Layne buys and retrains retired thoroughbred horses. He wants to show people that the horses’ careers don’t have to end when they stop racing. Layne has brought a trailer with three of his best to a big rodeo in Kansas City. He’s expecting his groom to meet him there to help with the horses. Unfortunately, the groom is ill and can’t make it.
Carl is a former rodeo rider who got injured and can no longer compete. Even though he doesn’t ride anymore, he’s come to the rodeo to see friends, and try to find some work because he doesn’t necessarily want to return home to his family’s ranch. Carl meets up with Layne after helping Layne back the trailer into a parking space, and Layne asks if Carl would be willing to work with him and the horses for the duration.
The men hit it off in more ways than one and the question is whether they can continue to get along in the future.
This was a sweet and sexy little novella and I enjoyed it very much. In fact, it would have been amazing if it could have been longer. Layne and Carl were great characters, and even though there wasn’t a whole lot of time to get to know them, I got a real sense of them and their lives. Their connection was instant and believable. Sometimes, you just know you’re meant to be in someone’s life. This was definitely the case with Layne and Carl.
The chemistry between Layne and Carl was explosive. From their first handshake until the end of the story, the heat between them was obvious. There is only one sex scene, but that scene is smoking! This is an example of the less is more school of thought. There was no real reason to include any more. In fact, even one more scene would have been too much.
I loved the details included in New Vocations. I know next to nothing about horses (I think they’re beautiful, but frankly, I’m terrified of them. They’re so BIG.), but the descriptions of their bodies and their attributes actually helped me to grasp some of the finer points of raising and training them. I also got the feel of how much Layne and Carl loved and respected the animals.
Everything tied up neatly in the end. It was simple, but it fit, and it worked for the story’s purpose. If you like cowboys, horses, and the rodeo, and if you have about a half hour to spare, New Vocations is for you.
PS…I have read other stories by T.A. Chase, and I can tell you she’s an excellent storyteller, and she’s worth checking out.