~purchase a copy here~
Genre: Gay Romance; Western
Cover Artist: April Martinez
Main Characters; Ethan Whitehall and James Killian
Book Origin - won this at Smokinghotbooks.
Challenges: Erotica Romance Challenge - M/M Romance Challenge.
James Killian learns the hard way that smaller towns are full of bigots. When he comes out to his father he is not only kicked out of his home but off the Quadruple J where he works as the ranch foreman. With nowhere to go and little money, his savior comes in the unlikely form of his older brother’s best friend, the man he’s been in love with for over half his life.
Ethan Whitehall is a successful rancher and a well respected man in his community. His ranch the Tin Star has been in Ethan’s family for generations and affords him a certain prestige and power in the small town he calls home. Ethan knows without a doubt that all of that could shatter if his sexual orientation were to ever become public. But when he learns his best friend’s younger brother’s banishment and the reasons behind it, Ethan can’t help but get involved. He’s always had a soft spot where Jamie Killian was concerned, and it may very well be his downfall.
The Tin Star was the kind of read where the characters enveloped me in their day-to-day life and it was enough for me. It wasn’t like some stories that can put me through the emotional wringer but the story affected me nonetheless. Ethan Whitehall and Jamie Killian are gay cowboys after my own heart. They have a passion for the ranching business, are comfortable in their own skin and they know how to have a good time. They eased me into their story and lives like it was the most natural thing to do. From the first word they had my complete attention.
Ethan Whitehall is a thirty-two year old owner of the ranch; Tin Star. His life is good, he works hard to keep it that good and his life found an enjoyable rhythm. He is the proverbial rock in the midst of a storm for friends, he has cowboy written all over himself and with his good looks he is a walking ad for sex-on-a-stick. I instantly took a liking to Ethan, he is the kind of guy you want to have standing next to you and yet has a few character traits that are surprising.
When Jamie Killian reveals to his family he is gay the situation turns from grim to volatile very quickly and his father tosses him out on the street. Jamie finds himself homeless with only the clothes on his back, his truck and is unsure what to do next. Jamie is the opposite of Ethan, he is still young, impulsive, exuberant, vigorous and a mix of ‘the nurturer’ and ‘the Casanova’ character type. He knows his stuff when it comes to ranching but finds himself in a situation where there is no easy solution.
J.L. Langley hit the mark with her characterization of Ethan and Jamie. One still young and spirited, the other one wiser and steadfast. Their interaction reflected their personalities; they could clash, they could saturate the dialogues with every rapturous desire they felt, they could show their humorous side and I just couldn’t stop reading about these two cowboys. From the word go they fit together, like white on rice, and the romance grows gradually between them.
There are a few things I can’t get enough of in a M/M erotica. That is shower scenes, I love it when two guys bump and grind together while they lather each other up and do more. How men can express their love, a woman wants diamonds to be wooed with but a guy, he goes berserk upon receiving a car as a token of affection. I just love these kind of differences in a M/M romance! Another thing I think Langley did an incredible job with is the homophobic issues. The problems that arise are not so much romantic issues between Ethan and Jamie but how the Tin Star personnel and how the towns people deal with them being a gay couple. The threats and the danger form a realistic picture, so realistic that it stirred my anger in how they were treated. Because the problems were of external factors it delivered an ‘us against the world’ vibe to the romance. This made me cheer them on in their determination to love one another, to have a solid relationship together which fueled the passion to greater heights. The physical heat thrumming between Ethan and Jamie was going back and forth in endearing slow and languid lovemaking to an uncontrollable frenzy of sexual hunger.
Now no one can do without friends and there is a tight knit, small supporting group of friends. John Killian is Ethan’s best friend and older brother to Jamie. There’s also Julia the sister of Jamie and John. Some workers on the Thin Star who add a more dynamic feel to the ranch life. Each character means something in the everyday life of Ethan and Jamie, thereby becoming a part of the story. The foe in this story is the father of Jamie, he’s an ornery bastard who made me want to slap some sense in to him. Even though the homophobic characters in this tale got a rise out of me at the same time all the struggles in this story allowed the romance to shine even more.
THE TIN STAR contains all the essentials for a gripping m/m erotica novel. The easy-to-read writing style, the loveable characters, the sexing and the challenges they had to face, it all blended together in a read that will resonate with many erotica readers. My first encounter with J.L. Langley will not be my last, that is for sure!
Ethan was walking toward him. He had a straw hat on over his short black hair that shaded the upper part of his face and his eyes, but Jamie knew those eyes were a deep, milk-chocolate brown. Damn, the man is fine. Where he and the Killian men were lean and sinewy, Ethan was a big man, tall and broad shouldered, heavily muscled, lean-hipped and intimidating as hell. Jamie was five foot eleven; Ethan had at least four inches on him. Ethan wore a black tee-shirt, faded jeans and black boots. From under his sleeve, the bottom of his tattoo, which he’d gotten as a teen with John, showed.