Monday, 7 June 2010

Shoulda Been a Cowboy by Lorelei James

I obsessed about this story from the moment I started reading it until about a week afterwards.

The heroine is Domini. A Ukranian immigrant who works as a short order cook in the local diner. (Think Carmen Kass.) Domini comes with some baggage. She had her uterus removed when she was a teenager. And that was after being attacked by a dog which resulted in some scarring when she was about 5 years old. And I thought, 'Why? Why does she have to have scars as well?' And the answer is of course to make her a believable love interest for maimed veteran Cam. It also gives her a reason for saying she's quite shy. Well maybe she is but when once she gets going with Cam, she ain't timid that's for sure.

The first 100 pages or so of the e-novel is about Cam and Domini overcoming some relationship difficulties whilst doing lots of smokin' hotness. And no. I did not skim read the hotness. (Unlike some weenies...who actually dare confess in public they read an erotic for the plot!!) There's even an experimental threesome that doesn't quite work out. But each of the Rough Rider stories features edgy nookie of some sort.

And then about half way through the novel the fostering side-plot is introduced. And Cam and Domini get married to give little Anton a home. The reader already knows they're in love but they just haven't spoken their feelings out loud to each other. This is where Domini shows the iron in her character because there is no doubt that she would have run with Anton if social services tried to place him with another couple.

Anyway. For a little while it did look as though the main couple would split up because Cam wasn't really committed and struggled to cope with a not very likeable Anton making kiddy messes and noises around his previously quiet and tidy home. Then comes this extraordinary scene where 7 year old Anton tries to attack Cam because he thinks he sees Cam hurting Domini when all he's doing is having a full body back cuddle with her. I thought. This is it. No way back for Cam and Anton. But the scene was handled so beautifully. None of the adults got angry or argued or had hysterics. Domini totally let Cam handle the situation so sensibly. It showed that neither Cam nor Dom had any trust issues between themselves. After that scene the reader knew everything was going to be ok for this little family. In fact by the end of Keely's story, All Jacked Up, Cam and Domini have 5 more young children all adopted from Romanian orphanages including lovely Liesl who has a physical impairment just like Cam's and for the same reason. Imagine!

However. I didn't really appreciate the fact that Cam had to eat all that humble pie at the family picnic. I mean. He's lost a limb, got other scarring. Wouldn't that make anyone a little withdrawn from his family and friends. He doesn't have PTSD. Instead of him apologising for being nervous and insecure about their reaction to his limb-loss they should be thanking the Good Lord that Cam came back ready to love. After all he'd been subtley eyeing Domini for over 2 years at the diner. The scene where Cam made it up with his family just went on too long. And was just too sentimental.

But again. That's the Rough Rider series. Dark, light and gooey. Absolutely fantastic.

I wikied Sundance, Wyoming. It really exists. With a population of around 800. You think if I go there for a vacation I might get to meet Cam and Dom and the kids? ;)

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