Rawley's Redemption
by Carol Lynne, contemporary (2007)
Total-e-bound, £2.99, ISBN 978-1-906328-32-0


Rawley's Redemption is the third part of Carol Lynne's ongoing gay soap opera Good-time Boys, the first being Sonny's Salvation and the second being Garron's Gift. This one takes off from where Garron's Gift ended, although with a different set of main characters, so this one is best read in order even if it can stand alone.

However, given that Rawley Good is already locking lips with Jeb Greeley in the first page, I have to say that Ms Lynne has effectively killed any suspense where the romance is concerned in her story. With no relationship build-up, the reader has to be very easily entertained by perfunctory love scenes and a lukewarm mystery to enjoy this story.

Any way, Rawley is no longer the Sheriff of Summerville but he's determined to continue investigating the shooting of his brother Sonny. Speaking of which, how likely is it for one to have two gay brothers in a family living in a small town that is suddenly bursting with hot gay ranchers and bartenders? Then again, with all the silliness going around, I consider this a soap opera. Although this begets an interesting question. Is this story a soap opera because it is silly or is it silly because it is a soap opera?

Oh, where was I? Oh yes, Rawley also decides to declare his love to rancher Jeb and move in with him, with him getting down on his knees before Jeb even when they have barely closed the front door. These guys sure know how to throw a housewarming party, I tell you.

Jeb blushed again and took the toy from Rawley. "I thought it looked about your size, but I can happily say that I underestimated you."

Just that fast, Rawley's cock hardened. He rubbed his erection against Jeb’s hip and moaned. “We’ve got a lot to make up for."

"Uh huh," Jeb groaned as he turned his body to face Rawley. "Quick rub and then let's find something for supper."

Rawley nodded and slid his cock along side of Jeb's. "You’re sure about this, right? About me staying here?"

"Not staying here, living here," Jeb panted as he put a little more force behind his movements. It wasn't long before the blossom of heat spread between the two of them, both crying out the others name.

Amazing. They are discussing living arrangements while doing the nasty. What's next? Arguments about who gets to do the dishes and put out the trash during an energetic bout of sodomy? And is it just me or do these guys talk like sensitive young women from charm school trying to sound like men instead of, you know, tough-talking sheriffs and ranchers from Redneck County?

The story moves so agonizingly slowly due to Ms Lynne's really uninspired prose. Really, I have read more stimulating material on cornflake boxes. The author has a tendency to tell too much rather than show and even so, she has an irritating habit of having her characters break off in a middle of a discussion to go on bizarre tangents. And it really does not help matters when these men speak in ways that no man will ever speak unless he's reading aloud from a script and someone has pressed a gun to his head.

"No," Rawley shook his head, and pulled Jeb up to eye level. "You're my constant, my heart. My entire life, I've done things because people expected it of me. I got my brother's out of trouble. I became a policeman so I could help others. But you, you I want for me. I don't want to talk about the other side of my life when I'm with you because I just want to be lost in you, in this feeling." Rawley leaned in and gave Jeb a short but passionate kiss, dipping his tongue in for a taste of his man. "I'm sorry if I made you feel second best because nothing could be further from the truth."

That is a pretty sweet speech, I would say, but come on, Ms Lynne. Nobody, not even a woman, says these things unless it's something the person has written down first and rehearsed. Oh, and the "brother's" thing is not a mistake on my part so don't look at me like that.

Rawley's Redemption feels like a first draft of a fanfiction that should have ended up on some Livejournal thing instead of in her editor's inbox. I don't know why the author feels this need to churn out these embarrassing and forgettable examples of insipid fluff on a weekly basis. I'm sure everyone knows that I am willing to give Ms Lynne a chance and heaven knows I'm probably her biggest fan in the whole wide world, but perhaps it is time she spends a little more time rereading and reworking her stories until they are really ready for the world instead of mechanically churning out forgettable wastes-of-time week after week.

Rating: 49


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