Roger Mackie’s vacation to Las Vegas to celebrate his recent divorce has gotten off on the wrong foot. First, his best friend cancels at the last minute. Then Roger’s hotel lost his reservation and with a conference in town, he is forced to make alternate arrangements. Then his weekend of planned debauchery left him feeling melancholy. Packing up his rental car, Roger heads north and ends up in the Bitteroot Mountains fueling his gas tank and finding himself offering to take Johnny Two-Guns down to Arizona to retrieve tribal artifacts.
Johnny Two-Guns is a handsome Native American in his early twenties. He breaks broncos for money to support his family. As the two set out on their road trip, they find themselves battling their sexual attraction to one another. When their trip is over, Roger finds he can’t get Johnny off his mind and the two meet up for a week of sex and discovery. When Roger asks Johnny to return back to Denver with him, Johnny pleads for a month to make a decision.
Fate is set against Johnny and Roger. After learning that Johnny won’t be joining him in Denver, Roger is introduced to another Native American man, Brad Beaver – a young architect hired by the firm. Brad knows about loss, dealing with the loss of his fiancé in an automobile accident a short time ago. Roger and Brad form a friendship based on support. Though Roger isn’t ready to risk his heart again, he can’t escape fate.
This was my first Mark Wildyr story. Apparently Wildyr likes to tell stories where at least one of the main characters is Native American. As a reader, I appreciate having characters of different cultural backgrounds featured as main characters. Apparently, Wildyr is also known for writing unconventional M/M romance stories – and this book is definitely unconventional in that we get to see Roger fall in love, not once, but twice.
Roger has fought his homosexuality after his teenage crush on an older teen, Hank, left him with a broken heart and feeling used. Now divorced, he finds himself once again fighting his urges after meeting the gorgeous Chippewa, Johnny Two-Guns. With Johnny, Roger is ready, willing, and able to embrace his feelings. He begs Johnny to move to Denver with him so that their relationship can continue. Johnny is hesitant and asks for time. Then fate steps in and Roger finds himself struggling to move on.
Brad knows a bit about love and loss after his fiancé was killed in an automobile accident. He struggles with the guilt. Now he goes from woman to woman, never seeming to be satisfied. Then he meets Roger and finds himself wanting to ease Roger’s pain and loneliness…except Brad isn’t looking to Roger to reciprocate as he struggles with memories of what happened to him back in the service where he had been assaulted sexually. Only Brad wasn’t expecting to find himself struggling with his desire for Roger.
My biggest complaint about this book is that it features a lot of sex scenes – and not just between the main characters. We’ve got flashbacks of Roger and Hank; Roger and Johnny; Roger and a couple he meets at a bar; Roger and Brad; and Brad relating what he does with his girlfriend. Despite all the sex going on, these scenes are only a hint of spice.
Overall, this was definitely a different type of story than I am used to reading where there is a definitive couple that you follow throughout the story. Instead, this book takes you on one man’s journey as he tries to put his life together after a divorce. If you are looking for something a bit different, you’ve got to check this story out. Highly recommend.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.