on m/m romance, baking, knitting, and occasional smut

Category Archives: Western

TheManIKnow_cvr1Title: The Man I Know
Author: Dale Chase
Publisher: Wilde City
Length: 12k words
Genre: m/m Historical Western Erotica
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, Wilde City Press Erotica Week, Old West, On the Lam, Secrets & Lies, Closeted, Cops/Deputy, Established Relationship, Train Robbery, Multiple Partners, Cowboys
Rating: So So

BLURB

Gene Hardy’s lover, deputy Bud Silvey, is a good man. An honest man. A man of the law. Or is he?

When a detective rides into town claiming that Bud is in fact the wanted outlaw Trace Warren, Gene begins to look at his lover in a new light and question the man he thought he knew. Because for an outlaw, where better to hide than behind a badge?

What secrets is Bud keeping? Is he the courageous deputy he claims to be, or a train robber on the run? And is his love for Gene real… or just another lie?

REVIEW

I was surprised that when I got into this story there was maybe a little less sex than I expected and a lot more plot. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of sex! And Gene has sex with a few different guys. But sex is also used as a tool in the book, yet still as the main attraction that I expected from an erotica short. I enjoy that because erotica is all about the sex, but having a coherent plot to string it all together and to manipulate the sex into certain scenes and setting with an actual reason for it spices up the story a bit. It makes it sexier, I think, because your brain is involved a little with the action as well 😉

Gene is a rancher in this Old West type setting, which is reminiscent of sometime in the 19th century, though not explicit. He’s been seeing the Deputy in the town for going on two years now. Bud is a good guy, sexy, and known around town as an honest man with a good heart and a strong body always around to help the town and it’s people. Gene and Bud first meet when Bud moves to town and quickly grow to be good friends. What Gene first started to feel as only lustful attraction to his friend grew during their first year as friends to be more of a general interest and like in Bud. Yet, it isn’t until a year into their friendship that they both finally admit that they’ve been keeping secret their feelings for one another and turn their friendship into something more.

But they’re both men in a small town and while some might look the other way at a little play, it’s still expected that two men not take up together permanently. So they, like the several other men in the town that they know like to play around with each other, go about seeing each other and living separate. They allow themselves to see other people, like when Bud is out of town on his Deputy business. That’s how Gene gets to know John Bullard. It starts with looks and a subtle cruising and ends with them going at each other several times while Bud is out of town. But John seems overly interested in his relationship with Bud, and it isn’t until Gene fucks the information out of him that he learns that John is a lawman himself, on the search for an elusive outlaw named Trace Warren. John seems certain that he’s found his man — Bud Silvey. And no matter how much Gene wants to deny it, certain things add up. He even looks like him. And if it is him, does Gene care? And will he help him out if he finds out that Bud has lied about his past?

I’d definitely recommend this short story if you’re looking for an erotica story with cowboys (of the old type!). The sex is really hot and I enjoyed the little mystery and plotting that Gene goes through. Having Gene have real feelings for Bud made this more interesting to me, even though I wouldn’t quite consider it a romance, there is a love story in there between the two. It’s really hard for me to give erotica stories higher than a So So rating because the only real thing for me to judge on is the sex. It’s a different rating system than romance stories, but I sometimes have a hard time judging them differently. Still, I enjoyed this one and I liked the little bit of plot there that moved the story along. It’s worth a Pretty Good rating and worth a read if you’re looking for something hot with lots of sex 🙂


LoveLikeWaterLGTitle: Love, Like Water
Author: Rowan Speedwell
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Length: 89,037 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Western Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Sex to Story
Keywords/Tags: Cowboys, New Mexico, Albuquerque, Homophobia, Cops (FBI), Gangs, Past Abuse/Trauma, Substance Abuse/Addiction, Guilt, Closeted, Coming Out, Animals, Suicide
Rating: Really Liked It

BLURB

Three years undercover with one of the worst gangs in the country left FBI agent Joshua Chastain shattered. Battling nightmares and addiction, he leaves the concrete jungle for New Mexico horse country, hoping to start over on his uncle’s ranch.

