Cheyenne. Whiskey. Cowboys. I’m in.
Author: Dale Chase
Publisher: Wilde City
Cover Artist: Wilde City Press
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
The last person cattle drover Tad Albright expects to see in a Cheyenne, Wyoming saloon is Clay Hecker, the lover he shot, and believed killed, twelve years before. While welcoming the knowledge that he’s no murderer, Tad doesn’t welcome the man whose betrayal prompted the shooting. As past mixes with present, passion ignites, but sex isn’t the cure-all it once was. Tempers flare, a fistfight ensues as they attempt to resolve a past that seems beyond resolution. Love does have a chance, but it’s no longer the stuff of youth. Can these men accept a healed-over wounded kind?
There’s an unmistakable cadence to the way Dale Chase writes. It’s clean and crisp, confident. It’s a rhythm I find myself mirroring that cadence in the way that I read her stories. She knows the voices of her characters, no doubt or hesitation in sight. Blunt descriptions and actions, no filter to speak of. She understands sentence and story structure, which means reading cowpoke is so much fun. I get it and I love it. 🙂
What a story like this shows is that, no matter the packaging, no matter the location or pattern of speech, we’re all vulnerable to someone wriggling and needling their way into our hearts. You ain’t t’only one swooning, Tad, my friend.
A roughneck heart. That’s what this is, that’s what’s beating all throughout this story. Clay Hecker is Tad’s burden and freedom both. And there’s a secret. Betrayal, youthful betrayal. It stays, unrelenting in memory. A broken heart from having taken the risk, this is.
Dialogue, earnest and humorous, direct and gruff. Coupled with the troubled, complicated and heartfelt narration that is Tad, it’s a blended drink of which I cannot seem to get enough.
Second chances. They’re all at once thrilling and frightening. The vulnerability factor increases exponentially – sometimes you have to take it when it comes ambling down the dusty, tired street, sometimes, it’ll tease and torment before giving up the ghost. Sometimes, it’ll chase away every last one of those ghosts.
Tad and Clay. I like you. It’s as simple as that. Just like you slurped that ice cream, I’d do the same with more of you. 😀
If you’ve never read anything by Dale Chase, I encourage you to give her short stories a try. I’ve enjoyed every one I’ve read.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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