Fourth generation rancher, Ray Ford has lived a lie for nearly forty years. Having seen what can happen to an openly gay cowboy in small town America, and not willing to risk his ranch Ford Creek’s legendary reputation, he keeps that part of himself tightly locked down. Everything changes one Sunday morning when Ray, out of character, picks up a handsome hitchhiker looking for work. Hiring the enigmatic cowboy stretches the bounds of Ray’s control and, suddenly, he finds himself asking just what he’d be willing to risk for a chance at true love.
Travis Morgan learned a hard lesson early in his life—love is conditional. Even though he’s a world-class horse trainer in high demand, he lives the life of a drifter, moving from ranch to ranch like the wind. He’ll play when the opportunity arises, but he won’t invest himself emotionally. But when he takes on the job training horses at Ford Creek Ranch, the stoic rancher with the sexy five o’clock shadow just might change all that—if Travis can take the risk and stick around long enough to find out.
So I was given the paperback, YES paper back! By a facebook friend who’d messaged me and asked if I’ve ever read this author? No? But I do enjoy a good MM, cowboy story and this did not disappoint. Ray seems like your typical closeted gay forty something cowboy. Got scared into the closet at a young age, lives in Middle America and had no point of reference to make his case to come out. Travis on the other hand was caught, beaten and thrown out by his family at about the same age and has been living in either foster homes or ranch homes ever since. The few times his secret has been found out, he’s been beaten again for it, so he chooses not to say. Safer that way, for his body, mind and now his heart, wow the way these two do not commutate with each other and Travis seems to take the lack of commutation as negative just breaks your heart. And the way Ray has resigned himself that no matter what Travis will leave him, so sad. Then we have the secondary story which is just has touching as the first. Makes for a great read all the way around.