Foreman Eli Kelly spends his life rehabilitating abused animals, and Joshua is just another lost soul. But as Joshua slowly begins to put his life back together, Eli realizes that Joshua is a lot more than his newest project.

Joshua’s plan seems to work—maybe a fresh start was just what he needed. Then, just when he has finally found a sense of peace, crime and hatred nearly destroy all his hard work, forcing him to reevaluate what he wants out his relationship with Eli and his own life.

REVIEW

I’ve been so excited for the release of this book! It’s been a long time since I read something by this author. In fact, I don’t think I’ve read a novel by this author since I read Finding Zach, a book which remains one of my all-time favorite m/m romances. So I knew going into this book from the blurb and from loving that book that this would most likely be an intense read. In some ways it was, but less so than I think I was expecting. But, it did live up to my expectations and ended up being a good read.

Joshua Chastain is a shade of the man he once was — a strong, confident, healthy and intelligent undercover FBI agent. Those qualities were all taken away from him during his three year undercover mission infiltrating a ruthless and dangerous gang in Chicago that heavily trafficked heroin. And though he did everything he was put there to do — bring down the operation from the inside — he also did other things, made sacrifices to himself and others to get the job done. And now, after leaving the FBI and in rehab for his heroin withdrawal and addiction and the unbelievable depression from his memories of death, Joshua is so far from the man he once was that his family no longer recognizes him.

His mother and his uncle Tucker conspire to bring him out to his uncle’s ranch in New Mexico. It’s a place he frequented and loved as a kid, but it’s also the perfect place for him to start to come back to himself. In an ironic twist, the ranch’s main operation is the rehabilitation of abused horses, a program run by Tucker and the ranch’s foreman, Elian Kelly. Eli is more than a foreman to the ranch, but also Tucker’s good friend. And seeing Tuck’s young nephew is heartbreaking. He sees him as a broken man he can try to put back together just like the horses that he has a gift with helping. The fresh air, good and hearty food, and reliable and loving family are what Joshua needs to put the past behind him and learn confidence in himself again. The connection and eventual relationship between Joshua and Eli wasn’t part of the plan.

Much of this book was what I was expecting from this book and this author. This is a hurt/comfort story of epic proportions, something that was similar to Rowan Speedwell’s other novel, Finding Zach. Joshua is not much a guy who needs a little rehab, but a severely traumatized person, emotionally, physically and chemically, from his forced addiction to heroin. And Eli is the gentle giant, reliant and safe and perfect in a lot of ways. I mean, this makes for a good setup, something that has worked well for this author in the past. And I liked this couple together. I felt like a lot of time went by setting up the story and I would maybe have liked to get to know Eli and Joshua actually together in their relationship for longer than we got, but they have a crazy amount of chemistry that came through for me, and the dynamic works well for them and goes hand in hand with the setting really well.

So the problems that I had with the book didn’t really spoil my enjoyment of the book — it remained something highly enjoyable to read. Maybe it’s that Finding Zach is such a hard book to live up to for me, especially with a character like Joshua who so reminded me of Zach with all of the emotional turmoil he has to work through throughout the book. Still, this wasn’t a perfect read for me. Some of the behavior of the characters seemed a little too… contrived, like the totally happy-go-lucky family atmosphere at the ranch. On the one hand this made the book not overly filled with excess problems but it made Joshua’s problems seem overbalanced in counterpoint, which made their behavior and constant support grating (not their support for Joshua, but just in each other, day to day in the way they act). That probably makes no sense, but I don’t know how to describe it better without making it seem too nitpicky and as if it was a bigger deal than it really was. It just bugged me a bit. The real difficulty I had with the book was the ending.

SPOILERS BELOW

I was hoping that this book wouldn’t end with a resurgence of the gang and the men who would obviously love to come after Joshua if he wasn’t so hidden. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. But, I still would have probably preferred the ending to be a bit more subtle. I liked that Eli and Joshua were getting to know each other and work through their problems and I would have admired the story more if it continued in that direction without needing an outside conflict to come in from seemingly nowhere to act as a catalyst for the couple. And the way it was done made it a little worse than that, with the whole gay basher thing having been written so many times.

SPOILERS END

So while I wasn’t quite happy with the ending, I still enjoyed the book and I liked the first half in particular. It really held my interest. The fact that the main character is dealing with a shitload of issues is just something that depends on the reader to like or dislike. I mean, on the one hand it does seem a bit much because poor Joshua’s life just kept going from bad to worse over and over again. So much of whether you like this book or not will depend on how you feel about that kind of character and conflict. In general, I don’t so much like that, but as I said before I was interested in seeing how I liked this one since I did like that kind of conflict in the hands of his author previously.

The other early reviews I’ve seen for this book have so far been raving, which is good. I think I’m maybe a little pickier than many other reviewers and that’s fine. Rowan Speedwell remains a great author and I’ll continue to look forward to her books.


OutlasttheNightLGTitle: Outlast the Night (Lang Downs #3)
Author: Ariel Tachna
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 61k+ words, 210 pages
Genre: m/m Contemporary Western Romance
Heat: 1 – Sweet/None
Sex Frequency: 1 – None
Keywords/Tags: Series, Australia, Closeted, Cowboys, Emotionally Damaged, Friends to Lovers, Light & Sweet, Pets, Yearning
Rating: Really Liked It

Reviewed by Nikyta

BLURB

Office manager Sam Emery is unemployed and out of luck. When his emotionally abusive wife demands a divorce, he contacts the one person he has left, his brother, Neil. He doesn’t expect Neil to reject him, but he also doesn’t expect the news of his divorce—and of his sexuality—to be met with such acceptance.

Neil takes Sam to Lang Downs, the sheep station Neil calls home. There, Sam learns that life as a gay man isn’t impossible. Caine and Macklin, the station owners, certainly seem to be making it work. When Caine offers Sam a job, it’s a dream come true.

Jeremy Taylor leaves the only home he’s ever known when his brother’s homophobia becomes more than he can bear. He goes to the one place he knows he will be accepted: Lang Downs. He clicks with Sam instantly—but the animosity between Lang Downs and Jeremy’s home station runs deep, and the jackaroos won’t accept Jeremy without a fight. Between Sam’s insecurity and Jeremy’s precarious position, their road will be a hard one—and that’s without having to wait for Sam’s divorce to be final before starting a new life together.

REVIEW

I’ll freely admit that the Lang Downs series is one of my favorite cowboy series. There’s just something about it that I absolutely adore. With this one, it’s no different. I loved both Sam and Jeremy, especially Jeremy since he has to overcome the hatred attached to being a Taylor. There was such animosity between Neil, Sam’s brother, and Jeremy, which made for some interesting conflict! Sam was someone I just wanted to give a hug. He’s so innocent even though he’s not young but I felt really bad for him and what he’s had to go through by playing straight.

The story revolves around both Sam and Jeremy finding a home where they’re accepted. After years of putting up with his brother, Jeremy’s finally had enough and leaves, heading towards Lang Downs in hopes of finding another job. Sam shows up around the same time after being belittled constantly by his soon-to-be ex-wife. Both guys are healing in their own way. Sam finally has the freedom to spread his wings while Jeremy finds in Sam what he thought he’d never get a chance to have. It’s a sweet, slow romance where Jeremy and Sam start a friendship before moving into anything deeper and many will be shocked to realized there is no sex in this novel. Something I was extremely glad for but even without the sex, I still loved it because even though it’s obvious there’s no love between Sam and his ex-wife, he and Jeremy still wait until the divorce is finalized before making their relationship into something more. I also loved that we get pieces of the station but also a little more of Caine and Macklin.

