Review: Lickety Split by Damon Suede
Patch Hastle grew up in a hurry, ditching East Texas for NYC to make his name as a DJ and model without ever looking back. When his parents die unexpectedly, he heads home to unload the family farm ASAP and skedaddle. Except the will left Patch’s worst enemy in charge: his father’s handsome best friend who made his high school years hell.
Tucker Biggs is going nowhere. Twenty years past his rodeo days, he’s put down roots as the caretaker of the Hastle farm. He knows his buddy’s smartass son still hates his guts, but when Patch shows up growed-up, looking like sin in tight denim, Tucker turns his homecoming into a lesson about old dogs and new kinks.
Patch and Tucker fool around, but they can’t fool themselves. Once the farm’s sold, they mean to call it quits and head off to separate sunsets. With the clock ticking, the city slicker and his down-home hick get roped into each other’s life. If they’re gonna last longer than spit on a griddle, they better figure out what matters—fast.
I have a feeling that this book is going to get some mixed reactions. It’s very character driven, so your enjoyment of it will probably depend on whether you connect with the characters.
When we’re first introduced to Patch Hastle, he’s on his way to Hixville, Texas, a town he ran away from when he was sixteen. Patch’s return isn’t happy, as he’s going back for his parents’ funerals and to wrap up business at their ranch.
Anger’s a tangible thing in this book. Patch is angry at the town that almost crushed him, at the parents that couldn’t accept him for who he was, and at himself for never being able to really put it all behind him.
And he’s angry at Tucker Biggs, Patch’s father’s best friend, and the man who Patch has measured every other man against.
Tucker’s a deadbeat cowboy who never strayed too far from the ranch. Or so Patch thought. But once Patch lets his guard down a bit, he realizes that Tucker’s the only one who’s ever seen and accepted all of Patch.
I think it’s worth noting that Tucker isn’t the romanticized version of a cowboy that readers are probably used to in romance books. He’s a real cowboy - rugged, crass, and dusty. Everything that Patch craves.
The sexual chemistry between Tucker and Patch was through the roof. From the moment Patch returns to the ranch, the heat begins building between the two. And when they give in, it’s hot.
The emotional connection between the two is less clear. They have history, but I thought that at times their relationship was reduced to hot sex. Even so, by the end I was convinced they belonged together.
I really liked how Tucker and Patch built each other up. Tucker convinces Patch that it’s okay to let go of his anger and grieve, while Patch shows Tucker that he’s more than a country hick.
However, I didn’t like that Tucker’s past was just swept over so easily, especially all of his abandoned kids. I get second chances and all, but I would have liked to see some remorse and amends on Tucker’s part.
Also, I thought Patch’s repetitive inner monologues took up too much page time.
Overall, ‘Lickity Split’ hit a lot of high notes. It’s quite a sexy read, and Patch and Tucker were definitely two halves of a whole. If you’re looking for a slightly angsty read with flawed characters, give this book a try.
Find on Dreamspinner Press or Goodreads!