Author: S.L. Danielson
Publisher: S.L. Danielson
American release date: July 19, 2010
Format/Genre/Length: Novel/M/M Romance/167 pages (also available in e-book)
Publisher/Industry Age Rating: NR (my suggestion is Older Teens and up)
Overall Personal Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Sid Rosen’s in a world of trouble. The farm is mortgaged to the hilt thanks to the gambling habits of his late father, and the payments are six months overdue. A terrible drought has more than taken its toll on everyone, and Sid is a desperate man. He can’t work the farm alone, and he can’t afford to hire anyone. Catch 22—what’s a guy to do?
Sid lives alone on the ranch, with only his dog for company, and has ever since his last lover took off for parts unknown a year before, without a word or a note of good-bye. Forced into the only solution that he can see, Sid places an ad for a live-in ranch hand, whose only recompense will be room and board: it’s all that he can afford. Not surprisingly, he doesn’t receive any takers, until Roger Laramie spots Sid’s ad and calls.
Roger and his own dog join Sid at the ranch, and the two men start working to salvage the farm. Roger’s a hard worker, but the trouble is, he’s also more than a pretty face—he has ideas about how to bring the ranch back to life. Sid resents his ideas, and resents being told what to do with his land, so they butt heads. But with time comes wisdom, and the two form a partnership—in more ways than one—working together to bring the ranch to fruition once more.
A loud-mouthed slutty town drunk, the hardships inherent in farming, unwelcome blasts from the past as well as the trials of beginning a relationship where trust is essential but also hard to give push Sid and Roger to the limits. Will they work past their issues, or will they succumb to them, and the ranch as well?
Ranch Hands is a love story, but it’s also a story about survival, and doing what you have to do to get by. Nothing comes easy, and everything has a price. S.L. Danielson draws her characters in broad strokes. She isn’t one for details, more of a cut-to-the-chase kind of writer. So if you’re looking for finesse, or subtlety, don’t look here. But if you like a story that gets to the heart of the matter, and doesn’t waste time with getting there, you’ll like her style.
Sid and Roger could be any other two people in love. Love stories are universal, and it doesn’t matter what gender the couple involved is, whether two men, two women, or a man and a woman. It’s what’s in the heart that counts. S.L. shows us what is in the hearts and minds of Sid and Roger; by the end of the book we feel as if we’ve come to know and like them, and you’ll find yourself cheering them on through all the difficult times and difficult people.
I give this 4.5 ☆s.