Kale and Corn might both be in the closet for one another, and Kern is definitely a cowboy-cum-computer-programmer, but we’ll have to see what happens in the next few books. I’m not sure if I can handle the multi-partner sex scene between Crap, Clap, Crud, and Kock. And yes, it was often difficult to keep the one-syllable characters (the actual ones, not the joke ones) distinct from one another, especially when they were part of a “all holes filled with hard cock” scene.
But let’s discuss the Cowgirl and her ride, shall we?
Cord, the hero of this novel, is a divorced single dad who helps run the family ranch. His ex-wife is long gone, and he’s been alone since then. Amy Jo, or AJ as she calls herself now, is one of his little sister Keely’s best friends. The two women moved to Denver to go to massage therapy school, but prior to that, AJ was Cord’s baby sitter, and she has a very close relationship with Cord’s son, Ky.
AJ has nurtured a steer-sized liquid-hot crush on Cord for years, and now that she’s 22, she has decided to take charge of her own desire and go after Cord. After catching his attention at the local bar, she informs him that she wants him to teach her everything he knows about sex. And by the way, she’s been waiting for him, if you know what I mean (and I bet your bullwhip that you do). Cord has been knocked totally off-balance by not only finding that AJ is someone he desires but that she is after him and him alone.
I can see why these are among the best-sellers at Sam Hain: deft worldbuilding + hot sex=win. James creates a setting that is both filled with the typical signifiers of a Western setting, from the hats to the boots to the trucks and the bars with the longneck beers, and topped (ha) with the over-the-boy-howdy hallmarks of erotic romance. There are real issues and problems faced by the characters, including ranch land management, cattle responsibilities, home sales and aging family. And then there are those pesky issues that face your average hornytoad cowboy, like whether to blindfold and tie up, or just blindfold. Should you use the coffee table, the stable, or maybe the tractor? Oral, anal, cuntal or all three? Such a difficult menu.
There’s the men of the McKay family who tend toward some kinky sexual practices, and have a reputation around the small town as being more than a little wild. It’s kind of convenient, being a hornytoad kinky cowboy – all those ropes and ties and whips and stuff at arms reach most of the time.
The standard erotic romance buzzwords make frequent appearances, which I can deal with because I am inured to it at this point. There was some dialogue during the sex scenes that was so completely unreal – including use of the words “love flower.” But because of the honesty of the setting and the issues faced by the characters outside of their indoor activities, the at-times-unreal sex was layered on top of a contemporary western. While initially I liked the latter more than the glistening love blossom of the former, ultimately I enjoyed both.
However, I do not expect realism in erotic content, so I could read some of the scenes with a giggle at the absurdity of it. Reading about the harsh reality bits contrasted with the “Oh! spontaneous threesome? Whee!” erotic elements took some getting used to, but, like I said, I don’t expect erotic romance to be utterly realistic. For example: no one ever gets even a little messy after anal sex in erotic romance. Santorum never makes an appearance, either as a character or as a potential stain. And setting up a man-sandwich with a really ditzy horny girl in the middle? Easy as “grab the olive oil.” Multiple orgasms are standard humperating procedure. Oh – and no one ever, ever gets chafed. See? Total fantasy. So if you’re an erotica fan that wants viscerally real erotic content, and doesn’t like to see the slightly absurd side of sex, this may not be the book for you.
We interrupt this entry with an important announcement from the Society for Underutilized Consonants (SUC).
It has come to our attention that the letter “G” may be mostly, if not completely, missing from this novel. Wild packs of G’s were seen leaving the author’s home in protest at not being used in equal measure to the other letters of the alphabet. Given the characters’ habit of dropping their “G’s” when they speak, and the absence of any specific mention of the G-spot, despite this being an erotic romance, we find that this novel must be investigated for discrimination.
Funding for our investigation has been provided in part by the Apostrophe Recovery Foundation, dedicated to the care of overworked apostrophes found amid too many uses of the word “darlin’”.
Whoa. Yeah, that too – if colloquial dialect and lost G’s bother you more than a dinnae in a kilt, this book is definitely not for you. Didn’t bother me none.
I like James’ books because I like revisiting the town, the characters she created and the culture because much of “cowboy romance” otherwise tends to be too heavy on the cliche and too flimsy on the reality. Places like these, the land can kill you if you’re not paying attention or if you do something stupid, and there’s a lot less bullshit tolerance as a result. In this book, the more difficult issues facing ranchers are part of the conflict between the characters. Like the erotic romances I enjoy most, it’s not just about sex. There’s a lot of it, and it’s damn creative, but it’s not just nookie. There’s more, and the more is much fun. Yee haw.