I finally finished this read! My life got a lot crazy all at once or this read would have been done a week ago. I'd been wanting to get to this Rough Riders read for a while and I'm glad I finally got it.
First off, a note of warning. The Rough Riders might be categorized by some as erotica. It contains very explicit sexual encounters. And plenty of them. I consider it erotic romance; but that being said, it is not a read for the faint hearted. An 18 years + read. Just so y'all are warned ;) Personally, I love this series because the characters are real and so are the relationships (between family, friends, and lovers) in the books. And who can't love a series about cowboys?? So on to the review.
ebook, 275 pages
Published March 2008 by Samhain Publishing
Summary from Goodreads
What can I say about the Rough Riders? Hot, hot, damn hot. And Cord's story is no different. I absolutely loved Colby's story in the first book, and I adored Carter's story in book two and I expected to be devastated by this read. Absolutely devastated like I was with his two fine brothers. I was devastated. But not as completely as with them first two McKay wild boys. However, Cord did win my heart.
Cord is the cynical, responsible, oldest brother in the McKay family who's already has his heart trampled on once. He's sworn off women forever. And AJ is the sweet, young girl next door who has adored him since she was five years old. She's literally loved him forever. But in this book, she learns that real love isn't hero worship, and when she figures that out, she knows she wants it all from Cord. Not just him and her between the sheets, but a real relationship where they are both in it for the long haul because they love each other.
But Cord's...a McKay I guess. Easiest way to put it: men in his family are proud and stubborn and Cord doesn't know how to tell AJ that all their bedroom antics have meant more to him than just plain old good sex. So Amy Jo leaves. She wants and deserves more than she thinks Cord is offering when he asks her to marry him, and this is where the story really won me over. He starts courting her. I believe the term used in the book was "wooing" but each is equally awwwwwwww in my books. It strips him bear to confess even to himself how much he loves her, and then to figure out how to win her back but Cord does it. And parts of it are really romantic. But I do kinda wish this tough cowboy had been a little more...passionate in his declarations to AJ. He did put it out all on the line, and he's super sweet in his wooing and very cute when he thinks he might have made AJ mad with his idea of getting married in Vegas, but I think I needed a little more emotion from these two. I think I expected a love story about a bitter man learning to love again from a girl who's loved him all her life to be a bit more emotionally explosive, but it didn't quite meet my expectations in that area.
I am, however, tickled by some of the other members of the McKay family we get to meet. I want to read Kade's story. I don't know when it is, but I want to find out if he's going to end up with Skylar. And I'm dying to know what's been rattling about in Colt's head that sent him down the road into the bottle. I want to know if he's really cleaned himself up, and what his HEA will look like. And this is why I have to say the series is great: there's lots of hot sex, but the characters tackle very real problems like alcoholism, family relationships that are going south, homosexuality and childhoods that are lost, like AJ's, because of the sarcifices we make for those we love. Some of these things should not be, like the situtation with Dag, but it's realistic and that for me, keeps me invested in this series. That, and the great writing and wonderful fully developed characters.
I can't wait for the next read!
4 glittering stars