Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Review: Slow Ride (Rough Riders 8.5) by Lorelei James

Title: Slow Ride
          (Rough Riders, Book 8.5)
Author: Lorelei James
Release Date: November 9, 2010
Publisher: Samhain
Category: Western Contemporary Romance
Type: Kindle


Book Blurb:

A Rough Riders free read.

Keely McKay Donohue is enduring the longest wedding reception of her life: her own. The only saving grace is that Jack Donohue is finally hers. Usually her hunky man gives her everything she wants, so why is her groom denying her the one thing she wants right now?

Jack thought his secretive wait-for-the-honeymoon plan was romantic, until he realizes he’s only put Keely in a fighting mood. If he wants to get back on his temperamental bride’s good side, he’d better find a way to sweep his cowgirl off her boots…fast.

Book Excerpt (from Ms. James website):

This was the longest wedding reception in the history of the world. She wished it were over—which truly was saying something, since it was her wedding reception.

Jack leaned closer and whispered, “Stop sighing.”

His warm breath sent goose bumps cascading down the right side of her body. Keely turned her head so his five o’clock shadow scraped her jaw. She closed her eyes and inhaled his familiar scent: cologne, starch on his shirt collar and the underlying hint of his heated flesh.

Jack Donohue. Her husband. She really and truly was married to this gorgeous, sexy, intense man.

Keely sighed again, not out of annoyance, but out of pure pleasure.

He smiled against her cheek. “Now that’s a sigh I recognize.”

“I have different sounding sighs?”

“Uh-huh. You make that one in bed after I—”

“Bringing up sex when we aren’t having any just makes me cranky, Jack.”

His soft chuckle tickled her ear.

“It’s not funny. Why aren’t we rolling around in bed nekkid right now?” she demanded in a fierce whisper. “We are married. Why are we still stuck at the reception? No one would care if we left.”

He eased back to gaze into her eyes. “As much as I can’t wait to roll around naked with you, if we skip out early, your dad will kill me, turning you into a widow before you’ve had a chance to be a wife.” His voice dropped an octave and the possessive rumble vibrated through her in an electric caress. “My wife.”

“You certainly get off on saying my wife.”

“Yes, I do, Keely McKay Donohue. So go ahead and call me a Neanderthal.”

“I would if it meant you’d employ some caveman tactics and drag me off to your cave. Right now?” she asked hopefully.

“God, I wish.”

“Jack, I—”

The chinking of silverware hitting glassware crescendoed . Knowing what the crowd of family and friends wanted, Keely twined her arms around Jack’s neck and gave him a long, wet, tongue-tangling kiss that probably caused some guests to squirm in their seats. She didn’t give a damn. It was her wedding day. If she wanted to make out with her husband, she damn well would.

When they broke apart, Jack murmured, “Two more hours and I swear we’re outta here.”

“I’m holding you to that.”

“I’d expect nothing less, buttercup.”

“So where are we going in one hour and fifty-nine minutes?”

He kissed her temple and said, “It’s a surprise,” for the millionth time. Then his brother Justin snagged his attention and he turned away.

Sneaky-ass tease. Jack hadn’t told her where they were spending their two-week island honeymoon beyond the cryptic hint that she only needed to pack beachwear—preferably a dozen skimpy bikinis.

Normally he’d spill his guts if she bribed him with unlimited, no-strings-attached sexual favors. But this time, the stubborn man wouldn’t budge.

After the Twin Pines banquet workers cleared the dinner plates, the head table was disassembled to make room for the wedding dance and members of the wedding party were relocated. Which would’ve been fine with her, if she and Jack hadn’t ended up on opposite sides of the dance floor.

A hard bump connected with her hip as AJ McKay—her best friend, matron of honor and sister-in-law—sidled up beside her. “Why the frowny face, Mrs. Donohue?”

She plastered on a fake grin. “Better?”

“No, that’s actually worse. What’s up? You seem jumpy.”

Would she sound like a horny ho-bag if she admitted all she could think about was jumping her husband? Wait. Could she even be a ho-bag if she was obsessed about having nonstop, shake-the-barn-rafters sex with the man she’d just pledged the rest of her life to?

Dialogue Highlight:

JC said, “Let’s give our bride and groom their first dance as husband and wife.”

Jack tucked the paper inside his tux pocket and brought

Keely against his body as the band began to play “So Good in Love” by George Strait.

Keely clutched him, burying her face in his neck to hide her tears.

Jack didn’t say a word. He didn’t have to. He just knew what she needed and gave it to her without question.

God she loved this man.

The song ended and another slow one began. She’d specifically requested all slow songs be played first, figuring it’d be the only time she’d get to slow dance with her husband.

Sure enough, her oldest brother, Cord, tapped Jack on the shoulder during the second song. “Mind if I cut in?”

“Hell yes, I mind. Go dance with your own wife, McKay.”

