Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Sarah Masters for stopping by today.
Title: Outcast Cowboys
Author: Sarah Masters
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance
You can run but you can’t hide. Problems have a habit of following you, even if it’s only inside your head.
Ross decides to start a new life away from the grim belly of London, England, unable to stomach being a cop any longer. He tells himself he’s moving miles away to find himself a bed partner, but he’s lying. He has to. Facing up to the real reason he’s leaving isn’t something he can handle. His last undercover job proved too much—his life was at risk—and if he stays in London he’ll likely end up dead. Nightmares plague him, his subconscious unable to switch the past off. So he moves to a ranch in America, thinking the new surroundings and different lifestyle will help him to heal—and to forget. What he soon realizes is he’s jumping from the frying pan into the fire…
Joe’s passion—that of caring for the horses—is the only thing that keeps him sane. He’s a surly man, and for good reason—a reason he hasn’t told a soul. Folks think he’s mean and unapproachable and suspect him of committing murder. More than once. Locals assume that Joe got let off the hook. Nothing could be further from the truth, but Joe lets people think what they will. He’s done with their speculation and sly looks.
When Ross and Joe meet, tension is rife. The air between them prickles with animosity as well as sexual tension. Both have a past they can’t get over. Both have skeletons in their closets they wish would turn to dust. And both have to make a decision. Can they cast their fears aside and trust each other, or have the terrors they’ve experienced ruined them for love?
Reader Advisory: This book contains a scene of remembered non-consensual sex in a character’s past.
There are times in life where we all fake it, don’t we? We tell ourselves that if we deny the truth—because accepting it hurts sometimes when it’s not what we want to hear—nothing will change after all. We’re comfortable with life when it’s going well, when things are exactly as we want them to be. But then something happens and we’re forced to face things—and we don’t want to.
I’ve always been fascinated by human nature and how we try to kid ourselves about things instead of meeting them head-on and dealing with them. In Outcast Cowboys, I explored that facet and along came Ross, a man running from his past. He felt that if he ran, everything would be okay because he wasn’t in the same country that he’d committed certain sins—and where he’d had sins committed against him. The problem is, troubles follow us wherever we go—they’re inside us, baggage that only we can offload. Ross has to learn to accept what happened and move on. However, moving across the pond brought new dilemmas. He walked into a family who had far too many skeletons—literally. He’d swapped one set of issues for another. He imagined the new set would eclipse the old. How wrong he was. Nightmares reminded him of what he’d left behind.
The conclusion I came to is that we may well feel facing our problems is too painful, too much hard work, but ignoring them can sometimes make it worse. However much we run, sometimes we can’t hide. Ross certainly couldn’t. Memories chased him from London, UK, to a quiet ranch in Texas, USA. And that ranch… Although on the outside it looks to be the perfect escape, a bolt hole, somewhere to lick wounds, it’s just masquerading as a haven—an illusion, trickery of the mind, pulling Ross in until he has no choice but to run. Again.
I’ve come all this way just to get a fuck?
Ross stood at a weathered, waist-height wooden fence that surrounded a place he’d only ever seen the likes of in pictures. A ranch in the middle of nowhere—or so it seemed now that he’d got off the bus and his choice to go somewhere else had driven away. What was he playing at? What had possessed him to leave London, England, and travel across the so-called pond to what was, essentially, the American wilderness?
You know why, you just don’t want to face it.
He tried to convince himself regularly that he’d come so far to indulge in his passion—a long ago dream as a kid to ride and care for horses. But his real passion had been his job back home, something he’d almost died for.
Home. I can’t call it that now.
He dropped his black holdall onto the dusty track that pretended to be a road and sighed. His suitcase, propped against the fence, held the rest of his worldly goods, and he’d realized, when he’d packed, that he didn’t own much of anything at all. A few clothes, some books and a diary from when he’d been about ten.
As for the isolation, reality had kicked in the second the bus had left the nearest city, trundling him farther from humanity to an area where few people appeared to live. He’d loved London, the hustle and bustle, the streets filled with people, so many of them at once it could make anyone’s head spin. Here, lone houses sat as though abandoned, and there was an eeriness to the countryside that spoke of desolation. It kind of matched his mood—the mood he’d been in for the past year—so he should have felt at home. But he didn’t.
No, he fucking didn’t.
The ranch was set far back from the road. Huge fields flanked it, a flat expanse that bled into the gauzy, heat-infused horizon. Clusters of trees huddled together here and there, like him, outcasts from all that surrounded them. Present but probably ignored, left to grow by themselves without tender loving care. Horses grazed, their chestnut colors catching the midday sun. There had to be fifty of those animals at least, and so much livestock in one place had Ross nervous as to whether he could be among so many. He knew sod all about horses—won’t they jump over the fence?—and sod all about ranches and American life if he were honest.
Not for the first time he questioned his motives.
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About the Author
Sarah Masters is a multi-published author in three pen names writing several genres. She lives with her husband, youngest daughter, and a cat in England. She writes at weekends and is a cover artist/head of art in her day job. In another life she was an editor. Her other pen names are Natalie Dae and Geraldine O’Hara.
Sarah also co-authors with Jaime Samms, and as Natalie Dae she co-authors with Lily Harlem under the name Harlem Dae.
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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