Eloreen reviews ‘A Hard Ride Home’ by Emory Vargas. Published June 17th 2015 by Less Than Three Press, 204 pgs.
Why I read this book: This is Pick for Me week and Tanja picked this for me. I do enjoy my cowboys and westerns. Throw in some m/m romance, and I’m in heaven.
This book was provided to RGR in exchange for an honest review.
It’s hard enough returning to his birthplace to replace a dead man as sheriff. The last thing Emmett needs is to find himself smitten with Jesse, the whore he arrests almost immediately upon arrival. Especially since Jesse works for his half-sister and at her thoroughly disreputable saloon.
But being smitten with a whore is only the beginning of Emmett’s troubles. Silver Creek is a town full of secrets and people too terrified to talk. Why does Emmett’s father, the mayor of Silver Creek, have such a strong hold on the town—and on Jesse?
It wasn’t until I started reading this that I realized it’s actually set in the old west, so this is a historical m/m romance. Great! Love historical books too. I tend to be a mult-genre reader anyway.
I read the blurb and I wasn’t really fond of the use of “whore.” It’s not my favorite word. However in the context that this is a historical book, it’s a little better because that is what they were called then. Emory did a great job of blending the usage and providing the respect these “ladies” deserved despite the circumstances some of them fall into when they go into one of the oldest professions in history. However, there is only one male whore and the rest are ladies. The depiction the residents of the saloon gets you thinking about how boys could be pressed into service, but I would think there might be more than one male prostitute. It could be because it’s a small town in a geographic ambiguous “out west” location. I’m not sure exactly where it’s supposed to be, but it’s not really important because it’s a fairly isolated location at that. I’m sure I could re-read and potentially pick up the state but maybe not. Because of the subtle introductions as we meet the characters of Silver Creek, we get a big picture as we watch the action-packed interactions of Jesse Taggart and Emmett Grady and all of the supporting people in this small townk, from Emmett’s father Mayor Grady to Evelyn, Emmett’s half-sister, proprietress of said disreputable saloon and everyone in between and around them. Emory provides the introductions by someone who is gay but the word “gay” is never used as it wasn’t a word then, not really. We also see bisexual people without coming out and calling it by that name. Again, not something that was used in this setting. By the end of the book, you get insight to this little town and all it’s people, and you are really happy how it turns out.
Emmett’s and Jesse’s sexual interactions also grow from first kisses to passionate embraces and you see the love they build between them. Of course you have your “villians” in the story and you hate them just as much as the characters because the foreshadowing is that good. Just enough to get hints and understand as the reader, but not enough to give the game away until the end. Overall, it’s a great story and a must read. So, thank you Tanja for a wonderful historical m/m romance. 😉
With this, I give ‘A Hard Ride Home’ 9.5 out of 10 pot of gold. This is equivalent to 4.75/5 stars.