Cowgirls Don’t Cry by Lorelei James Release Date: November 9, 2010 Publisher: Samhain Publishing Book #10 in the Rough Riders series Number of pages: 242 Kindle Edition Source: MCL Contemporary Romance/Western M/F Rating: XXX Read 6/10/18 to 6/11/18
As a reader of the Rough Riders series, I have been teased with the Jessie/Brandt story for quite a while. Through the other stories of the other McKays I really wasn’t sure what direction this story would take…I just knew I wanted to see both Brandt and Jessie get their HEA. The twist (which is not a spoiler since it’s in the blurb about this book) of Luke’s baby really wasn’t expected when reading the other stories, but it was perfect for this story. Ms. James can sometimes seem to be a genius.
This story made me uncomfortable because I’ve spent the previous 9 books getting bits and pieces about Brandt’s father, Casper, and not liking the man at all. Well, he is much more present in this story and let me tell you, he is as much of a you-know-what that I imagined him to be…plus some! But I can’t dislike Joan, Brandt’s mom. Hence, the uncomfortable feeling. A lot come to light regarding the Casper/Joan relationship and the relationship between Joan and the rest of her husband’s family. I don’t know if there’s a right or wrong side to take when it comes to Joan, but I do empathize with her even if I don’t agree with all of the decisions she’s made.
It was sweet to see the way the wives of Brandt’s cousins, as well as his cousins and brothers, were concerned about Jessie when they found out his plans. It shows that although Jessie never felt that she was wanted, there are plenty of people who love and care for her. She had to be in the right mind-space to see it and be open to it though. The fact that Brandt could not only understand why they were all giving him the side-eye, but even agreed that he was being selfish in his motives, actually just made me love him all the more.
To see two people learn to be their true selves and find acceptance with each other, no matter what, is beautiful. Brandt always kept himself on a tether when it came to his negative emotions for fear people would think he was like his father. Jessie kept all her feelings on a low simmer in order to not make waves, first with her father and later with her husband. That they found that safe place to be themselves with each other is nothing short of magnificent.
Of course, getting to know Tell and Dalton better in this story has me anxious to see where their stories go. They are wonderful uncles and really had Brandt’s back through everything. Those McKay men (minus Casper and Luke!) just melt my heart.