Title: You Can Leave Your Boots On
Author: Irene Preston
Pages/Word Count: 92 Pages
At a Glance: You Can Leave Your Boots On is a short, sweet, and sexy little read.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: In the heart of Texas…
Liberal Austinite Travis Boyd recycles, shops local, and is partner in a successful green-building company. After his last disastrous relationship, he’ll never again date a man who’s not out. A little discretion while working for ultra-conservative clients in west Texas is hardly the same as being in the closet. Anyway, the only person he’s interested in being indiscreet with is the client’s macho son. Not happening, Trav.
Bo Vargas is a cowboy-boot-wearing, meat-eating, truck-driving ode to masculinity. He’s not gay. The men he picks up on business trips are just anonymous diversions. Travis isn’t anonymous. And there’s something about him that makes Bo want to expand his relationship options. Maybe.
When a popular dating app sends Bo and Travis on the same blind date, the night explodes in passion. One night isn’t a problem. But what will each man be willing to risk the morning after?
Review: Ree Vargas has her friend Travis Boyd’s best interests in mind when she helps him fill out the questionnaire on Blindr, El Paso’s “by referral only” dating site. The blind dates are just that, anonymous—applicants don’t post their names or photos of themselves, so matches are made solely by finding complementing interests. The only problem with Travis’s application, though, is that Ree may have inadvertently set some complicated wheels in motion with her interference. She won’t allow Travis to fill in the blanks with his own truths, but instead, answers the questions the way she feels will land her friend the most interesting date.
And, lo and behold, that’s exactly what happens. And, I liked the synchronicity of it.
While Travis is out and proud at home in Austin, he doesn’t necessarily flaunt his sexuality in El Paso, where he’s working on a green project with Vargas Development. He’s gone the way of the closeted boyfriend before, and has no intention of or interest in repeating the same mistake twice. Not to mention the fact that the Vargas family are staunch conservatives with an anti-gay political leaning. Adding to that there’s also the fact that while Bo Vargas is hot, he’s also straight, so while Travis is without a doubt attracted to the man, there’s not much point in pursuing that line of thinking anyway. One would assume… Irene Preston sets everything up for the perfect storm of conflicting circumstances, then spends the rest of this short story making her men overcome every hurdle in front of them.
This story brings Travis and Bo together as the Blindr match-made-in-coincidence. Or, perhaps it was a subconscious accident on Ree’s part that she would end up answering the application questions in a way that would cause her own deeply closeted brother to become Travis’s perfect match. Whatever the case may be, the two men are surprised, to say the least, when they discover they’ve been matched up for a romantic evening—Travis more like in shock, when it comes right down to it—but the story moves ahead quickly to bring the two to a make-or-break point in their budding relationship, the point where Travis refuses to be any man’s dirty little secret ever again. And, the point where Bo has to both make and defend some serious decisions.
You Can Leave Your Boots On is a romantic novella, and while it’s easy enough to foresee where the storyline will go, there was also a keen little twist toward the end that I liked just as much as I did the nuts and bolts of the story the author has told. The secrets Bo keeps brings with them some tension which I felt added some much-needed heft to the plot—part an opposites attract tale, part a coming out story, and while it held no earthshattering surprises, I liked that when push came to shove, Bo didn’t back down from his commitment to make his relationship with Travis work, even if he made a few mistakes along the way.
The only question I felt was left unanswered and thus, the plot point somewhat disappointingly underdeveloped, had to do with Bo’s parents and their acceptance of Bo’s coming out and his relationship with Travis. Their about-face takes place off page, so as the Vargases were set up as both a deeply religious and politically and socially conservative family, my feeling is there needed to be some exposition of their acceptance of their son’s revelation, most certainly since they were the reason Bo had been in the closet his entire adult life in the first place. Apart from that one niggle, though, You Can Leave Your Boots On is a sweet and sexy read, an overall nice way to spend a few weekend hours with a steamy little story.
You can buy You Can Leave Your Boots On here:
Excerpt: He checked his phone again, where the arrows were doing a happy dance pointing right to the phone on the table in front of Bo. Travis could see the same exuberantly animated arrows spinning on the screen of Bo’s phone.
Alfonso Vargas’s son and partner was his dinner date. His more than dinner date.
When Bo looked up, Travis caught a hint of something that might have been panic in his eyes. Then Bo quirked one perfect eyebrow, smiled slowly, and gestured toward the chair across from him.
“Well, well, well. Mr. Boyd. Won’t you join me?”
Travis sat down, grateful for the waiting chair. All these weeks of working next to Bo Vargas and—was this some kind of joke? He couldn’t make sense of it. He couldn’t possibly be sitting across from Bo, who was six feet of hard muscle and tan Latin skin, and, oh God, the cut of that suit did nothing to hide the lean shape of his thighs.
Travis tried to drag his mind out of the gutter and focus.
“I, uh. Is this real?” Well, wasn’t that smooth?
“Sure.” Bo gave him a wicked smile. “It’s as real as you want it to be.”
The husky undertones in his voice reached across the table and stroked a slow finger down Travis’s belly straight to his groin. Fuckfuckfuck.
He was in trouble.
Across from him sat the real reason El Paso was such a bitch.
Not being exactly out in El Paso shouldn’t have been a problem. He’d come here to work, not hook up. But lately his libido had made a comeback. Mr. Happy hadn’t woken up because it was “time” after his last breakup, or because he didn’t know how to take care of himself when he was alone at night, or because he was turned on by cowboy boots, which everyone in El Paso wore 24/7.
Nope, the cause of all that twitchiness could be summed up easily. Bo Vargas.
About Irene Preston: Irene Preston has to write romances, after all she is living one. As a starving college student, she met her dream man who whisked her away on a romantic honeymoon across Europe. Today they live in the beautiful hill country outside of Austin, Texas where Dream Man is still working hard to make sure she never has to take off her rose-colored glasses.
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