“A Hard Ride Home” by Emory Vargas

 photo download_zpslyrnmgz3.jpgIt’s hard enough returning to his birthplace to replace a dead man as sheriff. The last thing Emmett needs is to find himself smitten with Jesse, the whore he arrests almost immediately upon arrival. Especially since Jesse works for his half-sister and at her thoroughly disreputable saloon.

But being smitten with a whore is only the beginning of Emmett’s troubles. Silver Creek is a town full of secrets and people too terrified to talk. Why does Emmett’s father, the mayor of Silver Creek, have such a strong hold on the town—and on Jesse?

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I have to confess, I have somewhat mixed feelings about this book.  I will say though once I started it, I couldn’t put it down until I finished it.  I really enjoyed the story, but I couldn’t get emotionally invested into the characters.  I felt a lot of the back story was missing about Emmett and his relationship with his father.  I would’ve liked to hear more. As it is all we really know is daddy sent him off to a University and then didn’t want him to come back to town.  I want to know what caused this relationship to be so volatile.  I also want to know how Evelyn, went from being a “daddy’s girl” to a Whorehouse/saloon owner.  That doesn’t just randomly happen. And why does SHE hate her father so much?  I just didn’t feel like being told Warren was a bastard was enough back story for me to get to know the characters. To make them come alive. To become emotionally invested in them.

There was one other thing that initially annoyed me….but as I write this review I realize how narrow minded I was and how brilliant Emory Vargas is.  While I read the love story of Jesse and Emmett, I kept thinking to myself “the towns people would NOT be so accepting of gay men.  This is the OLD WEST!  This isn’t realistic.”  But, as I began replaying the story in my mind and thinking how to word my annoyance with this scenario, I realized I was born in 1974, not 1874.  I have no clue what was or wasn’t acceptable back then.  As I pondered this, I realized Emory Vargas had just broken down some of the stereotypical walls that have and continue to hinder Gay Equality.  So, much like “Broke Back Mountain” tore down walls surrounding Cowboys, Emory Vargas broke down walls surrounding the Old West.  BRILLIANT!!!

Final Thoughts:  I really enjoyed the story.  It was a quick read and Jesse and Emmett’s love story was sweet and steamy.  However because of the disconnection with characters, I wasn’t able to be “in the moment” emotionally.  This could very well just be a “ME” issue.  I’m only one person, with one opinion.  One thing is for sure though…I look forward to reading more from this Brilliant Author! ♥

~Robin Malone

I REALLY Enjoyed It, But Something Was Missing.

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“A Hard Ride Home” by Emory Vargas is available for Pre-Order.  Release Date is June, 17, 2015

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