Title ~ Belt Buckles & Cowboy Boots
Author ~ Bailey Bradford
Publisher ~ Totally Bound Publishing
Published ~ 13th March 2015
Genre ~ M/M Romance
Lessons learned from past betrayals can protect Colby Vincent’s heart, or cost him a chance at happiness he never thought to have.
Colby thought he’d never let anyone close again after being betrayed by everyone he loved, but one closeted, stubborn oilfield worker with a penchant for dressing like a cowboy seems determined to out himself and win Colby’s heart. It’s as if Hunter Talamentez walked right out of Colby’s fantasies and into the convenience store where Colby works.
But Hunter is closeted, and he’s never considered changing that. He’s got his homophobic cousin with him, a family that he knows won’t support him if they know the truth about who he is and a job where being out could get him hurt. He resigned himself to spending his life alone until he gets to know Colby. Then he embarks on a journey with Colby that will change their lives if only they both find the strength to take a few chances.
Nothing comes easily, and learning to give from the heart when that heart has been shattered twice before might be more than Colby is capable of. He isn’t sure about having more than a fling with Hunter, yet he can’t seem to stay away from the man, either. What was meant to be one night together turns into more, and Colby loses his ability to keep Hunter at the safe distance he’d wanted.
Colby is a sweetheart - there is no other word for him. Ousted at fifteen he is the only out gay man in his small town, a small town now over run with oil riggers and bigoted people. But he works his two jobs, lives in a trailer, squeals at tarantulas and dreams of hot men in cowboy boots and hats.
Then in walks Hunter - not a dream boat but definitely big enough to fuel Colby's fantasies. And he comes with the requisite cowboy boots and belt buckles. But along with Hunter comes Brad, a bigoted cousin who seems to have taken an instant dislike to Colby. Poor Colby. All he wanted to do was get his shift finished at the gas station. He got so much more.
The push/pull, the way both men want, but don't want to admit it, is all really well done in typical Bailey Bradford fashion. Hunter can't stay away, although he tries. Colby can't stop thinking about the man, but knows nothing will come of it. In a small town it was dangerous to come out of the closet and for Hunter, it was a huge risk.
Christy was a delight - Colby's co-worker at the gas station, she puts Brad in his place, but then she can afford to. Colby just doesn't want to make any waves. But I loved Christy's spirit and how she sticks up for her friends. Berto was another real positive in the book and I loved his attitude even though his heart was broken. He and Christy...well that was marshmallow material.
Overall, this was another great read by one of my favorite authors. There was a time at the beginning when I wanted to slap both men around the ears, but the whole story was paced perfectly and is going in my re-read file.
God, it's hard to figure out where to draw lines again.