The path to happiness isn't always the easiest.
Chance Becket's life was mapped out. He'd one day own the ranch he grew up on, have a family, and be the son he was raised to be, like all good boys in Small Town, U.S.A.
When his high school sweetheart calls for a break during her last semester of college, the last place Chance thought he'd end up was in his old friend Bradley's bed.
Bradley Heart blasted out of the closet before his family could name him heir apparent to his father's church. After six years away, a job layoff has him coming home to work behind the scenes. He and his father have little interaction and he's fine with it staying that way when he returns home. Going back into the closet, for any reason, is not on his list of things to do. But Chance may prove too much a temptation, especially with the simmering feelings they’ve had for one another since they were teens.
Confused over his sexuality, Chance has to decide what’s more important -- loyalty to his family and the path set forth, or the promise of happiness with not just the only man, but the only person, he's ever really wanted.
Wow. Just... wow.
I. Loved. This. Book.
The mentality of the people in Red River, TX sounded very much like that of my own tiny hometown of 500 people in East Tennessee.
It was expected that you think what everyone else thought. Feel how everyone else felt. Be what everyone else was. Believe what everyone else believed. And want what everyone else wanted.
And growing up as a young gay man amidst all of those expectations? It. Was. Awful.
And like Boehme's main character, Chance, I didn't come out until my early/mid-20's. However, unlike Chance, I avoided girls like flesh eating zombies (with lady bits, *cringe*), but can completely relate to *wanting* to give in and doing what's expected.
Fortunately for me, though, I was a strong-willed little bastard and stuck to my little pre-gay guns, biding my time. (For those who know me, I know what a shock that is.) hehe ;- )
So MC #1, Chance, tows the line, following the beaten path, until his collegiate soon-to-be fiancé imposes a semester-long break on their relationship, to allow Chance time to make sure that committing to a life with her is genuinely what he wants.
Then faster than you can say "assless chaps", Chance somehow finds himself an hour and a half from home and in a gay bar. He supposedly doesn't know why he's drawn there, but I believe that, like the song says, the heart wants what it wants.
And, luckily for Chance, he runs into his life-long crush, Bradley Heart, who fled their hometown during college, after being rejected by his wealthy televangelist father when he came out.
After a night of passion that finally helps Chance realize what he's wanted all these years, he freaks out and returns to Red River, but can't stop thinking about Bradley and the night when they connected so deeply, both emotionally and physically.
But Bradley, being recently laid off, ended it with a cheating ex and losing his lux apartment, moves back to Red River to lick his wounds and regroup.
This gives our two heroes another bite at the apple. And bite they do. Repeatedly and with gusto, while our voyeuristic little hearts get to watch all that steamy, sexy action. And let me tell you. SO. HOT.
Bradley is in the loop as to what's going on, but that still doesn't make it any easier for him to sit back and watch until Chance can set everything to rights in his life and they can begin a real life together.
Insecurities run rampant, mistakes are made, we see the requisite break up, then apologies and reconciliations are made. [Insert HEA here.] :- )
This was definitely one of my favorite books that Kade has written to date, with two very deeply-connected characters, zero cheating, it's BDSM-free (but a tiny bit-o'-spanking), with a lot of (GODDAMN) hot times as these hunky cowboys burn up the sheets.
If I had to list any shortcoming of this story-centric, yet sexy book, I'd probably say that the one thing that I would have loved to see was for toppy Bradley to roll over and hand the reigns to Chance. My pervy little brain would have *LOVED* to see that. Just once. Mental camcorder rolling, of course. H.O.T.
But I digress. 4 1/2 *touch-my-heart-and-my-no-no* stars for this damn good read.
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