While I adored the story, I still felt like the relationship between Jeremy and Sam wasn’t quite complete. I feel like the situation with Sam and his ex-wife took too long to resolve and when it is finally over it was rushed through, making the ending feel rushed as well. I would have liked to see more of Jeremy and Sam as a couple, after Sam’s divorce, because I didn’t feel that concrete bond between them like I’ve had with the other couples within this series, which I was sad we missed.

Overall, I enjoyed the story very much. I love that Lang Downs is a place for those who are lost or rejected. It’s a great concept and I loved that we got Jeremy’s story and what he and Sam go through. It’s slightly sad but I loved the journey Jeremy and Sam go through. I can’t wait to read the next in the series and to find out who’s story is next!!


BullyForYouLGTitle: Bully for You
Author: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Length: 22,732 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Western Rom Com Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Sex to Story
Keywords/Tags: 2013 Daily Dose – Make a Play, Bullriding, Femme Men, Twinks, Opposites Attract, Washington DC, Funny Guys, Best Friends
Rating: Really Liked It

BLURB

What could be hunkier than a cowboy? Not much, according to Martin Du Bois. He convinces two friends that a visit to the rodeo is every gay man’s wet dream, and so the three of them gaily (and I do mean gaily) set off to watch cowboy asses in action.

A visit to a bar after the event gets Martin closer to the action than he ever thought possible, and he meets Jesse Cumberland, the man who caught his eye in the ring and made his rhinestones sparkle. Instant attraction leads to a one-night stand that gets under Martin’s insouciant skin and causes him to rethink his determination not to get involved emotionally. When Jesse invites Martin to his ranch, the visit is almost derailed by Martin’s realization that they lead very different lives. As a flaming city queer, he sees no way to fit with the solid, athletic Jesse. It’s up to Jesse to see if he can change Martin’s mind.

REVIEW

You know… I’ve read probably 1/3 of the Dreamspinner 2013 Daily Dose stories so far and this is by far my favorite of them. It’s the longest story of the bunch, but that really doesn’t have much to do with it, other than the fact that it followed the story to it’s natural end, which was satisfying. No, the characters and their dialogue are what makes this story so great. It’s not perfect, but this story has a lot of personality and charm, and that carries it a long way!

“Marti” (Martin Du Bois, LOL, I love that pun — sounds like a gay stripper name), is the the ringleader of an incredibly fabulous trio of guys. He’s getting close to the BIG 3-0, which is devastating, of course, to his twinkdom. Who is he really? What will happen to him as he makes the transition to a real grown up, now wanting more than the dick hunting that he and his two best friends are famous for.

Marti is thinking on those issues as he carries on with his friends. Marti finally convinces his friends that the tight asses in the rodeo are worth it to come with him to a bull riding event in their city of D.C. He’s never seen anything like it in his life, but the men down there riding those bulls are swoon-worthy. It doesn’t matter to him and Curt and Dale that they don’t understand the sport at all, they’re making a scene just like they always do, loudly arguing the assets of the riders.

Marti is the only one brave enough to enter the cowboy bar after the event where all the riders congregated to drink and celebrate their wins. Refusing Curt and Dale’s emphatic statements that he was an idiot going in there with all those straight guys, Martin wants to take his chances that at least one of those guys have to be gay. And he’s looking for that diamond in the rough. And he finds him — a star of the rodeo circuit named Jesse — when the man comes to his defense (though he can mostly take care of himself) from a really drunk rider making derogatory comments and lewd suggestions.

Their meeting leads to a fabulous whirlwind affair, but when real feelings start to evolve, can Marti reconcile his city life with a man who lives on a Virginia ranch? Even if he has to ride a horse?!?!

