Coming to Grief, Dale Chase
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Genre: Gay Erotica
Tags: Cowboy/Western Gay Erotica, Burgeoning Romance, Historical
Length: 50 Pages
Reviewer: Kazza K
Thrown together on the road between Laramie and Cheyenne, cowboy Johnny Anglim is smitten with the powerfully masculine Laz Kincaid, who’s grieving for the horse he’s had to shoot. Doubling up, the two reach a town where passion ignites, yet Laz, despite the intimacy, remains distant. Eventually the pair reach Cheyenne where Deputy Wade Rowley warns Johnny off Laz, declaring only he can reach the walled-off Civil War veteran. Johnny realizes he’s caught in a triangle that may prove dangerous, yet he refuses to let Laz go, bringing on further grief.
Johnny Anglim has finished a cattle drive and is passing through Whiskey Mountain when he sees a man sitting on a rock near his dead horse. The horse had to be shot after shattering a foreleg and Johnny feels his pain. If Johnny’s horse, Toby, had met the same fate he’d be more than upset as well. The stranger doesn’t talk much except he does give his name, Laz. He also doesn’t seem in a hurry to leave his horse, Pidge, behind. Johnny sympathises and makes sure it’s understood he’ll double up with Laz into the nearest town.
“You’ll need a ride,” I add. “Okay to double up with me. I’m headed to Cheyenne, but Chugwater isn’t too far. Maybe ten or fifteen miles.” He looks at me with surprise, like he’s just this second found me beside him. He’s good looking even in sorrow, even as his lips are drawn thin due to his jaw clamped hard shut.
He makes no comment on my offer to double up, so I remain seated while the sun slips behind us, headed for Whiskey Mountain.
“Be dark soon,” I offer. “We should move on since there’s no water here.” He says nothing while I begin to fidget. I get up and walk about, knowing I should move on, but I can’t leave this man as he has no resources beyond hoofing it to Chugwater.
Eventually Laz shakes off his loss as best he can, he can’t stay in the middle of nowhere, and he accepts Johnny’s offer. When they get in to Chugwater, Laz buys Johnny a meal which is fine but Laz is not much of a talker. It’s hard to get more than two words out of Laz at any time. Johnny isn’t sure if that’s the grief at losing his horse or simply the man.
“Buy you supper?” he asks, and I don’t say no. Foolish of me to think he’ll settle into conversation. When he offers not a word, I can’t tell if silence is his natural way or he’s so lost in his grief he’s unable to converse.
There is one thing Johnny knows, he fancies the older, manly and handsome Laz and even if Laz isn’t chatty, Johnny knows he has an interest in him. An interest which will lead to something more. When a room is offered up by Laz Johnny isn’t going to say no.
“I’m beat,” he says. “Share a room?”
We could be a couple drovers cutting costs by doubling up, but we’re not, even as that convention allows a man to get in bed with another.
The sex is beyond good, Laz knows how to suck cock and fuck a man. The thing that confounds Johnny is the kissing. That’s not something he’s used to. Fucking, yes, kissing, no. He likes it but thinks on it more than he probably should. But the sex… the sex is all the better for the kissing.
His kisses are not like a man looking to fuck. He’s almost restrained as his lips brush mine, his tongue prodding, all so gently.
At twenty two, Johnny knows his libido is full speed ahead. He likes to go several times, especially in the morning. However, Laz gets himself ready in quiet but, perplexingly to Johnny, slams the door on his way out without another word. It seems to Johnny like Laz is shutting a door on the two of them and he doesn’t want that. His interest is well and truly piqued by the enigmatic Laz.
Laz leaves Chugwater without another word. Johnny follows figuring Laz will travel from Chugwater to Cheyenne. Johnny has some cattle drive friends to catch up with there anyway, why not Laz? He guesses if nothing does come of him and Laz, Johnny and his two friends will have plenty of sex if he needs it and there are always other willing men in a bigger town like Cheyenne. What Johnny doesn’t count on is the desire that has set in for Laz. He is way more than a little interested.
In Cheyenne, Johnny ends up in sexual liaisons with other men when he can’t seem to locate Laz. His two buddies like a drink, or ten, and they are drunk a bit too often for Johnny. He loves sex but he’s now looking for something more. Someone who kisses and seems to mean more than a fuck. Out of frustration and drunken lust Johnny ends up with a bear of a man one night who decides to not get the idea of the word ‘no’ the following night. This lands Johnny in some trouble with the law in Cheyenne when he shoots and wounds the man. Laz knows the deputy and when he remains stubborn, Laz turns up in court to give Johnny a character reference – Johnny did help him out when he needed it at Whiskey Mountain.
Absolutely nothing is aided by the fact that the deputy takes a personal dislike to Johnny when he recognises that he has designs on Laz. Laz is his friend, really quite a bit more as far as Deputy Rowley is concerned. He warns Johnny off, tells him Laz has been to war, been to Gettysburg, and it’s affected him. Things become a bit tense because Johnny cannot get Laz out of his mind and Deputy Rowley knows it and does not like it one bit.
(…) but I’m not ten feet out the hotel door when Wade Rowley steps into my path. “Don’t bother going after him,” says the deputy. “He doesn’t have what you want. War ruined him. Walled off his heart. You’re too young to know how that is. You’re like some spotted fawn, wide eyed and curious. Life is mean, cowboy. I know Laz, know what to give him and how little I’ll get, and I’m okay with that.”
If you like gay erotic writing, as opposed to “MM” romance, then I can recommend Dale Chase’s books because I enjoy them. The writing is always appropriate for the time period they’re set in, which is generally the old/wild west, the men are original cowboys through-and-through and there is definitely a dusty, musky, gritty flavour to the writing. I always expect a good story from the author, one that’s never hearts and flowers in delivery but still plays to emotion, always with an interesting, easy to read storyline. Coming to Grief is good lit-erotica writing and it has a positive ending for the MCs when I wasn’t sure how that could happen. Recommended for those who like well written gay erotica and some western style cowboys together, and if you already enjoy Dale Chase’s writing or think you might, then I highly recommend Coming to Grief. 4 Stars!
Review copy provided by the publisher in return for an honest review.