Belt Buckles and Cowboy Boots

Belt Buckles and Cowboy Boots - Bailey Bradford 3.5 stars

Colby is one of those characters always appeals to me. Publicly outed and humiliated in high school by someone he trusted, disowned by his adoptive family when he no longer conformed the their ideals, Colby still lives in the same hometown, working hard, keeping to himself and just hoping to one day have enough money to move on. He doesn’t hide who he is, but isn’t looking for trouble either, he has little time for sex, not that he would go looking in his town, and believes a boyfriend is not an option.

Hunter is one of the many oil rig workers that have recently invaded the town. Deep in the closet, his job is dangerous and he is “babysitting” his on parole, prone to violence, bigoted cousin. When his cousin’s hatred is turned on Colby, Hunter does what he can to diffuse the situation without letting on how attracted he is to Colby, something that will only cause trouble, but he is soon unable to push aside.

I loved Colby’s attitude, felt his pain, and really rooted for him to get his HEA. Hunter is a quieter presence, not sure how he can keep Colby around without putting them both in harm’s way and risking both his job and his family, which has had it’s own difficulties in the past and relies on Colby’s paycheck.

While there was insta-lust and a hot first night that turned into a weekend, this is not insta-love. I was somewhat disappointed that we weren’t shown the time the two men first spend together on a trip out of town, but we did get to see the slow build of trust and affection between them as the both struggle with their feelings. There was plenty of drama and angst and good secondary characters to round out this enjoyable story.