I've been wanting to reread this one since I first read it. And I think it was even better the second time around. I love this story. FoReread 8/14/10
I've been wanting to reread this one since I first read it. And I think it was even better the second time around. I love this story. For me, it's the ultimate alternative erotic romance. It's one I'll definitely have on my keeper shelf for a long time.
Maybe I'm a bit biased because I love Menage HEA stories, and especially Bi Menage HEAs, but I loved this book. Super hot, great characters, an interesting storyline...I loved pretty much everything about it. If I were picky, I'd give it maybe a 4.75 stars for one aspect I thought could have been better, but really, I just enjoyed the heck out of this book.
Series Note: Rough, Raw and Ready is the fifth book in Lorelei James' Rough Riders. In the first book, Long Hard Ride, James introduced Trevor Glanzer and Edgard Mancuso, roping partners on the rodeo circuit. The two were closet lovers, but Edgard wanted more. When Trevor wouldn't give it to him, he decided to go back home to Brazil.
Summary: Through the few most recent additions to the series, James gave tidbits to the fact that Trevor had gotten involved with Chassie West, a cousin to the McKay family. The two married and when this book starts, Chassie and Trevor are happy together, even as they struggle to keep the West ranch functioning. Then Edgard shows back up after a fallout with his family.
Chassie had known about Trevor's past varied sexual exploits, but not that he'd been involved with another man; one he had strong feelings for. She senses right off the bat that something is odd between them. But it isn't until she catches them kissing that she finds out the truth. Because of the situation with her now deceased brother Dag, she's not disgusted, just terribly hurt. After some soul searching she realizes it wouldn't be fair to deny her husband something he obviously needs, but neither does she want to give him up. So the three decide to a menage relationship. Add in some family drama, a surprising connection between Edgard and Chassie, and an atypical relationship, and things are anything but easy for the three.
Review: This book is smokin' hot. The scenes between Trevor and Edgard..whew! Toss Chassie in and I almost melted into a puddle. I certainly wouldn't mind having a Trevor and Edgard of my very own ;) There is some very descriptive male/male sex, though, so if that doesn't appeal to you, I'd highly recommend not reading this book. Me?...the idea of two buff, hot cowboys gettin' it on is just too yummy for words!
But on a more serious relationship front, I thought James did a good job with their relationship. Not perfect, perhaps, which is where I'd take that .25 off if I could. Chassie was very, very accepting after the initial shock. Once things got fully involved, I though she could have had a little more confusion, a little more worry about how things could possibly work between the three of them. But I liked the way things played out for Trevor and Edgard. Trevor had to come to terms with his feelings for Edgard, and Edgard finally came to realize how it was for Trevor before. For me, the whole thing worked well and I really enjoyed the three of them together. The connection between Edgard and Chassie was a bit odd considering that Edgard was a mostly out of the closet gay man. But when you consider Trevor loved Chassie and Edgard loved Trevor, it's not all that unbelievable. Plus, it's not like Edgard hadn't been involved with women during his orgy years with Trevor and Colby...he just generally preferred women.
Aside from the relationship, Trevor's got to deal with is crappy family. James did a great job with that, with Trevor coming to terms with them. And there's some good McKay stuff in the story. There's a serious family drama/trauma involving one of the unmarried males (won't say who so I won't spoil everyone) that sets up a great story for one of the future books. James also gives Colt a bit more depth and made me anxious to read his and India's story (Branded As Trouble). I really liked the way Colt was portrayed in this book; so different from the drunken lout first introduced. What he did for Chassie near the end was very sweet.
Overall, this story just really worked for me. Chassie, Trevor and Edgard had great chemistry together, and the sex was a 15 on a scale of 1-10. But like I said, I love Bi Menage HEAs so maybe I'm a little biased on this book. Whatever. I liked it a lot and thought it was a great addition to the series.
