Damon Suede doesn’t write comfortable books.
Hey, don’t worry, he knows I think that. We talk about it often.
When I offered to do a review for his upcoming release Lickety Split, I wasn’t sure what I would be getting. The cover says cowboy book. The blurb says all the tropes are there: city mouse country mouse, enemies to lovers, May-December.
With Damon Suede, nothing is ever so simple.
Here’s the basic idea. Patch left deep southeast Texas years ago, out and proud and headed for New York. When his folks pass away, he returns to his hometown to sell the family farm. Complication comes in the form of Tucker, much older and proven enemy of Patch. Or is he? Tucker turns out to be on Patch’s side, and the two find some smokin’ hot reasons to be together, but can any relationship like this really work?
Now we get to the meat, so to speak. Patch Hastle might just be the living, breathing embodiment of you can never go home again. He lives the kind of life that, growing up in Southern New Mexico, I could only imagine by watching it on TV. New York dwelling, sophisticated DJ, jet setting off to Ibiza to do a gig… People only do that in movies, right? Except Damon Suede knows this guy. I think he’s been this guy. So, when Patch comes home to Texas, as readers, we can feel how much he doesn’t want to be there. At all. Not one bit.
Then there’s Tucker. He’s about as down on his luck as a guy can get, and when we first meet him, we only see what Patch wants us to see. There’s a lot of deep East Texas in Tucker, a lot of redneck. I grew up with guys like him, and in order to understand them, you have to see how they connect to the land. There’s more to him than first meets the eye, though, and that’s the best part of this story. How Patch learns to love Tucker, and through him, regains some perspective on the farm, and on how he feels about the Texas dirt.
I think Lickety Split has a lot to say about Texas, and about the people who live there, good and bad. It’s not always comfortable in that sometimes you have to fight to like Patch, and fight to believe he and Tucker will ever make it. Now, it also has the farmboy fantasy in spades, and yeah, the sex left me squirming and flushed, which is just what I want in a book.
I bet it surprises you with how it turns all those tropes right on their heads.
It will be available March 13 2017