From RomanceJunkies.com

Contemporary
No Going Home
By Chrissy Dionne
Aug 7, 2006 - 9:14:00 PM

Rodeo bronc rider Randy Hersch spent two weeks in the hospital recuperating after a temperamental bronc stomps all over him. As soon as he’s released he follows his urge to head home to the Rocking H to see his family. Randy and his father do not get along and the hate and anger drove him to leave home the day after graduation. His sister, Tammy, and his love for the Rocking H keep him returning to visit despite the ugliness with his father.

Les Harden’s show jumping career ended when a hoof to the side of his head put him in a coma for six months. When he came out of it, he had to relearn how to do simple things like walking and talking. The man that he thought he loved had walked out on him. Alone, Les bought a ranch adjoining the Hersch’s and has developed a reputation for taking in strays and imperfect creatures.

Randy returns to the Rocking H but the changes he sees in the place remind him that it’s no longer home. It’s just the place where he grew up. He finds his sister Tammy in the main barn with the foals. In exchange for leasing the Rocking H land, their neighbor Les gets his pick of the foals. There’s no way that land is worth the value of the foals and Randy is furious but Tammy convinces him that she knows what she’s doing. Randy is immediately attracted to Les, unfortunately it looks like his sister has a prior claim. Lost in his own contemplation, Randy is then brought back to the conversation between Tammy and Les when she mentions that she has the foal that Les really came to see hidden away. The colt is both blind and crippled and of no use as far as the Rocking H is concerned. Les’s accident has allowed him to see the beauty in creatures that society has deemed unworthy and gladly agrees to take him.

Later that evening, Tammy and Randy load up the colt and his mother, who’s become too old to breed again, to take to Les’s ranch. While getting ready to go, Tammy reveals that she’s seeing Jackson, a black man from Les’s ranch which is something their narrow-minded father will never accept. She goes off with Jackson while Randy and Les unload the mare and colt from the trailer and get acquainted. Randy’s attraction for Les makes him uncomfortable. He just knows that Les would never be interested in him, even if he was gay. With the excuse of getting the trailer home before his father discovers it missing, Randy returns to the Rocking H, only to return in the morning after engaging in a physical altercation with his father. It isn't until Randy returns to Les and they're discussing their families and loved ones that Les reveals that his boyfriend had dumped him after his accident. Les patches up Randy and takes in his newest stray - a broken-up cowboy with no clue how to handle an openly gay relationship with a lover.

NO GOING HOME is an awesome gay love story that goes far beyond just the growing relationship between Les and Randy. T.A. Chase depicts both men as damaged individuals who were betrayed by someone who should have loved, supported, and accepted them. I adore Les’s easy acceptance of Randy’s fear of being openly gay and how he never pressures him to "come out of the closet." NO GOING HOME will touch the heart of readers while installing a sense of awe for everything these men endure.



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