What can I say about my experience before reading a Lorelei James novel in her Rough Riders series? It kind of went as far as "Howdy Ma'am" and that was about it. The whole cowboy theme always got a lukewarm response from my side, I envisioned heroes with the sturdy tenacity of Clint Eastwood saying: "Go ahead, make my day" riding their stallions in to the sun set with a background music from the movie: Once Upon A Time In The West. I guess that's what I got from a father whose no.1 movie has been and always will be Once Upon A Time In The West and a husband who loves just about all Clint Eastwood movies. How was I supposed to know they could be so hot...hunk-a-liscious and adventurous? I was as lily white as they come in the cowboy themed novels...until Lorelei James.
I entered the world of Lorelei James with Channing Kincaid going Coyote Ugly on the bar top and it immediately set the playful erotic tone of Long Hard Ride. It was a long time since I just had plain old fun while reading a book, wicked fun, but fun nonetheless. I think it had a lot to do with the frame of mind Channing had. Go wild and loose for once without holding yourself back, without thinking of what everyone else might say or do and without shying away from new experiences. Channing's attitude was showcased with Lorelei James' tell-it-like-it-is kind of writing which leaves little to nothing to the imagination and this had a refreshing appeal to me.
There are four characters who occupied the main storyline: Channing Kincaid - Colby McKay - Trevor Glanzer and Edgard, while the last one in a lesser capacity but when he does pop up, he makes an irrevocable impression. Channing is a woman who wants a taste of the wild life, she is high-spirited, perky and daring. The perfect companion for the three bad boys of the rodeo circuit, and Colby McKay takes the lead with his far and wide known sexual escapades. He and Trevor are confident, tough and charm the skirt of the buckle-bunnies kind of cowboys working the rodeo circuit in the season for prize money. Edgard is a part of, yet remains on the outskirts of this quartet.
It all started out as a carnal liberation for Channing that gradually grew in to much more. A woman at a cross road in her life, slowly coming to terms with the woman she always was but afraid to show to the world. James combines both emotional depth with exhilarating sensuality of one woman with multiple partners. The men are downright vigorous male exuberance walking in jeans and boots calling women shug and darlin'. I will say that not every man can get away with calling a woman darlin' or shug but believe me, when men like Colby and Trevor speak like that it is perfectly acceptable. Using this kind of dialect gave the story a realistic perception and drew me even more in with emphasizing on the feeling I was discovering a new world. Colby, Trevor and Edgar all gave something to Channing but there was also a connection between them as three men, stemming from the fact they share a life on the road.
The erotic part contains a variety of M/F, M/M/F threesome to M/M action. While the sexuality is intense and ever present it also holds a naughty fun nature and is seasoned with an abundance in emotions. The romance development is what balanced the erotic scenes and there was one element concerning Edgard that was so heart tugging it nearly made me break out with the waterworks. Each of the guys have their own issues to work out which is delivered with compassion and understanding. Because with the arrival of Channing in their midst a shift in the group occurs that will bring a change and Lorelei James described it so, that upon each layer shed it gave me more clarity of how it was all working between the three men. In extension of that it was also evident Channing had a strong attraction to one of these men she was rolling with, wanting more than just a week of sexual freedom and experimentation.
The bonding between men on the rodeo road was fascinating for me to follow. With the backdrop of the rodeo circuit being new to me I ventured in it with the excitement of a promise to make new discoveries. The feel among the participants of the rodeo, the camaraderie, the caring for each other, the connecting, it is all portrayed with such steep knowledge and emotion from the author that I felt a part of being on the road with this group. It made me instantly connect and attach myself to this series and its inhabitants, knowing I would want to find out how things would go for supporting characters like Gemma and Cash. The secondary cast involves a variety of characters who made the backdrop of the rodeo so lively, so real, that I hope to return soon to this newly discovered world!
With Long Hard Ride Lorelei James whetted my appetite for more and I can say with enthusiasm that cowboys, cowgirl and buckle-bunnies have conquered a place among my bookshelves with their yeehaw spirit!