Author: BA Tortuga
Length: 3,700 words (15 pdf pages)
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m contemporary
Danny knows being the grandson of the ranch owner, and a college boy at that, is not going to make him popular with the rest of the cowboys. What’s worse is his cousin spreading the word that he’s gay, too. Cary thinks Danny is a lazy city boy. That has to be why everyone is so down on him. When Cary finds out the problem is Danny’s sexual orientation, he knows he has to stand up for the man. Can Cary convince Danny he understands more than anyone else knows?
This was an interesting little short that suffered from being just a bit too short. I felt I needed more information to really make me connect with the characters as a couple. Danny has graduated college and moved back home to help his Grandparents run their ranch. He’s determined to make it a success as it’s been in the family for years. However the ranch hands are less than welcoming and as Cary finds out, it’s not just because he’s a “city boy”, but Danny’s sexuality makes them none too hospitable.
After a particularly rude interlude, Cary, in an effort to make Danny feel less attacked, reveals that he too is gay. Then it rather jumps ahead to an incident where Danny has been sent to repair fences on his own, in part as “punishment” from the other hands who don’t want to work with him, and when Cary arrives to check on him, things get a little heated in the truck bed, leading to a promise of more.
One of the things that stood out for me, is when Cary and Danny first have it out and Danny confesses the rumours about his sexuality are true, Cary claims that Danny has never been back in three years and is now there just to profit from their hard work. And yet Danny claims he came back every summer and spent the last summer shuttling his grandmother to the doctor for cancer treatments. It seemed unrealistic that Cary would be completely unaware Danny had been home all summer.
So that kind of glossing over of the realism and just being told that Danny was lusting after Cary for a few weeks after finding out he’s gay, rather than seeing it, caused me to mark the story down a bit. It felt a bit incomplete, however I liked Danny and that he wasn’t ashamed he was gay, he could take what they dished out and he was there to improve the ranch and make it a success, no matter what the hired hands said. So his strong character was a bonus, but a bit more time to see the guys together, perhaps dancing around the attraction would have been nice to see. Still, for a super-short read it’s worthwhile, especially if you like cowboys and ranches.