A Foreign Range, by Andrew Grey
A pithy plot, well-written and engaging –
Story Blurb: Stories from the Range: Book Four Country singer Willie Meadows is a fake. He’s never ridden a horse, and his “Western” gear comes from a boutique shop in LA. No wonder Wilson Edwards, the real man in those fake boots, is suffering creative block. Determined to connect with the music, Wilson buys a ranch in Wyoming to learn the country way of life, even if he has no intention of running the business. Then Steve Peterson shows up desperate, destitute, and hungry, having just escaped a gay deprogramming hospital run by his father’s cult. Steve was supposed to train horses for the ranch’s former owner, but the job is gone along with his would-be employer. Luckily Wilson has a temporary solution: Steve can ranch-sit while Wilson does business in LA. But when he comes back, Wilson barely recognizes the place. There are trained horses in the paddock, and the ranch is in great shape. Suddenly he finds himself inspired not by the cowboy lifestyle but by Steve himself. But the cult is still after Steve, and Wilson’s fear of scandal means he’s still in the closet. Coming out could kill Willie’s career-but denying his feelings for Steve could kill the only part of him that’s real.
Available in ebook format – 1264 KB
About the author: Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation. Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Visit Andrew’s web site at: www.andrewgreybooks.com.
Review by Gerry Burnie
To begin, I like the cover. It is evocative and sexy without being erotic; which to me suggests a plot-driven story. A must in my books.
I also know Andrew Grey from his “Love Means…” series [see my review of Love Means Courage – Andrew Grey], so when I saw A Foreign Range [Dreamspinner Press, 2012] I went for it.
The story blurb summarizes the story fairly well. Wilson Edwards (a.k.a. “Willie Meadows”) is a country and western singer who has no country or western in him—which is credible enough since very few of them do. He also has a ‘hands-on’ manager, Howard, who is a friend/retainer to whom Wilson feels an obligation for his years of service.
Nevertheless, Wilson isn’t happy with the glitz and glamour of La-La Land, and yearns for some wide open spaces. He therefore buys a ranch, tells Howard bye-bye, and heads for Wyoming.
Meanwhile, Steve Peterson, an escapee from a cure-a-queer quackery outfit run by his fanatical father, arrives expecting to find a job with the former owner of Edwards’ ranch. Nonetheless, Edwards hires Peterson as a caretaker while he’s on the road, and when he returns he find an functioning ranch. Moreover, his appreciation extends to his hired on a personal basis, and things begin to heat up between them.
A level of angst hangs over them, however, in that Wilson is fretful for his public image and career, and Peterson is still being pursued by his father’s cult. It is a resolution of these that constitutes the ending.
The writing is excellent of course, so there’s no issue there. The plot is certainly pithy enough, and the main characters are both interesting and likable. In other words, it is easy to become invested in their welfares and want them to succeed. Nonetheless, there was something slightly over the top about the father’s fanaticism, a bit stereotypical I think, and Steve’s somewhat rapid recovery from the ‘brainwashing’. I hasten to add these are personal impressions, and may not be shared by others.
Overall, it’s an interesting plot, well written and engaging. Four and one-half bees.
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