This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.
Series: Rough Riders #15
Other books by this author that I've reviewed include Corralled, Saddled and Spurred, Rode Hard, Put Up Wet, Wrangled and Tangled, Long Hard Ride, Cowgirl Up and Ride, Rough, Raw and Ready, Tied Up, Tied Down, Wild Ride, Branded as Trouble, Shoulda Been a Cowboy, All Jacked Up, Raising Kane, Cowgirls Don't Cry, Chasin' Eight, One Night Rodeo, Casanova Cowboy, Kissin' Tell, Gone Country, Mistress Christmas, Miss Firecracker, Bound, Unwound, Turn and Burn, Hillbilly Rockstar, "Schooled", Wrapped and Strapped, Unraveled.
Genres: Erotic Romance
Fifteenth in the Rough Riders Western erotic romance series set in Wyoming. The couple focus is on Dalton McKay and Rory Wetzler.
James knows how to make it interesting, lol. This is an old, old romance that kind’a crept up on Rory and Dalton. That first meeting they had way back then explains why Dalton calls Rory “Jungle Girl”. It’s cute, and Dalton is very, very determined while Rory is so skittish she’s like a leaf on a very breezy day.
Okay, James does use one of those romance tropes, the one in which the woman is simply going to use the man and not fall in love, so you immediately know Rory’s gonna fall in love. Again.
Oh, man, I do like Rory’s feistiness! It’s just what Dalton needs, a woman who can’t be maneuvered, easily anyway, lol. You’ll crack up when Dalton takes up yoga. Seems Rory teaches a class in it to help keep her sanity. Of course Dalton has his surprises. You’ll definitely awww when you find out what (and why!) Dalton has done this to his bedroom. Awwww.
There are several good morals in this tale. One is “do something because it’s right for you, not because everyone else is doing it”. Makes me think of that old rhetorical (?) question all parents seem to voice about cliffs and friends. In some ways, running away from Wyoming was good for Dalton. He was forced to step outside of his comfort zone — and he found himself, became a stronger person.
This one’s better than the “picture people in their underwear” speech!
“…pretend people were staring because they were trying to figure out my secret superpower and to be very serious so as to not give it away.”
Another moral is the need to communicate. Neither Rory nor Dalton realize they need to be communicating NOW, and I do feel bad for when the truth will come out. And it will have to come out. It is also a lack that’s been going on a long time between them. A lack, actually, that you’ll discover has been going on in the whole McKay family for too long when you find out about Casper and how he treated Dalton. Yep, there was a lack of communication between Dalton and Addie too, although Addie, unknowingly, does get a bit of her own back. It’ll knock Dalton back a bit. Then there’s that poker face of Dalton’s. It is communicating to Rory, but all the wrong things.
Oooh, hard ball, lol. Boys, this is a good lesson for you — and would be a good skill for girls to pay attention to! Pay attention to the person you’re with. To their hopes, dreams, fears, worries. What they like to eat and how they like it…
Damn, there are a lot of relationship lessons in this one. The most important one, okay, one of the two most important ones since communication is essential, is change. Do not expect to change the other person. It’s not fair to you or them. People can change, but they have to want to do it themselves. NEVER, never expect to be able to change them.
It sure seems as if Dalton is stepping up. He’s certainly being honest, lol. And, no, he’s being honest about himself and not in a positive light. Nor does he let Rory put all the blame on him when he forces her to admit to her own starry-eyed perspective. Of course, it wouldn’t be story without conflict, and Dalton does manage to step in it. Or rather, Rory manages to create mud puddles for him to step in with the offense she takes in her insecurity. Rory does make a habit of jumping to the wrong conclusion. When she gets that application of Dalton’s, well, guys, wear a cup! I do love the response he gives her. Oh, yeah, baby!
Wow. The rent on that house Dalton is in must be pretty steep; the owner sure is getting a bargain with all the work Dalton is doing on it.
This story is making me hungry for Mexican food.
Nothing seems to have changed among the brothers. Sure they still love between each other, but the same disinterest Tell and Brandt have about Dalton’s actions is still there. WTF?
Jesus, it makes you wanna cry when you read about the shifts the brothers had to go through to survive their childhood with Casper as a father. Whatever made this man turn out as he did? For that matter, why didn’t someone shoot the bastard?
