My, my, my. What does one say about Miss Lorelei James that hasn’t already been said? She is a Goddess among us mortal women. But I swear,My Musings:
My, my, my. What does one say about Miss Lorelei James that hasn’t already been said? She is a Goddess among us mortal women. But I swear, if she’s actually ever met a man like Bennett McKay (not seen, not spotted from afar, but conversed with) in the real world, I’ll just eat my brassiere right this second. I mean I know she lives in some kind of Dakota Wilderness or something, but I fail to think these men exist. As has been said many times, James is an author that is so good you put down whatever you are reading. Reading a Paranormal Shape Shifting Historical Erotic Steampunk What the F*^# Novella? Ma’am, step away from that book. Put it down. Making the Bed? Please. Cleaning? Come On. Working? Nope. Sleep? I don’t think so. Drop whatever you’re doing; another installment of the Rough Riders is out…WoooooHooooo!!!
Let’s talk about Bennett McKay. Rancher? Check. Dominant? Check Check. Hot? Checkity Check Check. In short, if there ever was a fantasy man to make us desperate housewives and established career women faint from the vapors, it is this particular hero. The reason I love Bennett is because he is the epitome of a Gentleman. He does not kiss and tell. He keeps his private life fiercely private. And he is unapologetic for what he wants and needs. He loves his mother. He cares about his family and neighbors. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone with the knowledge of what he really is, but at the same time knows it’s no one’s business. With all this confidence however, he has the vulnerability that makes him completely irresistible to a woman. Being a middle child, Bennett has felt lost in the shuffle of the overpopulated McKay family. Yes he is rooted in reality and knows his own proclivities, but he has enough of a conscience to feel a modicum of shame about his preferred lifestyle. His family has no idea, but in a way it seems as though he is trying to get caught. He wants to unload his burdens but cannot trust anyone fully. Like he is crying out for an intervention, but no one is smart enough or perceptive enough to interpret his comments….
Ben Brushed Bongo with long strokes. “Trouble in Paradise? Has Libby been hanging out at Ziggy’s bar again?” “Fuck off. No, a couple of the new, single teachers have asked her about you.” “Teachers? Definitely not my type” “Why not” He patted Bongo’s withers. “I have a hard time believing a teacher would make a good student.” “What the hell is that supposed to mean” Thinking out loud always got him in trouble. “Nothin.”
Ainsley Hamilton has escaped a bad marriage where she was make to feel dirty and sordid because she wanted a little something more in the bedroom. She is the President of the new bank in town, so to make matters worse she is in an extremely male dominated conservative career. She has no outlet. She is unsure about how to face or handle her intimate life since the ruination of her marriage. She doesn’t want to risk her fragile standing in a new community that is small and judgmental. So her friend sets her up with a guest invitation at the Rawhide Club. The problem? Ainsley thinks she’s a Domme, and is basically “advertising” herself in the club as such. Is she? Well……..that’s debatable. She is a small fish swimming in an ocean of Phiranas. Bennett is a master (pardon the pun) at observation and body language. He spots Ainsley and knows immediately that she is just full of it. However, he is intrigued by her beauty and confused by the mixed signals. And as the story usually goes, and the rest is romance history.
I can say with certainty that this is my favorite Lorelei James book so far. And there is a lot of them so that’s saying a lot. Ainsley is not my favorite heroine, but I adore her with Bennett. They compliment each other so well. I cried sometimes for both her and Ben. They are both wounded deeply, and truly, they are the bandages for each other’s souls. Yes, they practice BDSM elements. But for the first time I think, it wasn’t too much for me and it also seemed, well, sort of normal. Ainsley was a little past experimenting, and Bennett was open minded enough to not let his Dom persona rule him to a degree that is disturbing. I love that. They met in the middle and it is glorious. My problem with books with this Dom/sub subject matter is that one bad line that is over the top and I’m done. James handled this with finesse and not one time did I roll my eyes.
The sex scenes are truly some of the best and most scorching that I’ve read. They are amazingly written and intricate. I know however it is all about what appeals to you. I can’t presume to say what all women like or want in their romance novel, but I like an edge that isn’t so out there that it can’t happen. I felt like the story was realistic (if there really is a likeness of Bennett McKay-see above. LOL), and what a lucky woman it can happen to. We also read a lot about ranching business and family dynamic in this novel. In my opinion (I’m not a rancher and I don’t live in Wyoming but anyhoo) it is spot on. Without knowing what is going on with both Ben’s and Ainsley’s careers they would be one-dimensional. Without knowing how Ben becomes the way he is, I think both he AND Ainsley would have fallen flat.
When it comes down to it, the major reason why this book appealed to me is although Bennett is a dominant, he is not so caught up in a “lifestyle” that he can’t see past his role in everyday life and his relationship. He takes a look at his feeling and actions and after the usual denial and conflict, he wants in his heart to grab on to the one he is destined for. I think this fact surprises him. He is level headed for the most part. Quick to anger but not rash in reaction, that is until his heart is in tangles. And really, although some of us won’t admit it, isn’t sacrifice the grandest gesture a man can make? To give up something freely and without resentment so his mate will be happy? Don’t we all want him to finally surrender to love because of you and only you, his one true love? Isn’t this the John Cusak radio moment that we all dream about? I think so.
Ratings: Overall: 4.99 Stars. Darn that Lorelei James for making us think Bennett could be real.. I’m taking away a tenth just for that. Sensuality Level: 5.00 Stars. Off the charts hot.