Title: The Dusty Hat Bar
Author: L.J. Hamlin
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages/Word Count: 96 Pages
At a Glance: I liked Noah and Lennie, but the author’s writing style made the reading difficult at times.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Noah Kimberly walks into his usual bar, same as he does most Friday nights. It’s surprisingly busy for this time of night, even for a Friday.
Tonight things are different. Tonight Noah will meet Lennie Boyce, the son of Earl Boyce the biggest ranch owner in the area and Noah’s ex boss. His friend and bar owner Dusty might warn him away from the other man, but Noah’s just not sure he can resist this cowboy.
Review: L.J. Hamlin’s The Dusty Hat Bar begins with Noah Kimberly at the bar, having thoughts of revenge against Earl Boyce, Lennie Boyce’s father. Noah knows revenge isn’t the way to handle things, though, and I was glad he changed his mind because he’s not a bad guy. When Noah actually meets Lennie that same night, they hit it off pretty well and mutually agree to have sex right away. I liked Noah and Lennie, but I sort of wish that hadn’t happened so fast.
Lennie has just turned twenty-one and wants to be a teacher. He has no interest in his family ranch. He is also the youngest of five, the only boy, and I liked the relationship he had with his sisters, who are very supportive of him and Noah. I also liked Dusty and Richard Draper, as they give support and advice to Noah.
I really want to give The Dusty Hat Bar a fair review. With that in mind, I have to say that, at times, the writing was like reading a list of instructions, which made the relationship between the MCs feel unreal, and I caught myself trying to reconstruct some of the wording to make it read in a more relaxed way. Which, unfortunately, took away some of the enjoyment of the reading.
For me, The Dusty Hat Bar boiled down to being about the father and son relationship, and Earl trying to protect Lennie but going about it the wrong way. Earl worries about how others will react towards Lennie being gay, fearing his son could be attacked or killed by intolerant people—things Earl knows about from his past. I must say I didn’t care for some of the things Earl does to his son and Noah.
You can buy The Dusty Hat Bar here: