun love scenes of the series comes when she knocks HIM for a loop by showing just how far she’s willing to go. The love scenes are smoking, but they are a bit less “kinky” than some in the series—there’s not as much of a domination vibe and there’s no backdoor action. I suppose some fans of the series might be a bit let down by this, but I really enjoyed seeing James’s versatility and the balance between heat and substance—Brandt and Jessie both have complex character arcs that extend beyond realizing that they are perfect for each other. We also see some different secondary characters in this book, and I look forward to seeing them in future installments. The other McKays make an appearance, but one could totally read this story without reading anything else in the series. Shoulda Been a Cowboy and Raising Kane introduced Jessie, Luke, and Brandt to readers, but that backstory is also woven into this book as well. James tosses around the phrase “Gentleman Cowboy” throughout the series, but Brandt really personifies that. This is a great read featuring a memorable hero.



1 comment:

  1. No, there's not a 12 step program for a LJ addiction. One's not necessary! LOL It's an addiction that should be happily fed! :)

    ReplyDelete