Book Reviews

Dakota Skies by Taylin Clavelli at Wayward Ink Publishing

Genre Gay / Historical / 19th Century / Cowboys / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 02-October-2014

Book Blurb

Born in the wrong time...

In 1875 Dakota, Sheriff Jamie Carter has to hide his interest in men, even from his gutsy twin sister, Anna. On a good day, the truth can mean a bullet between the eyes, and on a bad, one in the back.

A man on a mission...

Jamie leaves Anna in charge of Blackrock and he hits the bounty hunting trail, along with his faithful equine companion, Houston. Five territories, scores of ‘Wanted’ posters, and many bullets later, his path unexpectedly converges with that of enigmatic loner, Kit Brooks.

Two men with one soul...

Will the smoldering fire between them rage into an inferno and break down protective barriers, allowing them to find love? Or will it separate and kill them?

Beneath Dakota skies...

Jamie and Kit’s story is a sweeping saga of cowboys, Indians, persistent broads, and vengeful villains, where the cowboys aren't always the good guys, and love can’t be taken for granted.


Book Review

“I'll follow you down, through the eye of the storm. Don't worry; I'll keep you warm. ... I'll follow you down to where forever lies. Without a doubt, I'm on your side. There's nowhere else that I would rather be. ... I'll keep you close to me!” ~Shinedown

In the Wild West, a person didn't know from one day to the next whether they would make it through in one piece. The landscape is relentless, and its inhabitants, man or beast, more often than not, deadly. Jamie (Jay) Carter, of 'Dakota Skies' by Taylin Corvelli, knows these facts quite well. In his years as sheriff, Jamie has seen all types. He and his twin sister took over as co-sheriffs when their father was killed by outlaws. If that weren't dangerous enough, Jamie has a secret; he prefers men. He's hidden it as long as he can stand to, then sets out, in a new occupation, bounty hunting, to give him more space to make sense of his life.

Jamie has had enough of the town and the people of Blackrock. They are always expecting more of him than he can give, with them trying to marry him off to their daughters, he's tired of being pushed around. The pressure gets to be too much and he decides he needs to get away for a while. He takes a job as a bounty hunter, perhaps even more dangerous than that of sheriff, and cuts a swath through the blanket of criminals, bringing in many of them dead, if the poster says dead or alive. Jamie is a practical man and a dead body is a lot easier to deal with than a live one. It simplifies matters for him.

Along the way, Jamie meets Kit who saves his life, even before they are introduced, which endears Jamie to him immediately. Jamie is also quite impressed by Kit's skills, i.e., his knowledge of the area, knife wielding; knowledge of natural healing remedies, horses, and his tracking abilities. The fact that Kit is handsome doesn't hurt either. As they travel together, Jamie's feelings for Kit begin to grow and he becomes more sure than ever that he is attracted to men rather than women. Kit is a mystery. Jamie senses that there's a war going on inside of him which he can't quite name. Although the traveling is hard, Jamie wishes the trip would never end. He knows he loves Kit and soon can't imagine doing without him.

Kit (Daniel) is an unusual man with more skeletons in his closet than in a graveyard. He, too, prefers men, but, it almost cost him his life and sanity once so he keeps a low profile with no entanglements with men. Kit is a fugitive, accused of crimes he didn't commit; there is a price on his head which makes it even more surprising that he saves Jamie, a bounty hunter, when he is in trouble. Kit usually stays away as far as possible from anyone in law enforcement. He is attracted to Jamie, but is terrified to get too close. He's been hurt enough to last a lifetime, by his own family. He's not willing to trust anyone. He introduces Jamie to the Sioux who became his family after his blood relatives made it impossible for him to stay with them. Members of the Sioux tribe took him in and eventually accepted him as one of their own. Jamie and Kit's relationship is accepted there and it's tempting to stay.

This is an epic love story told by an omniscient narrator, in a lyrical style which proves to be more than appropriate for the characters, setting, and action. While reading, I felt as if I were watching a cowboy movie or TV series. The manner in which the chapters are divided and named was like reading episodes rather than sections of the book. There's so much more of the story to tell, but my review would be too long. Jamie and Kit have so many unexpected twists and turns in their journey that are alternately sad, happy, ugly, and beautiful, I was crying one minute and smiling the next. Jamie and Kit go through more than their share of trouble while trying to stay together and live safely and happily. Although a bit slow and rough in places, it's well written and enjoyable. If you like reading about life in the Wild West, Native American culture, strong women and men, cowboys, outlaws, suspense, adventure, intrigue, and passion, you will probably appreciate this book. Thanks, Taylin. I enjoyed following Jamie and Daniel through all their adventures.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Wayward Ink Publishing for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 242 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 10-September-2014
Buy Link