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Too Tough to Tame

by W. S. Long

Too Tough to Tame - W.S. Long
Editions:Kindle: $ 3.99 USD
ISBN: 9781634863568
Pages: 70

After Caleb Youngblood proposed to Sebastian Rush, the two men think everything should be smooth sailing. Marriage planning has started and the future is bright. Caleb is an openly out stock car racer, while Sebastian is offered the chance to work with a major TV studio as a cameraman at the Rio Olympics.

But Caleb is at a crossroads. The racing world may not be ready for an openly gay driver. Even though he wants to race, the family business is barely making money. And Caleb, being the face of Youngblood family, may be too much for conservative fans. Meanwhile, when an ex-lover of Sebastian’s reappears, secrets from his past cause friction between Sebastian and Caleb.

Should Caleb continue to race? Is Sebastian’s and Caleb’s love for one another strong enough to overcome what happened in the past? Or is their life together too tough to tame?

Excerpt:

Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.“That’s all you have to say?” asked Sebastian.

 

Caleb sat on the edge of their bed and removed his dress socks, and then removed his pants. Clad only in black boxer briefs, Caleb stood and rummaged through the dresser for a tank top, cotton socks, and running shorts. As he put his top and shorts on, Caleb broke the momentary silence. “What else is there to say? That ... ummm ... maybe you should have told me you were engaged?” Caleb took a seat again on the edge of the bed, and drawled out the last word, his eyebrows slightly arched, his jaw set firm. “I knew you had a serious relationship before me.” Caleb raised his hands up, both palms open. “But a serious relationship and an engagement are two different things.”

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Sebastian knew that Caleb was still angry, based on Caleb’s tone and Caleb’s refusal to look him in the eye. “I didn’t tell you I was engaged for only two days because I was embarrassed.”
Caleb straightened and now squinted at him. “Embarrassed?” Caleb’s voice betrayed incredulity.
“David broke up with me. I proposed. He said he didn’t love me enough to marry me.”
“So you proposed to him?” Caleb whispered, who turned away from Sebastian.
“Yes. I did,” answered Sebastian. “But, he’s in the past.”
Caleb stood. “I can’t talk about this right now. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that you wouldn’t tell me about being engaged before. I mean, to me, that’s a pretty serious commitment. It’s something I would tell you if I’d ever been engaged.”
“I didn’t think it was a big deal. If I had known you would be upset by it, by the fact that I was engaged for two days, I would have told you. I don’t love him, Caleb. I love you,” blurted Sebastian. “I didn’t know what love truly was until I met you.”
“Your mom said you were in a pretty serious relationship before me. You said that. Maybe I’m making something out of nothing. Maybe I’m just pissed you’re going to Rio with your ex. I can’t filter all these emotions that are rushing through me right now.” Caleb stood and headed out of the bedroom. “We’re not done talking. But I need to clear my head.”
Sebastian nodded. “I’ll make dinner, okay? I’ll see you after your run.”
Caleb didn’t say anything; Sebastian heard the front door close, then Sebastian sighed and sat on the edge of the bed, his hands clasping the top of his head. Somehow, he had to persuade Caleb that David was in the past. His phone vibrated in his pocket and he fished out the cell.
David had texted him. Nice seeing you. We need to catch up before Rio.
Sebastian had a choice to make, and he knew it. He just didn’t know what to do. He punched in the contact tab on his phone and called his mom.
After a few rings, she answered. “Sebastian?”
“Hey, Mom. How’re you?”
“I’m good. Your sister just picked up your niece.”
“Awesome. Is this a good time to talk?” asked Sebastian.
“Sure, honey. I was about to start dinner but it can wait a few minutes. Why, what’s up?”
“Did Caleb ask you about David?”
“Who?” Ginny asked.
Sebastian repeated the question. “Did Caleb ask you about David?”
'‘No. Caleb didn’t.”
“Then how did Caleb know I was engaged?”
“Oh. I told him.” Ginny’s voice trailed then she spoke again. “Was it supposed to be a secret?”
“Mom, I hadn’t told him. You know I was pretty upset about the break-up.”
“I know, honey. And don’t be mad, but I told Caleb that you both shouldn’t rush into getting married.”
Sebastian’s body tensed. “What?”
“Don’t raise your voice at me Sebastian Harry Rush.”
Sebastian rubbed his temples. “Oh, God. Why, Mom? Why?” He pulled the phone from his ear as he closed his eyes and silently counted to five to calm down.
“Sebastian, I’m worried that you’re rushing into a wedding. You haven’t even known each other for a year.”
Sebastian sat there on the edge of the bed. He heard his mother continuing to talk, but he stopped paying attention. She said something about September. Then something about his niece, Mindy. But all he could think about was Caleb sitting in his mother’s living room, and Ginny telling Caleb to delay the wedding. “Mom, I’m sorry. I’ve got to go.”
“Okay, honey. That’s fine. I got to start dinner anyway. I love you, son. You know I’m only looking out for you, right?”
“Thanks,” he whispered. He wanted to scream, but he knew it would only make matters worse.

