Tag Archives: Western

ONE 5 and TWO 3 Stars for New Release: Where the Grass is Greener (Seeds of Tyrone #2) by Debbie McGowan and Rain O’Tierney #MM #Romance @writerdebmeg @RaineOTierney

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Title: Where The Grass is Greener (Seeds of Tyrone #2)
Author Name: Debbie McGowan and Raine O’Tierney
Publication Date & Length: September 28, 2015 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

Mistakes were made, that’s for sure. But was it the night of passion? Or walking away afterward? That’s the question Seamus Williams must face when he gets a late night phone call from someone he never expects to hear from again.

“I miss you, Shay.”

Chancey Bo Clearwater is a cowboy through and through. He spends his days finding work on whatever ranch will take him and his nights at the pool hall. He’s always done what needed doing and never thought much about what he wanted. ’Til that drunken night with Seamus.

A world of problems now stand between Seamus and Chancey exploring what might have been, the least of which being the Atlantic Ocean. On one side there’s Chancey’s daughter who mood swings from angel to demon in two seconds flat; on the other there’s the new lodger, hogging Shay’s telly and his cornflakes, and making private Skype time hard to come by.

Is this relationship doomed before it ever begins? Or can a surprise announcement from Seamus’s brother be enough to help the two find their second chance?

Where the Grass is Greener features characters from Leaving Flowers, but can be read independently.

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Review

ThreeStar

I really don’t know how I felt about this book… There were parts I liked and some I did not like so much.
I liked how Seamus and Chancey were together but they had such little time together that I am not sure I really saw them fitting together well. Seamus ran from Chance back to Ireland scared of his feelings.  They would skype then they meet each other at a wedding after not seeing each other for a long time.  That is when everything started moving super fast between them and I have to say honestly I needed more time spent between the two of them to believe it.
Chancey’s Ex I was so not a fan of at all.. Then his daughter she had her nice moments most of the time.. Then she acts so spoiled and her attitude really ruined a lot of the book for me to be honest. Don’t get me wrong I have two teenagers and I know how they act but to be that spoiled and really get away with everything with out any one talking to her about it, explaining why it was not okay to act like that made it really hard to enjoy this story at all.  Eventually she does change her attitude but it went on for so long that I found myself just not a fan of this story as much anymore.  I did really like Seamus character but I am not sure how I felt about Chancey.
So between them not having much time together and the whole attitude Dee had through the last part of this book can honestly say I just don’t think this book was for me…
Kara
ThreeStar
This book is second in a series but could probably be read as a standalone. I read the first book and it didn’t really do much for me but I was hoping this book would be better because it seemed like the last book I enjoyed Paddy and his POV so I was thinking it would be the same with Seamus and his POV. However, just like the previous book, this book just didn’t do anything for me. I was bored at times and would end up skimming lots pages. There wasn’t really enough dialogue for me and I couldn’t connect with the characters. When there was dialogue and interaction with the characters it was good, but there just wasn’t enough of it. It was nice to seeing characters again from the first book.
Angie
FiveStars

There is no possible way either of these authors could write something I wouldn’t enjoy–at least, I haven’t found anything to date. This is no exception. I loved it from page one, and I couldn’t put it down.

I’m not usually one for very manly men, but Chancey and Seamus are not your typical Guy-Guy Super Manly Dudes. Both are refreshingly masculine without falling into stereotypes of how “real” men are supposed to behave. Some of that may be cultural, of course. I’m not really sure how Irish men are socially expected to behave. I loved that he was thoughtful and emotionally warm. Chancey’s heart walked around outside his body in the form of his teenage daughter, and I loved their relationship.