After leaving Addie at the altar, Dalton took off to get away from everyone, including his father. Only…he gets sucked back to Wyoming when he gets that call about his father.
Aurora Rose “Rory” Wetzler, Sierra’s stepsister, is back and working part-time for the Wyoming Natural Resource Council in Moorcroft during the day and the Twin Pines as a bartender by night. She still has her dog, Jingle. Her mom, Rielle, is married to Gavin (see Gone Country, 14).
Dalton McKay left Wyoming after the twin debacles, bummed around the world, and is now living in Montana, logging in the summer and leading elk-hunting parties in the autumn.
Tell is his brother married to the pregnant Georgia, a lawyer (see Kissin’ Tell, 13). They have a son, Jackson, and a daughter, Carly. Brandt is another brother and married to the also-pregnant Jessie McKay (she has a little girl, Bethany; see Cowgirls Don’t Cry, 10). They have two kids: Tucker and Wyatt. Landon is their late brother Luke‘s son. Landon has a dog now, Dixon.
Their father, Casper, has had a stroke. Barbara Jean is their dad’s girlfriend whom he met at church. For some reason, Casper was well-liked amongst Pastor Joneki‘s congregation.
Their mom, Joan, is looking younger every day; being away from Casper will do that for you.
The rest of the McKays
Sierra and Keely are his cousins. Dalton backed Sierra on her own business last year but no one else knows. Marin was Sierra’s BFF, and it seems that Sierra paid it forward. Keely is married to Jack Donohue (see All Jacked Up, 8), and they have three kids now: Piper and the twins, JJ and Liam. Chase is another cousin, a champion bullrider, married to the actress Ava Drummond (see Chasin’ Eight, 11), and it’s his fault that Dalton’s uncles are cool to him.
Kyler is grown up enough these days to be able to drive. And date. Jocelyn Mears. (Dalton gets his cousin out of a tight spot, lol.) He’s also an all-star quarterback for his high school. Ryland is a friend of Kyler’s. Cord is Kyler’s dad; he’s married to AJ (see Cowgirl Up and Ride, 3), and they have another boy, Vaughan. Kane, Colby, Colt, and Cam (he cheats) are more of Kyler’s uncles.
Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Carson will hold the wake at their place. Seems Uncle Charlie wasn’t bound by that promise not to say anything to Casper; he’s married to Aunt Vi. Aunt Kimi makes a brief appearance; she’s married to Uncle Cal.
Wyoming State Parks Department
Dillon Doland is Rory’s boss, the assistant director with the Wyoming State Parks Department and her ex-fiancé. Bob Buckman heads up the BLM office and he’s retiring.
Wyoming Natural Resource Council
Director Tibke is Rory’s boss, although Horrific Hannah is her immediate boss. Alice is with HR. Glennis is the receptionist.
Lonna Davis is the administrative coordinator from the Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit in Missoula.
Addie Maureen Voorhees is the woman Dalton left at the altar. Truman was Dalton’s best friend until that moment; now he’s married to Addie. Thurman was Truman’s older brother who had been best pals with Tell.
Boden Hicks, an old buddy (he’s married to Bree) who needs someone to lead hunting trips, is also a friend of Ben’s (Dalton met Boden at the Rawhide Club). Layla is a friend of Ainsley’s and she explained the Rawhide Club to Dalton. J.T. Judson was Dalton’s opponent in the big poker game. Reggie, Lee Anderson, Tick, Busby, and Leif West are old friends of Dalton’s too.
Old Duffy and Donald, an upbeat cancer survivor, are customers at the bar. Naomi is the bar manager. Vanessa and Ricki are some of the ladies in Rory’s yoga class; Vanessa and Mandie are also her Friday night friends. Cindy is the waitress at the Golden Boot. Heather leads the Zumba class.
The Cover and Title
I’d have a hard time sayin’ no if Dalton looks anything like the hunk on the cover in his plaid shirt, open to expose a nicely muscled chest, and low-hanging blue jeans. There’s stubble on his face, what we can see of his face, anyway. And even that bit looks damn good! The base of the cover is consistent with earlier books with that bit of distressed leather topped by a vine of leaves and a central flower “carved” into the leather and the whole is in tones of brown, a soft look.
The title is an insult thrown by Dillon at Rory’s new Redneck Romeo as well as a comment from Dalton after the wedding ceremony.