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Friday, 3 October 2014

Dakota Skies
by Taylin Clavelli
M/M Historical/Western
Wayward Ink Publishing
4 Stars

Blurb:

Born in the wrong time...

In 1875 Dakota, Sheriff Jamie Carter has to hide his interest in men, even from his gutsy twin sister, Anna. On a good day, the truth can mean a bullet between the eyes, and on a bad, one in the back.

A man on a mission...

Jamie leaves Anna in charge of Blackrock and he hits the bounty hunting trail, along with his faithful equine companion, Houston. Five territories, scores of ‘Wanted’ posters, and many bullets later, his path unexpectedly converges with that of enigmatic loner, Kit Brooks.

Two men with one soul...

Will the smoldering fire between them rage into an inferno and break down protective barriers, allowing them to find love? Or will it separate and kill them?

Beneath Dakota skies...

Jamie and Kit’s story is a sweeping saga of cowboys, Indians, persistent broads, and vengeful villains, where the cowboys aren't always the good guys, and love can’t be taken for granted.

Review:

After the death of their father by a gang of outlaws, twins Jay and Anna Carter become the new joint sheriffs of Blackrock in Dakota. As twins, the two of them have a special bond, but there's something Jay can't even share with his sister. Jay likes men and in the time they live in, to admit such a thing could be as good as painting a target on his back.

Restless and confused, Jay leaves Blackrock for a while to become a bounty hunter on the less-travelled trails. Jay soon has either killed or captured every wanted man he sets his sights on and his tracking skills soon become legendary. So much so, that Jay, thinking himself invincible, finds himself in trouble while riding through some Native territories.

Jay is grateful to his rescuer, a man claiming to be Kit Brooks, and soon finds himself in lust with this rugged stranger. But can Jay even admit to such feelings? He doesn't really know who Kit his and as the book progresses, it becomes clear that Kit too has secrets of his own.

Now, I'm not normally one for westerns, but since it was an M/M western, I decided to give it a go and I was pleasantly surprised. Jay and Kit were fantastic leads, both so unsure and nervous of each other and their feelings at first, and then gradually they came together, but not without a bit of angst at first.

The book had everything you would expect in a western: saloon fights, bar brawls, feisty women and bank robbers. But like with any story, its heart lay with the characters, particularly Jay and Kit in this instance. The love scenes between them were both hot and sensual, with an almost poetical quality to them.

The supporting characters are also well-drawn, I loved Anna, Jay's sister, she was a bit of a firebrand. Some people might consider that a bit unrealistic, but these are women in the Wild West, I think they would have been feisty and tough, not demure wallflowers.

There was a bit of a problem for me in the book. A lot of the time the dialogue is paraphrased, and you get a sentence something like "they discussed this, they discussed that" rather than the characters telling you the dialogue in their own words. It slowed the pace somewhat and I would have preferred more direct dialogue myself. Perhaps it's just a personal preference, but it did jar me out of the story somewhat.

However, saying that, if you enjoy a rollicking western adventure with some hot m/m romance thrown in for good measure, then I'm sure you'd enjoy this. I certainly did.

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