Book Review: Lorelei James’ Cowgirls Don’t Cry

Posted December 24, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Lorelei James’ Cowgirls Don’t Cry

Cowgirls Don't Cry


Lorelei James

erotic romance in eBook edition that was published by Samhain Publishing on November 9, 2010 and has 304 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have 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, Chasin' Eight, One Night Rodeo, Casanova Cowboy, Kissin' Tell, Gone Country, Mistress Christmas, Miss Firecracker, Bound, Redneck Romeo, Unwound, Turn and Burn, Hillbilly Rockstar, "Schooled", Wrapped and Strapped, Unraveled, What You Need, Just What I Needed

Tenth in the Rough Riders erotic romance series about an extended family of cowboys in Wyoming. The couple focus is on Jessie McKay, Luke’s widow, and Brandt McKay, his brother.

In 2010, Cowgirls Don’t Cry was nominated for the Goodreads Choice for Romance.

My Take

This was a rather vague start, but it did provide background on what happened between Brandt stomping off in either All Jacked Up or Raising Kane and the start of today’s story.

And, hoo boy, what a start! James certainly does come up with some unique ways to bring a couple together. It’s a whole lotta nasty up until the end where a number of situations are resolved. I loved it!

In this one, the emotions are riding high in every direction. We learn why Casper is such a jerk and what happened in his past to cause him to take his stance against Luke’s marrying Jessie. The pivot in this story is definitely a twist and does provide a good opportunity to try things out. Then there are the appalling gossips who have nothing better to do. We also find out about the courtship of Jessie and Luke. Definitely a case for substance over looks.

Whoaaa, Keely has some surprising things to say about Brandt and Jess. Makes you stop and think about the people you know, wonder what they’re hiding.

I just love this series. It’s a great combination of erotica and family values. Yeah, not what you’d expect in an erotic romance, but it’s the best of both worlds. You can just feel the warmth and love the McKays have for each other when they’re at Cord and AJ’s for Thanksgiving, watching football. The warmth of the aftermath of the trip into the woods to cut down a Christmas tree for Brandt, Jessie, and Landon. Well, not so much Landon after the cookies.

Still, it’s a bad situation and I really can’t blame Jess at all. She’s done enough. Put up with enough. But well worth it when it leads to understanding what real love is all about.

James has a real story in each book and a central theme throughout the series and you won’t go wrong in reading it all.

The Story

It opens with Keely and Jack’s wedding day and Brandt has some bad news for Jessie. Seems Luke was a bit productive when he was out cattin’ around and now his illegitimate son needs a temporary home. And Brandt needs her help. God knows, it would be too dangerous to ask his folks to help!

It does bring things to a head with Brandt, Tell, and Dalton’s dad, Casper.

The Characters

Jessie McKay is Luke’s widow (see Shoulda Been a Cowboy) and from the sound of it, much better off without the jerk! It’s only Luke’s parents who toss her aside; the rest of the McKays stepped up. Naturally, she has her own issues to get through. She works for Skylar McKay at the daycare facility at the Sky Blue factory. Lexie is her dog. Billy Reynolds is her stepdad and more interested in rodeoing. Josie is her kid sister. Her mom is married now to Roger Randolph (teaches) and lives in Riverton.

Brandt McKay is Luke’s brother and he’s been in love with Jessie from the start. That boy is one long-suffering, patient cowboy. Casper is their jerk of a dad who hasn’t worked the ranch in the past ten years; Joan is their long-suffering mother. She could be the poster child for why honesty is the best policy. Dalton and Tell are his brothers. Tell, the peacemaker, is working on getting certified as a PRCA judge.

Landon is Luke’s sixteen-month-old son with one of his pickups, Samantha Johnston.

Casper (the oldest son), Cal, Carson, and Charlie are brothers and the grandparents in this saga; Jed McKay was their dad.

Calvin and Kimi McKay
Kade and Kane are their identical twin sons. Kade and Skylar have Eliza and the three-year-old twins: Shannie and Peyton (Tied Up, Tied Down). Jessie’s situation helps Skylar decide to open up the daycare to all the McKay cousins.

Kane and Ginger McKay have Hayden and the twins: Madelyn and Paulson (Raising Kane).

Carson and Carolyn McKay
Carter (Western artist) and Macie (cooks and manages some restaurants) have Thane, Parker, Spencer, and the new baby girl, Poppy (Rode Hard, Put Up Wet). Cord and AJ have Kyler and Foster (Cowgirl Up and Ride). Colby and Channing have Gib, Braxton, Miles, and Austin (Long Hard Ride). Colt and India (tattoo artist) have Hudson and a new baby boy, Ellison (Branded as Trouble). Cam (cop) and Domini have a number of adopted kids including Anton (Nadia’s son), Leisl, and the twins, Dimitri and Oxsana. See Shoulda Been a Cowboy. (No mention of the two, Markus and Sasha, Domini was thinking of adopting in All Jacked Up.) Keely just married Jack (it’s their story in All Jacked Up).

Charlie and Vi McKay
Quinn, Bennett, and Chase are his boys. Quinn is married to Libby (Wild Ride: Strong, Silent Type) and they have Adam and a new baby girl, Amelia. Ben is still a bachelor with a log cabin he built himself. A real bachelor’s pad. His dogs are named Ace and Deuce. Chase is now one of the top fifteen bull riders in the world, although he’s a little too interested in the buckle bunnies.

Simone also works at Sky Blue. Doctor Joely Monroe is involved in Landon’s care and assessment.

The Cover and Title

The cover is rather sedate for a Rough Rider… The traditional bottom border of leather with a carved floral motif separating it from the sepia-toned “black-and-white” photo is there, but there’s something different about it… Of the couple on the cover, Jessie, in her low-slung jeans with its concha belt and her pillow-ticking cropped blouse, is being firmly held and about to be kissed by a shirtless Brandt in hat, jeans, and thick, leather belt.

The title is Jessie to a T. She keeps telling herself that Cowgirls Don’t Cry.