Speaking of…the secondary characters were wonderful. I often feel a book is only as good as the secondaries, and despite how the main focus was on Chancey and Seamus keeping up their long-distance love, the people around them were equally delightful. Dee is probably my favorite, mostly because she reminded me of a wicked combination of my own kids. I wouldn’t mind at all reading another story with her in it. And of course I was thrilled to see Patrick and Aiden (from Leaving Flowers), even if only briefly. Kaylee was wonderfully awful, though I did feel bad for Dee. I’m not usually one for the Horrible Ex Wife trope, but since there are other girls and women in the story who more than make up for Kaylee’s flaws, it’s all right.

I was tickled pink to see a relationship between two bisexual men. Having just one bi guy is a treat, but two? That was just plain fabulous. The love between them was a nice combination of slow realization while still being intense. Some of their exchanges were priceless as they both processed through a host of new feelings. Really nicely done.

What I love most is the way the story is seamlessly blended. It’s rare to find co-authors whose style completes each other so perfectly. Raine leans toward the sweet gentleness of healing and hope, while Debbie is invested in the psychology of the characters. In this story, I believe that’s what made both men so well-rounded.

While there were one or two moments that sort of had me raise my eyebrows for bordering on not-quite-believable, that’s okay–this is a story, after all, and sometimes what’s needed is a little bit of fairy tale possibility. If you’re looking for a well-written story that reads the way comfort food tastes, this is the one. It’s not necessary to read the first one beforehand, but it does help. And when you’re done, absolutely be sure to read everything else these authors have written. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

5 stars, of course.

~Amy

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Excerpt

“You’re quiet today, Seamus. What’s up?” the landlord asked.

“Just tired, is all. Got a leaky roof and the fecker was drippin’ all the damn night. And didn’t I get up this morning and kick the bucket?”

“You look alive and well to me, so you do. I say well…you look like shite.”

“Yeah, thanks very much. Think I’ll go join the lads, see if I can’t get a few more insults thrown at me.”

Seamus gave the landlord a wry grin and went over to the others, who were already well into the first of the three games they got in every lunchtime. He watched one of them take a bad shot and accidentally pot the black, the clunking of the ball as it rolled its way through the machinery of the table setting Seamus’s teeth on edge. John was right: he was dog-tired and probably did look like shite. He’d barely slept after the missed call, trying to decide whether to return it or not. His mind played tricks on him, one minute convincing him it was urgent and he should call back, the next telling him to stay strong. He’d made the move. He’d come back to Ireland. That’s what he’d wanted all along.

He had wanted it. Ever since Mam died, his sights had been set on coming home. He’d only stayed for Paddy’s sake, and now Paddy had Aidan there was nothing to keep Seamus in the States, although he was no further away from his brother now than he had been in Kansas. Never mind that he’d already made the decision before he knew Aidan even existed. No. It was a good decision. He was just—

He already knew, before he pulled his phone from his pocket: same Kansas number, same caller.

His thumb hovered over the red button. Reject the call. Reject the call.

He answered.

“Seamus Williams.”

“At last! I thought I was calling a wrong number. Man, it’s so good to hear your voice.”

“Er, yeah. Yours too. What’s up? Has something happened?”

“Nothing new. I just…”

The rapid-hard thump of Seamus’s heart filled the pause, two seconds, three, four, and more. He drew breath to speak, but there was nothing to be said. Or nothing he should say.

“I miss you, Shay.”

***

The first call had been a drunk dial. Thank the heavenly father that Seamus Williams hadn’t picked up. Lord, the shit that might have come tumbling out of Chancey’s mouth. Now he was dead sober, but only slightly more composed. Had he really just said he’d missed Seamus? He tried for a laugh. It sounded as fake as it felt. Well he had missed Seamus. Nothin’ wrong with that.

“You gonna say somethin’?” He knew he was putting on the accent. Drawing out his vowels, droppings his g’s. His grandmother—who was from south Texas and who had an accent so deep it was digging itself a hole to the centre of the Earth—used to yell at him when he’d get lazy with his words.

