Title: Lickety Split
Author: Damon Suede
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 13, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 286
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Lickety Split: Love won’t wait. Patch Hastle grew up in a hurry, ditching East Texas for NYC to make his name as a DJ and model without ever looking back. When his parents die unexpectedly, he heads home to unload the family farm ASAP and skedaddle. Except the will left Patch’s worst enemy in charge: his father’s handsome best friend who made his high school years hell.
Tucker Biggs is going nowhere. Twenty years past his rodeo days, he’s put down roots as the caretaker of the Hastle farm. He knows his buddy’s smartass son still hates his guts, but when Patch shows up growed-up, looking like sin in tight denim, Tucker turns his homecoming into a lesson about old dogs and new kinks.
Patch and Tucker fool around, but they can’t fool themselves. Once the farm’s sold, they mean to call it quits and head off to separate sunsets. With the clock ticking, the city slicker and his down-home hick get roped into each other’s life. If they’re gonna last longer than spit on a griddle, they better figure out what matters—fast.
Patrick (Patch) returns home to East Texas upon the death of his parents, with plans to clean out the family home, sell the land for oil exploration, and use the proceeds to fund his dream of opening a NYC nightclub, Velocity. However Patch’s boyhood crush Tucker (who fulfilled “So many kinks without breaking a sweat: straight, cowboy, coach, dickhead, daddy”) lives in a double-wide on the farm and is the executor of the will, having been promised a life estate by Patch’s father, Tucker’s long-time friend from back in their rodeo days.
While Patch has flat-out lusted after Tuck for most of his life, Tuck had no prior sexual awareness or interest in Patch, and yeah, Tucker was an assertive mean jerk trying to toughen up Patch and keep him out of trouble as a teenager. Tucker has lived his life without excuse – there’s no justification for how he’s neglected the numerous children he’s sired throughout the county, no apologies for the way he treated Patch, no touching moment where Tucker tells of his epic struggle with his bisexuality. Tucker is who he is – take ’em or leave ’em.
Patch left home at age 16 convinced he’d had a horrible family life, but this story gives him no resolution of his issues with his family. There’s no heartwarming return, no deep understanding of his parents other than Tucker telling Patch they were so proud of him. And yeah, Patch can be a real pain in the ass who struggles with understanding his own deeper issues and feelings and seems absolutely fixated on the idea that Velocity will somehow make his life complete.
The slow pace of this story drove me crazy, but it’s fitting with the laid-back tread of Tucker’s life. I like the irony of Lickety Split and a nightclub called Velocity while Patch ever-so-slowly reawakens to the simpler pleasures in East Texas.
And speaking of a slower pace … there are plenty of edging scenes, along with plenty of J-Lube. These are not the idealized scenes of a fluffy romance. There’s lots (and lots and lots) of talk about “sauce” and “juice” and “meat” …. and believe me, we ain’t talkin’ Texas BBQ.
I really struggled with this review and rating. I can’t honestly say that I enjoyed Lickety Split nor especially liked either character, but I appreciate Damon Suede’s considerable skill in crafting this story without prettying it up with a lot of conventional M/M plot devices.
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