Homesteads and Horseradish, by Kiernan Kelly
A light-hearted romance in a western setting
Short Story notification – 34 pages (201 KB)
Story blurb: Brace is none too happy to find a greenhorn building a sod house at the base of his mountain. In fact, he’s determined to run the little fellow right off his land. Unfortunately for Brace, Gaylord Quinn has nowhere else to go, and he has a patent from the US Land Office saying he has full rights to the land. Quinn is scared to death of Brace, but he’s even more scared of having to return to a life he managed to escape. He needs the security of a new home. His dire circumstances might convince Brace to help him, but it will be the friendship that springs up between the men that endures. Will the friendship turn into something more?
About this author: Kiernan’s stories of gay romance envelop diverse themes, varying from paranormal, to fantasy, and science fiction to contemporary romance, with thirteen novels currently in print and ebook, and over sixty shorter works available in both mediums. She has published with a variety of houses, including Torquere Press, Dreamspinner Press, MLR Press, Loose-Id, Starbooks Press, Cleis Press,and Circlet. Her horror short story release, “Cletus,” appears in the Coscom Publishing’s book “Bits of the Dead.”
Review by Gerry Burnie
With thirteen novels to her name, including Homesteads and Horseradish (Spice it up) [Torquere Press, Inc., March 19, 2009], it is obvious that Kiernan Kelly likes to write. And it shows. There is a sort of ‘ease’ to her writing that catches the reader up in the mood, as well.
In this tale she pits a tenderfoot from New York City, Gaylord Quinn, against a seasoned leatherneck of the Old West, Brace Andrews, in a storyline that is solid but not overly unique. For the purposes of the plot, Quinn leaves New York to find a new life where ‘men are men’ and the boys are glad of it. He has a land patent in hand, and a destination in mind, but the first man he encounters is an unwelcoming Brace Andrews with ‘squatter’s rights’ on his side. Nonetheless, Quinn is sort of cute (in a nerdy way), and, well … Brace has sequestered himself away on account of his hankerin’ for cute nerds.
As you can tell from just this wee bit of plot, it has a tongue-in-cheek, wink-wink, aspect to it, but to her credit Kiernan never lets is get away from her. To the two main characters this is serious business, and at one level it is, but on another it is smile-provoking as well.
It’s a quick read for those who: a) have a medium commute, b) like a western flavour, c) like western-style man-sex, and d) quite a few smiles. However, the mix had just a bit too much ‘sarsaparilla’ in it to make an A-1 story. It was fun, though, and so it gets my strong recommendation. Four bees.
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