This story was really a delight to read. It’s funny from page one, where we get to know Martin, Curt and Dale so well just by their dialogue. They’re super flamboyant and their energy builds and builds between the three of them until they’re almost trying to out-camp the others. They’re like so many friends that I know and the dialogue is dirty and soo real life. It’s also pretty brave of Catt Ford to write such a trio of so obviously femme characters because it’s a touchy subject with some readers, who want to see more flamboyant, feminine characters… but not too feminine. Of course, that would be politically incorrect… But honestly, I like when fictional characters seem so real and lets face it, it may be perfectly stereotypical to have such a campy gay male character, but that doesn’t mean that Martin and his friends aren’t genuine and totally life-like. The story, in no way, suggests that all gay men are camping it up around the world, LOL. And really, this is one of the main parts of this story — the dichotomy between the über-flaming gay guy and the horribly termed “straight acting” dudes, who are super macho because they ride bulls for a living 🙂 We’re presented with two gay archetypes that over the course of the story shed their skins to show that who they are is different from the image they might present to the world. In Jesse’s case, this is natural because of his job. In reality, he’s quite forward about his gay sexuality and doesn’t have any hangups about his sexuality. Martin, on the other hand, very purposefully wears that skin. He hides behind it because it’s much easier to not be taken seriously when he’s not sure he can live up to having a real life. Part of that is his mid-life transition. He may only be turning thirty, but to him that’s old age. For so long Martin has identified as a twink, which made it easier to find men. Not being taken seriously means that he doesn’t have to commit. Seeing the mask come off of Martin behind closed doors made him so real. Watching Jesse slowly obliterate his distorted self-image and help him build it back up through a solid relationship was touching. They shown to us as opposites, which make their initial interactions interesting and funny. But really, their opposing qualities go much deeper. Seeing them work around those issues made my interest in the characters change to a love for them as a couple.

My only complaint was the ending. It is a satisfying ending in the sense that I felt as if the story needed to end where it did. Still, that didn’t completely change my wish that I knew more about the direction these two were heading, especially with Marti. They’re on shaky HEA ground and a little past a solid HFN.

Honestly, I wasn’t really that interested in this story. I didn’t request it for review until a few days after I’d gotten all the other stories from the Daily Doses that TAR had requested. But I’m so glad that I finally did. It’s turned out to be my favorite and once again shown me what a great author Catt Ford is.


ChaseTheStorm1LGTitle: Chase the Storm
Author: V. M Waitt
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 71,080 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Western Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Angst-alicious, Coming of Age, Cowboys, Emotionally Damaged, Grieving Partner, Horses, Hostile Work Environment, Hot & Cold, May/Dec, Secrets & Lies, Yearning
Rating: Really Liked It!!

Reviewed by Nikyta

*****This review contains minor spoilers*****

BLURB

Up until he buys an old truck, Elijah Morgan lives life according to his family’s plan, never feeling like he belongs. Desperate to find his own path, he heads out on the open road, only to end up stranded in Nebraska. Not wanting to ask for his parents’ help, he takes a job with tough, independent farmer Chase McKenzie.

Despite their age gap, the attraction between Chase and Elijah soon becomes undeniable. They give in to their desire, but that night changes everything and threatens the secret Chase guards so carefully.

As the summer heats up, so does their relationship. When autumn arrives, Elijah is due back at college, and he’ll have to choose whether to continue his education and follow in his family’s footsteps… or to stay in Nebraska with the man he loves.

REVIEW

I’m sure we’ve all experienced those books that have pulled so much emotion from us that we really don’t know how to even grasp how we feel about the story. Hate it or love it, it is a very fine line and you just don’t know exactly how you feel. In this case, I didn’t hate the book, in fact, I loved it but I must admit that I sort of hated Chase but, oh man, this book pulled so many emotions from me it had me crying like a baby a few times and I can’t dismiss that even if the book does have its faults.

This story features Elijah and his journey to finding himself and his own path in life. As his school semester ends, he impulsively buys an old truck and drives to places unknown only to end up in a small town with a broken down truck. Forced to find a place to stay while his ride gets fixed, he takes a job working for Chase on his farm and learning what hard work really means. As their time together becomes longer, the chemistry they have becomes harder to fight. Elijah’s finally finding the one place he feels like is home and losing his heart in the process but Chase is still healing and doesn’t want to feel what he does for Elijah because if he gives in, he doesn’t know if he’ll survive it if Elijah eventually goes back to college.