You jus’ sound ign’rant, Chancey Bo Clearwater. Full name, cue snickering cousins, and young Chancey sank down low in his chair, ashamed at the way he sounded despite the fact they all talked just alike. The accent followed him when he moved to Oklahoma, where he picked up a whole set of strange ‘O’s, and even having lived in Kansas now for the better part of his life, it was still there underneath, just waiting to crop up in stressful situations.

“I didn’t expect to hear from you, that’s all.”

“Surprise.” He was trying for friendly, for calm. Trying to keep the I wanna put my fist through the wall and did you really mean to let me find out through Lulu? out of his voice.

“Isn’t this call costing you a million dollars?”

“Skype. On my phone. I bought minutes, y’know?”

“Is that right then?”

“But I didn’t think. It’s probably charging you too.”

“It’s fine.”

Is it? Seamus sure as hell wasn’t saying much. There was a long pause as Chancey considered his next move. He’d called because he’d wanted to talk. Not talk. Not like that. Nothing to say on that front. Seamus had made it all as clear as crystal dropped in the mud when he’d left his parting message with Lulu down at the pool hall, Rack ’Em. In a last-ditch effort, Chancey said the only thing he could think: “Boss Tina asked after you the other day when I went around for work.”

That got a laugh out of Seamus, which gave Chancey more relief than he cared to admit.

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New Release: Discovery (Drakyl Ranch #1) by Thianna Durston (AUTHOR INTERVIEW) #MM #Paranormal @the_weremouse

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Title: Discovery (Drakyl Ranch #1)
Author Name: Thianna Durston
Publication Date: September 1, 2015

Synopsis

Warning: This book is a paranormal m/m romance with some horror elements. It also crosses cowboy and vampire genres. If you don’t think cowboys look hot with fangs, you’re missing out.

Living in Montana and working the ranch is all Aaron wants to do for the rest of his life. Diagnosed as allergic to the sun thirteen years previous, every day is a struggle to get out of bed. Having to wear long-sleeved shirts, gloves, and even material to cover his face from the effects of the sun, just makes it all worse. Now, in his thirty-second year, he is sure this will be his last summer. While he hates it, he knows he needs to come to terms with the truth and put things in order for his younger cousins. Before he does so, he heads out for one night of pleasure before facing what’s coming.

Jaret loves excitement and new adventures. For over five hundred years, he has sought them out. In Montana on a whim, he comes across someone he doesn’t expect, someone who makes him feel things he does not understand and does not want to give up. In no time at all, he feels like he cannot live without Aaron. The only problem is Aaron doesn’t know who he is, what he is, nor that he isn’t going to die. Not on Jaret’s watch. With a plan to help the other man discover who he is in place, he only has one thing to worry about: whether an ancient enemy will come and destroy everything he now holds dear.

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Excerpt

“You’re not going to die, Aaron.”

“You don’t know that. This sickness, ailment, curse…whatever the fuck it is. It’s gettin’ worse. And it’s changin’. Morphin’ into somethin’ scary. My nightmares lately have been horrible.”

“What kind of nightmares?” Of course, Jaret knew. They were the same kind all of them had during the change. Fire and ice as the body went through horrendous chills and soaring high fevers. They would only stop once the change was complete. For after that, there was no real sleep anymore.

“Bein’ caught on high mountains, pelted with snow. Of the forests here bright with orange fire. Of you—” His voice broke. “Callin’ out my name only I’m no longer here to respond.”

“Babe,” Jaret said in a soft voice, not understanding why but knowing he was closer to this drakyl than he had ever been to anyone. “We’re going to get you cured. Then you can come out with me at night. We’ll keep the place predator free while your cousins slave in the sun. How does that sound?”

A sad attempt at a laugh left the other man’s throat. “Promise me you won’t leave until I’m gone?”

Fury swept along Jaret’s veins. Anger at the sun, the fact the man next to him was terrified, and at Davis for not explaining to the poor man earlier what he was. But mostly, he was furious at himself for not telling Aaron the truth. Leaning in, he placed his nose against Aaron’s. “I promise you,” he said in a deep growl, “that you are not going to die, Aaron Drakyl. I won’t let it happen.”

