Monroe “Roe” Davis narrates this story of how he found his home— Nowhere Ranch in Nebraska. Representing Roe, and the balance of the cast of characters, narrator Iggy Toma did an outstanding job with this story.
Hired to tend the sheep on the farm of gentleman rancher Travis Loving, Roe works hard from sunrise to sundown. He learned sheep ranching during his childhood on his family farm in Iowa, a farm he hasn’t been back to in five years, not since his father made his opinion on Roe’s sexuality known. Wandering from place to place and never staying in any one location too long, he finds his way to Nowhere Ranch.
Roe never mixes business with pleasure though, and never cruises for men in his own back yard, so he travels several hours to hook up at a gay bar to satisfy his need to be dominated. Shocked when he runs into Travis there, he tries to wait him out so that he can find a hookup and get going. Forced into conversation, they find that their needs match. Dominant Travis would like nothing better than to hook up with a boy who will ask no questions and tell no tales. They determine that they can spend one night together, no strings attached, and Travis swears it will not affect how he treats Roe when they get back to the ranch.
The problem is, of course, that they are indeed suited to each other and neither can leave the other alone once they hook up again afterhours one night at the ranch. Slowly, Travis works his way through Roe’s defenses, using BDSM techniques to help Roe feel a measure of control over his life as he surrenders control to Travis.
One of my favorite quotes summarizes the plan they have to remain unaffected. As Travis tells Roe— “I don’t want a partner. I don’t want a husband. I want a boy. I want a little slut I can order what to do. I want you in boots and spurs and chaps and nothing else, sucking on my cock with a tail hanging out of your ass.”
And that plan suits both of them for a while, until their relationship begins to grow and both men realize they are developing feelings for each other. Eventually, Roe lets his best friend, Holly, in on his secrets, including the biggest secret of all— his family wants him back but they want him back so they can cure him of being a gay, perverted sinner. Not long after that, Roe realizes that his family of origin isn’t as important to him as the family he’s made at Nowhere Ranch with Travis and Holly.
Where the guys go, how Holly’s issues meld with theirs, how Roe’s family issues are resolved, or at least temporarily shelved, and what finally seals their relationship, all make for a highly complex, yet very enlightening, entertaining, and enriching reading experience.
I first read this story in early 2012 when I was new to M/M romance, and it may have even been one of the first BDSM stories I ever read. Though I appreciated it at the time, I have so much more respect now for the way the author introduced the men to the pleasures they would find together in BDSM, as well as for their emotional growth and the beauty of their relationship—from the stalwart, stoic Travis and the anxious, self-deprecating Roe—to the confident men who are secure in their love for each other and the family they have created together.
This story is not for those who want mild, simple romantic sex scenes. The sex is rough, with elements of BDSM including fisting, spanking, and pony play. But it’s done in a way that demonstrates the Dom’s respect for his sub, and the sub’s dependence on the solidity and safety of his Dom. I once heard this described as a classic among M/M BDSM novels, and I heartily agree.
The audio narration by Iggy Toma is outstanding and certainly added to my overall enjoyment of the story. I was able to appreciate every scene, every nuance of conversation, and stand back and enjoy the journey the men took together. Don’t hesitate to pick up the audiobook version of this one.
The cover by Kanaxa on this 2015 version of Nowhere Ranch depicts a faded out photo of a cowboy in the foreground captured in a head-chest shot as he turns to the side, rope over his shoulder, one hand raised to the brim of his hat. This is superimposed over the silhouette of a lone cowboy standing with his back to the camera, overlooking a prairie. It’s very appealing and a nice depiction of the characters.
ebook, 2nd Edition
Published March 3rd 2015 by Heidi Cullinan (first published February 15th 2011)
original titleNowhere Ranch
characters: Roe Davis, Travis Loving