Author: Lisa Henry
Narrator: Dorian Bane
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Run Time: 7 hours and 39 minutes
Category: Historical, Western
At a Glance: Dorian Bane is a very talented voice artist who takes the somewhat slow pacing of the first half of the book and makes it enjoyable. His characters come to life and are presented fully formed.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: Wyoming Territory, 1870.
Elijah Carter is afflicted. Most of the townsfolk of South Pass City treat him as a simpleton because he’s deaf, but that’s not his only problem. Something in Elijah runs contrary to nature and to God. Something that Elijah desperately tries to keep hidden.
Harlan Crane, owner of the Empire saloon, knows Elijah for what he is – and for all the ungodly things he wants. But Crane isn’t the only one. Grady Mullins desires Elijah too, but unlike Crane, he refuses to push the kid.
When violence shatters Elijah’s world, he is caught between two very different men and two devastating urges: revenge, and despair. In a boomtown teetering on the edge of a bust, Elijah must face what it means to be a man in control of his own destiny, and choose a course that might end his life…or truly begin it for the very first time.
Review: Elijah Carter has not had an easy life. Orphaned early, he lost most of his hearing during a scarlet fever outbreak in his wagon train as it headed for California. Stranded in a small town in the Wyoming territory, he is taken in by a kindly doctor who has suffered tragedy of his own. As Elijah grows into a young man, he never feels quite right about his place in the world he’s landed in. He feels as if he’s stealing affection from his adoptive father because he feels inadequate. He doesn’t feel he’s the good boy everyone sees because he’s gotten involved with cattle rustlers. But Elijah also has another secret: he’s gay in a time and place that isn’t very accepting of that nature even though, in the West, there are far more men than women needing love and comfort.
Because Elijah has a speech impediment and has to rely on lip reading to fully understand when people speak to him, people in the town have a low opinion of him already. He is either treated as a freak, a simpleton or disease to be avoided. His boss treats him like a disease. The owner of the local saloons and drinking houses, Harlan Crane, treats him like an object to be used for his sexual gratification and then discarded. One of the rustlers, Grady Mullins, would just like to get to know him in a more personal way.
Tragedy visits Elijah once again, and his rages becomes a suicidal revenge mission that Grady puts a stop to before it gets out of hand. Eventually Grady and Elijah come together, and Elijah expects to be rejected once they have sex. Instead, the bond between them grows and deepens, When Elijah finally gets to commit his act of revenge, the release of his anger finally opens his heart to Grady, and he gets the happiness he’s longed for.
Dorian Bane is a very talented voice artist who takes the somewhat slow pacing of the first half of the book and makes it enjoyable. His characters come to life and are presented fully formed. Even the minor characters get fine treatment and are not treated as throwaway bits. Because the main character has a taste for rougher sex, which is at first thrust upon him, the sex scenes are not initially delicate nor are they very romantic, but they are presented without being tacky. The mild BDSM scenes are handled well and not sped through or glossed over. In all, this narration really adds to the level of enjoyment of the book. I can recommend this as a good buy—both for story and narration.
You can buy Sweetwater here: