Tyler catches his best friend Jace in bed with another man and is shocked, disgusted, angry, and…turned on. He’s grown up with this cowboy, competed against him in bull riding and calf roping. They’ve fished and swam together as kids. He never imagined Jace was gay–or that he’d been keeping secret the lust he felt for Tyler. When the truth come bubbling to the surface, things heat up between Tyler and his friend. He can’t get the memory of seeing Jace naked out of his head. Nor can he stop his desire for Jace. But will fear stop him from going all the way?
Tyler and Jace had been best friends most of their lives. They lived close to each other and spent as much time together as their jobs would allow. Jace had had a crush on Tyler since they were teenagers and Tyler promised never to leave him on one not-to-be- forgotten day. Now they are adults and Jace is in love with Tyler and has been for years, but he never told his friend because he didn’t want to be rejected since as far as he knew Tyler wasn’t gay. One morning Tyler went looking for his younger brother Chris who was late for work as usual, and he decided to check out Jace’s ranch since Chris was dating his sister Becky. When he found Chris he was in bed alright but not with Becky, instead he and Jace had obviously had a night of sex, judging by the number of used condoms, and were still going at it. Apparently they had been lovers for several months and there was no Becky in the picture. To say Tyler was furious was an understatement and he and Jace had a knock down, drag out fight before he dragged Chris home, but the image of his brother in bed with his best friend would not go away and he couldn’t deny his arousal at having Jace’s naked body on top of his when they were fighting.
A couple of days later Jace showed up at Tyler’s ranch but he was still too angry when Jace tried to explain that the only reason he had sex with Chris was because he couldn’t have him, the man he loved. Tyler was also upset that he didn’t know about Jace’s sexual orientation, but Jace confessed that he had not told him because he didn’t want to lose him as his best friend. He also pointed out how difficult it was for him, a gay man living in cowboy country, to have sex but he maintained that the only man he wanted in his life was Jace. Of course this didn’t sit well with Tyler who never thought of himself as bi or gay and he definitely didn’t see himself as Jace’s lover. However Jace was not a man to give up on a lifelong dream and he came by the ranch again to tempt Tyler who couldn’t resist kissing him which got him all hot and bothered.
Two weeks later Tyler couldn’t sleep because Jace’s body was still on his mind so he decided to do some work in the barn. About an hour later Jace showed up and they had the same argument, with Tyler continuing to deny that he had any sexual feelings towards him, but this time Jace dropped a bombshell and Tyler had a decision to make or he would lose Jace.
The chemistry between Jace and Tyler was palpable and so hot that the air between them sizzled. Eden Cole did a great job with the sex scenes and when Jace showed up at Tyler’s house one rainy night soaking wet, and offered him oral sex, there was no way that Tyler could have refused. Jace sure had his number.
I really enjoyed Cowboy Secrets because the author showed how difficult it was for Jace to come out even to Tyler and be accepted by him although they had known each other since they were children. This story had the earmarks of GFY but it wasn’t really because of the incident I referred to earlier when the protagonists were thirteen years old. While this is Jace’s and Tyler’s story there was a lot of realism in the plot – very different from many stories of cowboys falling in love with each other, especially in states like Texas which wasn’t known for being liberal towards gays and was certainly not OK Homo country. Some readers may not like Chris and Jace being f**kbuddies, but this made a lot of sense to me since they were both gay, Chris was not in love with Jace and knew the score that it was a temporary arrangement because Jace had set his sights on his big brother, they were both using each other for sex, and unless they wanted to drive for a couple of hours every time they wanted to get their rocks off this was a practical arrangement.
I did have a couple of niggles. The book was very short and I realize that the author had to wrap it up within the word count, but even so I felt that Tyler went very quickly from hating Jace’s sexual orientation to wanting to do him. My other niggle was, what were the odds of both brothers being gay?
To summarize: I thought that the protagonists were well drawn as well as Chris who at 23 was 10 years younger than Jace and Tyler and showed all the traits of a spoiled brat. The Texas setting seemed to be realistic. The sense of place was reinforced by the hot Texas sun beating down on Tyler, the chores that he did to keep the ranch running on oiled wheels, and Tyler’s and Jace’s work ethic in maintaining and improving their individual ranches. I also loved that while this was all new to Tyler, the love that bloomed between them was not quite insta love.The prose and dialogue flowed well, except for some grammar and typing mistakes – I guess a good editor was sorely needed.
If you’re looking for a realistic short cowboy story I would recommend Cowboy Secrets.