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5 and TWO 4 Stars for Rattlesnake by Kim Fielding (AUTHOR INTERVIEW) #MM #Western @KFieldingWrites @dreamspinners

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Title: Rattlesnake
Author Name & Publisher: Kim Fielding (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: August 31, 2015 – 80,000 Words

Synopsis

A drifter since his teens, Jimmy Dorsett has no home and no hope. What he does have is a duffel bag, a lot of stories, and a junker car. Then one cold desert night he picks up a hitchhiker and ends up with something more: a letter from a dying man to the son he hasn’t seen in years.

On a quest to deliver the letter, Jimmy travels to Rattlesnake, a small town nestled in the foothills of the California Sierras. The centerpiece of the town is the Rattlesnake Inn, where the bartender is handsome former cowboy Shane Little. Sparks fly, and when Jimmy’s car gives up the ghost, Shane gets him a job as handyman at the inn.

Both within the community of Rattlesnake and in Shane’s arms, Jimmy finds an unaccustomed peace. But it can’t be a lasting thing. The open road continues to call, and surely Shane—a strong, proud man with a painful past and a difficult present—deserves better than a lying vagabond who can’t stay put for long.

Review

FiveStars

Wow!  This was absolutely fantastic.  This is a simple story of two misfits in a small town, but the emotion Kim Fielding packs into this book is anything but simple.  Her characters are alive.  Broken and beautifully flawed, her men are just about perfect and their relationship is awkward, uncomfortable and completely wonderful.

It took a while for Jimmy to grow on me.  A drifter without any friends, relations or attachments, he seems determined to be miserable and lonely.  His story unravels slowly and he becomes increasingly loveable.   As much as this is a beautiful romance, it is also the story of Jimmy finding a home – somewhere he can belong and people he belongs to.  

Shane won my heart the moment Jimmy walked in and saw him tending bar.  His scars are physical – he will never fully recover from an awful accident ten years ago.  Full of guilt and self-recrimination, he manages to be gentle, hopeful and kind despite his daily chronic pain.  Taking care of Jimmy and offering him a home allows Shane to feel useful for the first time in a long time.  This is also the story of Shane regaining his independence and his adult identity after years of being cared for.

The chemistry between these two men is off the charts.  Add in the colourful Gold Rush town of Rattlesnake California, its quirky residents, and Shane’s massive, overly involved family, and Fielding has created a perfect, slow-burn small town romance.  I loved it!

Sarah

FourStars

This was a sweet love story. At times it was a little slow but it was worth the read. Jimmy has been a

wanderer since he was 14. His childhood was rough, he even eluded to a few things with his stepfather but never cam out and said them. A dead hitchhiker leads Jimmy to the small town of Rattlesnake and what was supposed to be a brief stop turns into so much more. Shane has had a good life, even after surviving a horrible accident. Shane and Jimmys relationship is a slow build up but really happens over just a few weeks. Each man has flaws and feels they aren’t good enough for each other. Jimmy is always telling himself hr,will leave tomorrow but something always happens to postpone his leaving. The heat level between this two can be felt, sometimes super hot, other times simmering slow. I loved the little town feel and the sense of community and family within the book. The story was sweet, heartwarming and shows that there really are good people out there still who will go above and beyond and accept you for you.

Angie

FourStars

This book was so sweet!  I really liked this book!
Jimmy the man who never stayed in one place too long, was my favorite character in this book.  The author really does a good job explaining why he wanders instead of spreading roots in one place.  Honestly you end up not blaming him because of everything he has been through.
Then you get Shane who was in a terrible accident and has things wrong with himself that honestly I feel like he might dwell to much on at times.  He likes to try to be strong for his family and everyone around him.  While I did like his character I also felt like he dwelled so much on what happened to him and that was all I really got to see out of his character when I was hoping for a little more.
So all together I liked this book this book a lot and I would recommend this book!
Kara

Excerpt

Their waitress appeared beside the table. “Anything else?” she asked Jimmy.

