Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Review: Long Hard Ride

Long Hard Ride
Lorelei James
Erotic Contemporary Romance/Western

Rough Riders series/Book 1

Samhain/May 2007

From the author's website ~

One lucky woman…three sexy cowboys…she’s in for the ride of her life!..

Channing Kinkaid itches for a change; a wild western adventure with an untamed man. Determined to shed her inhibitions and embrace the steamier, seamier side of life, she sets her sights on hooking up with a real chaps-and-spurs-wearing cowboy.

Enter Colby McKay—bull rider, saddle bronc buster and calf roper. From the moment he sets lust-filled eyes on the sweet and fiery Channing, he knows he’s found the woman who’s up to the challenge of cutting loose. What rough and rowdy cowboy could resist a no-holds-barred sexual romp with a sassy young thing starring as his personal buckle bunny?

Intrigued by Channing’s bold proposition of horsing around on the road, Colby impulsively sweetens the deal; sexual escapades not only in his bed, but in the bedrolls of his rodeo traveling partners, Trevor and Edgard.

Although Channing’s secretly longed to be the sole focus of more than one man’s passions, Colby’s demand for complete submission behind closed doors will test her willful nature.

Can Channing give up total control? Especially when not all is as it seems with the sexy trio? Or will the cowboys have to break out the bullropes and piggin' string to break in this headstrong filly?

I always get a kick out of the warnings on Samhain books. Here's the one for Long Hard Ride.

Warning: This title contains the following: lots of explicit sex, going strong long after the cows come home, graphic language that’d make your mama blush, light bondage with bullropes, ménage a trois, and – yee-haw! – hot nekkid cowboy man-love.

This is my first ebook purchase for my new nook™. I've been wanting to try Ms. James' Rough Rider series for some time now. So when I won the nook™ from the ladies at The Book Binge and Barnes & Noble, I knew it would be the first ebook I purchased. Believe me, it was a good ride!

Channing Kinkaid has taken a break from her real life and ventured into a completely new world. The world of the rodeo. Cowboys, horses, bulls and spurs are giving Channing the new experiences she's longing for. Not all of her choices are good ones. Choosing to follow the circuit with Jared the loser cowboy turned out to be a bad choice. Channing dumps Jared the loser cowboy and takes Colby McKay up on his offer to ride along with him and his two rodeo travel partners, Trevor and Edgard. Since Channing is wanting new experiences, Colby is willing to give it to her. If she wants to ride along with the three cowboys, she has to agree to be with all three cowboys. Yee-haw!

It may sound like all that is going on is hot, naked sex and believe me, there is a lot of that. But there was also a story about people and how they react when society tries to dictate what they should be, should do, should feel. The characters are fully developed. James shows us their strengths and weaknesses and their beautiful flaws.

Colby McKay comes from a family of cowboys. Family is a big part of Colby's life. He grew up with four brothers and a sister. His parents are still a big part of his life along with his siblings and an assortment of cousins. Colby is a straight shooter. He tells Channing what he wants from her and what he plans to do to her. Colby is very much a dominant male. He's in charge in the bedroom or wherever the mood might carry him and Channing. There were moments when I felt that alpha-ness came on a little too strong but I never felt he would physically hurt Channing with his domination. There were other influences that spurred Colby's protectiveness towards Channing. I liked seeing how Colby worked through his changing feelings towards Channing.

Channing isn't a cowgirl but a city slicker from back east. She has decided to embrace the rodeo lifestyle if only for a little while. I loved how she was so determined to experience this adventure. She wanted to make memories to take with her when she goes back to her "real" life. Some might say Channing is a loose woman for agreeing to sleep with three men and they might be right. I guess it just depends on your definition of loose. I didn't think of her that way. It's like she wanted to take this period in her life to be someone else. Someone who blurred those lines of traditional values and sometimes, just erased them. Whatever the people of the rodeo circuit thought of her, she had a kind heart and a love of life. Channing was an easy woman to like whom I felt such empathy for. She grew up with such structure that it was suffocating her. This was her one rebellion, her one chance to really experience life and I'm so glad she took it!

Colby's two rodeo pals, Trevor and Edgar, give the story another dimension to what could have been a traditional romance. Channing develops relationships with not only Colby but also Trevor and Edgar. All three relationships are different. Different levels, different intensities. The most intense and deepest relationship was of course with Colby. They play the role of the "traditional" hero and heroine. Channing becomes friends fairly quickly with Trevor. Her friendship with Edgar came at a slower, more tentative pace. I enjoyed the friendships of these four people. The men had that closeness that comes from living and working together. That history influenced how they interacted with Channing. Channing, for her part, helped them to unravel their conflicting feelings and make some hard decisions that they might not have made without her as the catalyst.

Lorelei James writes some very hot, very erotic scenes. The balance between playfulness and seriousness is well written. There are some heavy emotions that are dealt with in the story but there is also fun and joy and friendships made. James shows her extensive knowledge of the life of the cowboy and what it's like to follow the rodeo circuit. I loved that western flavor of living on the road, the excitement of the rodeo and the hard work and hard play that's part of that life.

I've already read Rode Hard, Put Up Wet, book 2 in the Rough Riders series and have Cowgirl Up and Ride, book 3, waiting for me on my nook™. Yep, I'm totally hooked on these cowboys and cowgirls and James' Rough Rider series.

Rating: B+


  1. Oooh, you have so much good reading and hot cowboys ahead of you!! Enjoy!

  2. LOL I'm trying to pace myself but it's hard. :)

  3. You had me at 'cowboy'. LOL. I've seen this book around the blogosphere, and because of your review I just bought it for my Kindle. Great stuff!

  4. Ohhh, you're reading about my favorite "spankin'/roping" cowboys, lol! I'm so glad you're enjoying Lorelei James. She a favorite for me in this genre. Enjoy, Leslie!

    PS: I know what you mean about pacing. It's tough once you start reading these. I have the last 3 on my TBR & just HAD to stop myself! LOLOL!

  5. I loved this book too. It started my LL following! I can't get enough of this series!!

  6. Danielle ~ Love those cowboys. :) Hope you enjoy it!

    Hils ~ they are quickly becoming my favorite cowboys. :D

    Brande' ~ I'm just happy there's so many in this series. :)

  7. Oh enjoy the rest of the books - they're all pretty darned good. James writes some darned good erotica.

  8. Tracy ~ I've bought the first 4 and have already read the first 2. It's tempting to read them all at once. :)