The Tin Star

Title: The Tin Star
Author: J.L. Langley
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Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: novel 290 pages print
Rating: 5 stars out of 5


When James Killian comes out to his father, he finds himself banished from his home and fired from his job as ranch foreman. His savior comes in the unlikely form of Ethan Whitehall, his older brother’s best friend. Ethan has always had a soft spot where Jamie Killian was concerned, and he will do whatever it takes to keep his new lover safe.


When Jamie Killian is kicked out by his father for confessing that he was gay, Ethan Whitehall, his brother’s best friend, on whom Jamie had always had a crush, took him in until he could get on his feet again. Ethan had no idea how his life would change by that one act. Ethan had known Jamie most of his life and had watched him grow up so there had always been a fondness between them developed over many years. Although John, Jamie’s brother, had known that Ethan was gay since they roomed together in university, he had never shared this information with Jamie who was totally blown away when he discovered Ethan’s sexual orientation. Jamie wanted a much closer relationship with Ethan and living in his house gave him that opportunity. Ethan didn’t have a chance because Jamie was just what he wanted as well!

When they decided to give their feelings free rein it was as if the stars had realigned. Jamie’s and Ethan’s love was so intense that every time they were together I could feel their emotions and the joy they shared at having discovered each other. The sex scenes, a trademark of this author, were hot and raw but also emotional and intense.

The story was surprisingly complex because of the difficulties caused by Jamie’s Dad and others in the small community who refused to accept two gay men in love with each other. But on the other hand John, Jamie’s bother, was very supportive of their relationship and his character was really outstanding in a number of ways especially in terms of how he dealt with members of the community and tried to find common ground with his father. There were a number of other characterizations which struck me as being well drawn – Sheriff Grayson Hunter, “Aunt Margaret,” Jake’s sister Jules, his father and his vicious but bumbling cronies.

There’s an 11 year difference between these two characters so the May/December flavour is very much in evidence in the story, but it is well done because even though Ethan is indulgent and protective of Jamie the love is definitely hot man love. Gay cowboys have always been one of my favourite story lines in this genre and The Tin Star is an exceptional story. It had everything – well drawn protagonists, danger, attempted murder, terrific secondary characters including non human characters like Jamie’s dog Fred who was so cute she pulled at my heart strings.

The main characters are engaging, the sex is hot, the plot is complex, the secondary characters are three dimensional and the story was a lot of fun. What more can a reader want? I have read this book countless times and it always puts me in a “feel good” mood. I think that most readers look for escape when they pick up a book and the The Tin Star provides this in spades.


I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball


  • Mary
    Sometimes it happens. Most readers put this one on the top of their list of M/M buys and they re-read it countless times. I have yet to read a book by JL that I didn’t love.

  • I read this story a while ago. I liked it well enough, but it never crossed the line from “nice” to “great” for me. Can’t rememebr why. *shrugs* It just happens, I suppose. I still have a few more books by this author I want to try.


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