I loved Elijah. He’s like a new baby colt… innocent and lost. He doesn’t fit in anywhere so he’s trying to find himself. He’s sweet and hard working even though he’s never worked on a farm before. Elijah broke my heart but I loved that I was able to connect with him. So well, in fact, that when he was angry I was getting angry and when he cried, I was crying. It was a great feeling to have. Chase, on the other hand, is harder and more gruff. He’s put a wall up around himself because he doesn’t want to let anyone else in but Elijah threatens that wall. I loved but hated Chase. He’s so mean and harsh to Elijah to the point of being cruel and he has no problems with shattering Elijah’s hopes over certain things. I hated how he treated Elijah sometimes for no reason on Elijah’s part but then, I can understand why he’s the way he is. With what he’s gone through and experienced, it’s just so sad. When he finally caves and embraces his feelings for Elijah fully… it’s the sweetest moment of the book, IMO.

I loved this book so much but as the story progressed, more and more of it was focused on the sex between Elijah and Chase to the point that it was too much for me. With everything going on, I was hoping that we’d see more of them talking and working things out but it seemed like whenever they tried to talk things through, they’d end up in bed and never actually talk. It grew slightly annoying towards the end because of the tension of knowing that Elijah was potentially leaving, these boys needed to talk more than ever. When they do talk, I felt like most of it was told instead of shown. My only other issue is that Elijah never really stood up for himself. He took Chase’s anger and sometimes he felt like it was his fault when it wasn’t and he had no reason to apologize to Chase. Beyond that, I still have one question. Just how old is Chase? It’s never said! There were a few inconsistencies and I’m sure there were other problems with this story but to be honest, I was so caught up in everything that I didn’t much notice or even care about them.

In the end, this was a great book. It’s a coming of age story of the journey Elijah takes to finally find his place in the world but also about healing. Elijah heals Chase but Chase also saves Elijah. It’s a beautiful story and I could probably read these boys over and over again. I loved that it brought out so many emotions in me. It’s not a perfect book but it is one that grabbed hold of my heart and didn’t want to let go. This was my first book by this author and I’m looking forward to reading more from her. So, to all you cowboy lovers out there, give this one a try because you might like it 😉


ThreadbareGypsySoulsTitle: Threadbare Gypsy Souls
Author: TA Chase
Publisher: Amber Allure
Length: 52k words
Genre: m/m Paranormal Western Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Shifters (Wolves), Lone Wolf, Cowboys, Secrets & Lies, Alpha Men, Bikers, Gangs/Clubs, Drug Use/Addiction, Injured Character, Organized Crime, First Times
Rating: So So





BLURB

Nashville Rocky Rhodes roars into Fallen Creek on his motorcycle one day, and nothing is ever the same again…

Nash is trying to find his path in life, after leaving Nashville and his biker gang in the dust. Fallen Creek, Wyoming, isn’t where he plans on spending the rest of his life, but it’s a nice place to rest for a while, and take stock of his life. Yet Nash has secrets he doesn’t want to share with anyone, especially not a taciturn, scarred cowboy.

Cullen O’Murphy is a lone wolf, and he’s been fighting a losing battle against the local shifter pack. He doesn’t want to become part of their pack, not knowing what they do for a living. Cullen’s not afraid, since he knows he can defeat the Alpha, but he doesn’t want to lead. He simply wishes to be left alone.

One night, Cullen goes for a drink at the Watering Hole, a local bar, and he meets Nash. The lust is combustible, yet both men are leery about trusting the other with all their secrets. Unfortunately, neither man might have a choice as circumstances spiral out of their control…

REVIEW

I picked up this story for a very particular reason — I wanted something rather simple and easy to read. Generally, shifters fulfill that quota. And I know from past reading that I can usually count on TA Chase to provide a satisfactory read that doesn’t push me to pay attention too much. It’s actually been quite a while since I read anything by TA Chase. Probably a year and a half, at least! So, after spending three weeks sick in bed and reading only Harry Potter and watching the whole series of Merlin, I needed something easy to dip my toes back into the m/m pool. I chose Threadbare Gypsy Souls.

