Title: The Dusty Hat Bar
Author: L.J. Hamlin
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Release Date: August 30, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Western Romance
Page Count: 96
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
When Noah walks into Dusty’s bar on Friday night, he expects it to be much like every other night. But this Friday things are different. Tonight Lennie is present, the son of Earl Boyce, the biggest ranch owner in the area and Noah’s former boss. Dusty warns away from Lennie, but Noah isn’t sure he wants—or even can—resist.
The Dusty Hat Bar is a short novella about two gay cowboys living in small-town Texas. Lennie’s father Earl is a big landowner and is very protective of his five daughters and only son to the point of being very controlling and rigid. Noah used to work at Earl’s ranch and was fired -ironically – because Earl thought he was messing around with one of his daughters.
On Lennie’s twenty-first birthday, Noah sees him at the Dusty Hat Bar and having heard some rumors that Lennie is gay, briefly entertains the idea of getting back at Earl by seducing his son. But what develops between the two cowboys is a deep sustaining relationship that makes them decide to take their chances together in a town (and state) that can be very hostile to gay men.
The Dusty Hat Bar is a sweet story and I really like how, when it would have been far easier to make Lennie’s father Earl a complete villain, there is growth and acceptance. 4 stars.