This month’s TBR Challenge was to read a book from a series that you’re behind on. Oh dear….well – uh, eenie meenie miney mo which of the many do I choose from? Yikes. I really didn’t realize that I was so behind but apparently I’ve been reading so many new releases that I’ve let some others fall to the side of the road. Shame on me! lol Anyway, as you can see I went with book 11 in the Rough Riders series by Lorelei James…
Bull rider Chase McKay has finally landed in a pile too big to charm his way out of. Caught with his pants down, he finds himself bucked right off the PBR tour until he can get his act together.
Hollywood actress Ava Cooper became the tabloids’ favorite target when her longtime boyfriend was outed as gay. She needs a place to lay low and a chance to prove to herself that she can satisfy a red-blooded man between the sheets. The sexy, rugged cowboy she finds holed up in her Wyoming hideaway seems like the answer to her every fantasy.
But Chase has sworn off women. Forever. Or at least a month. Whichever comes first.
When they take to the road to get Chase more hands-on bull riding experience, they have every intention of keeping their hands off each other. But the two headstrong stars quickly end up riding a hot and heady rodeo circuit all their own—until the press gets wind of their affair. When the dust clears and the lights of the paparazzi fade, are they ready to give up chasing the dream for a chance of finding forever?
Ava is an actress who has some serious unwanted publicity. It turns out that the man that she’s been dating – the one that made her so happy? Yeah, he came out. Yep, CAME OUT. and didn’t bother to tell her before he told the general public. Nice guy – not! She’s being followed by paparazzi constantly and she’s ready for a break. She calls her friend Ginger Paulson who now lives in Wyoming with her husband Kane MacKay. Ava arranges with Ginger to stay in Kane’s old trailer for a while.
Chase MacKay is a bull rider but because of a scorned woman and crap politics he’s been taken off the tour for a couple of months. He’s not sure what to do with himself so he call’s his cousin Kane to see if he can stay in Kane’s old trailer for a while. Do you see where this is going?
Yep, Chase shows up and Ava is already there. They manage to work things out with the living arrangements and actually find that they get along quite well. Ava is hot for Chase but because of the damned scorned woman that screwed up his life he decided that he was going to be off women for a solid month. He’s determined to stick to it no matter how much Ava tempts him. They will remain friends only and surprising they really end up being the best of friends who can tell almost anything to the other. Ava and Chase head off together to a bull riding circuit with Chase riding under an assumed name. You see Chase was once a champion bull rider but in the past year his rides have turned to crap. He wants to get back to basics to find out the exact reason he lost his mojo. Ava sees it all as an adventure and takes films and photographs of their time together.
Both Chase and Ava realize some interesting things about themselves while on the road. They’re both self-centered and haven’t given half the time they should have to their families. They aren’t honest with themselves (or anyone else previously) about what they want from life in general and greatest of all – that they love each other desperately.
I really liked this book a lot. Was this the best book that I’ve read in this series? No, but I think it will hold a special place from now on. The thing that really drew me in was the fact that Ava and Chase talked to each other. Since Chase had put the brakes on women that left the two open to talk and they ended up talking freely and honestly with each other. They were adorable together and I loved it.
Now Chase is a pretty short guy at a whopping 5’7” (which makes the cover particularly funny as Ava is 3 inches taller than Chase) and he has issues about that. He’s tough, built and has a BIG personality so Ava doesn’t normally see it. But Chase has never been with a woman who was taller than him. While this was mentioned several times in the story I was glad that it wasn’t’ a main focus. I thought it was pretty cool though that Lorelei James made one of her heroes short cuz ya know, in real life, not all men are 6’6” – just sayin.
The conflict at the end of the story was a little much for my tastes. Not that there was a boatload of angst but after knowing them as I did by that point it seemed completely out of character for Chase to jump to conclusions without waiting to hear what Ava was thinking. Luckily they worked it out.
Other than that I had one other issue. I know it’s a small thing and maybe others wouldn’t even mind it but the word “smooch” was used a lot in this story. The first time it was cute. When it’s used during a passionate love scene? No. It’s too cutesy and doesn’t invoke the hot and sexy picture that I have in my head of this couple (once they actually got down to having sex, that is).
Overall it was a great story. I loved seeing both Chase and Ava grown substantially in the story and really get to know each other.
Rating: 4 out of 5