Title: Goodbye Town
Author: T.A. Chase
Publisher: Amber Allure
Pages/Word Count: 17000 Words
At a Glance: Goodbye Town is a classic T.A. Chase story, and I feel confident saying that since it’s the twenty-sixth story of hers I’ve read.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Duke Smith is ready to leave Granter’s Corner, the little backwater town in which he’d lived for twenty-eight years. Since his mother has recently died and his father’s in prison, there’s no need for him to stick around. His only good memories of the place are those moments spent with Evan Harper, his boyhood friend and first love. Evan left when they were eighteen, and while Duke never resented him for it, he has missed him.
Evan Harper is on his way to San Diego where his SEAL team has been stationed, but he has to make one stop along the way. He’s missed only one thing from his life in Granter’s Corner, and that’s Duke Smith. When they reconnect, Evan is thrilled to know their feelings haven’t changed during the years they were apart.
Duke already has plans to relocate to the coast, and moving in with Evan is a golden opportunity he can’t resist. Could fate be finally giving them a chance now that both of them have said goodbye to the past?
Review: Mechanic Duke Smith’s mother has died, freeing him from abuse and the obligation he’s dealt with his whole life. I LOVED his words at her funeral; if only all eulogies were so honest! He notices his best friend Evan in the back, even though he hasn’t seen him in the ten years since Evan left town after they graduated high school. After the funeral, he finds a note from Evan to meet him in their usual spot.
When they come back together, there is no recrimination—they both knew where they stood when they were kids. They loved each other, but there was nothing to be done about it, and when Evan go the opportunity to escape, he did and Duke was happy for him. Now, Evan is on the way to California to meet up with his SEAL team, and he really wants Duke to join him—ironic because Duke has a job lined up in California and is planning to blow this sad little town anyway.
Secondary characters in this story include Evan’s team and their assorted SOs. Nobody has any issue with the gay—sweet! There are some really nice moments with his teammates, and if this publisher wasn’t closing down, I’d be hoping for some additional stories with some of the other guys. Oh well, maybe T.A. Chase will still write them and we’ll see them somewhere again.
Goodbye Town is a classic T.A. Chase story, and I feel confident saying that since it’s the twenty-sixth story of hers I’ve read. What we get is a clear picture of both characters, their motivations, their experiences and how they have shaped them, through a clear-eyed and realistic lens. These heroes are not emotional basket cases despite having survived much less than ideal circumstances. They are accepting of their lot in life but are determined to use that only as a building block. The story is told through alternating POVs, but it’s always clear whose perspective we are getting. If you’re looking for a good short story with strong and resilient characters, this is an excellent choice.
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