He didn’t want to go just yet. But his belly was full, and any further conversation with Shane was probably going to frustrate him. Already Jimmy wanted to reach across the table and touch Shane’s hair, maybe run a finger across his scars. “Just the check. Thanks.”

“Mine too,” Shane said, but his thoughts were clearly elsewhere. As soon as she took their plates away, he leaned forward. “You don’t have to go, do you? I mean, you’re not, um, on the run from the law, are you?”

That made Jimmy laugh. “I’ve done some stupid shit, but never bad enough to make me a fugitive.”

“If I Google you, I won’t find you on the Ten Most Wanted list?”

“Afraid not.”

“So.” Shane traced his finger through a bit of spilled sugar on the tabletop, worrying at his lip and not meeting Jimmy’s gaze. He finally looked up again. “So you could stick around here for a while. If you had a place to stay and a job.”

God damn it! You don’t hope. You don’t want. That only leads to destruction. But Jimmy felt himself nod. “I could. For a short time.”

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New Release: Buttermilk Ranch by Patricia Logan (AUTHOR INTERVIEW) #MM #Cowboy @PatriciaLogan1

Buttermilk Ranch

Title: Buttermilk Ranch
Author Name & Publisher: Patricia Logan (Westburg Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: August 29, 2015 – 62,000 Words

Synopsis

Wendell Blackowl has spent all his life in the working cow horse show ring where toiling with sweaty cowboys all day is the fodder for wet dreams. Though privately he’s come to terms with his sexuality, publicly Dell’s had to build a façade. When his beloved horse Buttermilk dies, Dell finds himself at loose ends so he decides to pick himself up by his boot straps and do what he’s always wanted to do… open an environmentally friendly organic vegetarian café.

Pace Avila, well known music critic, has been drawn to Austin by the live music scene. When friends invite him to check out a fresh new dinner experience, Pace reluctantly agrees to push the deadline on his national column. He isn’t interested in vegetarian food or a restaurant with the cheesy name of Buttermilk Ranch Café, but the moment Pace lays eyes on the stunning cowboy chef, things begin looking up.

When openly gay Pace walks into his cafe and his life, Dell realizes he’s tired of living a lie and tired of being alone. When Mother Nature throws an unprecedented storm at Austin, the muddy waters threaten to wipe out everything Dell’s worked so hard to build. He soon realizes that with a man like Pace by his side, love really can conquer all.

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Excerpt

“Yoo Hoo! Dell, ya up there, ya sidewinder! Get outa bed or I’m gonna drag that lazy ass out!”

“What?” Pace said, startled awake as he lifted his head from Dell’s chest where he’d fallen asleep in the wee hours of the morning. He wiped his face of drool and stared across the muscled chest he loved, finding Dell’s face. He had one eye peeled open and he didn’t look all too happy by what sounded like Branch’s bellowing from downstairs.

“Fuckin’ ass poor timin’,” Dell grumbled as they both sat upright in bed. Pace knew it would be pretty awful if Branch came bursting into the room with them, lying buck naked in bed. “Guess I’d better find out just what the hell he’s doin’ here.” Pace watched as Dell threw his legs over the side of the bed. He watched his ass from behind, noting the muscled expanse of his back and the thick thighs he loved so much, as the man stood.

“What the hell is he doing here? He and the boys had a show,” Pace grumbled.

“Ya rattlesnake! Ya need me to come up there and put my boot up yer ass?” Branch howled.

Pace couldn’t help but chuckle. He loved his brother but he loved the disgusted look on Dell’s face more. Dell walked to the doorway and stuck his head out.

“I’ll be down in a minute, ya jackass… unless ya want to see me in all my nekkid glory!” Dell yelled back.

