historical · Holiday Story · lgbtqia content

REVIEW: Slay Ride by Josh Lanyon

The Official Description: A wild and dangerous ride takes two lonely men into uncharted territory…

1943 Montana. Returning home to Montana after being wounded in the Pacific, Police Chief Robert Garrett was hoping for a little much needed Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward Man. Instead, he finds himself chasing after a cold-blooded killer on Christmas Day, aided—whether he likes it or not—by eager young reporter Jamie Jameson.

Jamie has idolized Police Chief Garrett most of his life. Despite a stolen birthday kiss seven years earlier, he knows his feelings are unreturned. Even if Rob felt the same, there’s no room in their world for such feelings between men. But while Jamie can accept Robert not sharing his feelings, he won’t put up with being treated like a troublesome kid brother. He too has a job to do, and he intends on traveling this bloody and twisted road with Robert Garrett—no matter where it leads.

Just the facts: M|M romance, historical fiction, novella, crime

A masterfully written novella packed with emotion and action. – KinzieThings

My thoughts bit: This was a lovely piece of writing. The short length of this had me worried that it might lack characterization, but Lanyon is a master. In only a few pages I was drawn into the emotional turmoil of Chief Robert Garrett and cub reporter, Jamie. They live in a time when it’s dangerous to be gay, and yet, in a sweet moment at a birthday party, Robert gave Jamie one kiss. That kiss stayed with both of them.

Robert has all but cut Jamie out of his life, wanting to protect himself… or perhaps Jamie. They are thrown back together when a crime is committed and Jamie chases off after the perpetrator. In one evening of danger, the two men have to face each of their truths. Jamie’s character is raw and authentic, a little lost as he’s struggling to find his way in a world. He feels deserted by Robert.

Robert is dealing with an injury from the war, and probably a life of living in a type of emotional exile as he’s hidden away his sexual orientation. I thought that Lanyon captured this period well and the repressed longing and sadness are vibrant on the page. This is a beautiful story.

The warnings bit: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) descriptions of shootings and resulting injuries, hospitalization.

Readalikes: Other stories that are similar or give the same feel

Links: Goodreads // The Author // The Publisher

I received an ARC of Slay Ride by Josh Lanyon from Just Joshin publishign via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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