Tour’s Books Blog

August 27, 2009

Short Review: Shoulda Been A Cowboy – Book 7 of the Rough Riders Series

  • Title:  Shoulda Been A Cowboy
  • Author: Lorelei James
  • Type: Contemporary Romance
  • Genre:  Western, Series,  Book 7 of the Rough Riders Series
  • Sub-genre: Erotic, D/s, wounded hero & heroine
  • My Grade:  B- (3.75*)
  • Rating: X
  • Length: over 95,000 words – Full novel
  • Where Available: Samhain as an ebook

Lorelei James has been doing various stories in her tales of the McKay clan that have proved very popular.  I liked Miss Firecracker released earlier this summer, as well as several of her other books, but this isn’t a must buy series for me.  Shoulda Been a Cowboy is a very different kind of a story and rather touching without wallowing in pathos and tears.  Ms James also gives a far more realistic view of disabled Iraq war vets than did JoAnn Ross in Shattered where the ‘Bionic Man’ prosthesis makes the hero battle ready again.  Here Deputy Cameron McKay is a special ops vet who came home after losing a leg in Iraq.  He is a man used to using his body like a weapon, and now he has to work hard each day to keep himself independent and self-sufficient.  Your basic brooding, wounded hero who, because of his perception of his disability sees himself as less than he was before.  This is especially difficult for Cam because he’s a Dominant.  So many little things he used to take for granted are now no longer possible.  But he can’t help his attraction to Domini Katzinski, a Ukrainian immigrant who runs the local diner.

Domini has had more than her share of hard times in her life.  Orphaned before her teens, she was left to the mercy of state orphan home.  There were few ways out and signing on with an Evangelical church group got her away from the marriage brokers and to the US.  After shifting her around every few months for 6 years, Domini got her citizenship and went out on her own to make a life.  Part of that life is Nadia and her son Anton.  Anton is like a nephew to her and she sits for him when Nadia goes out at night.

Domini hears breaking glass and the the sound of metal getting crushed as the building shakes.  Afraid that someone of is breaking in, she calls Cam McKay for help.  Even though Cam is off duty he comes over and finds someone was throwing old glass windows in the dumpster that shifted and crashed into her building.  The two have been dancing around their mutual attraction for a long time and Can finally gives in and kisses her – then he runs.  Domini is getting tired of waiting for Cam.  She needs a man who can take control in the bedroom so her shyness and lack of confidence can be pushed aside and she knows Cam’s reputation as a sexual dominant.  There is a single ménage scene and it was refreshing to have a heroine say once was enough.

Cam and Domini are both fighting a lot of emotional baggage.  Cam’s issues might be more obvious, but it’s Domini hides her own wounds for a long time.  Watching Cam cope with what comes into his life with Domini and all the unexpected tragedies for both then transform them into the ordinary joys of life is just really well done.  Not great, but it felt so much more realistic than so many out there.  It also gave a peek into the reality of how badly our vets are treated by VA system, it just made me cringe with shame.  Ms James did a very good job with this one.  It might not be what I like, but had heart and soul and that’s a rare thing in romance these days, especially erotic romance.

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