cover image Sweetwater


Lisa Henry. Riptide (, $6.99 e-book (240p) ISBN 978-1-62649-150-2

A melancholy vibe permeates this historical romance, in which a conflicted gay man in 1870 Wyoming Territory comes to terms with his “unnatural” desires—and other men’s desire for him. Elijah Carter’s deafness has always set him apart in South Pass City, but he’d be outright detested if they knew he was gay as well. He surrenders himself to the rich, cruel Harlan Crane, whose brutal domination further fuels his self-loathing and confusion. Meanwhile, Elijah is pursued by Grady Mullins, a wandering cowboy who wants to treat him with tenderness and care, which Elijah’s not sure he deserves. When Elijah’s adopted father is murdered, the young man sets forth on a risky path of vengeance and anger. Henry (When All the World Sleeps) skillfully portrays her hero as a young man learning to embrace his desires, but internal angst runs heavy throughout. The sex, while frequent and varied, is occasionally passionless, while the narrative is muted and often cheerless. For an erotic romance, albeit a well-written and character-driven one, this is oddly downbeat. (Sept.)