Pace heard a chuckle coming from downstairs. “Hell naw! Get some clothes on there, scarecrow! Yer movin’ slower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut.”

“Oh for Christ’s sake, here we go,” Dell said, glancing over at him. Pace just buried his face in the pillow and laughed.

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Cover Reveal for Discovery (Drakyl Ranch #1) by Thianna Durston (AUTHOR INTERVIEW) #MM #Paranormal @the_weremouse

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Title: Discovery (Drakyl Ranch #1)
Author Name: Thianna Durston
Publication Date: September 1, 2015

Synopsis

Warning: This book is a paranormal m/m romance with some horror elements. It also crosses cowboy and vampire genres. If you don’t think cowboys look hot with fangs, you’re missing out.

Living in Montana and working the ranch is all Aaron wants to do for the rest of his life. Diagnosed as allergic to the sun thirteen years previous, every day is a struggle to get out of bed. Having to wear long-sleeved shirts, gloves, and even material to cover his face from the effects of the sun, just makes it all worse. Now, in his thirty-second year, he is sure this will be his last summer. While he hates it, he knows he needs to come to terms with the truth and put things in order for his younger cousins. Before he does so, he heads out for one night of pleasure before facing what’s coming.

Jaret loves excitement and new adventures. For over five hundred years, he has sought them out. In Montana on a whim, he comes across someone he doesn’t expect, someone who makes him feel things he does not understand and does not want to give up. In no time at all, he feels like he cannot live without Aaron. The only problem is Aaron doesn’t know who he is, what he is, nor that he isn’t going to die. Not on Jaret’s watch. With a plan to help the other man discover who he is in place, he only has one thing to worry about: whether an ancient enemy will come and destroy everything he now holds dear.

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Excerpt

“You’re not going to die, Aaron.”

“You don’t know that. This sickness, ailment, curse…whatever the fuck it is. It’s gettin’ worse. And it’s changin’. Morphin’ into somethin’ scary. My nightmares lately have been horrible.”

“What kind of nightmares?” Of course, Jaret knew. They were the same kind all of them had during the change. Fire and ice as the body went through horrendous chills and soaring high fevers. They would only stop once the change was complete. For after that, there was no real sleep anymore.

“Bein’ caught on high mountains, pelted with snow. Of the forests here bright with orange fire. Of you—” His voice broke. “Callin’ out my name only I’m no longer here to respond.”

“Babe,” Jaret said in a soft voice, not understanding why but knowing he was closer to this drakyl than he had ever been to anyone. “We’re going to get you cured. Then you can come out with me at night. We’ll keep the place predator free while your cousins slave in the sun. How does that sound?”

A sad attempt at a laugh left the other man’s throat. “Promise me you won’t leave until I’m gone?”

Fury swept along Jaret’s veins. Anger at the sun, the fact the man next to him was terrified, and at Davis for not explaining to the poor man earlier what he was. But mostly, he was furious at himself for not telling Aaron the truth. Leaning in, he placed his nose against Aaron’s. “I promise you,” he said in a deep growl, “that you are not going to die, Aaron Drakyl. I won’t let it happen.”

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5 Stars for Blind Ride (RoughStock) by B.A. Tortuga #MM #Erotica @batortuga

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Title: Blind Ride (RoughStock) – Season One
Author Name & Publisher: B.A. Tortuga (Totally Bound/Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: July 7, 2015 – 208 pgs

Synopsis

Jason Scott is at the top of the bull riding game, on his way to a winning season. Along with his traveling partner, Andy Baxter, he’s riding hard on the circuit, working around the country with all of the other bull riders and bull fighters, living the good life. The only thing he wishes he had is Bax, but he’s afraid to take the step that would make them more than friends, worried that it will ruin everything. When a terrible accident leaves Jason unable to see, his whole life goes south. Jason decides to chuck it all, determined to go home and hide at his momma’s ranch. Bax has other ideas. He wants to make sure his best friend doesn’t give up, and he hatches a plan that stuns Jason and makes their friends and family think he’s crazy. With the help of the other bull riders and a very persistent bull fighter named Coke, Bax convinces Jason to give life one more try. With Jason cautiously learning to hope, and his relationship with Bax going to the next level, life gets pretty complicated. Everyone gets in on the project, from Jason’s strong-willed mother to an entire ranch full of children, all of them working to help Jason do what he loves. Will Bax be able to convince Jason that he can still ride, even if he’s blind to everything the world has to offer?

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Review

FiveStars

I loved this.  Texas just kinda seeped into my bones as I read it.  So did Tortuga’s beautiful, damaged men.  Bax and Jason’s relationship is pretty unique in fiction – unique and wonderfully special.

Best friends and professional bull riders, Jason and Bax don’t have words for their relationships and while no one really talks about it, everyone in their lives just loves them.  No closets, no angst, no dramatic Texas homophobia.  And it is pretty impossible not to love a cocky, champion bull rider who loses his sight in an accident.  Or his beautiful, solid partner who would do anything to make the world right for him again.

Tortuga’s writing is pretty much poetic at times.  Her story, like all the best ones, is a simple one full of perfectly developed characters.  Somehow, she manages to keep this story happy and funny and entirely sweet – even while tackling blindness, disability and life after the rodeo for aging bull riders.

I can’t recommend this enough.  What a wonderful book!

Sarah

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New Release: Spurred On by Jon Keys #MM #Western @Jon4Keys

Spurred On-highres

Title: Spurred On
Author Name & Publisher: Jon Keys (Decadent Publishing)
Length: 29,490 Words

Synopsis

Kegan’s new stepfather and stepbrothers are out to make his life miserable. Between the bullying and being overworked, he’s nearly at his wit’s end. When his mother leaves on an annual cattle buying trip for the ranch, he’s determined to suffer through. He must, if he expects to protect her like he promised his dying father.

When the family of a young man he’s been infatuated with holds a rodeo, Kegan can’t see a way he can compete. Not until a mystical medicine hat stallion walks into his life. It’s not long before they are the talk, and mystery, of the rodeo.

The only thing more daunting than keeping his identity secret is how Kegan is going to balance all this with his draw to the man of his dreams. Will Cole end up being his magical prince, or is Kegan going to find himself left in the dust?

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Excerpt

An hour or so later, Kegan stood in the driveway watching Alec drive away in the final rays of sunshine. Alec had offered to give him a ride to the rodeo, but he’d turned him down. Once the pickup disappeared from sight, he walked into the house and worked his way to the dark back room he called his bedroom. He flipped on the light and clenched his jaw at what he found.

His clothes were strewn across the room. Some were ripped, but all of them looked and smelled like they’d been stomped on by someone who’d just walked through the holding pens after they’d worked cattle. They were smeared with mud and cow shit.

“Dammit to fucking hell! The assholes!”

He stomped through the room, kicking piles of clothes out of his way in a blaze of fury. Everything he touched needed to be patched, washed or, more often, both. This settled it. Brent and Seth were out to make his life miserable. The question had become, what was he going to do about it? They seem to have done a good job of taking away his choices.

He began to straighten the tiny basement bedroom. A few minutes later, the job became so discouraging he dropped to the bed and sighed. Kegan lost track of time as he thought through the last months. The sound of a horse nearby shook him from his desolation.

He forced himself from the bedroom, tired of being the one who was crapped on around there. He stomped through the empty house, his anger as fierce as ever. Another nicker drifted to him, and his focus shifted to the present. He opened the door to find a horse standing beside the porch. A beautiful Paint stallion with classic medicine hat markings.

Kegan eased down the steps and held one hand toward the horse, watching him closely. The animal leaned forward, sniffed him, and then snorted.

“Hey, big guy. Where did you come from? If a medicine hat had appeared in any of the BLM herds around here, we’d have known.”

The horse tossed its head, the black and white markings shimmering in the sun. He didn’t shy as Kegan moved closer. The horse’s only reaction was the rippling of thick muscles as it shifted its weight.

“Easy, boy. You’re awfully tame.”

The horse froze in place, studying Kegan as he moved closer. He reached out, resting his hand against the stud’s silky skin. It nickered at the touch but didn’t move. As he ran his hands over the animal, he marveled at how calm the stallion was. This was one of the steadiest horses he’d ever come across.

“Fella, you must belong to someone. Where’d you come from? I know if I was missing a horse like you I’d be having a fit.”

He turned to go into the house and put out the word he had a mystery horse. When he did, the horse stepped in front of him.

“Hey, guy. I gotta let people know you’re okay.”

Kegan tried to step around him again, but the horse’s hooves shot out and stopped him. After a third attempt earned him the same results, he threw his hands up in surrender. “Okay, so you don’t want me to go into the house. What are we going to do?”

The stallion stuck his muzzle in Kegan’s face and snorted. He turned and started down the driveway toward the river. The river had become Kegan’s favorite place to escape his problems, especially after his dad died, and they scattered his ashes there. He had spent a lot of time watching the snowmelt flow past. In the past couple of months, he’d stopped going to the river. But the mysterious horse headed directly toward a large boulder marking his favorite spot.

The stallion threaded its way through aspen thickets that looked tight for a goat, but he slipped into them without disturbing a leaf. The sound of the river grew as they passed through the mix of evergreen, aspen, and willow. He cleared the final clump of trees to find the horse standing among boulders larger than he remembered.

Kegan took a step and froze in mid-stride. A neatly folded set of clothes was perched on the nearest flat rock. He stepped closer and touched them. The deep-blue jeans and the heavily pressed white shirt were obviously new, not some freak occurrence. He glanced around, wondering what was happening.

“Horse, did your rider fall in or something? You don’t seem concerned about finding anyone though.”

He searched up and down the riverbank to see if someone was trying to swim, or in trouble. He checked for a good distance in each direction and found nothing to indicate the source of either the horse or the clothing. He made his way to the boulder holding the pile of clothes and ran his hand over them.

The Paint stepped close and pushed them toward Kegan. He flared his nostrils and snorted again. With the horse fixed squarely in his sight, he pulled the jeans from the boulder and held them in front of him.

“They’re my size. How the hell….”

The horse struck his hoof across the rock and the wind gusted, sounding like the low note of a Cheyenne flute. The tone drifted away, but not before leaving Kegan with a lingering sense of peace. He looked again to find a cowboy hat, hand-tooled belt, and a pair of boots in the mix with everything else. Each of them appeared custom made. He studied the stallion again.

“You know, I never put much store by the whole medicine-hat-horse-having-magic thing, but I’m starting to change my mind.” He paused for a minute to consider. “Does that mean you’re going to let me ride you, too? I need a horse to do the rodeo thing.”

The stallion slipped beside him, pressed his nose under Kegan’s backside, and shoved him forward. His nudge was enough to send Kegan stumbling across the rocks.

“Okay, got it. I’ll change already.”

He stripped quickly, splashing the crystal-clear water over himself to wash off the day’s dust and sweat. As he slipped into the clothes, he found he’d been right. Each piece was a custom fit. The boots came to just below his knees and stitched across the uppers were patterns of horses and aspen leaves. The jeans hugged his butt, emphasizing his ass until even he had to admit it was toned and muscular. By the time he fastened the silver buckle and situated the hat, he was transformed. The ugly duckling feeling he always had, evaporated. With a final brush of his hands, he fixed his gaze on the horse.

“All right. It’s time to see if this is going to work out. We need to get to the stable and find a saddle to fit you. The big question is, are you going to let me ride you? I guess now’s as good a time to find out as any.”

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