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Review: Lone Star on a Cowboy Heart – Marie S. Crosswell

Lone Star on a Cowboy Heart - Marie S. Crosswell

Genre: Contemporary, Western

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

When Montgomery Clarke saves Deputy Sam Roswell’s life during an armed robbery, both men go home thinking they’ll never cross paths again. Instead, a friendship blossoms between them as they work together to track down a wanted man: the surviving robber who escaped the scene of the crime with a sack of cash.

Drawn to each other despite their starkly different personalities, Montgomery and Sam quickly bond in a way neither man has with anyone else in years. Their friendship awakens Sam’s long-buried and unexplored romantic feelings for men, while reviving Montgomery’s deepest longing: for a platonic life partner. Sparked by violence, Sam and Montgomery’s connection becomes cemented in yet another dangerous confrontation when they finally catch up to Joel Troutman, the robber on the run.

A year later, Montgomery and Sam are best friends with an exceptionally intimate relationship. What should be their first happy Christmas season together, however, suddenly turns sour when Montgomery gives Sam the cold shoulder without explanation. Brought together once again by crime—this time, one involving a teenage girl—Sam and Montgomery reckon with their feelings for each other. Will they remain friends or become partners?

The Review

Sam Roswell has moved to Prescott, Arizona, and is a deputy for the Yavapai County Sheriffs Department. He’s making a new start for himself. He’s lonely, and would really like to make a new friend. He misses the connection that he had with his wife, especially the evening companionship.  Even though she was a good woman, something was amiss between them, and now they are divorced.

Montgomery Clarke is a true cowboy, and justice for him is the cowboy way. He’s done some traveling and worked at a few ranches. After four years, he’s settled in Skull Valley, and is a part-time ranch hand for the Barbee Ranch. He has a small place, but that doesn’t mean this is where he’ll stay forever. He likes working on the ranch, he doesn’t have a social life and doesn’t care, and he’s very much a loner. He was once married to AnnaLee, but he couldn’t give her what she deserved. He still considers her his best friend.

While at the Dog Bowl Diner having dinner alone, Sam is once again wishing he had a friend in town. His thoughts are interrupted when he finds himself in the midst of a robbery. Sam has to make a judgement call when one of the robbers hold a teenage boy at gun point. Sam doesn’t carry a gun when he’s off duty. He’s not even in uniform – all he has is his badge. Before Sam can make a move, a shot rings out, and the robber is down, and there’s a tall stranger with a gun in his hand in front of him. In all the commotion, the other robber gets away, but the stranger – Montgomery Clarke – just saved Sam’s life.  

Two weeks go by, and then Sam sees Montgomery at the Bird Cage Saloon drinking alone. He’s thought about Montgomery every day since the robbery. He even got Montgomery’s information, after he disappeared without a goodbye. They start to talk about the incident that took place at the diner, and keep talking right up until the saloon closing. Sam thanks Montgomery for saving his life, and watches as Montgomery walks away.  

A week later Sam makes his way to Skull Valley to seek out Montgomery once again. He wants Montgomery’s help to find the other robber.  But more than that, he wants a friendship with Montgomery.  Before Sam leaves, Montgomery invites him to the Barbee Ranch. They make  a connection as they start to open up and share their personal lives. No matter the trouble and danger they’re in, their friendship grows.  

Sam offers a companionship that Montgomery really needs. The rustic cowboy also is afraid of what others think, and of Sam leaving him. He decides to cut ties with Sam.  Is too late or can they salvage a friendship and something more?  

This is my third time reading Lone Star on a Cowboy Heart. I first read it in 2016, and it was and still is one of my favorite stories, well worth reading over again.  At the time this was originally written, many people didn’t consider it a true romance, because it was without physical sex between the two men. I think that many folks at that time didn’t understand asexual characters. Now that this story has been revised, I think both versions are romantic in their own way.  

Marie S. Crosswell is amazing at expressing what is important to Sam and Montgomery, and what they both need for their special relationship. Montgomery he struggles to express his fears, and what he truly needs. The fear of being alone and never finding someone to understand him is heartbreaking. He wants to share Sam’s life, and never be judged by society for what they have. As for the crime aspect, I used to think it wasn’t needed.  Now that I’ve read the story again, I can see that it’s important to the story, as it shows Montgomery as Sam’s life saver.

There’s a few other characters that make this story interesting: Chief Jethro Beauty, of the Yavapai tribe and Tribal Police Force, whose always willing to give Sam advice. Lauren Baker, Sam’s friend. And Shannon, who’s helped by Montgomery.  

I highly recommend Lone Star on a Cowboy Heart by Marie S. Crosswell. Sam Roswell and Montgomery Clarke are two unforgettable and emotionally powerful characters.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California. Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018. My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen. New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012. She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series. Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book!

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing. I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews. One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group. Joining her site was such an eye opener. I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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