When steer roper Evan Marshall’s horse dies suddenly, he’s forced to find a new mount on short notice, which is why he finds himself at Two Spirits Ranch with his best friend and rodeo partner. Settling for the first horse he comes upon is not the smartest thing, but the white-socked, wall-eyed, black horse—Gus—felt right from the very beginning. Besides Mark, Gus is Evan’s best friend, even if the horse is ornery and has a penchant for destroying his cell phones.
Openly gay on the rodeo circuit is not always easy for Evan, but when he sets his eyes on the light blue eyed, Native American cowboy in the light gray hat and green shirt at the bar in Dallas, Evan uncharacteristically makes a move. The one amazing encounter in the backroom of the club is not easily forgotten, nor is the fact that the cowboy disappeared after. Weeks later, Evan faces a group of homophobic bull riders and is saved by the cowboy, whose name he learns later is Aaron, but he has memories of Gus in there somewhere too. Then Aaron disappears, leaving Evan scratching his head in wonder at his own attraction to the man with eyes so much like his horses’.
One Good Favor by J.L. Langley and Dick D. is a short story that is also part of MLR Press’ Ties that Bind anthology.
This is a story about a man and his horse. It’s an oldie but goodie that I’ve enjoyed for quite a while and to be honest, I think it’s one of Langley’s more forgotten works, though it’s quite good. One Good Favor is a short and sweet tale of fated lovers—one broken hearted and the other who is bound and determined to see him smile again. What I like most about this one is the lack of angst and drama. This story is short and sweet, which is probably why it is passed over a lot of the time. It’s a super easy and light read.
I adore the relationship between Evan and Gus, as well as Evan and Aaron. Between Evan and Gus, the relationship is a total BFF relationship. It’s cute the way Evan turns to his horse in all things. [spoiler] Then there’s the Aaron aspect of Gus. You see, the fact that this story is a paranormal romance is more a subtlety than anything because there are hints that Gus is more than meets the eye throughout the story, but the big shift only happens once on page. [/spoiler] Yet the relationship between Aaron and Evan—the tension and jealousies and heat—are all built up nicely throughout the entire story, around everything else. And the power play between the two is sudden and scorchingly hot. Theirs is a bit of a twist on a stranger in the night kind of story. It’s captivating and sexy. That’s for sure.The working of this short is quite clever not that you’d know by my summary, but truly, the way the authors create this story and reveal each step is quite creative. Each time I read it I’m impressed.
Overall, I like this story more and more each time I crack it open. The characters are great and the story is fun. Honestly I wouldn’t hate having more of them in another story or maybe a story for Adam and/or Tracy. I definitely recommend One Good Favor by J.L. Langley and Dick D.