Monday, June 15, 2009

Studs & Spurs


Title: Studs & Spurs
Author: JL Langley, Kiernan Kelly, Dakota Flint, Angela Fiddler
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-934531-55-6
Genre: Gay Cowboy Anthology
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

The Convenient Husband by J. L. Langley - 4.5 Nymphs
Tucker Delany moved away from his beloved family and the Bar D Ranch to avoid taking advantage of being the object of a teenage crush he believed Micah Jimenez had for him. However, four years later, with the family in a financial crisis and Tucker’s grandfather dying, Micah is determined to get Tucker to come home. Upon learning of the contents of his grandfather’s unusual will, Tucker grasps at the chance to marry the man he has loved for years, in addition to the thrill of discovering that Micah feels the same way.

Seeing You by Dakota Flint - 4 Nymphs
Dylan returns to the Lazy G after a fourteen month absence and a phone call from his sister. Upon his arrival, Dylan could not believe the broken down state of the ranch. Still grieving for the tragic loss of his lover and Dylan’s brother, Wade had no interest in anything. Determined to help his friend start living again, Dylan pushed back his own grief and guilt in an effort to assist Wade. Leaning on each other, Dylan and Wade discovered how to move forward and find happiness in living.

Judas Steer by Kiernan Kelly - 4 Nymphs
Granger Blue signs on to a cattle drive for the Lazy J. From the beginning, unusual and dangerous things start to happen. Granger also notices that one of the younger cowboys can barely ride his horse. Intrigued by this, Granger appoints himself to learn about the young man and to discover who is behind the strange events that are happening. Billy Bower is on his first cattle drive, forced into it by his father. When Granger offers to teach Billy how to ride, along with sharing his tent, both Granger and Billy realize that there is more than friendship between them; they also realized that solving mysteries could be deadly.

Forgotten Favor by Angela Fiddler - 4 Nymphs
Mark McCoy is happy to be home at the Bar Nunn ranch after spending months on the rodeo circuit. However, that happiness is short lived when Mark and his favorite horse take a tumble, leaving him with a broken hip and leg. During his hospital stay, one surprise visitor is Jake Alastair; Mark had spent the last four years imagining what would have happened between them if they had not been interrupted after their first kiss. Being dependant on his father’s support, Mark was forced to distance himself from Jake, but Jake never gave up hope of being with Mark and the two of them were reunited because of Mark’s favorite horse.

Studs & Spurs is a fantastic collection of cowboy stories showcasing the hard, and sometimes, dangerous life of ranching and cattle drives. Each story is set in a different state spanning from Texas to Canada and features a second-chance-at-love theme. The very talented authors have created well written tales with some heartbreaking moments, humor, a touch of intrigue and a dash of chaos. I particularly enjoyed the amusing obstinate characters in The Convenient Husband. Studs & Spurs is a moving and impressive cowboy anthology that I enjoyed immensely.

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