Title: Kentucky 98 Proof
Author: K.C. Kendricks
Publisher: White Deer Enterprises
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary m/m romance
Length: Extended Novella (34 k words)
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Feliz
Summary Review: A nice, unassuming boy-meets-boy story, set in wintry rural Kentucky.
The Blurb: Victor Carter knows his grandfather only from a handful of black and white photographs, so his surprise when the man’s will is read is genuine. What’s he going to do with seventy acres on the side of a Kentucky mountain? More importantly, how’s he going to survive living there for a year to satisfy the conditions of the will so he can sell the property? Even worse, it’s not like the hills of Kentucky are teeming with gay companionship.
Boone Mosely is Kentucky born and bred with a proud family heritage he can trace back to his home state’s founding. Following in his uncle’s footsteps, Boone’s in his second term as sheriff of Four Points. He takes the job seriously and doesn’t suffer fools—or crime—in his town.
When city slicker Victor Carter arrives on Shepherd Mountain, Boone knows he’s got a whole new brand of trouble to deal with. And this time, the badge isn’t going to help him at all.
Vic barely knew his grandfather. Even when Vic’s father died, and Vic asked his grandfather for help, the old man refused to meet him. So it comes as a surprise, to put it mildly, when Vic learns that his grandfather has left him a legacy of land in the Kentucky mountains. However, the legacy comes with conditions: Vic has to live on the land for a year, or it will go to one Boone Mosely who is also the executor of the will.
After a visit to his inheritance (and after meeting Boone Mosely), Vic decides that he will brave the Kentucky winter rather than letting the surprisingly comfortable cabin in the woods go to waste. If he doesn’t like it there, he can always sell the land, as he’d planned even before seeing it. Besides, his competitor for the property is an incentive to try and live there rather than a deterrent. The attraction between the two men is instant, and so, equipped with working internet access and after trading his sports car for an SUV, city dweller Vic goes about earning his inheritance–and perhaps a man to share it with.
This is pretty much all there is to the story. Vic is a sympathetic character, a little awkward at first, but soon comfortable in the rural setting. Likewise Boone–initially he fears to have to deal with a clueless City boy, but after Vic gets accustomed to rougher living (not too rough, though, as it turns out) Boone opens up to him. Boone and Vic’s getting together isn’t all that surprising, given that they’re apparently the only two gay men in the small Kentucky town.
This story had some interesting points that keep it from being bland, for example Vic’s grandfather, Boone’s uncle, and Boone’s backstory in and of itself as well as some interesting events from Boone’s professional life as a sheriff. The setting was well developed, and the supporting characters were mostly as likable as the main characters were.
Most of the conflict in the story arose from within Boone and Vic and their respective ingrained convictions and misgivings, as their environment was supportive of their relationship in a small-town-nosy, busybody way that I found quite endearing.
All in all, this was an easy, positive and not too demanding read, pleasantly written and enjoyable. Just right for a rainy afternoon or an extended train ride.