WARNING, this book contains: explicit sex, explicit language, m/f sex, *explicit* m/m sex, bi m/f/m sex and a bi menage HEA, anal sex, ass play, spanking, light dominance/submission and some mildly rough sex...more
This is one of those "awww" type books - more sappy romance than anything else. I wouldn't want to read that type of story all the time, but it's niceThis is one of those "awww" type books - more sappy romance than anything else. I wouldn't want to read that type of story all the time, but it's nice once in a while. And I especially enjoyed it in this case because the book is a continuation of a series that I really enjoy.
One of my favorite parts of this book is the parallel that is created between the romance of Kate and Brody, and romance of Kate's mother and father, Natasha and Spence (Taming Natasha, Stanislaskis #1). The romances start off much the same way. Which could have easily come off as cheesy or too contrived, but it actually works very well and is entirely believable. And it creates a great full-circle between the first book in the series and the last book.
Overall, this is a sweet romance to read. I enjoyed Brody and Kate and the relationship that develops between them. And as always, I love the family connection. Which I think makes this book more interesting to read than it would be on it's own. The family-series connections make this book more well-rounded.
So if you're reading this series, you should definitely continue with this one. But if you're a Nora Roberts fan and just considering this book, I'm not sure you'll like it. It's not at all like her single title releases. And for those of you who don't like sappy endings, beware, this one has one.
My only complaint? That this was the last book in the series. I'm disappointed there won't be anymore Stanislaski books. I was especially hoping for one for Brandon, Kate's brother. But oh well. That's the way things are....more
This is one of my favorite Nora Roberts books to go back and reread when I want a good dose of sweet romance. I just really enjoy all parts of this boThis is one of my favorite Nora Roberts books to go back and reread when I want a good dose of sweet romance. I just really enjoy all parts of this book. I think part of that is the fact that Freddie and Nick aren't new characters. Freddie was first introduced in Taming Natasha (Stanislakis #1) and Nick in Falling For Rachel (Stanislaskis #3). It's great to see how the characters have grown up and are now finding their own loves. I especially enjoyed seeing Nick become a happy man after having such a troubled youth.
I love the storyline of the book - how Freddie is all grown up now and has decided it's time Nick took notice of her as a woman and not as a little girl. She knows what she wants and goes after it with a vengeance. It's fun to read. It's also great how Roberts connects this book with Nick's past. It creates a nice full circle to everything.
And it's great to catch up with all the other Stanislaskis. Roberts created a great family unit with them. As an added bonus, she brings the O'Hurley family back for a special cameo and you can see how they are all doing.
The only thing about this book that bugged me was the fact that Roberts changed Freddie's appearance. In Taming Natasha, where Freddie is introduced as a five year old little girl, she has wispy, straight very blonde hair. There's even a part where Spence tells Natasha that Freddie wants curly hair like Natasha. But then in this book, Freddie has frizzy, red-gold hair. It bugged the heck out of me. It just wasn't Freddie. That was the only thing about the book I disliked. Otherwise, I loved it....more
This book includes books #2 & #4 of the Stanislaski series.
Luring A Lady, Mikhail's story, is another favorite of mine. It's sweet and sexy all atThis book includes books #2 & #4 of the Stanislaski series.
Luring A Lady, Mikhail's story, is another favorite of mine. It's sweet and sexy all at the same time. I LOVE the character of Mikhail. He's an understated Alpha with a big & burly side and a passionate artistic side, but underneath it all, he's got a huge heart. Between that, the long hair, and the accent, he just makes me sigh.
The romance has a bit of an opposites attract feel to it. Mikhail is a rough & tumble, hard working Ukranian, and Sydney is a prissy blue-blood who comes off a bit icy in the beginning. But the pairing works well, more so as the story progresses. I ended up really liking them together. And it's great to read how Sydney grows and changes throughout the book. I love the part where she changes a baby for the first time.
All the other Stanislaskis make a guest appearance in various parts of the book. And those scenes just make me love the family more. You just get a real sense of their closeness and loyalty. It's nice to read.
Alex's story, Convincing Alex, is probably my least favorite of the 6 Stanislaski books. Not that I hated it, or even that I disliked it. Something about the book just didn't sit right with me; it didn't tug at my heartstrings the way the other books in the series did.