Okay. That was…atypical Jack behavior.

Her next oldest brother, Colby, tried to cut in, and once again, Jack refused.

Same response when her brother Colt approached them.

Same response when her brother Cam approached them.

Same response when her brother Carter approached them.

Then Jack systematically shot down all eight of her McKay cousins and all eight of her West cousins.

Puzzled by his hard stance, she whispered, “Jack. What is wrong with you?”

“I don’t trust any of your redneck relatives not to hijack you for that stupid ‘steal the bride’ tradition. I’m letting them know the only man stealing you away tonight is me.” His lips brushed her ear. “In one hour and seventeen minutes.”

“Oh.” That was really sort of sweet. Demented, but sweet.


I chose to read this book because it was a FREE read. It still is, by the way, so feel free to pop on by Amazon, B&N, Samhain, wherever you can find it and download it. I had just gotten my Droid and was beyond excited to find that Kindle had an app for Droid. I mean BEYOND excited people. I loaded up with FREE reads and went nuts! Nuts I tell you! I have a huge list of books I still need to read .. . and I will … I just. Need. More. Time. ACK! Anyhow … I digress.

At the time, I had heard nothing about Ms. James or her Rough Rider series. I am a sucker for romance, and who in all of anywhere doesn’t love the cowboy twist? *swoon* SO based on the description, I thought I would give this novella a try, knowing from the reviews that it was part of a series. Well, I have to say that series knowledge would be highly beneficial. In fact, I probably would have enjoyed this story more had I already read the series. However, this is not to say that I did not enjoy the story – just that I would have enjoyed it MORE with series knowledge in my back pocket.

This novella picks up at Keely and Jack’s wedding. The blushing bride … well that is a terrible description because clearly Keely doesn’t have an inclination toward embarrassment … wants nothing more than to escape her wedding with her husband and get down to having sex hours ago! Jack is nothing but patient, having planned a surprise for his new wife, and is driving Keely to madness. She walks in on relatives getting’ some at her own wedding and that about does it. She then decides to take matters into her own hands to drive her dear husband to madness. So the story follows them from their wedding reception to their honeymoon destination. And I would venture to guess that they lean toward a bit of a volatile relationship at times. Keely knows what she wants and when Jack does not deliver, look out!

I noticed that some have rated this story low. To them I say, pay attention to the reviews before you buy it then. It was very obvious to me that Slow Ride was part of a series. I read the reviews and I knew this much before cracking the virtual cover. And sometimes, let’s face it, mid-series just doesn’t work. So the lack of story line in this book and the less than endearing characters are described as such only by those who have failed to read the series. In total, I think the story was less than 20 pages. That should tell you a lot right there. I think that this story was intended not so much as a whetting of the appetite for non-readers, but a bit of fun for the readers who are already committed and involved in Ms. James work. Why bash a story because you failed to read the rest of the series first? Seems rude. Therefore, I am rating this story 3 wings because I am on the fence. I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. Knowing my personal tastes and tendencies, I believe I would have enjoyed it quite a lot had I read the series first. It is a personal handicap – not one that should reflect on the author – at least not until I read a full-length novel to better judge my thoughts on her work. I will say that as a Samhain author, Ms. James stands a good chance that I will approve. *whispers* I yet to dislike an author from Samhain.

Also! Check the author’s note: “This short story takes place between the epilogue of Rough Riders book 8, All Jacked Up, and the second chapter of Rough Riders book 10, Cowgirls Don't Cry. Enjoy a sneak peek of Jack and Keely on the road to their happily ever after…” So you see? It’s all right there on the first page before the story even begins.

So for those who have a compulsive tendency toward reading in order, skip this book until you are ready to read it. For those who don’t care and just want a quick, fun, sexy read loaded with characters getting down and dirty, read it. It’s fast, it’s fun, and it’s stimulating. If you are not into cowboys, romance, and smoking hot sex scenes – you are in the wrong place! I do know that at some point I would like to read the Rough Rider series in order and then read this novella again. I am thinking that my view would likely change. But worry not … I will be sure to let you all know when I do.

(Digital copy purchased for personal library.)


  1. I've actually looked at this a couple of times. I noticed some of the low reviews and skipped it - didn't read them, just saw the ratings. Now it all makes sense. I actually just read a book from NetGalley that I would have given a lot lower rating if I didn't realize when I was almost done reading it that it was #4 in a series. That kind of knowledge gives you a whole new perspective when reviewing. Thanks for the heads up. Great review.

    1. Thanks Shirley. The low ratings were bothering me once I realized the likely reason behind them, so I thought I would put it all out there on the table. From a smut aspect, this novella - if you can even call it that at 14 pages - actually I think it may be a chapter from a later book. Not sure. Anyway, from a smut aspect, it does the job. Needless to say the smut was enough to make me want to give the first book a try just to see what I think. :)


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