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It’s been seven years since Trace Tilton left Farley Gulch and he thought he’d never have to return for any extended period of time. His father Bud’s heart attack changes everything. At his sister’s request he returns to take care of the day to day running of the Triple T Ranch while Bud recuperates and then he plans to return to the city where he doesn’t have to hide his sexuality.
Nash Stokes loves his job as the Triple T foreman and he feels right at home amongst the Tilton family. He isn’t interested in forming romantic relationships or being ‘outed,’ all he wants is a simple peaceful existence but Trace’s appearance threatens to ruin everything. Keeping his sexuality a secret when he’s so attracted to ‘city’, as he likes to think of Trace, is going to be almost impossible – especially once he learns that Trace is just as attracted to him.
Trace isn’t at all happy to have been summoned by his sister to the Triple T. Worse yet, he was completely oblivious to the fact that she and Bud expect him to stay and run the Triple T. In the city he’s been out of the closet for years but the only person in Farley Gulch who knows about his sexual preference is his sister and he’d prefer to keep it that way. Staying means hiding his true self but leaving means he’ll be turning his back on the people who need him most, for Trace this is a huge quandary. The whole situation only gets more complicated when he takes into consideration his fascination with the ranch foreman. At first he’s positive that Nash has a ‘thing’ for Donna, Trace’s very pregnant sister, and that doesn’t sit well with him at all. With the sexual tension between them smoldering there’s no denying what they both want – especially once Nash overhears a conversation and learns that Trace is gay. What seems to be an impossible situation has very real possibilities if the men are willing to take some risks but will small town narrow-mindedness force them to remain ‘in the closet?’
KyAnn Waters’ first venture into gay erotica with HARD RIDE HOME left me with tingles, tears and a big goofy smile. Living in a small town myself I fully understand and appreciate the difficulties a gay couple would be forced to overcome. There wasn’t a single character in this story that didn’t affect me in some way. Trace and Nash are simply struggling to be fully accepted for who they are by those they love, it’s a scary proposition when you consider how much Bud’s rejection would have cost them both. I adored Trace’s sister Donna. She’s spunky, argumentative and says exactly what she thinks and I have to admit, I love how she teases Trace. Ms. Waters tells this story with so much compassion, heat, and angst that I felt like the characters are long lost friends. Of course, there’s that one token character that you’d just love to slap some sense into – or maybe break out the duct tape just to shut her up. HARD RIDE HOME delivers exactly the sort of emotional impact I’ve come to treasure from Ms. Waters’ storylines.
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