Rattlesnake (Renee’s Review)

RattleSnakeTitle: Rattlesnake
Author: Kim Fielding
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 31, 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 240
Reviewed by: Renee
Heat Level:  3 flames out of 5
Rating:  4.1 stars out of 5

A drifter since his teens, Jimmy Dorsett has no home and no hope. What he does have is a duffel bag, a lot of stories, and a junker car. Then one cold desert night he picks up a hitchhiker and ends up with something more: a letter from a dying man to the son he hasn’t seen in years.

On a quest to deliver the letter, Jimmy travels to Rattlesnake, a small town nestled in the foothills of the California Sierras. The centerpiece of the town is the Rattlesnake Inn, where the bartender is handsome former cowboy, Shane Little. Sparks fly, and when Jimmy’s car gives up the ghost, Shane gets him a job as handyman at the inn.

Both within the community of Rattlesnake and in Shane’s arms, Jimmy finds an unaccustomed peace. But it can’t be a lasting thing. The open road continues to call, and surely Shane—a strong, proud man with a painful past and a difficult present—deserves better than a lying vagabond who can’t stay put for long.

This was my first contemporary by Fielding, and it was a great experience. There is something about her writing style that calls to me. It’s so smooth and paints the picture of the story so well, each and every time I dive into one of her books. Rattlesnake is my favorite of hers so far.

It is a simple tale, in that there is no dramatic backstory, no paranormal elements, no suspenseful sideplots. Written well, those are some of my favorite books to read, and this was written WELL. Jimmy has been a drifter since he was a teenager. A true homeless drifter, traveling all over the country. He had one of the most tragic childhoods I can imagine, and has been living his life this way since. After picking up an elderly hitchhiker heading to Rattlesnake, he has his next destination. His passenger passes away before he can get there, but had a letter for his son. Jimmy decides he will deliver it for him.

The man’s son turns out to be Shane Little, bartender at the Snake, who is a bit broken, but not shattered, and with so much LIFE in him. He’s an amazing man, and I missed nothing having only Jimmy’s POV in this story.

“Who backs you up when you need it?”

“I wasn’t almost killed in an accident, Shane.”

Shane looked at him, then dropped his eyes to the dishtowel he was twisting tight. “Maybe not,” he said quietly. “Doesn’t mean nothing broke you, though.”

Jimmy never stays anywhere long. Usually only a handful of days at most. He always needs to be onto the next bend in the road. He knows he doesn’t belong anywhere, doesn’t deserve to belong anywhere. And most definitely doesn’t deserve to belong to Shane. He was taught that lesson very early in life and was never taught differently by anyone.

“You say you’re chasing after something, but you’re not fooling anyone with that lie. Not even yourself. You’re running from something, Jimmy Dorsett. ‘Cause that’s what you do, isn’t it? Trouble finds you, you just move on. Only you’re never gonna get away from it, because what you’re trying to escape is inside you.”

My one niggle was that Fielding spent so much time developing this tale between Jimmy and Shane, and there is definitely a HEA for our MCs, but I didn’t get some of the actual words that I wanted to hear near their ending. Personal preference, of course, but I wanted a little MORE when their HEA was unfolding.

Aside from that one minor detail, this was well worth reading, and I would highly recommend!

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Advanced Review Copy

Advanced review copy of Rattlesnake provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review.


I love boys who love boys! I'm in my 30s, from the southern US, and my crack is m/m romance.