Saturday, January 31, 2015

Book Review: The Shearing Gun by Renae Kaye

The Shearing Gun
At twenty-five, Hank owns a small parcel of land in Australia’s rural southwest where he supplements his income from the property with seasonal shearing. Hank is a “shearing gun”—an ace shearer able to shear large numbers of sheep in a single day. His own father kicked him out when his sexuality was revealed, and since no one would ever hire a gay shearer, Hank has remained firmly closeted ever since.
Elliot is the newbie doctor in town—city-born and somewhat shell-shocked from his transplant to the country. When a football injury brings Hank to Elliot’s attention, an inappropriate sexual glance and the stuttered apology afterward kickstarts their friendship. Romance and love soon blossom, but it’s hard for either of them to hope for anything permanent. As if the constant threat of being caught isn’t enough, Elliot’s contract runs out after only a year.
Todd’s rating:


Finally, it's official. I am no longer the last sad fucker on my friends list to read this book. *FistPump*

I was initially worried that the book wouldn't live up to all of the crazy hype, and it actually was a bit different than I expected it to be, but definitely not in a bad way.

My expectation was that the whole "shearing gun" aspect of the book was some type of official competition circuit, which it really wasn't. Instead, it was just a bunch of really fast sheep shearers who got hired by various local farmers to help shear their sheep, but they *did* keep score of who sheered the most sheep in a given time period. So there weren't any actual trophies and such.

Our tall, dark and handsome hero, Hank, is 25 and owns a relatively small sheep farm in the middle of nowhere Western Australia. He was thrown out a few years back when his embarrassed father finds his gay porn stash, so he moved away to begin a (closeted, small town) life of his own.

He never fishes in his own pond, which requires that he occasionally drives 3 hours to Perth when he has an itch to scratch, because it's both easy and uncomplicated. But Hank never saw the town's cute new doctor, Elliot, coming when they meet after Hank's collar bone is broken during a weekend footie match.

I liked how there was no insta-love here (thank fuck), instead Elliot gets caught semi-non-discretely checking Hank out, then goes to Hank's farm to apologize and they become friends. Slow burn, people. Slow burn. Mmmmm, my favorite. : )

Hank's biggest fear is to be outed and lose his livelihood and, therefore, his farm, but he also has a deep-seeded desire to be loved, which eventually wins out over fear.

I also really liked how, unlike so many other closeted MC's, Hank didn't throw Elliot under the bus when his closet door slowly began to come unhinged. That was very refreshing. Instead, Hank puts on his big boy panties and fights (literally) for his man when the arseholes start arseholin'.

Another difference in this story is that there was never a requisite "breakup scene". Instead, there was a major conflict at the end of the book was a life-threatening event that pulled both main characters, and their feelings for one another, firmly out of the closet.

“I love you, Elliot. I’ve loved you for ages. Of course my heart is involved. I fuckin’ introduced you to my dad for heaven’s sake! Why would I do that if I didn’t love you? I punched my best friend’s brother for calling you names. I snuck around town like a fuckin’ thief just to hold you at night so you could get some sleep. I got tested and told Doc Larsen I was gay, and that was not the easiest bloody conversation in the world. I gave you a lamb to name. I’m planning on buying you a couple of fuckin’ chooks
[chickens] so you’ll stay. What part of that doesn’t say I love you?”



He was speechless for a moment before smiling and saying, “Chooks? Really? You’re going to buy me some chooks?”

Of course he had to pick up on the least important bit of information.

“I love you, Henry Woods.”

I grinned and pulled his head down to mine so I could taste the words on his lips. “Now, why would someone as cute and as smart as you go and do a dumb thing like fall in love with a woolly-headed shearer?”

He smiled lovingly. “I couldn’t help myself. No other man has ever given me a lamb to name or started a fight over me. I was attracted to the outside of the man from the start, but once I got to know the inside, then it was too late. I’ve known for ages, Hank, that you’re the man for me."

And both men acted like *adults* throughout the ENTIRE book. I know, right? Gasp. Shock. The absolute horror of it all.

There were a LOT of sexy scenes (flip-flop, *hawt*) and the writing was top notch. Plus, the crazy amount of humor just made me smile for a huge portion of the book.
When Elliot told me we were going to the pub on Sunday afternoon to meet the lads, I refused. He insisted, but I was stubborn. He gave me a blow job, and I folded like a house of cards in a tornado.
The *only* drawback of this book for me was Hank's ridiculous pet name for Elliot:
“Yeah, mate?”
“I still hate the nickname Quackle.”
Me, too, sister! ME, MOTHERFUCKING, TOO! (It really did bug the ever-living shit out of me.)

Okay, I'll quit rambling and shut the hell up now. This book was an extremely solid 4 1/4 stars for me. Highly recommended.

My copy of this book was provided by the publisher for a fair, unbiased review.

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