Circumstances in the ring bring Shane and Dustin together in celebration, which leads to sharing a ride to the next rodeo and a night together at a hotel. The only hotel for miles has one vacant room with a queen bed. Although both men are cautious, in the end they admit not only their sexual preference, but also their attraction, and the heat is intense as they give in to their passion. The following days leave both Shane and Dustin wondering if that night was a one-off or could lead to more, except at the rodeo, there are no gay cowboys Their lack of communication gives the impression that nothing more will come of the encounter and, needing a break, Shane returns home planning to figure out his feelings before resuming his duties on the circuit.
When Dustin is injured in the ring, it falls on Shane to take care of him. The close proximity, coupled with their shared secret and almost instant attraction, makes Dustin feel like he can take a chance and trust Shane with his hopes and dreams. When Dustin begs to be fucked by Shane, Shane is more than happy to oblige, but the following morning, Dustin is freaked out, not wanting to be “the girl,” and Shane is not impressed with Dustin’s assessment of their relationship.
As Shane and Dustin follow the rodeo circuit, they learn more about each other and realize that what they feel is love. Dustin’s best friend, Todd, admits he and his family have known about Dustin for years, which is a relief. Trouble is brewing however, as Dustin feels something is off, that bad things are on the horizon. Although Shane doesn’t believe Dustin at the time, he soon realizes that the threat is real.
I have to admit that Drawing the Devil felt a little “pie in the sky,” and at first both Justin and Shane struck me as shallow, two-dimensional characters. Regardless of their words, their behavior felt like a hookup at first. Fortunately, the character development really ramped up by about the halfway point of the story and I started to feel a bit more for them both. We are privy to Dustin’s harsh past and are provided with a good understanding of his ADD and relationship with his best friend Todd and Todd’s family. We are also provided with a bit of insight into Shane’s family, and his coming out, but not enough as far as I am concerned.
Let’s go back to Todd for a moment. Todd was pretty much the only secondary character of note, and he was a well developed and integral part of the story. Shane’s family was also important at times, but not to the same extent as Todd and they did not exhibit sufficient depth, each of them filling a role for the sake of the role.
Considering the set up for Shane’s homecoming, I was disappointed at the lack of interaction with his family, either good or, as foreshadowed, bad. Shane shows up all nervous and worried and then nothing. In fact, there were lots of instances where it felt like something was missing, that the flow of the story was just a little off. One such instance was Shane’s dialogue with Dudley, which did not read well. Did I mention Dudley was a horse? A character speaking to themselves or to an animal does not faze me in the least, but this particular conversation did not work.
At best, this was an amusing story with a pile of sex scenes (ah the joys of youth and cowboy testosterone), but I just didn’t feel the connection between the characters, any of them, and the angst and some of the situations felt forced. Really good sex scenes, by the way, and lots of them. My final assessment? Drawing the Devil was worth the read, but not a re-read.