Title: Bounty Hunter
Author: Cornelia Grey
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Length: 27 pages, 11,500 words
Genre: m/m, Historical, Western, BDSM/Kink
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Romance to Sex Ratio
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, Criminals, Bounty Hunters, Bittersweet, Fetish, Ex-Lovers
Rating: Pretty Good
It wasn’t so very long ago that James Campbell and William Hunt were lovers. They met at the horse ranch where they both worked, training and transporting stallions and mares all across the state and sometimes farther. But then, James discovered his employer’s secrets and the truth behind the job he loved so much. The knowledge was too much, and James had to do something about it.
Now, James Campbell is a wanted man. Every bounty hunter in the area is hot on his trail, eager to be the one who finally brings him in. William, though, is determined to get there first. But when he finally catches up to James, he’s torn between finding revenge for James’ betrayal and helping him escape. Because his feelings for James are as strong as ever, and because he’s not convinced that James was entirely wrong…
This was a surprisingly interesting story. Whenever I read a short story I’m always skeptical of how much I’ll enjoy it because it’s so short, I often don’t expect it to pack a lot of punch. This one, however, hides a shockingly kinky element that I wasn’t sure I would like, but ultimately did.
The story essentially tells two tales simultaneously. The first one of Will and James in the present where Will is tasked with killing James, or bringing him in, since he is a wanted man combined with Will’s conflicting feelings over James and the relationship they had years ago, and how much raw sexual appeal James has for Will and vice versa. The second story is told in flashbacks with bits and pieces of what happened years ago when they first met, working together and ultimately what causes them to become bounty hunter and wanted man.
While I liked both stories, I didn’t feel as if they fit seamlessly like I’ve come to expect flashbacks to fit into a story. Each flashback that came up didn’t coordinate with whatever was happening in the present so it wasn’t a memory flashback. It was just a kind of random flashback. The author possibly planned it this way, in which it would have been a not so random flashback, but it felt awkward to me because James would be telling Will to shot him then it’d change to a flashback of James angry over his employer and venting to Will.
With that said, I actually liked this story. Even though it is just about half sex (which really doesn’t mean anything because the story is only 27 pages), the characters themselves were intriguing and I wanted to know more about them. Their past and even who they are isn’t exactly detailed on but what is given is interesting. The attraction Will and James have and how their peculiar situation is handled is very well done even though this ends in a sort of bittersweet way. I was actually surprised in the direction the gun play/fetish went. I wasn’t expecting it at all but I wasn’t bothered by it. I will say readers need to be warned that the gun in this story isn’t used for just shooting or making Will look scary, it’s used sexually and consensually by both characters which leads to some rough sex.
Overall, this was a nice, quick read. It’s easy to stick with the story because Ms. Grey has a talented way of making you want to keep reading. I’m hoping for a sequel because the ending wasn’t exactly satisfying for me. But I do recommend this to those readers who are looking for a fast read with a bit of kink.