Author: Damon Suede
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 5 stars
Received from Author
Blurb: Lickety Split: Love won’t wait.
Patch Hastle grew up in a hurry, ditching East Texas for NYC to make his name as a DJ and model without ever looking back. When his parents die unexpectedly, he heads home to unload the family farm ASAP and skedaddle. Except the will left Patch’s worst enemy in charge: his father’s handsome best friend who made his high school years hell.
Tucker Biggs is going nowhere. Twenty years past his rodeo days, he’s put down roots as the caretaker of the Hastle farm. He knows his buddy’s smartass son still hates his guts, but when Patch shows up growed-up, looking like sin in tight denim, Tucker turns his homecoming into a lesson about old dogs and new kinks.
Patch and Tucker fool around, but they can’t fool themselves. Once the farm’s sold, they mean to call it quits and head off to separate sunsets. With the clock ticking, the city slicker and his down-home hick get roped into each other’s life. If they’re gonna last longer than spit on a griddle, they better figure out what matters—fast.
Review: Patch Hastle’s parents are dead. It was sudden. One minute Patch was zooming along, the next he was getting off a plane in Texas to bury his parents and sell their land. When Patch returns to Hixville he learns his parents have not only left him their entire estate, but they’ve set up Tucker Biggs as caretaker. Tucker was omnipresent during Patch’s teen years, being not only an object of sexual fascination, but an enforcer of the local societal norms. Patch just wants out. He’ll use the proceeds from the sale of the land to achieve his dream, the nightclub Velocity. As Patch goes through his parents’ house he’s forced to come to terms with the reality life in Hixville wasn’t all bad. Maybe Tucker isn’t all bad, either. Whether or not he’s good or bad, Tucker certainly isn’t what Patch expected nor what he remembered. After getting caught spying on Tucker, Patch enters into a mutually beneficial sexual arrangement with Tucker. Very quickly it begins to mean something. When Patch gets a job DJing at Southern Decadence his arrangement with Tucker is put to a test. The arrangement fails.
I have a lot to say about this book, but first, I just need to get this out of my system: I loved this book. Like, for reals. Truly, madly, deeply. I wanna marry it. It’s just so dreamy!
This book is a compelling example of the, “You can’t go home again.” trope. Patch comes to the realization he can’t go home again because he was never there. Also, Patch can’t go home again because he never left. Patch meets his parents for the first time as he goes through their belongings. His first adult experience with the people who raised and loved him is after they’re already gone. Patch also meets Tucker for the first time. As he’s learning who surrounded him during his formative years, he finds himself easily falling back into the rhythm of life in Hixville. Patch delivers hay to the local store, he talks with various people around town, he visits his favorite pond, all while realizing he is at ease. Patch contrasts with himself. He wants to leave Hixville but craves the comforts. He is experiencing the rites of passage for adulthood while still being quite young and at home.
The contrasts in this book are not limited to Patch. Patch is Tucker’s opposite. Tucker never left home but never had a home. Tucker lives on Patch’s family land in a trailer he stole from an ex. Tucker’s parents left him. He works hard and has gotten nowhere in life. Tucker is the slow to Patch’s fast. He’s the sexual experience to Patch’s hook ups. However, in contrast to the usual May December trope, Tucker doesn’t know much about the world beyond Hixville. It’s Patch who is wordly. Patch has been successful in business and returns to the town he abandoned.
There were other cool literary devices in the book. Hixville, was presumably where the hicks lived. In contrast to the name Patch had almost universally positive experiences. He was surrounded by good people. Patch Hastle was kind of a hassle for Tucker to have to deal with, but he became Tucker’s own patch of green. Tucker Biggs was Patch’s teen idol. He was the quintessential man. Tucker was larger than life. Botchy… yeah I don’t know if her name is about kissing or bowling or neither or both. My hypothesis is imperfect, but that’s beside the point. This book is full of cool literary devices and I want to read and read again until I find them all.
I have it in me to gush about this book a little more. It doesn’t read like literature, even though I just used a bunch of words talking about its literary qualities. This is a romance in contrast to itself, it’s a Dylan song, it’s dancing under the stars, it’s getting to love the person you always wanted, and it’s… beautiful. I sound sappy AF but I don’t care because I loved this book! I don’t even resent the days of book hangover I got. There are a lot of kinky cowboy romances, but there aren’t a lot of books so beautifully in contrast and opposition to themselves. This book balanced the two.