Wednesday, July 21
Title: Raising Kane*
Author: Lorelei James
Series: Rough Riders #9
Genre: Erotic Western Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Date/Year: June 2010
*This book was provided to me by the author for review
Summary from the publisher:
Ginger Paulson is a strong and independent woman who is an attorney, a single mother, and caretaker for her disabled father. She’s got a lot on her plate and through determination, and lots of hard work she manages to successfully juggle it all without much help from anyone else. That is until she is forced to accept help after an accident has left her barely able to care for herself let alone her young son and father. Like many people who are used to having to do it all, she has a hard time accepting help from anyone else. Even if it is the man she fantasizes about.
Kane and Ginger fought their attraction to each other, despite a knock your socks off kiss they shared months ago. But Kane jumps at the chance to get closer to Ginger and try to convince her that a relationship between the two of them could be more than a good thing when she is injured and needs help.
For me Raising Kane was different than many of the other Rough Riders stories. I felt that it was a more mature love story than many of the others. Kane and Ginger are both in their mid thirties. They’ve lived life. Ginger has a son. They’ve been there and done that. Unlike several of the other books in this series….where there are obstacles to overcome (drug addiction, disabilities, an unplanned pregnancy…) there are no big dark secrets, no overblown misunderstandings, no big emotional drama or growth. In this story the hero and the heroine are both at a point in their lives where they know who they are and what they want, which is why this story felt more subdued and less intense than many of the other McKay stories. When I say that I don't mean it in a way that means the story was boring or bad or less than the others, it just seemed…..natural. Like how you would expect a real relationship to evolve, and I think that is where the beauty lies in Raising Kane. It seemed like a "real" love story.
Because of his past and what we’ve been led to believe about him in previous RR stories I expected Kane to be more intense and demanding in the bedroom…and I guess he kinda sorta was? But in the end he didn’t really seem that much different than the other McKay men. I know he’s changed, but has he changed that much? Once or twice within the story there are a few sex toys that are referenced that Kane says he’ll use on Ginger at some point, but to my recollection he didn’t make good on those promises/threats. Not that I wanted or needed more sex scenes between the two, nor could they have been any hotter than they were, but maybe I expected him to be just a tad kinkier…..maybe. I wanted Kane to push Ginger (not just tempt her) to give up control of at least this one aspect of her life and through these moments in the story to really learn to trust and accept his love. To realize that she’s not alone and no longer has to do it all, that she has a partner who is willing to shoulder some of the burdens that she carries if she will only let him. That’s what he offers her, but I felt that she still had a hard time believing that/him, even at the end of the story. When I read in the blurb that Kane demands Ginger’s “full sexual submission” I expected him to be a more sexually demanding lover than what we’ve seen in some of the previous RR stories, and I don’t think he was. However, I also I didn’t expect him to be as passionate and compassionate a hero as he was in Raising Kane.
There are several sweet and cherishable moments that I didn’t expect from this hero and I loved that about this story. Kane’s bond with Ginger’s son is what any woman would wish for when trusting someone to help raise your child, mentor them, and provide a strong male role model. Add to that how he helps a Ginger’s father, a disabled man keep his pride, and dignity, as well as realize his importance in their newly formed family and you have one perfect sigh worthy hero.
In the end I think Raising Kane is another great addition to the McKay family and the Rough Riders series, and is definitely worth your time and money. I just wish a little more of the story would have been about Kane instead of Ginger, that Kane maybe was a little more dominant, and that the small diversions involving Brandt McKay and Jessie (which I didn’t really go into in the review but will no doubt will be a future RR story) would have been even more brief and less distracting within Kane and Ginger’s story.
Sensuality level: 4.0 (this one is hot...after all it is a Lorelei James novel. Lots of sex, but nothing shocking)
p.s. while I do think Raising Kane could be read as a stand alone (more so than any of the other RR series), a reader who hasn’t read the previous stories won’t have the full benefit of experiencing the personal growth and discovery that Kane went through prior to his story in Raising Kane, at least to appreciate who he has become and his hero worthiness.