A Hearts On Fire Review
FOUR HEARTS--Give me cowboys set in the past and I'm a happy camper.
In "Letters From a Cowboy", the fourth book of Sue Brown's Morning Report series, the past is not that distant (1950's Texas) but it is set before I was even a thought, it's historical for me.
Simon Wood is an ex-solider cowboy going from ranch to ranch looking for work. Simon is gay and trouble seems to follow his dick. With his new job, it should've been a clean slate and then he meets coworker and fellow cowboy, Charles "Chip" Henson, with his "movie star chin". Both men share the same predilection for men and try to deny their shared feelings. Being gay in the fifties could lead to a lot of different atrocities. This is Sue Brown though...so of course they're going to hook up.
I thought their getting together was quick, their shared feelings were kind of insta-lovey but somehow it worked. Also the dialogue read like I was reading something in 2015 at times, not saying in the fifties the language was vastly different but something about it felt modern at times. I also like the way the story is broken up. I did have to go back to read it because I was afraid I wasn't going to get a HEA (there is one).
Simon was good at everything: cooking, cleaning, befriending other cowboys, finding lost people, etc. He reminded me of Weber, the cowboy from Mary Calmes' "Frog" a little bit. And Chip, he definitely is a Sue Brown character. He goes off the rails once things change. It seemed like a lot of people in Chip and Simon's life had a family member that was gay and was sympathetic to their relationship. Not everyone but a lot of characters. It made their secret relationship easier and (at times) sloppy hiding techniques also easier to get away with. Because sometimes those two namely Chip, just couldn't keep it together. And yet I enjoyed it.
I should warn there is racism, homophobia that is authentic to the time period. Also there is minor character death and animal death. Sue Brown is known to bring the angst and she did but it wasn't extreme. If I had to describe this book it'd be as if "Bareback" and "Brokeback Mountain" had a soap opera baby, because I couldn't stop reading. So much sex between cowboys who were supposed to try to keep it secret. That was hot. And the letter writing, that was the reason why this book was created. The letters Chip and Simon wrote to each other to hook up and share their feelings, were found on the Low Cost Ranch in present day.
The author gave the letter writers their own story. :) Hot, angsty and a little bittersweet with a HEA.
This can be read as a standalone as I've not read the previous books.
But I definitely will be rectifying that.