Jackass Flats (Crabbypatty’s Review)

Title: Jackass Flats (Riding Cowboy Flats #1) Second Edition
Author: Julia Talbot
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 28, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Cowboys, Military
Page Count: 100
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 2.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5
Blurb:

Can a traveling military man and a set-in-his-ways cowboy find a way to make things work?

Tate feels like the best part of life has probably passed him by, which is why the thirtysomething cowboy hits the bars every night. When he meets Dave, a young soldier from a nearby Army base, though, Tate figures things might be looking up. He and Dave get off to a rocky start, but Tate soon finds that he and the kid have enough in common to make things interesting.

Dave isn’t really into the whole don’t ask, don’t tell thing, and he doesn’t bother to hide his relationship with Tate from his friends. Once he realizes he should have been more careful, it might be too late. But Dave is willing to fight for Tate, even if it means taking on the military. ~ First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2008.

Tate is a hard drinkin’ New Mexico cowboy living in a small house in Jackass Flats, which all the fancy folks in subdivisions call Tortilla Flats. One night he meets Dave Lopes, a young Army stud with big muscles and broad shoulders who works with guidance systems at the White Sands Missile Range. They hit it off and end up doing some low-key dating as in trips to Tate’s private hot springs and evenings on the couch watching old westerns with beer and popcorn.

The relationship between the two men moves at a leisurely pace, and while the novella has a few sex scenes there is no steamy sizzle of sexual chemistry. Tate is about 35 years old yet throughout the book Tate refers to himself as old, as in broken-down, tired, weary, worn-out, and he suspects people think he looks like Dave’s father. Just as a frame of reference, Hayden Christiansen is also 35. I dunno, maybe it’s me, but I can’t imagine many 35-year-old men explaining (as Tate does):

“I’m an old fart, honey. You hitch your wagon to me, you’d best know that now. I’m happy to jerk you or blow you, if you need some more lovin’, but I ain’t up for fucking.”

There was also some inconsistency with a major plot point…

Spoiler
Dave’s crisis with his military career is first described as perhaps having something to do with a disgruntled friend and an overheard conversation, then DADT (the book is set in 2008 before the repeal of DADT), or maybe because Dave’s former commander disliked him
… that left me scratching my head.

While the ending neatly ties up Dave and Tate’s low-key love story, “Jackass Flats” just did not grab my interest. My rating is 2.75 stars (rounded up to 3 stars).

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Jackass Flats provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.

Author

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas

I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend.

My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh … not in my wheelhouse, but I’m a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre.

Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more.

A few “badges” from NetGalley:
100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader

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