After reading Lorelei James’ Rough Riders series and now this new Blacktop Cowboys series, you’d think I wouldn’t be surprised anymore at how Ms. James is able to, book after book, turn out characters who worm their way into my heart, make me laugh, make me burn, and just give me a good time from page to page. I keep thinking there’s going to be that first time one of her books isn’t going to work for me for one reason or another – I mean, it happens all the time. Right? Well, it hasn’t happened yet in all the James books I’ve read, and at this point? I don’t think it’s ever going to happen.
In this book we actually get two romances for the price of one, and Ms. James doesn’t skimp on either of them. We know from the previous book that Janie, Abe’s ex-wife, is back in Muddy Gap, working on the Split Rock Ranch project for Renner Jackson. As we pick up here with these two, sparks and barbs have been flying ever since Abe has discovered she’s back. With a lot of lust and love thrown in, though neither one will admit the love part right now, this couple has a lot to work through and has to look at each other differently from before. Abe has done a lot changing since Janie left years ago, things he couldn’t see when they’d argue about them. It takes an attempt on Janie’s life to get her back on the ranch and eventually in Abe’s bed. Just for sex, mind you. But little by little Janie sees those differences in Abe, especially those that have filled out the man, in more ways than one, and made him more irresistible than ever.
Renner, in the meantime, is having a heck of a time with his financial person, Tierney Pratt, daughter of the man he’s had to borrow money from to get Split Rock up and running. The woman is constantly giving him hell at every turn, but how he loves turning the tables on her and riling her up. But Tierney does her own share of riling Renner up too. This couple is just plain old fun from the moment they’re together on the page, walking that fine line between business associates at each other’s throats to lovers who burn up the sheets something fierce. It does take them a bit to hit those sheets, though. See, Tierney has a secret, one she’s not sure Renner’s going to like all that much. Oh, she couldn’t be more wrong.
Abe and Janie have to learn each other all over again, even in the bedroom. Afraid his sexual appetites would have made her leave him anyway, he’s now happy to hear she wants to delve into the unknown with him. I like how it’s Abe this time around who forces issues between them, questioning and taking nothing for granted as he did before. Janie is the one who is off balance this time, not sure if she should walk back into her old life. But she has no choice when Abe forces her to stay with him until the mystery surrounding her accident is solved. Even when it is, she still can’t walk away.
I have to say Renner and Tierney have an edge over Abe and Janie for me. I love their bedplay, even though Abe and Janie are smokin’ up those aformentioned sheets. When Tierney finally learns how to please Renner in bed, in her office, wherever the cowboy demands, their lovemaking is definitely intense, but it also has a sweetness about it. Maybe it’s Tierney’s inability to keep her thoughts to herself, blurting out what it is she wants to know from Renner. She’s unabashedly ecstatic to be loving and a loved by a man like this sexy cowboy. And Renner is damn sexy. And he’s humbled that someone like Tierney could love him.
Each couple has their moment when things don’t work out as they’d hoped. Having two couples like this, you wonder if perhaps one of them may not make it to the end of the book. Will Abe and Janie come to the resolution that eluded them the first time? Can Renner and Tierney overcome being on opposite sides in business to have a life together?
There’s returning secondary characters from the local salon who are a hoot to read. Especially when Tierney is among them for the first time. I have to say I laughed out loud quite a number of times during this book. Ms. James does a sensational job of balancing the fun and funny with the erotic and romantic, something a lot of erotic authors have a difficult time doing. One secondary character we will all love to hate is Tierney’s father. Arrogant SOB. Thank goodness Tierney has learned some great lessons on this journey of self-experimentation in life and love where that man is concerned.
As erotic romance readers have come to expect from one of the industry’s best, Lorelei James once again gives us characters who tug at the heart, get us overwhelmingly hot and bothered, give us a few chuckles, and just generally make us happy. What more can you ask for?
Wrangling a sweet-talkin’ cowboy can be dangerous business…
The West was not so wild for Janie Fitzhugh. Living with her rancher husband, Abe Lawson, in rural Wyoming nearly broke her spirit, so she left. But eight years later, she returns to Muddy Gap to take a job at a new resort. When an unexpected danger arises, Abe seizes the chance to protect Janie and prove he’s a changed man.
Janie’s employer at the Split Rock Ranch and Resort, Renner Jackson, has gotten himself tangled up in a devil’s bargain trying to finish the construction. His new partner’s daughter, Tierney Pratt, is a spoiled daddy’s girl and off-limits–no matter how drop-dead gorgeous she is. But Tierney’s got her own secret reasons for keeping the rough-and-tumble cowboy at a distance.
When things get down and dirty at the resort, Abe and Renner must saddle up and fight to rope in the women they can’t imagine living without…
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: