Shoulda Been a Cowboy

Book 7 of the Rough Riders Series

Shoulda Been A Cowboy

Rough Riders Book 7


A grumpy/sunshine, marriage of convenience, small town romance from NY Times Bestselling author Lorelei James


What can heal a wounded hero and a beautiful soul with scars of her own?


Confirmed bachelor Cameron McKay has found his purpose in Wyoming. His deputy sheriff job—and the injury that ended his military career—keep him right where he wants to be: off the McKay ranch and away from his meddling family. He holds his emotions on lockdown, along with his darkest memories of the war that left him feeling less than whole.


Until he meets her.

Orphaned at a young age, Domini Katzinski has been fending for herself since immigrating to the U.S. So when it comes to intimate relationships, she prefers a take-charge man to whom she can relinquish total control. Brooding Cam fits the bill: powerful, dominant, and beautifully scarred, with a gentle side he hides from everyone but her.

Once Cam gets over his shock that the sweet and shy Domini wants to surrender to his every fantasy, he lets go of his shame and inhibitions. Their passion burns as hot as a rocket-propelled grenade, and soon Cam wants more than a fun, no-strings attached fling.

So when tragedy strikes, leaving Domini responsible for the care of a young boy she desperately wants to adopt, Cam seizes a chance at forever by proposing a marriage of convenience.


Will sharing their traumas and secrets bring them together? Or are their damages too deep for even love to heal?

Ridgeview Publishing
(September 12, 2016)
311 pages
ISBN: 978-1-941869-51-2

Praise for Shoulda Been a Cowboy »

  • You’re going to need two things before you sit down to read Shoulda Been a Cowboy: a fan for the heat and a box of tissues for the tears. I can’t remember the last book that had me swinging from one emotion to the next more times than I could count. Lorelei James creates her stories and characters with such raw realism. If you’re thinking that Rough Riders has to be losing some of its shine with seven books in the series, you’d be wrong…Shoulda Been a Cowboy is the best book yet…one of the best books I’ve read all year…

    Fallen Angels Reviews, Recommended Read

  • Sigh…I have been waiting for Cam’s story for a few books now, and the wait was definitely worth it.  I thoroughly enjoyed how Ms. James tied this ‘non cowboy’ into the rest of the family and dealt with all the issues that would come from being injured while serving our country.  Domini was just the type of strong woman he needed to move to the next stage of his life.  I think Shoulda Been A Cowboy is the best of the seven Rough Riders books to date…

    Joyfully Reviewed, Recommended Read

  • Pacing was perfect and the plot was diverse…The author delves into some controversial issues as well as tragic ones and blends them into the romance superbly. The ending was everything I had hoped for…

    The Romance Studio

  • Shoulda Been A Cowboy is a long and deeply satisfying read. Every single word was needed to build such a richly told tale, with appealing main characters and lots of old friends, scorchingly hot love scenes, and a glorious romance between a couple that faces more obstacles than a military roadblock. If there was a category above Best Book, that’s where I would put Shoulda Been A Cowboy. I cannot recommend it highly enough!

    Whipped Cream Reviews, Book of the Week

  • A wild, sexy and very emotional read, SHOULDA BEEN A COWBOY had me lassoed from the very first page.  Cam and Domini are both wounded characters, with all the emotional baggage that comes from surviving incredible adversity, but they are both also strong and determined to make the best of the hand that life dealt them.  I loved watching both of them overcome their pasts and work on building a future…

    Romance Junkies

Excerpt »

Normally silence didn’t bother him, in fact, Cam preferred it. But tonight, he wanted to talk, if only to hear her voice. “Did you have fun before the cops showed up?”

“Yes. We danced and drank and gossiped. I’ve never actually seen a bar fight.”

Cam snorted. “You must not hang out with Keely much. That girl is always finding trouble.”

“She seemed pretty pleased she’d popped my cherry tonight.”

He nearly wrecked the car. “What?”