Part of that may be the character of Bess. Half the time she amused me, and the other half I didn't particularly like her. Bess's picture could be in the dictionary next to the work "flaky" because that's essentially what she is. It's amusing sometimes in the way she dressed or talked or her enthusiasm about certain things. But at other times, like when she's driving recklessly and thinks it's funny or when she pretends to be a prostitute to do research without even considering the danger, she comes off as slightly TSTL.
Honestly, I would have liked someone different for Alex. I just wasn't quite feeling their relationship. But I didn't hate the story. It's got it's good and bad points. I like that there was a meatier side-plot (the hooker murders) and that they other Stanislaskis made appearances. But the romance was so-so and I wish there had been a little more focus on Alex's Ukranian roots. It's one of the building blocks of the series, but that aspect felt almost non-existent in his story, which disappointed me.
So in the end I'd give Luring A Lady 5 stars and Convincing Alex 3 maybe 3.5 stars. A 4 overall for the book....more
This book contains books #1 & #3 of the Stanislaski series and features the 2 Stanislaski sisters, Natasha and Rachel.
Natasha's book, Taming NatasThis book contains books #1 & #3 of the Stanislaski series and features the 2 Stanislaski sisters, Natasha and Rachel.
Natasha's book, Taming Natasha, is one of my favorite Nora Roberts category romances and a favorite of hers overall. It's a sweetly endearing, classic romantic tale that just makes me want to smile and sigh.
The Stanislaski family, first introduced in this book, is one of my favorite all time series families. Nora Roberts excels at writing about families.
I love everything about this book: the characters, the romance, the storyline. It's a very simple story, but the classic romance of it all just captures the heart and the mind. I enjoyed reading about the progression of Natasha and Spence's relationship. Generally, I don't like to read books with children in them, but it works for this story. Plus I liked reading about Freddie's beginning since she is featured in the book Waiting for Nick.
As for Rachel's book, Falling For Rachel, I enjoyed it almost as much as Natasha's. It's a bit different in tone as there is a side-storyline aside from the romance (the beginnings of Nick's tale). And it lacks a little bit of the Ukranian charm that Natasha's story has since Rachel is a little more Americanized because she was born in the U.S.
But overall, it's still a great short romance. Rachel and Zack have a good chemistry and the blending of Nick's story works really well. The supporting cast (the rest of the Stanislaskis) is fantastic. I love reading the scenes where there are family gatherings. They're a great bunch.
If you're a fan of Nora Roberts or simple, classic romance, I highly recommend this book (or any of the Stanislaski books).
(note: the Stanislaski books were recently reissued in new anthology combinations - Natasha & Mikhail, Rachel & Alex, and Frederica & Kate)...more
Cordina's Crown Jewel is the 4th and last book in NR's Cordina series. It was written many years after the original 3 books and features one daughtersCordina's Crown Jewel is the 4th and last book in NR's Cordina series. It was written many years after the original 3 books and features one daughters of Gabriella and Reeve (Affaire Royale).
Camilla de Cordina has become a media favorite wherever she goes. Everyone wants to know about the beautiful, young princess. Photographers and reporters are constantly hounding her. One night while in the States for a benefit, it becomes to much for the princess. She feels like she's about to break. So she chops off all her heir and sneaks away. All she wants is some time to just be Camilla. Her trip takes her through Vermont where during a storm she ends up stuck in a ditch. Her only hope for help is grumpy archaeologist Delaney Caine. Circumstances leave the two stuck together for longer than they planned. But for Camilla, it's exactly what she needed. With Del, she can just be a regular person. Because he has no idea who she really is.
Unlike the first 3 Cordina books, which has a small suspense plot, this one is all romance. It's probably my favorite of the four. It's sweet at times, a little funny. The characters are great. Delaney is grumpy and crabby but it just really works in the story. The romance that builds between him and Camilla is enjoyable to read.
The plot is a kind of predictable because given the fact that Camilla doesn't tell Del who she really is, it's rather obvious what's going to happen once he finds out. But that doesn't ruin the story. It's still fun to read. Plus you get to catch up with the past characters and see how they are doing. It's always nice to get that years-later perspective.
