Reviewed by Louisa
TITLE: The Dusty Hat Bar
AUTHOR: L.J. Hamlin
PUBLISHER: Less Than Three Press
RELEASE DATE: August 28th 2017
When Noah walks into Dusty’s bar on Friday night, he expects it to be much like every other night. But this Friday things are different. Tonight Lennie is present, the son of Earl Boyce, the biggest ranch owner in the area and Noah’s former boss. Dusty warns away from Lennie, but Noah isn’t sure he wants—or even can—resist.
This is a sweet little book about Noah, a ranch hand and Lennie, the son of a wealthy rancher. After being fired by Lennie’s father because he believed Noah had slept with his daughter, Noah lands on his feet. When Lennie turns 21 he sees Noah at the Dusty Hat Bar.
While the story is sweet and speaks of the strength of character you need to be a gay man in small town Texas. The two men have a really nice relationship and Lennie’s sisters provide a lot of support.
However, this book has some fairly significant editing issues. Short sentences, awkward passages and some interesting issues in the passage of time. My biggest issue is the tense it is written in. It feels awkward and I am not sure if I am being told the story or shown it in places. There are also places where the tense changes. The story just doesn’t sit well. For me, this story was hurt by the editing.
I really enjoyed Dusty, the owner and bar tender at the Dusty Hat Bar. He is supportive and kind and a really nice character for the book. Lennie’s sisters were very stereotypical and flat, but they still provided a nice background for the story.
This is a novella could have been charming and enjoyable. But all of the great aspects, are really overshadowed for me by the tense and editing for me.