Rode Hard, Put Up Wet (Rough Riders)

Rode Hard, Put Up Wet (Rough Riders, #2) - Lorelei James 4.5 stars!After her husband's death Gemma Jansen has been trying to continue his rodeo-stock contracting business but with the ol' boy mentality on the rodeo circuit it's hard for a woman so she decides to concentrate on managing her ranch. She needs a foreman on the ranch and decides to ask Cash Big Crow for the job. Cash has always had a thing for Gemma but she turned him down a year ago when he tried to explore the attraction between them. Now he seizes the opportunity and he agrees to be Gemma's foreman on the condition that it will be more than a working relationship. Cash and his daughter Macie Honeycutt had plans to spend the summer traveling together but now with the job on Gemma's ranch he has to change their plans. Macie decides to spend the summer there too and she meets Carter McKay, the youngest McKay brother and the sparks fly from the moment they lay eyes on each other. It turns out to be a summer that will change four lives in ways they never could have imagined.Gemma is a widow who's sensible, independent and knows what she wants in life. She has a bit of complex about her age and that leads to insecurity sometimes but still she's no lady to mess with. She knows Cash is the man for her but she lets unimportant things get in the way, and discovers things aren't so complicated when she lets go of her inhibitions. Cash is a bit more complicated than Gemma. He has a strained relationship with his daughter because of his absence when she was growing up. To compensate he is very protective of Macie now and that creates even more tension between them. He's bossy and bold but when it comes to Gemma he hides his true feelings behind sexual dominance, in fear of her rejection.Macie is something else. She is headstrong, smart-mouthed and feisty. She grew up with her mother because who had nothing good to say about her father and the non-existent relationship with her father has had a lot of impact on her self-esteem and her relationships with men. She is distant with them, never letting down her guard.Carter seems a sweet-talking, laid-back kind of guy but beneath that exterior is a very complex man. He has always felt the misfit of the McKay and underfoot at the family ranch for being different. He didn't have ranching aspirations but went to college to get a degree in art. He is the artist of the McKay family and as with many artists he has the artistic temper to go with it. He may seem different than his brothers but deep down the McKay blood runs deep and wild when it comes to sex and sensuality.Colby and Channing from book 1 show up and it was nice seeing them again. But there were also some less important but no less intriguing secondary characters such as the McKay sister Keely and Jack Donohue who's Carter's best friend. Trevor from book one had an important role in Cash and Gemma's story and he too is fleshed out some more. I can't wait to get his full story. With two couples and this many supporting characters you would think things could get too crowded but this wasn't the case. The two stories had to be told in one book because of the connections between the main characters and the secondary cast complemented them just perfectly.In this book there are 2 main couples. The lives of these 4 characters are entwined and therefore the book consists of two individual love stories that are linked together by familial and working relations. One story is that of Gemma and Cash. The other is that of Cash's daughter Macie and Gemma's part-time ranch hand Carter. Both relationships are laced with complications, complexes and insecurities. But the sexual attraction is also very strong. It was amazing to read the different nuances in the love scenes between Gemma/Cash and Macie/Carter. Lorelei James managed to capture the difference between sexuality at a later, more mature stage in life and sexuality in the prime of your life, young and still without too many emotional hang-ups. The dynamics between Carter and Macie were very different from those between Gemma and Cash and still both couples had an intense emotional romance spiced with hot and kinky love scenes.Lorelei James writes characters that are fleshed out extensively, creating a foundation for the reader to get to know them thoroughly and in doing so, having no trouble relating to them and sympathizing with them. Little by little you get to know their life stories, their background and you understand their decisions they have made and are making. In this book all four main characters start out with their guards way up because of different reasons and bit by bit they open up to the ones they care about. It builds and builds towards an ending that was heartbreaking for both couples but all their conflicts get resolved and they come out of it stronger and happier. The writing is both emotional and playful containing quick-witted bantering that alternates with deep emotional outbursts. As said, with RODE HARD, PUT UP WET you get two-for-one. They both formed the primary storyline instead of one being the main love story and the other the secondary romance. I loved it. It was an intricate, layered erotic romance, focusing not only on the romantic and sexual relationships but also on a complicated and strained father/daughter relationship and the struggles of a family member who feels left out and underfoot because he’s different from his brothers. It's about true romance, passionate love and hot bed play, though the bed seems to be optional in Lorelei James' work. In this book there isn't much information about rodeo but plenty of ranching and art. There's more information and background on the McKay siblings of which there are 6. Five brothers (Cord, Colby, Colt, Cameron and Carter) and a baby sister Keely. They all have their specific personalities and quirks and now that I've got two of them down I can't wait for the other four to follow.Lorelei James is an artist within the erotica genre. With this second book of the Rough Riders she again gave me the perfect mix of what I want erotica: sex and emotions. Her books are so much more than a few raunchy love scenes linked together by a love story. They are intense romances and interpersonal relationships, laced with some delicious and explicit sex scenes. Emotional and intense scenes that provide in depth exploration of the character and their backgrounds are alternated with flaming sex scenes in which themes as male/male action, mild spanking and threesomes aren't left untouched and they are as tasteful as they are hot.