Rough Ride by Keri Ford (The Roughnecks #1)
May 5, 2012
For the past seven months, Lane has been in the small town of Apple Trail, Arkansas helping his two brothers renovate a manor house, in which one of his brothers and girlfriend will eventually move into. Due to his mother’s death and keeping a dark secret from his brothers for many years, Lane feels guilt over the whole matter, and tries to be part of the family. But he feels edgy and can’t wait to get back to his own house, hours away from Arkansas. But the one distraction he has comes in the form of a very petite, gorgeous woman named Gretchen. Gretchen owns the trailer park that he is temporarily staying in. Her husband died six years ago, and she took over the park at that time. Gretchen has two best friends, Tonya and Flora and together the three of them work and live in Apple Trail.
Lane and Gretchen have been having eyes for each other for some time. But they both know Lane is only in Apple Trail temporarily, so they are both hesitant to start something. But Tonya and Flora urge Gretchen to throw caution to the wind and have a fling with Lane, even if it is only for a month or two. Lane tries to resist, but when Gretchen not only woos him with her body but with homemade cooking, he can’t stay away.
I really enjoy Keri Ford’s voice. She has a previous set of novellas set in this same town that are very light, funny, and just downright sexy. Rough Ride is a full length book, and I think her best one to date. First of all, hooray that these characters aren’t filthy rich. Now, they are filthy sexy (of course!) but they live in a trailer park. I kind of like that. I’m weak for cranky heroes, and I just gobbled Lane up. He is sexually frustrated because he is so attracted to Gretchen yet scared to start something up with her. And he has a lot of stress because he has kept a secret from his brothers for so long, he is afraid if they ever found out, he would lose them as family. We’ll get to the secret business in a minute. First let’s dive more into the lovely, and playful sexual tension between Gretchen and Lane.
“Do you cook for all your renters?”
Her lips curled up as she moved across the bedroom and returned to his side. “Only the ones who stare at my ass when my back is turned.”
His mouth opened, words waiting, but he shut it. Best to keep his trap shut before he stuck his foot in it.
She walked close to him. “Thank you.”
He swallowed. “For what?”
“For not denying it. I wasn’t positive, but I thought so.”
“Lane.” She walked in close and put her hands on his chest. Her fingers were short and slim, dwarfed against the width of his chest. Her pink painted fingernails were neatly trimmed and a stark, girl contrast to his filthy, dirt and oil streaked shirt. “I want to hear you say it.”
He was forced to clear his throat. “Hear me say what?”
“That you look at my ass.”
There were so many cute scenes in this book where Lane and Gretchen have great flirty banter. Keri Ford also gives us some very hot romance scenes once these two decide to have some fun with each other.
Now back to this mysterious secret. I think this is the weakest part of the book. I just didn’t feel the suspense of Lane possibly getting kicked out of his family because he held onto this secret. When the brothers find out – it just didn’t seem to hold its steam. I did like how it affects Gretchen and their relationship though.
What I also really liked is the end. In a lot of romance books, there is always that conflict at the end – the big blow-up that happens in the last few pages, before the hero and heroine make-up and decide to live happily ever after. Same goes for this book – Lane and Gretchen get in a big fight. But what I liked about it is that Keri Ford doesn’t rush their happy reunion. Their disagreement is really examined and she gives it enough page time to make their eventual – I love you – seem very realistic.
Rough Ride is the start to what looks like will be a fun and sexy series.