Monday, June 7, 2010

Review: Cowgirl Up and Ride

Cowgirl Up and Ride
Lorelei James
Contemporary Erotic Romance
Rough Riders/Book 3

From the author's website ~

Goody-two boots AJ Foster has waited her entire life for her dream cowboy Cord McKay to see her as more than the neighbor girl in pigtails. Now that she’s old enough to stake her claim on him, she’s pulling out all the sexual stops and riding hell-bent for leather—straight for his libido.

Divorced rancher Cord has sworn off all women…until innocent AJ suggests he teach her how to ride bareback—and he realizes she doesn’t mean horses or bulls. Between his responsibilities running his massive ranch, missing his young son and dealing with the sexual shenanigans of his brother and cousins, Cord is more than willing to take AJ up on her offer. On a trial basis.

The fun and games tie them both up in knots. AJ isn’t willing to settle for less than the whole shootin’ match with her western knight. But for Cord, even though the sexy cowgirl sets his blood ablaze, he’s determined to resist her efforts to lasso his battered heart.

Sweet, determined AJ has the power to heal—or heel—the gruff cowboy…unless Cord’s pride keeps him from admitting their relationship is more than a simple roll in the hay.

Warning: This book contains: raunchy sex scenes that'll work you into a lather faster than a winded horse, graphic language, resourceful use of baling twine, ménage à quatage, and yippee! hot nekkid lovin'.

This book had me laughing so much. AJ has a dry, wicked sense of humor. She uses it sparingly, striking when least expected for more impact. God, she was funny! And sad too. My heart broke for her. She loved Cord so much! From the age of five when he "rescued" her, he was AJ's knight in shining armor. Then when she got close to him and got to know him, not just sexually but simply hanging out, that's when she fell in love with the man, not the hero of her memory. This was truly a beautiful love story.

The glimpse of AJ, aka Amy Jo, that we got in Long Hard Ride (book 1) was of a shy, young woman still in her teens with a goody-goody reputation. The AJ we meet now has grown up and is more sure of herself and the new direction her life is taking. She is ready to go for what she wants and what she wants is Cord McKay. She's loved him for years but he's only seen her as a little girl or his younger sister's best friend. Or more recently, his babysitter for his young son. He's never seen her through the eyes of a man looking at an attractive woman. AJ plans to change that and make Cord see the woman she has become. AJ still had this vulnerable side, complete with insecurities, but she went for it even though she was afraid of being hurt. I was surprised at how much I liked AJ. She didn't leave much of an impression on me prior to this book. She wasn't a character I was looking forward to reading about like India or Skylar, but she left a distinct impression on me as I read reading her and Cord's story.

Cord McKay is the oldest of the McKay brood and he has very typical eldest child characteristics. He's responsible and puts family first. His dedication to the ranch and his son are what make him such a great guy. They're what also make him so hard to get close to. He has an ex-wife that left him less than eager to get into anything serious and he has a young son to raise. But right now his son is spending a few months with Cord's ex and Cord is all alone in his big house and missing his son terribly. He's desperate enough to meet his brother Colt at the local bar. While waiting he spies a sexy woman on the dance floor with legs that go on forever. Imagine Cord's shock when he finds out it little Amy Jo Foster!

Cord had such a battle going on inside his poor, confused brain. LOL He still thought of AJ as his little sister's friend while his eyes were telling him she was all grown up and hot as hell! There is an age difference - thirteen years. But AJ is a very mature 22. She knows what she wants and is aware of the consequences of her actions. Cord, he had a hard time letting go of the age difference. AJ is the one that propositioned Cord to teach her about sex. The arrangement was to last only until Cord's son Kyle, got home - 7 weeks. It was also to be kept secret. Too many nosy family members around that might not approve.

AJ was happy to just have Cord and tried to convince herself that if all she got of him was a few weeks, then she'd take it. Cord thought that AJ wouldn't want an old cowboy like him for anything permanent. I loved the way James had these two getting to know each other on a totally different level than they previously had. They had known each other all of AJ's life, had been neighbors but this was very different. They took care of each other after a long day of work and saw to each others needs in and out of the bedroom. You really did get to see them fall in love. They really made a great couple!

There are also a couple of secondary story lines going with Cord's brother Colt and the McKay cousins, Kade and Kane. These cowboys are out of control and it takes a tragedy to get them to see how screwed up their lives are. I like the way the families interact with their joking, teasing and looking out for each other. There is definitely a sense of community running through this series.

There are also a lot of laughs in Cowgirl Up and Ride. I already mentioned AJ's sense of humor. And there is a bachelorette party that AJ attends along with many of the other women in town. I laughed so hard at the bachelorette party scenes. It was girls gone wild - young and old. Lighted penises! Need I say more? :)

James does an amazing job balancing the sexy, the funny and the emotional into a beautiful and entertaining love story. She makes these character, who could end up feeling very similar, all feel very different and unique. Each with their own faults and weaknesses. Each overcoming and dealing with whatever life throws at them while falling in love. Seriously love this series!

Rating: A


  1. Yep, this series is awesome! Waiting for Raising Kane...

  2. I loved this book! This is one of my favorite books in this series... yay Leslie, great review. :D

  3. Oooh, I think I've just been sold on this one. It combines 2 of my favorite romance themes: friends-to-lovers & may/december. I've never read anything by Lorelei James but have seen her name around blogland. Do I need to start with book 1?

  4. Oh, How I envy you, having most of the series in front of you. Such a great bunch of reads! So glad you're enjoying them :)

  5. Maija ~ Ah, Raising Kane, how will she redeem him? Should be interesting. :)

    Hils ~ I was surprised at how much I loved Cord and AJ together!

    Scorpio ~ I love the friends-to-lovers, the may/december really depends on the author but James made this one work.

    I do think each romance stands on its own. The only drawback of reading out of order is that there are reoccurring secondary characters in the series that you get to know. But, Cowgirl Up and Ride is only the 3rd book so in this case I don't think you'll miss much. And James does fill in with how everyone is related etc. So I think you could start with this one. :)

  6. Lori ~ I'm so glad I finally started this series. Makes me want to go to Wyoming. :)

  7. I've really enjoy this series so far. I can't wait to read more of them when they come out. :)

    Great review.

  8. Tracy ~ I'm happy that there's two more coming out this year. I hope Ms. James will keep writing them for a long time. :)

  9. And now that I have an ereader, I can get these Westerns by Lorelei James. This makes me VERY happy!!

  10. Kristie ~ YES! That's why I was able to finally start this series. Otherwise you have to get them in trade paperback. Lots of $$. And, they're released first as ebooks, so no waiting. :)

  11. Great review, Leslie. And it looks like everyone's a fan!! I'll have to add these to my read list. ;)

  12. Christine ~ I don't think I've read anything negative about this series. They really are wonderful erotic romances.