Bent Oak Saga
Boston in 1888 is quite urbane, but unfortunately for Gil Porter, that isn’t the same thing as being understanding. When his sexuality is exposed by the scandalous suicide of his lover, Gil is exiled to the small town of Mercy, Texas, by his domineering father, George, who believes life on Vernon Porter's ranch will cure Gil of his “unnatural” desires. Grieving and ashamed, Gil is determined to keep his distance from everyone until he can return home. To his surprise, he finds acceptance at Bent Oak Ranch, especially from Matt Grayson, the handsome son of the ranch foreman. Knowing he must fight his attraction to Matt, Gil courts a local girl, but an unexpected encounter with Matt leads to his discovery of Matt’s feelings for him. Torn between Matt and his desire to be “normal," between returning to his old life and building a new one in Texas, Gil is faced with a choice—appeasing his father or becoming the man Matt knows he can be.
- 2 To Be Read lists
- 1 Read list
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Heat Level: 3
Romantic Content: 3
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Tropes: Hurt / Comfort
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
This is a wonderfully written, sweetly plotted, and ultimately surprising historical romance of the Old West. The main characters, Gil (foreground on the cover) and Matt, are supported by a stellar array of friends and relatives who are believable because they all have faults, as well as redeeming values.
Gil Porter's evolution from Boston Dandy to Texas cowboy is well paced and driven by his lust for Matt Grayson, whose father and sister work the ranch owned by Gil's uncle Vernon.
There are conflicts galore in Gil and Matt's relationship, some so sad that you might wipe an eyelid. But all of it is logical within the confines of the era.
The wonderful last quarter of the book contains a number of surprises that if you paid close attention and were particularly expansive in assessing characters you might have figured out. No spoilers, though.
With this book and "Heart of Stone" the duo named Ari McKay has shot to the top of my list of historical novelists.