Nashville is a tough looking’ dude. He’s immediately confronted by the Fallen Creek sheriff when he rides into town on his bike, covered in leather and looking like he came out of the bad end of a beat-down. And he looks like trouble. The truth is that no matter how gentle his nature seems, Nash has some secrets, some that don’t make him look very good and some that could come back and bite him on the ass. He’s running away from the town he’s named after, where he lived his whole life and was the Sergeant-at-Arms for a Bike Club after spending months in the hospital. He’s not really up to a long ride, but Nash deemed it prudent to get out of town fast and quietly, and started making his way to California to visit his mother. But the road isn’t kind to his still-healing injuries and he stops in Fallen Creek to take a few weeks to rest up before the rest of his journey.

But almost as soon as he comes into the town, running from trouble, he gets mixed up in Fallen Creek’s resident trouble. Stopping for a drink at the Watering Hole, he meets Jeanette, the owner and sticks up for her when her bartender stops in drunk and moves to attack her. The problem is that drunken Clay gets away with just about whatever he wants, simply because of his brother, Robinson, who pretty much rules the town. But, Nash has never backed down from a bully before, so no matter how many dire warnings he gets about getting on the bad side of Robinson, the local drug-dealer who has an inordinate amount of influence on the town, he refuses to back down. This earns him the respect of another powerful man in town, Cullen O’Murphy. But where Robinson is influential because of the power he holds over the town, Cullen is simply powerful. A natural Alpha wolf, Cullen could challenge Robinson at any point and take over the pack, the town’s big secret, but as a natural and life-long lone wolf, he doesn’t want to be in that leadership position. He’d rather have his small ranch and his comfortable life to look forward to the next day.

But Cullen will have to step in sometime soon. Robinson is even further out of control. Finding themselves on the same side of the line in the sand, they’re natural allies and even more, can’t stay away from one another. But keeping secrets from each other doesn’t make for a happy relationship, no matter how much they’re trying to avoid one.

For the most part, I got what I wanted from reading this novella. It was certainly a relatively easy read — no angst, some fun action/fight scenes, two beefy alpha types and some super hot sex. But while it was nice for the kind of read I wanted at that point in time, in the great span of m/m romance, it was only really so so. The book felt rather lopsided, in the sense that the pace, plot and style changes somewhat in the last 30-40%, leaving me feeling like I ended the book just at the point where everything came out in the open but that the relationship hadn’t settled quite yet. The biggest problem I had, however, was in the characters of Nash and Cullen. I really liked them for the first half to 60% of the book. They have pretty firmly outlined personalities, both rather dominant (though in bed Nash turns slightly submissive, so there’s no real head-butting in the sex). And I felt like I knew them rather well. Then, there’s a point (no spoilers) where one of them reveals a rather big secret that really surprised me (I felt like it hadn’t really been foreshadowed, though of course others might not be as surprised as me) and it made me feel uncertain about who that character really was, and their dynamic together that had already been worked out. Furthermore, I felt like the reveal of that secret could have been worked in better. I would have liked to be able to look back and see concrete evidence about the way the wind was blowing. So that, the timing felt off. I would have really liked to have hit that point in the story and gotten the feeling that everything came together for me. Instead, it felt off beat. More than that, I never really felt like they dealt with those secrets, instead they just seemed to… get over it.

Still, most of the story was fairly enjoyable. TA Chase is a solid author who has plenty of work already out there and a sufficient enough reputation that most of you will have probably read at least something written by her. So you’ll probably know what to expect when you pick up one of her books. If you’re a TA Chase fan, then by all means, pick this one up to read. Otherwise, I’d only really recommend it to those who fluff or sweet and easy reads, combined with shifters and cowboys. Both are in plenty of abundance!