Review: Cowgirls Don’t Cry by Lorelei James

Format: E-bookcowgirlsdontcry
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Rough Riders, Book 10
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd
Hero: Brandt McKay
Heroine: Jessie McKay
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: November 9, 2010
Started On: November 9, 2010
Finished On: November 12, 2010

The 10th book in the Rough Riders series just totally blew me away. From its deliciously fantasy provoking man chesticle display on its cover till its very end, this story kept me captivated and entertained as I raced through the pages to see two people who deserve their own happily ever after as much as Brandt and Jessie does, achieve it regardless of the many hurdles that they face along the way.

The Hero: Brandt McKay, the second son of Casper and Joan McKay together with his brothers Luke, Dalton and Tell had grown up in a less than idyllic household with a father who had taken his pleasure in belittling his children and wife at every possible opportunity. Luke who had been the oldest, had been his father’s favorite of all 4 of his children, and when he had died in an accident leaving behind his wife Jessie McKay with whom Brandt had been in love with since he had first seen her changes everything. Though Brandt and his brothers work their asses off to keep their ranch profitable, efforts which go unrecognized and belittled by their father at every turn, Brandt tries to do the right thing by his brother’s widow as well. Brandt is the one McKay from the rowdy bunch of McKay’s that actually yearn for a wife and family of his own.

The Heroine: Jessie McKay is a woman who has been severely let down by men, in all stages of her life. Having never known her biological father who had dumped her mother when he had known of her conception, Jessie had been adopted by Billy Reynolds who had wooed and married her mother, only to leave to appease his lust for his vagabond lifestyle which had clearly done a number on Jessie with abandonment issues. When Luke McKay had strolled into her life and wooed her with his charm and good looks, Jessie had fallen for him like a ton of bricks and before she knew it pregnancy had forced Luke and herself into the throes of holy matrimony, the vows which they had promised to uphold seeming to not really matter to Luke once the novelty of being married had worn off. And when Luke had died amidst town gossip and pitying looks aimed Jessie’s way, it had been Brandt who had come to her rescue and eased things along through such a difficult time for her, always giving and never asking for anything in return until the night he professes to have feelings towards her which Jessie rejects.

Storyline: When Brandt comes to Jessie bearing the bad news that Luke had fathered a child with another woman, Jessie’s world which she had just started piecing together crumbles right in front of her eyes. And when Brandt requests her help in looking after his nephew whilst his mother spends 4 months in rehab, Jessie is outraged and unwilling to look after the result of her husband’s continuous strays towards greener pastures during their marriage. But knowing that Brandt has no one else to turn to and because Landon’s deep blue McKay eyes melts something deep inside of her, Jessie agrees to what Brandt proposes with a few conditions of her own tossed into the equation to make things more interesting. Forced into the close proximity that requires Brandt and Jessie to act out  in their role as parents to Landon forces Jessie to admit that Brandt could be just the man she needs in her life, for now and always.

The first Encounter: Though it is Luke McKay that charms and woos Jessie in no time, it had been Brandt who had first seen Jessie at The Devil’s Tower Rodeo and wanted her unlike he had wanted any other woman. But Brandt had made the mistake of pointing her out to Luke and the rest as they say is history.

Time period: This story has a contemporary setting and takes place in Wyoming.

Narrated in: This story is told from both the hero and the heroine’s point of view.

Awareness between the hero and heroine: Though Brandt acknowledges his strong feelings towards his brother’s widow long before this story takes place, it takes Jessie a long time to face the fact that Brandt is just the man for her. With Landon in their lives which creates a circumstance most unusual between Brandt and Jessie, Jessie begins to acknowledge the fact that Brandt stirs up her insides unlike anything she has ever felt before. The delicious awakening on Jessie’s part which begins in this story is one of the best parts of the journey these two take towards their happily ever after. And true to trademark Lorelei James style, this book is packed with tastefully done and oh so erotic and at times beautiful love scenes that just kept the pages turning till the very end.

The turning point: Brandt and Jessie’s story has been a long time coming. I vaguely recall reading bits and pieces of their story in Keeley’s story (All Jacked Up) and more recently in book 9 of the Rough Riders series which was Kane’s story i.e. Raising Kane which I reviewed earlier this week. One of the turning points in Jessie Brandt’s relationship took place when Brandt refused to serve as a convenient handyman for Jessie and walked out on her after confessing his true feelings towards Jessie. Then Landon brings Jessie and Brandt closer than anything else could have, which finally turns things around for two people who definitely deserve each other in every aspect.

Ending: A happily ever after for the happy couple which had me smiling long after I put the story to rest.


  1. I don’t know how Ms. James does it but her heroes are always to die for. Brandt McKay is no exception to this said rule and he just totally swept me off my feet from the way he takes care of Landon to how he puts Jessie’s needs above everything else to the way he whispers sweet nothings and rumbles all the dirty edgy stuff as well when the moment calls for it. Its just so damn easy to fall in love with him that I found myself sighing and mooing over him as I raced through the pages till the very end.
  2. The character development. In each of the stories of the Rough Riders series, there is always something new to be learned about the large McKay family which continually keeps growing as the series progresses. The details and tidbits that are dropped in as each story progresses along just makes things more interesting and enticing as the stories continue to stem out for the remaining hell raisers in the McKay bunch.
  3. Jessie McKay. Though I definitely DID NOT like how she acted out in the prologue, I later understood where she was coming from and just how badly her self esteem as a woman had been shot down by her ass of a husband. Her character did a total 180 degree turn on me when she redeemed herself by giving her heart to Brandt, a man who so deserves her love and affection and totally won me over with the cat fight around the end of the story.

Dislikes: As many readers would agree with me, the prologue did nothing but create a feeling of intense dislike towards Jessie which was really unnecessary in the end. So I could have totally done away with the prologue and started from Chapter 1 and I don’t think it would have in anyway made the story that unfolded any less appealing than what it is now.

Recommended for: Those who love the erotica genre but love their novels with enough character development to make you fall in love with each and everyone you meet as you make your journey through the story. And for fans of the Rough Riders series. This was just as good for me as the other two stories that I have managed to read from the series.

Favorite Quotes

Finally, Brandt pushed to his feet. His dark eyes remained on hers as he deftly skirted the coffee table and the pile of Landon’s toys. He stopped in front of her, his big hands clenched at his sides.
“Starting tonight, but especially the first time, I call the shots. All of them. I own your sexuality. We clear?”
Talk about being the big, bad wolf. Jessie nodded.
“Say the word so there’s no misunderstanding between us.”
She swallowed and said, “Yes.”
Brandt slanted his mouth over hers. But he didn’t kiss her with lust-fueled passion. He drank her in – with his eyes, with the short, chappy breaths he pulled into his lungs.
Although Jessie was pretty sure he wanted to take a possessive kiss, he didn’t, which indicated his monumental control.
His tongue darted out and slid along the plump inside curve of her bottom lip. A leisurely, sensuous glide across the sensitive flesh that caused her mouth to tremble even as her lips parted in invitation. But he didn’t dive in for a greedy, open mouthed kiss. He lightly swept his damp lips over hers. Repeatedly. Male hunger and hot breath, tempered with softness that was unlike anything she’d ever experienced.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo | Samhain



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