Salt Johnson has had his heart broken, or at least his ego dented, but he’s about to meet a man who wipes away every bad memory Salt ever had.
Saul ‘Salt’ Johnson had a crush on the wrong man. No surprise. He doesn’t have much experience when it comes to relationships despite his age. Being a cowboy in Montana means keeping in the closet, which has left Salt with a long line of one-night stands. Getting hired on at the Mossy Glenn changes all of that, and he’s beginning to see that maybe he can have more than he’s been settling for.
He just doesn’t expect to find it with another one-night stand.
Andy Calder spent years taking care of his brother Destry and helping to raise his nephew, Ty. Now both are gone—Destry passed away and Ty being raised by Andy’s spiteful younger brother. Andy hasn’t forgiven himself for being manipulated after Destry’s death. He just hopes Ty is happy. Andy’s working hard to build up the company he’d started with Destry, wanting to leave Ty a legacy he could build on. Things just aren’t going as planned, and when he decides to blow off some steam with a sexy, rough cowboy, they end up connecting in a way neither of them ever expected.
Truth be told, I wasn’t the least bit sure of what to expect from this installment in the Mossy Glenn Ranch series. While we’ve seen Salt around quite a bit in the previous books due to him being one of the first hires, I hadn’t really formed a strong opinion of him. Yes, I liked that he was protective of Drake when Ian first showed up, even if it was misguided, but other than that he’s been a bit of a mystery. In Saddles & Memories we learn far more about the weathered cowboy than I expected and the man’s layers are far deeper than he likes to let on, especially his sensitive side.
As an older cowboy, Salt is quite relieved to have found his place at the Mossy Glenn Ranch. Having spent most of his life in the closet, the sense of peace he feels for being accepted for who he is rather than being judged for his homosexuality is welcomed. Like his bosses, he doesn’t make a big deal of his sexual orientation when in town but it’s no longer a secret that the Mossy Glenn tends to hire from the LGBT community. It’s because this is becoming common knowledge that Andy Calder takes a chance on approaching the cowboy while he’s in town trying to make news sales contacts for his company’s organic feed line. Long since resigned to a life of one-night stands, Salt is ready, willing, and able to show Andy just how well this old cowboy can ride. And their night together is hot, so hot in fact that the men break their personal rules and agree to a repeat performance, well several repeat performances. As they spend more and more time together, they both begin to want for more than their current arrangement but neither is willing to say anything in fear of scaring the other man off. Just as things begin to get serious, Andy gets a call about a family emergency that sends his life spinning out of control and Salt proves to be the stabilizing force in his life he didn’t realize he needed. But with all the changes facing Andy in his personal life, the two men have to decide if what they have is strong enough to endure the storm.
I loved Saddles & Memories! Watching Salt and Andy cruise each other in the feed store was both amusing for a southern girl and hot to watch. The attraction between the two men was intense and I found myself caught up in their passion when they were able to act upon it. Seriously squirm inducing cowboy lovin’ going on in this installment. As their relationship progressed from just sexual to more, it was sweet to watch the two men fall in love – not because it was sappy, but because both men had faced obstacles in their past that left me feeling as though they were perfect for each other. I really, really liked how Salt not only accepted Ty as a package deal with Andy, but that he embraced and cherished the chance to have the family he never expected to have as a gay cowboy. Gotta love a man who’s not afraid of his emotions. Saddles & Memories is only the third book in the series, but each book is better than the last. I can’t wait to start Fences & Freedom to find out whether or not Salt’s concerns about Ramsey are justified.