Book Reviews

The Good, The Bad, And The Cuddly by Barry Lowe at Lydian Press

Genre Gay / Historical / 19th Century / Western / Cowboys / Romance / Humor/Comedy
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 22-May-2014

Book Blurb

There's just a little spaghetti in this western!

Sheriff Haskell has managed to impose a fragile peace in the small western town of Headstone by keeping the itinerant cowboys and the girls of Miss Kitty’s cathouse away from the god-fearing families who attend the small church for Sunday prayers. That fragility is threatened with the arrival of the fire-and-brimstone Reverend Payne who sees it as his duty to purge the town of any perceived sin, thus upsetting the fine balance that has been maintained for years. It doesn’t help any when a handsome young Italian immigrant by the name of Benedetto arrives in town to take up his position as cook in the hotel that houses the cathouse. The cowboys take to calling the pretty young man Bernadette and they don’t like his foreign cooking, especially his new-fangled spaghetti. Unfortunately for Haskell, Benedetto is just what the Rev. Payne needs as a focus for his campaign against the wicked and ungodly and Sheriff Haskell is soon caught in the midst of a battle for the hearts and minds of the town – especially his own heart which has been snared by the young Italian.


Book Review

Ah, the good old Wild West. Reading the blurb for this story had me curious, especially the bit about “new-fangled spaghetti”. The thought of anyone trying to serve pasta to hardened cowboys had me grinning, and the idea of a gay sheriff? Needless to say, I had to read this book. And the opening lines had me settling back ready to enjoy a fun read: “When you’re the sheriff of a small lawless western town, you have to make it your aim to know everyone’s business. If you don’t then your life is as short as the fuse on a stick of dynamite and ends up the same way: f*cked.” Yeah, with to-the-point language like that, how could this be anything but highly amusing?

Sheriff Haskell is a tough guy. He learned the “sinful ways” of men loving other men on long cattle drives before settling down as a small town’s sheriff and proceeding to keep the peace. His version of peaceful coexistence between the God-fearing congregation and the more fun-loving saloon girls works pretty well until a particularly fervent preacher comes along and upsets the balance. Add to that the distraction of Benedetto, the new cook, and the sheriff is in trouble.

Benedetto is of Italian descent and comes with enough courage for two men. Undeterred by the town’s grumblings he serves them spaghetti, stands up for his right not to be called “pretty”, and proceeds to steal the sheriff’s heart. He also has no intention to accept the new preacher’s insulting his mother, and ends up forcing a showdown the sheriff didn’t want, but happily joins once it happens. And that is when the real surprises and twist begin…

If you like stories set in the old west where even the  law can be a bit – flexible, if you enjoy a little humor in your reading, and if you’re looking for a short, fun read with some hot man-on-man action, a few unexpected twists and a true “riding off into the sunset” ending, then you will probably enjoy this short story. I certainly did!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 11825 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 02-January-2014
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link