Police Chief Robert Garrett is home from the Pacific after serving his country during World War II and getting wounded in the process. Now with a leg that acts up in the worst of times, he spends his time watching over the small town of Bolt, Montana and living a quiet, if not lonely, life. Rob knows he is “different” and is set on never acting on his sexual needs. After all, it’s 1942 and such practices are rather frowned upon, to say the least. But everything Rob ascribes to flies out the window when he sees Jamie Jameson at a crime scene investigation.
Jamie is a reporter for the local paper and, due to weak lungs, he’s unable to serve in the war. His own brother, and Rob’s best friend, was killed during his stint in the military so Jamie is frustrated he cannot go serve as well. Rob has been a family friend since Jamie was young and doesn’t seem to be able see him as anything other than the little brother that Rob once mistakenly kissed. In reality, Rob is terrified to get too close to Jamie as the feelings that were aroused years ago have never really died and, in Rob’s opinion, it’s simply too dangerous for the two men to even contemplate friendship. Too bad Jamie doesn’t share that opinion. When Jamie and another reporter take off after the killer to scoop a story, Rob is forced to pursue them, leading to both he and Jamie laying in the killer’s crosshairs.
As always, author Josh Lanyon has done her homework and Slay Ride has all the right components to make it feel authentic. Despite this being a short story, the sexual tension between Jamie and Rob is realistic and intense and the chase to capture the killer is fascinating to read. I actually enjoyed this story despite the fact that we were dropped down into the middle of the action and an already established relationship that never really got going before Rob went off to war. I liked both characters and would love to see a longer novel featuring them and that time in history.
What I didn’t care for was the fact that the resolution to the capture of the killer was all done off page and, as a result, it made the story feel as though it ended abruptly. There had been such nail-biting action up to that point and then suddenly everything was resolved. Rob and Jamie professed love for each other and Rob’s mother and sisters conveniently provided a way that he and Jaime could live together with a suitable cover story to hide the fact that they were lovers. It felt a little like the author had cheated in ending the story way too soon and way too neatly. However, up to that point, I thoroughly enjoyed the drama as it unfolded on the page.