Review: Raising Kane by Lorelei James

Wednesday, July 21

Title:  Raising Kane*
Author:  Lorelei James
Series: Rough Riders #9
Genre: Erotic Western Romance
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
Format:  ebook
Date/Year: June 2010

*This book was provided to me by the author for review

Summary from the publisher:

She surrendered the reins. Now he’s raising the stakes.

Rough Riders, Book 9

When a patch of ice sends attorney Ginger Paulson head-over-high-heels down a flight of stairs, she has no one to care for her young son and her invalid father—until lethally sexy Kane McKay shows up at the hospital, determined to prove his cowboy chivalry. Past experience has inoculated her against take-charge men, but even Ginger isn’t immune to Kane’s invasive charm and Built Ford Tough body.

For two years rancher Kane McKay has followed the Little Buddies mentoring program’s cardinal rule—hands off his Little Buddy Hayden’s mama. But one look at Ginger’s bruised body and Kane is through watching the stubborn woman take care of everyone but herself. The feisty, curvy redhead needs his help, and he’ll give her the hands-on type whether she likes it or not.

After Kane throws out doctor’s orders and issues his own demands—her full sexual submission—Ginger realizes Kane’s caring nature extends beyond just fulfilling her physical needs.

Can the former hell-raiser convince the gun-shy single mom to look beyond his past…toward a shared future?

Warning: Contains one sweet and hot hunk of cowboy manflesh who uses every sexual trick in the book to render a sassy, fast-talking attorney speechless and put a new twist on the term “binding arbitration”.

My Musings

Kane McKay was a man that almost single-handedly created the legendary bad boy image that the McKay men are known for.  Yet throughout the Rough Riders series we’ve seen Kane transform himself into the man he decides he wants to be, which is more than a man known for his sexual exploits;  a man who is ready for love and the responsibilities of having a family of his own....even if no one else believes that this leopard can change his spots.

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.
Even though I loved Kane as a hero, I did feel that much of his character growth happened outside of his own story (little snippets in the previous Rough Riders)…and I don’t really know how I feel about that.  In some respects I felt disappointed by this because the character who ended up dominating the story was Ginger, not Kane (at least IMO).  Ginger is the character who had to learn to rely on others and accept love, but what about Kane?  And since its supposedly Kane’s story we can’t pass over his infamously alluded to past sexual exploits.  Anyone who has the pleasure of reading Lorelei James’s Rough Riders series know she writes smokin’ hot love scenes. In fact I think she is one of the best erotic romance writers out there, not just because of the loves scenes but because they are about so much more than just sex. Her love scenes are more than just numerous sex scenes inserted at certain parts in the story where it might make sense.  Each and every intimate encounter has purpose and meaning to the hero and heroine’s love story…and Raising Kane is certainly no different.  But shouldn’t Kane’s story be just a little bit more sexually intense/adventurous?

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. 

Overall: 4.25
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.

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Sophia (FV) July 21, 2010 at 1:44 AM  

I just discovered the Rough Riders series and have devoured it within a week. I just finished Keely's story. I think Lorelei James is one of the best erotic romance authors I've read. I'm looking forward to Kane and Ginger's story. Nice review!

Booklover1335 July 21, 2010 at 7:04 AM  

Hi FV!

Keely's story in All Jacked Up was my favorite read in 2009. I couldn't agree with you more in your statement that Lorelei James is one of the best erotic romance authors. I hope you enjoy Kane and Ginger's story and thanks for your comment.

Anonymous,  July 21, 2010 at 7:41 AM  

I so love LL, but this book was a huge dissapointment for me. Although I loved Kane especially and was eagar to see him find love, as well as all the other characters, but the dialog was trite to me. It seems forced throughout the book and sometimes cheesy. I liked it, but I didn't love it.


Ivy July 21, 2010 at 8:03 PM  

As soon as I get caught up I'll just have to read the RR series in order...I've got them all. What I need now is time to get them read. Thanks..

Cecile Smutty Hussy July 21, 2010 at 9:12 PM  

hey hon... what a wonderful review. Wow, I love your ps at the end. Because I have not read any of them yet... Seems I have a lot of riding cowboys to do!!
Great review hon. I like how you let me know that it was a little more on a mature level than some. That is always nice (since I am in my 30's... lol)!
Great job!
Hope all is well honey! Hugs to you!

Booklover1335 July 21, 2010 at 10:25 PM  

Hey Cecile!

You've completely dumbfounded me by telling me you haven't read any of this series yet!

Buy them, buy them now! You can thank me later:)

And as I get older I too enjoy stories that are more mature and I think Ms. James's fans will enjoy that aspect of this story.

Caffey July 22, 2010 at 5:45 AM  

I confess, I'm behind in this series, but I so love them! I now got a note to put them in my reader! I'd love to catch up to these! I love cowboy! 99% of the time I read in order and will with these. I probably will go back to those two I read and re-read since it will get me back into who everyone is! So I tried not to read too much of your review so I can go back first and catch up reading and then come back and read again along with the others you have here. Again, you do fab reviews!

Booklover1335 July 22, 2010 at 7:11 AM  

Hey CC,

Having the time to read all of the previous RR would be a real treat! You should definitely do that if you have time. As far as the review I tried to not put any spoilers in it so it should be safe to read, but please come back and let me know what you thought of it once you get a chance to read it.

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