Guest Reviewed by Morgan
Author: Kim Fielding
Heroes: Jimmy Dorsett/Shane Little
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 240 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 31, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: A drifter since his teens, Jimmy Dorsett has no home and no hope. What he does have is a duffel bag, a lot of stories, and a junker car. Then one cold desert night he picks up a hitchhiker and ends up with something more: a letter from a dying man to the son he hasn’t seen in years.
On a quest to deliver the letter, Jimmy travels to Rattlesnake, a small town nestled in the foothills of the California Sierras. The centerpiece of the town is the Rattlesnake Inn, where the bartender is handsome former cowboy Shane Little. Sparks fly, and when Jimmy’s car gives up the ghost, Shane gets him a job as handyman at the inn.
Both within the community of Rattlesnake and in Shane’s arms, Jimmy finds an unaccustomed peace. But it can’t be a lasting thing. The open road continues to call, and surely Shane—a strong, proud man with a painful past and a difficult present—deserves better than a lying vagabond who can’t stay put for long.
Review: Jimmy is a drifter: no plans, simply going where the wind blows. He sees a stranger on the road, looks like the man could use a hand, so offers him a ride. The man, Tom, tells Jimmy a story and gives him a letter that changes Jimmy’s life forever.
Shane is a sweetheart. Simple guy, small-town life is all he knows, has had some health issues that enforce that. When Jimmy rolls into town, something about him strikes Shane in a way that makes him want to keep Jimmy around for a while.
This is a simple story, most of the story is Jimmy and Shane learning about each other and the lives they’ve led. Both have some secrets, some more deeply buried than others. In the end, both have some forgiveness to do and both have to learn to hope for a better future.
Man oh man. Kim Fielding is an amazing writer. She has a keen eye for human behavior, and she manages to find ways – with her stories – to really dig deep through the layers and expose the person underneath in ways that are unique and sometimes startling.
One thing I admire in many of her books is the fact that she’s willing to give us characters who aren’t “studs”, or hung like a bear, or gorgeous hard bodies. She’s willing to write characters with scars, injuries, *gasp – some age on them!, etcetera. Their looks get mentioned and in some cases are discussed as they would be, but it’s rarely the central focus. In this case, neither MC is without their physical imperfections and both are near 40. It’s a nice change of pace.
In this novel, she uses Jimmy’s “stories” as a wonderful vehicle for showing us the true nature of Jimmy’s heart. It’s creative, insightful and a delight to read. With Shane, we get (on the surface) a more straight-forward story, but just when you expect things to be one way – blam! – there’s a bit more to him than meets the eye.
What I loved about this love story was how gentle it was. Both men so clearly needed the other and it was absolutely amazing that they managed to find one another. I loved how their “opposites” meshed and where one had a strength the other had a need to match.
I’m always sucked into a Kim Fielding story because her writing is so flowing and captivating. Even with a low-key story like this, I was compelled to see what would happen next.
If I have any small complaints it would be these: First, I thought that the story lagged in the middle with a few too many of Jimmy’s stories (though themselves interesting – I’m not sure they moved the romance forward enough to justify their inclusion in such detail); and second, that the subtlety of the romance was almost too subtle. Though we absolutely get a very solid and forever HEA, my preference would have been for a bit more at the reunion scene to cement in the major shift that had occurred. It’s tough though – I suppose being true to the characters might dictate toward the subtle – but the romantic in me wanted a bit more, regardless.
In any case, this is a truly remarkable story with a lovely thread that starts with a dead man…
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*