Title ~ Outcast Cowboys
Author ~ Sarah Masters
Publisher ~ Pride Publishing
Published ~ 18th August 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
You can run but you can’t hide. Problems have a habit of following you, even if it’s only inside your head.
Ross decides to start a new life away from the grim belly of London, England, unable to stomach being a cop any longer. He tells himself he’s moving miles away to find himself a bed partner, but he’s lying. He has to. Facing up to the real reason he’s leaving isn’t something he can handle. His last undercover job proved too much—his life was at risk—and if he stays in London he’ll likely end up dead. Nightmares plague him, his subconscious unable to switch the past off. So he moves to a ranch in America, thinking the new surroundings and different lifestyle will help him to heal—and to forget. What he soon realizes is he’s jumping from the frying pan into the fire…
Joe’s passion—that of caring for the horses—is the only thing that keeps him sane. He’s a surly man, and for good reason—a reason he hasn’t told a soul. Folks think he’s mean and unapproachable and suspect him of committing murder. More than once. Locals assume that Joe got let off the hook. Nothing could be further from the truth, but Joe lets people think what they will. He’s done with their speculation and sly looks.
When Ross and Joe meet, tension is rife. The air between them prickles with animosity as well as sexual tension. Both have a past they can’t get over. Both have skeletons in their closets they wish would turn to dust. And both have to make a decision. Can they cast their fears aside and trust each other, or have the terrors they’ve experienced ruined them for love?
Ross had basically no choice but to leave the life as a cop, which he loved behind, settling instead in the American wilderness. It's a far cry from London England, but Ross tells himself that if he wants to live his passion, caring for horses, then he had to move. Or maybe it was just because he wanted to find a bed partner. Whatever excuses Ross came up with, for why he had to move, he now found himself on a ranch in America.
He knew sod all about horses - won't they jump over the fence? - and sod all about ranches and American life if he were honest.
Poor Ross. Why he picked a ranch in "bumfuck Egypt", to go out and be a new guy, with no skills, in a new place, with different ideas - well you find that out as the story progresses. But a Brit's impression of his first day in America was quite funny and a little sad. The way the word 'nice' was bandied about - you just knew it wasn't at all. Ross was used to playing a part, after years of being undercover. But I wondered if playing a ranch hand, when you had no experience with horses, was such a good idea.
Joe comes across as an ass from the first moment. Rude, mean and apparently gay, according to Tessa, but he makes Ross feel awkward, although it doesn't appear to be anything personal. To adapt Ross slips into one of his stronger roles, which seems to put Joe on edge. But Drake, Ross's alter ego was a confident personality and didn't let anything phase him. He was determined that no one would see the real him.
I would have liked to have known more about Joe's POV. We hear Joe's story through dialogue, and there is a lot more going on in the book than raising horses. A death, fires, and Limmy...he was clearly one to watch. But this book is about Ross's impressions, the way he feels, his nightmares which give you an excellent flashback on the type of life he lived in London. There's violence, abuse and rape triggers here, but the story itself, how Ross and Joe help each other heal, truly amazing.
Favorite line: Rule number one in life should be never to underestimate someone. Never think you've got their number. Shit like that comes back to bite you.