Author: Sue Brown
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 154 Pages
At a Glance: Sue Brown does a wonderful job of bringing Simon Wood and Chip Henson to life.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Simon Wood arrives at Tamar Ranch looking for a job after being fired from his last position for seducing the boss’s son. It doesn’t take much for him to prove his skills with horses, so he’s taken on, but soon he clashes hard with Chip Henson.
The animosity between them hides something very different, but not for long. No matter how hard they try to resist their attraction, eventually they give in to their need. They start leaving notes for each other, and others notice and warn them to be more careful.
Fearful of discovery, Simon leaves Tamar Ranch to save Chip’s job. When he learns that his departure sent Chip off the rails, he knows he needs to risk everything and go back for him.
Review: I was really surprised by Letters from a Cowboy. It is actually a story set in the Morning Report series, which I really enjoyed. Sue Brown does a wonderful job of bringing Simon Wood and Chip Henson to life. They are two gay men who live in a time of intolerance; not only did gay men face danger but if you were anything other than a straight, white male, you were not respected or safe.
This is a love story of two strong men, Simon and Chip, and it follows them through a time (1954 in Texas) when people would either pay you off for your silence, or kill you. Trying to keep their relationship a secret is so stressful for both men, so they would leave each other letters in order to meet secretly. Even though some of the other cowboys knew of their relationship, they kept it quiet, but in time Simon and Chip were always found out, which lead to Simon leaving as I think he felt the blame. To me it seemed Simon felt responsible whenever there was a danger to anyone finding out about him and Chip, so he always left and took whatever job he could find, good or bad, and things were mostly bad. Simon leaves Tamar Ranch at one point, for Chip’s sake. Chip’s love is so strong for Simon that he is devastated and leaves the ranch too, turning to alcohol. A friend gets in touch with Simon, and he sets out to find Chip. They reconnect again and return to Tamar Ranch, but again, intolerance catches up with them.
But, this is a love story and Sue Brown gives us an ending that is a wonderful surprise.
Just a side note: I wasn’t sure if this was part of the Morning Report series, but I did some research and found it listed as Book 4. When I checked my library, I found Luke’s Present listed as Book 4 (in 2012). Plus, I wanted to refresh my memory, so I actually read Luke’s Present again because Simon is also the name of Luke’s husband, and it threw me off a little. Luke’s Present is now Morning Report #3.5 (not sure why the numbering changed), and Letters from a Cowboy is now Morning Report #4 (according to Goodreads). So, this more than made me happy as I thought maybe there wasn’t going to be anymore Morning Report stories. Hopefully Sue Brown will continue to entertain us with books in this series.
You can buy Letters from a Cowboy here: