Review: Long Tall Drink, by L.C. Chase (Rating: 4/5)

chase-long-tall-drinkLong Tall Drink, by L.C. Chase (Re-Release)
Publisher: Loose ID (Aug. 2011); Self-Published (August 16, 2015)
Page Count: 165
Genre: Gay (M/M) Romance/Western

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Oh, be still my heart! Stories about closeted cowboys in small towns are definitely one of my guilty pleasures, and this was a delightful read! I grew up in Texas and worked on a horse ranch in Wyoming, so I can definitely relate to the need to hide being different.

This is a short novel that was originally published several years ago, but has now been re-released with a longer ending. Ray owns a thriving horse and cattle ranch in the conservative mid-west, and is very careful to keep his sexuality a secret. He’s seen gay men get beaten and run out of town, and isn’t willing to lose everything by coming out.

The relationship between Ray and Travis, a horse trainer who comes to Ray’s ranch, is really beautiful. They’re both gay, and so terrified of being outed. Rumors of Travis’ sexuality have followed him from his last job, and are causing problems on the ranch. But through all of this, Ray can’t resist his attraction to Travis.

If you didn’t read this when it was originally released, definitely check it out now. There’s not a lot of sex, but the few scenes are super hot, and the sexual tension between Ray and Travis will have you fanning yourself! The side characters really add to the enjoyment too, especially Dot, who is the most awesome old lady ever!

Final word? Go read it. Great characters, a really enjoyable read, and a seriously hot relationship. Plus, a well-written look at homophobia in small-town America, with a HEA that will leave you smiling. (That said, at $5 it’s a bit pricey for the length, but this is one that I can see myself re-reading in the future.)

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Review: My Cowboy Promises, by Z.A. Maxfield (Rating: 3.5/5)

My Cowboy Promises, by Z.A. Maxfield (Part of The Cowboys series)
Publisher: Penguin Random House/InterMix (June 16, 2015)
Page Count: approx. 275 pages
Genre: Gay (M/M) Romance

Cover Artist: Unknown

Cover Artist: Unknown

Short & Sweet: When they were both young, Ryder and his friend Andi thought they’d found the perfect solution to their problems: she was single and pregnant, and he was secretly gay, so they got married and raised Jonas together. But then Ryder meets Dr. Declan Winters, and the connection between them is undeniable. Now Ryder and Andi’s arrangement is threatening to come apart at the seams.

* I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair & honest review. *

My Thoughts: The cowboy trope in romance fiction is one that’s been done a hundred times, but I was pleased to find something new in Maxfield’s “My Cowboy Promises”. Ryder is not your typical cowboy; he knows that he’s gay, but has made the decision to stay in the closet and give up college and his own life so he can support his best friend Andi and her son. He’s raised Jonas as his own for the last five years, and wouldn’t give up this life for anything, but meeting the new doctor in town changes everything.

Ryder felt like a very real character to me, dealing with very real issues. He hates keeping secrets, but does so because it’s the only way he can keep Jonas as his own. He wants to be in a relationship with Declan, and has Andi’s support, but feels guilty for having to keep their attraction hidden. And when he finally can’t take the lies and the secrets anymore, it sets his life in a tail-spin.

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