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The Tipsybibliophile

I love cheap and tasty wine, reading stories about men falling in love and making good food…Here is where I mix all three.

Currently reading

Moon Called
Patricia Briggs
River Thieves: A Novel
Michael Crummey
First You Fall
Scott Sherman
The Child Thief
Beloved Son
Carole Cummings
Carole Cummings
The Broken Triangle
Jane Davitt, Alexa Snow
The Red King
Rosemary O'Malley
Pretty Shade of Grey
A.D. Truax
Sursein Judgment
Jet Mykles
The General and the Horse-Lord - Sarah Black Sarah Black…Gay Romance’s Warrior Poetess has done it again. Made me love a book so much, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, or be scared, because there’s no way I’ll ever find something to read I’ll love as much as this story

In gay romance there is so much GOODNESS, so much stuff to love and savor, and fall in love with. So many wonderful writers…Books that are good, great, funny, wonderful, moving, poetic, frightening, transcendental, enriching, enthralling…So much wonderful writing….And then there’s Sarah Black. For me in this genre (and beyond really) she is the gold standard, what Sarah brings to her books it’s the stuff of life. She writes about things that are important, things that are hard, things that make life worth all the hardships. She writes about LOVE. She writes about violence, honor, consequences, about the heartbreak of seeing someone you love be hurt, about defending your home, your heart, your family, about claiming your life even if it costs you the life you’ve had. She writes it all so beautifully, the words she uses, the men she makes. It’s like saints, angels, superheroes, warriors and lions and all the things that are powerful and righteous in this world are all in the hearts of those men she writes…Now the story.

Retired General John Mitchel is a year into life after the military. He’s teaching leadership at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, he lives with his nephew Kim and he gets to spend a few hours a week with his lover Gabriel Sanchez. Gabriel the man that was at his side for 25 years of military service, his Horse-Lord who piloted apache helicopters like a hellion, so that John could go in and do what had to be done. For 25 years Gabriel had John’s back, and for almost as long he’s had John’s heart, his soul, his life, everything really. But John and Gabriel have had to love in the shadows, settle for stolen moments, they couldn’t be gay men and lovers and do the work that needed to be done in the war zones they fought in while in service. It wasn’t allowed then, so they accepted that being in love in the open was just not something that could happen for them.

But now, in this new stage of life where things seem a little less scary, and not being able to be together is beginning to seem like they are letting the world rob them of their lives, it seems that they need to reevaluate how they want to live out the rest of their lives. Gabriel is married and has two children, he had tried to have a “normal” life, tried to make a marriage and kids work. John never felt like he had the option of living in the open, but they never could stay away from each other. They were bound so tightly the thought of living without seeing each other, even if it was fleetingly and in moments that always felt stolen never really was an option. But now they want more, they want to wake up in the same bed, they want to dance naked in their bedroom and laugh and make love and drink tequila from a pitcher and be free to BE.

So here they were 52 and 48, and thinking it might be a good time to be brave, and start their life. But how could they do that without wrecking themselves? How would they deal with the fallout? Would they lose the lives they’d built, by stepping out of the shadows and being honest about who they were?

There are a lot of things happening in John’s life, he is struggling with his sense of purpose, life out of the military seems to have put things as leadership and honor in perspective. He feels surrounded by men who are too weak to do what’s right. His nephew Kim has been hurt, and the man responsible might get away with it, because the men that are supposed to be Kim’s protectors are too busy being politically savvy to do their job…The world is gone a little mad and John is starting to think that in a world like this the life that he built based on honor, ethics, respect and loyalty might be stripped from him if he ever showed the real face of his love.

Reading this book was an exercise in feeling joyfulness and observing beauty. The men in this book, the boys in this book. So wonderful.I was mesmerized By everything, the setting, New Mexico shined. Albuquerque, which frankly is the one place I would pick to live in, if I could choose any place in the world. So much to learn in this book.

There are trials in this book, and a strong lesson in living with the consequences of our actions. Strong, clear lessons about cowardice, bravery, resentment, revenge, about what makes a life worthy, what makes us people worth defending, worth sticking up for, and that in the end a life built with honor, bravery and goodness will triumph in the face of bigotry and prejudice. Lives built on solid ground can rise above the destructive effects of things done in anger or out of spite, even if they are warranted or deserved.

Anything I read from Sarah Black always leaves me feeling like I’ve just been in the presence of absolute wisdom, and something so special that I feel only humbled and grateful. Humbled by her bravery in writing what she feels need to be written, and not what will sell more books, and grateful for having found her stories to read.

Sarah Black you make feel bolder and braver, and like I love this world a little more than I used to before I started reading. Thank you.