Gerry B's Book Reviews

When the Bluebird Calls (The Heart of the Mountain #1), by Leiland Dale

For lovers of true romance in the Harlequin style –

Devon Reid, veterinarian, had a partner of 2 years, a beautiful house, and a fantastic job. Then, life as he knew it, changed.

Six months ago, he became his mother’s sole caretaker when her cancer returned. With his constant absence from home, his relationship ends leaving him alone in one of the most emotionally draining points in his life. When his mother passes, he is lonely and loses his zest for life.

With his emotions and life in turmoil, Devon decides it’s time to make a change. Leaving the city life behind and taking a job in a small town in Montana, was just what the doctor ordered. Then, he meets the hunky ranch foreman, Greg Elliot.

Greg has lived most of his life on a ranch. Living in a small town didn’t offer many prospects for a relationship, until he meets the new veterinarian in town.

While they try to resist the obvious mutual attraction, a fateful call during the night changes it all.

What is a city boy to do when a small town cowboy ropes him in?

Available in ebook format, only – 223 KB

About the author: Initially, Leiland began reading Harlequin Romance and Silhouette Desire but later transitioned to Silhouette Nocturne. But after reading the first M/M erotic romance, tons of M/M material soon followed. As an avid reader, Leiland decided one day to take a stab at writing a book. These days, when not writing something new, Leiland can be found reading a steamy romance (shifters are a fav!), taking the pet dog for a walk or watching movies such as A Walk to Remember.

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Review by Gerry Burnie

I think what first attracted me to When the Bluebird Calls (The Heart of the Mountain #1) by Leiland Dale [Silver Publishing, 2010] was the award-winning cover by Reese Dante. It’s sexy without being overly erotic. The second thing was that the blurb didn’t mention “hot,” “steamy” or “lusty” even once, and that was enough to overcome my usual avoidance of contemporary western novels.

The plot is rather simple. Devon Reid is an urban veterinarian, gay, and with a boyfriend. Tragedy strikes when his mother is stricken with a fatal form of cancer, and with her loss, as well as the break-up of his relationship, he decides to escape to the rural town of Bridger, Montana.

Here he continues is veterinary practice, and one of his clients is a ruggedly handsome, ranch foreman by the name of Greg Elliot.

It is very much a situation of ‘love at first sight’ for both of them, and a courtship of sorts follows. However, it is not until they are fortuitously brought together when Devon is called to assist the birth of a colt, and from there it is pretty well a situation of happy-ever-after.

My views:

It’s interesting that the author started off by reading Harlequin Romance novels, because this is definitely a romance: A lonely ingénue dreaming of love; a storybook town nestled in the rolling hills of Montana; and a hunky foreman ready to settle down with the right guy. It`s not the way it generally happens, but it is the way we`d like to see it happen. Nothing wrong with that.

However, even Harlequin Romances have some sort of tension (angst) written into them, a ‘pinch of salt’ if you will, and this is what wI wias missing from the mix. Everything was just too idealistic. It is not so much a credibility problem as a lack of colour and variation.

The pace was also a bit frenetic at times—especially the opening scenes with the death of the mother and the alienation of the boyfriend. It was all over so briefly that I just didn’t get to feel Devon’s desolation quite as much as I should have. True, this is a novella (about 85 pages), but a paragraph or two to describe Devon’s sense of loss would have helped throughout the remainder of the story.

Having said that, however, it is a good read for lovers of happy-ever-after romances. Three bees.

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Visitors count to Gerry B’s Book Reviews – 37, 347 (That’s up 747 visitors from last week).

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A star in the making. Canada is blessed with a remarkable array of talent, and one of the up-and-coming young stars is concert pianist,  Lucas Porter. He has won several awards and been featured on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporations’ NEXT program. Click on the image to hear Etude, Opus 4, by Frederick Chopin.

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If you would like to learn more about any of my books, or to order copies, click on the specific cover below. Two Irish Lads and Nor All Thy Tears are available in both Kindle and Nook formats. Publisher’s price, $4.95.

      

 Thanks for dropping by. We hit a milestone this week by coming just short of an 800-visitor week. Thank you so much for your participation.

November 12, 2012 Posted by | Fiction, Gay fiction, Gay romance | , , | Leave a comment

The Sharpshooter, by Kit Prate

A short story celebration of the classic Western tale.

Story blurb: Clete Benteen was a kid one minute and a man the next. The son of a sharpshooter, he grew up when his pa was brought home across the back of a horse, back-shot. Making a place for himself among hard cowboys, Clete must use all the skill he has to provide for his family and to find his Pa’s killer. But is he tough enough to survive?

Kindle edition – short story – 121 KB – .99¢

Review by Gerry Burnie

Although “The Sharpshooter by Kit Prate [Western Trail Blazer, 2011] is not a GBLT story, or a particularly long read, nonetheless I liked it for its adherence to the classic Western genre; i.e. a deep sense of justice, stoic determination, and a clear distinction between “good guys” and “bad guys.”

As the blurb tells us, young Clete Benteen (14 years old) is forced into manhood to support his widowed mother and fellow siblings, as well as avenge his father’s murder. This brings him into contact with his father’s employer, a powerful rancher by the name and style of Judge Terril, and a group of sinister, hired guns that Terril employs to enforce his power.

What makes Clete equal to the others in some way is his skill as a sharpshooter; a skill he has both learned and inherited from his dead father. Other traits he has either learned of inherited are his fierce independence and self assuredness.

I bought into his sharpshooter’s skill because one of my main characters in an upcoming novel (“The Brit, Kid Cupid, and Petunia”) is a teenage shootist, but I was a little more questioning about Clete’s precociousness. Or, maybe it was the willingness of the adults—Terril especially—to let him get away with it. It is, however, only a minor quibble.

As the story moves along there is a nice build up of tension, especially with his capture by the bad guys, and the contest of wills as his captivity continues under sometimes cruel and abusive conditions. After all, it wouldn’t be a true western if the good guys had a ‘cake walk’ of it.

Altogether this is a great little read for the money, and worth every cent of it. Four and one-half bees.

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The sale figures are in for Two Irish Lads and Nor All Thy Tears, and while I can’t retire in luxury they are quite gratifying indeed. Thanks you to all those who bought and read them. If you would like to learn more about any of my books, or to order copies, click on the specific cover below. Two Irish Lads and Nor All Thy Tears are available in both Kindle and Nook formats. Publisher’s price, $4.95.

     

Thanks for dropping by. Check back next week for my Christmas pick.

December 18, 2011 Posted by | Fiction, Historical period, non-GLBT | , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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