Roy Unger is greenhorn running from his past. He’s gotten a ranch job and works hard to prove himself every day. Since leaving home in a hurry, he’s come to realize that this job is the only thing standing between him and starvation. He isn’t going to mess it up, no matter how much Brad might drive him to distraction.
Brad has been around the block more than once. He’s a cowboy through and through, complete with a failed rodeo career and a love life that could only be described as hopeless. He’s worked hard and kept his head down. Roy makes him want more, but Brad has come to realize that what he wants isn’t what he gets.
Brad knows what desperation feels like and how important it is to fit in. When he decides to help Roy get over his fear of horses, the two men spend more time together, leading Roy to share confidences about his troubled past. Listening builds trust, which shifts into so much more. But before they can have any sort of future, they need to deal with Roy’s past, which could ruin everything.
Andrew Grey always has books that are sweet, sexy and are so varied in their locations, I think he must research for months to get his info correct. (Seriously, in this book, when Roy is cleaning out a stable, there’s information about what is put down on the ground…and who knew it was anything other than hay?)
This one has sweet Roy, who is pretty much as sweet and virginal as you can get for a ranch hand. He’s hiding out to stay away from some unpleasantness at home. His goal was just to keep his head down, not get in any trouble, and make some money. Fortunately, he landed somewhere that didn’t ask a lot of questions, and seemed to want to take in a lost soul.
Brad, meanwhile, had his own issues, after having spent most of his young life dreaming of riding in a rodeo, then his first time, he is thrown and injured. He’s made do with the hand he’s been dealt, and seems to have spent time loving what his new life is. He takes Roy under his wing, teaching him how to ride, standing up for him until Roy could stand up for himself, and figure out how to address the situation at home.
I had a bit of a hard time staying in the story when Roy just decided to go home and deal with the issue. It threw me how he had gained that much confidence in just a few days time. It was a novella, though, so there has to be grace for that. Roy did seem to be able to step back into his parents’ lives and not allow them to step all over him, and much of that was due to Roy being at the ranch, not just being with Brad.
Overall, a nice little cowboy novella, although I’m not sure I would re-read it.
3.5 pieces of eye candy