This was a real departure from the typical Rough Riders series. Not nearly as much focus on sexual hijinks and more attention paid to the story.
When I started reading this I had a lot of reservations. The last two books -- three books, really -- were fairly disappointing. It felt like LJ had decided at some point she didn't actually like the McKays all that much and there was this negative undercurrent running through all the books.
I was also nervous about the female lead in this one. Reille Wetzler was introduced in Cowboy Casanova and she was a selfish jerk. Very unlikable. At the beginning of this book she's still pretty unlikable, but she grows. Gavin grows as well, but he also has some scenes where he's kind of a dick. But it made for a successful, slow-growth love story that was believable and sweet. They're also young 40's (in smokin' hot shape, of course) so there's a maturity to it that we don't always see in the other stories in this series.
But that was only half the story. The other half is about Gavin's 16-year-old daughter, Sierra. Why she's a 16-year-old sophomore (at the beginning of the school year) is never explained, but I let that slide. I hate YA, but I actually enjoyed her story quite a bit. Her relationship with Boone West was lovely and, even though she's a spoiled brat at times, she also shows growth.
It looks like Reille's daughter, Rory, is being lined up to be Dalton's HEA, and that bugged me at first. But, again, LJ was able to give this character an arc that led her to be a less annoying and more intriguing presence the more we got to know her.
So, I liked it. Is it like the other Rough Rider books? No. I would almost not categorize this as erotica, but put it in straight romance. Not that there aren't some really nice, hot, love scenes, they just aren't as ... athletic? ... as some in prior books. ;)