Trevor Dunn has never gone to the Calgary Stampede, in spite of living in the city all his life. He would much rather listen to music and draw comics in his basement than hang out with a bunch of cowboys. When his sister drags him to the Stampede’s opening parade anyway, Trevor is drawn to a cowboy sporting a green hat.
Charlie opens Trevor’s mind to the world of country music and country boys. But then an old flame appears in the middle of the festival and Trevor is torn. He adores Charlie, but Mathieu—a punk singer turned acoustic crooner—was Trevor’s first love, and Trevor lost him by being too afraid to chase the dreams they shared.
When the Stampede ends, Charlie will go back to Toronto, Mathieu will go back on tour, and Trevor will go back to his basement. Realizing that’s not what he wants, Trevor enters a mechanical bull-riding contest in hopes of winning the heart of his true love—or maybe both of them. This time, fear won’t stop him from going after what he wants.
Trevor lives at home and attends school online- this tendency to hide has cost him his first boyfriend. Years later, he thinks he’s finally ready to spread his wings and is making plans to leave Calgary. As a result he’s talked into attending the annual “Calgary Stampede” by his sister since he’s never been or even wanted to go.
The Stampede is full of cowboys and ugly clowns and smells and all the things he figured he was wasn’t missing all these years but then his eyes catch a cowboy in a green hat. The cowboy intrigues Trevor especially when he signals he might be interested in getting to know Trevor… better.
Trevor and Charlie meet at a gay bar and share a hookah –of all things – before agreeing to a bathroom tryst that leads to a week of sex and other explorations. They also run into Trevor’s first and only boyfriend, Mathieu – from 5 years ago – who happens to be in town still singing and still interested in Trevor.
Trevor, Charlie and Mathieu all end up at the same mechanical bull riding contest. It’s clear that Trevor still pines for Mathieu and vice versa. But Charlie also has an interest in Mathieu and vice versa. The question is- who will end up where and when?
I usually get to post rave reviews because I only pick books I think I’ll like and that I want to read. So I hate it when a book isn’t my favorite and I have to write a negative review. I want to say that the writing in this story is great- but this is just not a book for me.
This is a book that falls into one of two categories: either there is a lot of symbolism in this that I’m missing or it’s just not a book that I “get”.
I never liked Charlie. The way he spoke felt “off” to me and I never felt like he cared for Trevor and definitely didn’t feel any emotion for Mathieu from him. I liked Trevor and Mathieu together. They seemed to have a strong spark that was palpable even though we only see them together for a handful of pages at the end.
Trevor was the most developed character of the three and even he felt a bit flat to me in that I didn’t feel like I understood his motivations in more than a surface way. I definitely didn’t feel like I knew Mathieu at all and Charlie only in the barest sense.
I’m just not sure I understand why this was a ménage/triad/polyamory story. The three are hardly together but 24 hours before they’re running off to go on tour and I didn’t understand why any of them would do that. Perhaps this is a lead in to a sequel?
This was a miss for me. Though the writing was fine, the story just didn’t resonate with me.
2.5 of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review