Domini blushed. “It was my first Wyoming bar brawl. Keely came up with the cherry-popping phrase, not me.”

“It figures. I’m curious. What else did you ladies gossip about?”

“Family. Babies. Men. Sex.” Domini’s gaze pierced him. “You.”

“Me? What about me?”

“Your sister asked if something was going on between us.”

His stomach dropped at the thought of his family gossiping about him. “What did you say?” Cam eased the patrol car alongside her building.

“No. But I did say I wished something was going on between us.”

Cam didn’t know how to respond. Evidently saying nothing was the wrong response, because Domini attempted to bail out of the car.

“Forget it.”

“Ah-ah-ah.” Cam caught her wrist, holding her in place. “Wait just a damn minute. You don’t get to say something like that and then just leave.”

Domini just stared at him intently.

“Why would you want to start something with a gimped-up, scarred man like me?”

“That’s not what I see when I look at you.”

Fuck. This is what unnerved him about Domini. She saw too much. “Maybe you need glasses.”

“Maybe you’re the one who’s blind.”

He winced internally, but managed, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I see the fire in your eyes when you look at me, Cam. I feel it when you allow yourself to touch me. Yet, you won’t take what you so badly want.” Domini cocked her head. “Why? Are you a martyr? Or a masochist?”

“Neither. I’m just a man.” Not even a whole man.

“If I begged you to prove your manhood to me you’d run again, wouldn’t you?”

Heat rose up his neck. “I didn’t run.”

“No. You apologized first and then you ran. Which was way worse.”

Shit. He had no idea how much she’d misunderstood his reaction to her months ago. “Domini, let me explain—”

“No. Stop right there.” She drew away from him until her back rested against the door. “No more excuses. You either want me, or you don’t. You will either come upstairs right now and we can explore this—” she gestured to the space between them, “—or you can drive away and we will never speak of it again.”

Cam’s anger surfaced. “And if I drive off, you’ll what? Find another man?”

Her shoulder hitched in a half-shrug. “Perhaps.”


“Harold Henderson is always flirting with me.”

“If I ever see that fucking pervert looking at any part of you, I’ll gouge his goddamn eyes out,” Cam snarled.

“Then you’d better add Deke Nealon to that list because he asked me to a movie last week.”

“I’ve arrested Deke before and got no problem doin’ it again if he messes with you.” His head spun. No one touched Domini but him. No one.

Really? You haven’t been touching her either. She’s supposed to wait around for you to get your head out of your ass?

India’s comment, Either go for it, or let her go. But it’s selfish to try and have it both ways, haunted him because he knew she was exactly right. The time had come for him to fish or cut bait, as Colt always said. “Who else?” he demanded.

“Last night Marshall Benson offered to take me to Ziggy’s.”

“Marshall Benson? He cheats at pool!”

“So do I. You going to arrest me too?”

“Hell yes, if it’ll keep you from going out with a loser like him.” Stay calm. “What are you trying to do, Domini? Piss me off by naming all the guys who want to do you?”

She jabbed her finger at him. “You asked, Deputy. And I’m tired of waiting for you to come to terms with what you want to do to me. I especially want you to get over your mistaken belief that I am somehow…too fragile to handle you. I told you I like that you take charge, Cam.”

“You really wanna see that side of me, princess? The rough man who expects his demands to be met without question or hesitation?”

She nodded.

Lightning fast, Cam curled his hand around her neck and hauled her close enough to kiss. “I don’t play at this. It’s not a phase, not bedroom games. This is who I am.”

“Then that is who I want,” she said softly.

His resistance shattered. “I’m giving you one last chance to change your mind.”

“My mind has been made up for a lot longer than yours has.”

He put his mouth on her ear and growled, “Get upstairs. Get naked. Wait for me.”

Domini slipped from the car with such grace and determination Cam wondered what he’d gotten himself into.

Ridgeview Publishing
(September 12, 2016)
311 pages
ISBN: 978-1-941869-51-2

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