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Kissin' Tell (Rough Riders) Paperback – May 7, 2013
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—Fiction Vixen Book Reviews on Kissin’ Tell
“Ms. James is a master at giving her readers both the sizzle of erotic romance and the emotional depth of a great storyteller.”
—Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews on Kissin’ Tell
“…[P}roves once again why James is one of the best in the business.”
—RT Book Reviews on Cowboy Casanova
Soon the reunion has come and gone, and they’re tangled up in another dreaded “R” word—relationship. If Tell wants to get the girl this go-around, he’ll have to come up with a whole new set of knots to tie up her heartstrings.
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The Rough Riders series is one of the best I have read and I read at least 400 pages a day on a book. I Loved it!
Kissin' Tell, the 13th installment in the beloved erotic romance western series and family saga, introduces Tell McKay, the one McKay cowboy perhaps overshadowed and overlooked in the midst of his robust family, but whose story shows that it's never too late to get the dream girl. This heartwarming tale opens with a universal high school memory, as Tell gazes at gorgeous cheerleader Georgia Hotchkiss, who soaks up the spotlight and is way out of his league. James sets the stage so well that when we fast forward ten years to the eve of the ten-year reunion and Georgia's return to town after a long absence, already that tale-tell spark is there between this hero and heroine.
It doesn't take long for a flame to kindle between these two who never really got their chance in high school, and before long they're arranging a bargain to attend their high school reunion together with a few mutually beneficial incentives. It's endearing to see Tell's crush bloom into something more adult and real and for Georgia to finally see the man Tell really is and who he's become. Their backgrounds and the intervening ten years have not always been easy or kind to them, but they are able to share the fact that they've both lost a brother and have had to struggle with divorced parents. Georgia endured a marriage to her high school sweetheart that quickly soured, and Tell has been alone and felt singled out in his large family. Immediately, Tell and Georgia resolve to get to know each other and Tell is determined to show her fun, something they've both had far too little of. Particularly sweet and sexy are Tell's fantasies of his dream girl, which are re-enacted in James' trademark, explosive love scenes. One involving a trampoline and Tell's desire to see a return of Georgia the cheerleader is especially hot and inventive.
There are a few trip-ups. Tell and Georgia seem to get in a pattern of destructive arguments and secret-keeping that, though playing in well with the high school theme and mentality, are ultimately a bit childish. The complexities of insecurity and doubt are interesting and humanizing, but it becomes repetitive and frustrating. Each successive book in the Rough Riders saga has gotten longer and longer, something I don't really mind since I live for these stories, but there may be a slight rambling quality now that accounts for some of the redundancies. The stories are perhaps not as tight as in earlier books, but overall, I love seeing all facets of Tell and Georgia's relationship as they figure it out together. And in this series perhaps more than any other, it's really nice to revisit previous couples and characters.
What's really remarkable is that Tell and Georgia have a story that stands on its own in a series full of great love stories. There's something lovely about seeing each McKay find the person who's the perfect fit for them. This book is the best possible return to the dreams of high school days. It brings a warm nostalgia to anyone who ever wished there were things you would have said or people you wished you'd connected with. It lends realism to the idea that people sometimes change but sometimes they don't and high school images and stereotypes can last well beyond four years. But it also gives hope that sometimes you get that second chance and sometimes that's all you need.
Series: Rough Riders #13
#1 Long Hard Ride
#2 Rode Hard, Put Up Wet
#3 Cowgirl Up and Ride
#4 Tied Up, Tied Down
#5 Rough, Raw, and Ready
#6 Branded as Trouble
#6.5 Strong, Silent Type
#7 Shoulda Been a Cowboy
#8 All Jacked Up
#9 Raising Kane
#9.5 Slow Ride
#10 Cowgirls Don't Cry
#11 Chasin' Eight
#12 Cowboy Casanova
#13 Kissin' Tell
#14 Gone Country
#15 Redneck Romeo
#16 Cowboy Take Me Away
But as we know things are not always as they appear. Both Tell and Georgia had rough childhoods. Tell's Daddy was a drunk and a mean man when he was growing up. And being the middle child he didnt always get the better end of the stick. When his brother Luke died things really changed. Georgia's childhood was ok up until her twin brother died and then her family fell apart. Both sets of parents are divorced now and even through Tell and Georgia were not children when the divorces happened they both suffer from anger, fear, loneliness, and guilt.
Ms James did a great job of showing how conflicts between divorced parents effects even grown children. That it can still effect the mental growth of those adult children just like it would a small child. Both Tell and Georgia sense of well being and self-worth still played a big part in there lives today due to there parents divorces.
For the relationship between Tell and Georgia to work - they both had to let go of somethings from the past, stand up to siblings they felt were taking advantage of them and also to see that maybe they misunderstood somethings about why a parent did something.
I know I've totally skipped over the good parts :) Yes there were hot smoking sex scenes. Yes there was a baby born to another loved McKay. Yes Keely is still struggling with whether or not she wants to be a mother someday. And yes Casper McKay is still a mean old man.
Another great book in the McKay saga.