So overall, this was a good book to read. But it is a short category romance so it's not something everyone would like. ...more
This anthology collection contains reissues of the original 3 Cordina series books. (There's a 4th book, NR wrote years later featuring a 2nd generatiThis anthology collection contains reissues of the original 3 Cordina series books. (There's a 4th book, NR wrote years later featuring a 2nd generation Cordina character)
All three of these books were originally published by Silhouette Intimate Moments. So they are short romances with a dose of suspense to go along with them. They have a connected story arc about how the royal family of Cordina is being threatened by a wannabe terrorist named Deboque.
Affaire Royale features Princess Gabriella who was kidnapped by a Deboque's people. She manages to escape but the stress and terror have caused her to lose her memory. The only person she feels comfortable with is the American security specialist, Reeve MacGee her father brought in.
Of the three original Cordina books, this one is my favorite. I liked Reeve and Gabriella the best and their romance was the sweetest of the 3. And the overall storyline was the most appealing for me.
Command Performance is about Cordinian heir to the throne, Alexander and a young American named Eve. Years before Eve came to Cordina with her sister, who was friends with Gabriella. Alex was entranced by her but masked it with distaste for her brash ways. Years after their first meeting, neither can forget each other. Eve now runs a theatre troupe and Alex has requested they come perform in Cordina. The continuing threat from Deboque and Eve relationship to the royal family ends up putting her in danger.
The overall story of this book was appealing, but I didn't find the characters as likable as the first book. Not that I didn't like them, but they just didn't have as much appeal. Alex was a very stiff character...which he had to be because he was the heir to the throne. That uber control just made him kind of detached. But Eve was fairly cool. And I liked how the suspense angle played out.
The Playboy Prince focuses on Prince Bennett who has a vast reputation of being a playboy and having affairs with every pretty woman he meets. So when dull, understated Lady Hannah arrives at the palace, he's baffled by his attraction to her. But what he doesn't know is that Hannah is hiding a big secret. And all the while, the threat from Deboque is at its greatest.
For me, though I enjoyed the story quite a bit, there is an air of unbelievability to it. I won't say why because it would give away part of the plot. But it just didn't quite work for me. But I did like the story. Seeing Bennett fall was sweet.
Like many other NR series, this is another great family set. It's got a bit of a different flavor because of the royalty aspect. And the suspense angle gives the books some meat. I enjoyed reading the first time, and the 2 other times I've reread them.
For NR fans considering these books, they aren't like her new stories, the full-length books. These are old ones and are category romance. So they might not be for you. Only read these if you're a real big NR fan, or if you don't mind the short Harlequin/Silhouette romances.
NOTE: The Cordina books were recently reissued in 2 anthology editions: Cordina's Royal Family: Gabriella & Alexander Cordina's Royal Family: Bennett & Camilla...more
While I still liked this book, it was my least favorite of the Three Sisters Island trilogy. I liked the plot as it dealt with resolving the threat toWhile I still liked this book, it was my least favorite of the Three Sisters Island trilogy. I liked the plot as it dealt with resolving the threat to the island and beating the evil. I thought that was done well.
What I didn't particularly like about the book was the romance between Mia and Sam. It didn't quite work for me. Mia keeps her heart locked away from Sam for the whole book (with good reason mostly) then at the end, she's suddenly like, okay, I accept you and your love. The abrupt change in her feelings came off a little...weird for me. Their romance just has this rather cold vibe. She sleeps with him, does things with him, but she's constantly saying "I'll never risk my heart again" and saying it's just sex and fun. I would have liked to see Mia soften toward him a little more before the end.
The other thing that kept me from really loving the book was Mia herself. I just didn't like her as much as the other characters. Maybe it was her attitude and arrogance...I'm not sure. But at times for me, she was just a character who was there, not one I was actively rooting form
But aside from that, still a good book and a nice conclusion to the Three Sisters Island trilogy...which is my favorite of all Nora's trilogies....more