Lickety Split: love won’t wait.
Patch Hastle grew up in a hurry, ditching East Texas for NYC to make his name as a DJ and model without ever looking back. When his parents die unexpectedly, he heads home to unload the family farm ASAP and skedaddle. Except the will left Patch’s worst enemy in charge: his father’s handsome best friend who made his high school years hell.
Tucker Biggs is going nowhere. Twenty years past his rodeo days, he’s put down roots as the caretaker of the Hastle farm. He knows his buddy’s smartass son still hates his guts, but when Patch shows up growed-up, looking like sin in tight denim, Tucker turns his homecoming into a lesson about old dogs and new kinks.
Patch and Tucker fool around, but they can’t fool themselves. Once the farm’s sold, they mean to call it quits and head off to separate sunsets. With the clock ticking, the city slicker and his down-home hick get roped into each other’s life. If they’re gonna last longer than spit on a griddle, they better figure out what matters—fast.
March 13, 2017
Contemporary, Cowboys, Kinky Erotica
286 e-book pages
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Ratings are 1 to 5 stars and based mostly on GoodReads standards.
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A SOLID I-REALLY-LIKED-IT FOUR STARS for Lickety Split.
And I’m kinda doing some dubious finger math to justify my rating. There were lots of wins plus a few peeves I cling to that might’ve actually worked for me — a few that didn’t. A story that was off the charts in the HEAT FACTOR. Characters who were immensely likable in some ways — and ways they weren’t.
So…lets break it down.
This is the story of two cowboys. One who let the grass grow under his feet, one who got the hell out of Dodge. It’s a story of opposites finding common ground. And for both, it’s finding home — one that’s not a place, but in each other.
Contemporary cowboys. Or, maybe not cowboys so much because they weren’t riding the range and lassoing cattle. Tucker had been part of the rodeo circuit in his younger days…so I s’pose that counts. This mostly takes place on a hay farm in rural East Texas where Wranglers, cowboy boots and cowboy hats are the uniform de rigueur. And Tucker rides a horse a few times. WIN. Total win.
Age-gap. This is nearly always a win for me. I simply love characters who don’t give a shit about big age differences even though I can’t imagine me being seriously attracted to someone twenty years older or younger. This part is a SO-SO for me in this book. Yes, I loved the age gap, but I was a little squicked that Tucker was BFFs with Patch’s dad, therefore had known him since he was a kid. What made it mostly work was that Tucker didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to Patch back in the day — even though Patch harbored a boyhood crush on the older man that never went away.
Kinky Erotica. WIN, WIN, WIN. This is off the charts nuclear and gets really creative with the bondage and outdoor naked sexy times. Damn, this is hot…a little bit Daddy Kink, a little bit of dominance and submission, a lot of sizzling dirty talk. Some of the dirty-talk was over the top and side-eye-laugh-inducing, still a win because these guys were unapologetic for what got them off.
Dialect. Okey-doke. I’m a southern girl. I can’t hide it very well, and it’s a rare occasion these days when I even bother to try. I used to do a lot of public speaking for my job — so I’d beat it back, even though 99% of the time I was in the South, in front of fellow southerners. But, in a professional setting, I needed to sound like professional and not like a hick. In books, written dialect (especially southern) tends to get on my ever-loving last fuckin’ nerve. It can be confusing, it can be repetitive, condescending, wrong, stereotypical, and et cetera. In reviews past, I have gone OFF on southern dialect and the many ways it irks the crap out of me. BUUUUT. Here, somehow, some way, even though it’s heavy handed in its entirety and nearly all the things I typically hate about written dialect, IT WORKED and I don’t have any gripes. I wanted to gripe. I wanted to hate it. But…I can’t. Huh.
Character likeability. There’s no doubt in my mind that Tucker and Patch were made to be together. There’s no doubt they’re ultimately compatible. But for likeability? Well, Tucker — with the exception of his attraction to Patch and the way he ends up loving him — is not such a good guy. His past is sordid, full of low aspirations, poor choices, and bad behavior that left a trail of pissed off women and unclaimed children. He’s not above taking the easy way out and letting life pass him by. He eventually won me over, but it took him having a monster of a wake-up call that was nearly too little, too late. Patch was immensely likable from the get-go. Though still a bit immature in his reasoning skills, he was immensely brave for leaving his small town to find a big life in a big city and travel the world. Patch was still a little lost and untethered, harboring some potentially skewed memories of his childhood where maybe everything wasn’t quite as bad as the way he remembered. But, returning to the homestead, catching up with a few of the people from his past, sorting through the memorabilia in his childhood home and facing down some old demons was eye-opening — and that he felt all of that, questioned it and tried to make some sense of it was endearing.
The writing. I’m a bit ashamed to say this was my first foray into a Damon Suede book, but happy to say that was finally rectified and that I’m eager for more. The writing is technically sound, engaging, fun, on-point, with just the right balance of emotion and hot-as-hell eroticism. Damon crafted some messy, flawed, mostly unapologetic characters and took them through the wringer to a hard-won HEA. That, for me, is always a win.
A rollicking good read — enthusiastically recommended.
Advance Review Copy generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author:
Damon Suede grew up out-n-proud deep in the anus of right-wing America, and escaped as soon as it was legal. He has lived all over and along the way, he’s earned his crust as a model, a messenger, a promoter, a programmer, a sculptor, a singer, a stripper, a bookkeeper, a bartender, a techie, a teacher, a director… but writing has ever been his bread and butter. He has been happily partnered for over a decade with the most loving, handsome, shrewd, hilarious, noble man to walk this planet.
Damon is a proud member of the Romance Writers of America and the Rainbow Romance Writers. Though new to romance fiction, Damon has been writing for print, stage, and screen for two decades, which is both more and less glamorous than you might imagine. He’s won some awards, but counts his blessings more often: his amazing friends, his demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive Muse who keeps whispering in his ear, year after year..
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