 

 

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Lucy on Hearts on Fire Reviews wrote:

Rating 4 Stars (out of 5)

Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary: After Caleb Youngblood proposed to Sebastian Rush, the two men think everything should be smooth sailing. Marriage planning has started and the future is bright. Caleb is an openly out stock car racer, while Sebastian is offered the chance to work with a major TV studio as a cameraman at the Rio Olympics.

But Caleb is at a crossroads. The racing world may not be ready for an openly gay driver. Even though he wants to race, the family business is barely making money. And Caleb, being the face of Youngblood family, may be too much for conservative fans. Meanwhile, when an ex-lover of Sebastian’s reappears, secrets from his past cause friction between Sebastian and Caleb.

Should Caleb continue to race? Is Sebastian’s and Caleb’s love for one another strong enough to overcome what happened in the past? Or is their life together too tough to tame?

Review: It is a sadly realistic fact that some areas of life do not embrace diversity and in fact are intolerant of many groups of people. One such are is racing and when you are an openly gay racer, this definitely impacts your career. Caleb is the face of his family’s racing business but he only races the secondary events because of conservative ideas. He wants to race and it’s so unfair that he’s not able to. Add in his upcoming wedding to his love, Sebastian, which is adding some stress to their lives, and it’s a wonder the man can be civil. But he is.

Caleb is a great character and he loves Sebastian. It is unsettling when he talks with Sebastian’s mother and a secret is revealed and ends up with mom asking Caleb to extend the engagement instead of getting married when they had planned. Uh oh. She seemed interfering but that could be just because I like Caleb so much.

Sebastian is a camera man about to cover the Rio Olympics and a blast from his past causes more friction between he and Caleb. Honestly, it was his own fault, in my opinion, so my sympathies were firmly with Caleb. But it’s something the two of them have to work on.

Sebastian has an ex, David, who makes an appearance and the man is a douche. Yet more fuel for the fire causing trouble for these two. We still have the issue of Caleb driving and the conversation with his father, the head of the family’s racing business, is heartbreaking.

I enjoyed these two as they come to the realization that sometimes life may not give you what you want but can give you what you need. I liked how it turned out and how it ended, a new beginning of sorts.

Kirsty on Joyfully Jay wrote:

Rating: 3.25 stars

Length: Novella

Too Tough to Tame continues the story of Caleb Youngblood and Sebastian Rush from Starting His Engine. The men are now engaged and planning their wedding. Now publicly “out,” Caleb has taken a step back from NASCAR racing, which leaves him without employment and a decision to make about his future.

On the other hand, Sebastian is busy working for a television station, even being giving the opportunity to go to Rio for the Olympic Games as a cameraman. However, this would mean spending time with his ex-partner and neither Sebastian or Caleb are comfortable with this idea. Being preoccupied with work also means that Sebastian has less time for wedding planning, which leaves Caleb wondering about their future together.

Too Tough to Tame is the sequel to W.S. Long’s Starting His Engine. Unlike the first book, Too Tough To Tame does not have the excitement of the racetrack or the same intricate examination of the Youngblood family relationships. For these reasons, I found Too Tough to Tame a less enjoyable read, though I did like Long’s further exploration of Caleb and Sebastian’s romance, which is established but not without issues.

From the background knowledge about the two men, which the author gave us in the first book, we understand that Caleb is used to being the star. In Too Tough To Tame, his status has changed; he is still involved with Youngblood Racing, though effectively unemployed and it is Sebastian who is successful and making work his priority. I, therefore, did not doubt the stability of Caleb and Sebastian’s partnership, despite David being on the scene, but I did find Caleb’s need for attention irritating.

In Starting His Engine there is some indication by Long that Caleb is a very attractive man. Too Tough To Tame takes this one step further with Caleb asked to consider a job as a model. Unfortunately, I felt cheated by this development, not only because it shifts Long’s series away from racing, but also because it feels to me that this allows the NASCAR world to win; pushing an openly gay driver out into a career which allows him to be ‘pretty.’

Too Tough to Tame did not live up to the promise of the first story, though Long does develop some aspects of the characters lives, particularly within the physical area of their relationship. The romance element is well planned and will appeal to fans of the genre, although I would cautiously recommend it.


About the Author

Lawyer by day, writer by night. When I'm not lawyering during the day, I'm often reading or writing gay fiction involving men who desire a happily ever after. I'm happily married to a mild-mannered college professor, who likes to escape to the Orlando theme parks, or to a faraway place. You can often find me on social media, sometimes talking about books, but many times mouthing about TV, movies and other geeky stuff involving superheroes. Oh, and I use a pen name to protect the innocent.

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