Review: To Hell You Ride by Julia Talbot

Second Edition

Big Roy is a hard-rock miner with a not-so-secret love for the theater, so when he hears a new troupe of actors are coming to the Telluride Opera House to put on a Shakespeare play, he saddles his mule and makes the trek into town to see it. The play doesn’t disappoint, but the beautiful lead actor, Edward Clancy, certainly does. Clancy is rude and arrogant, and Roy figures he’d never have a chance with such a man. He’s wrong, because Clancy needs some entertainment himself, being stuck in a hellish mining town for the long, snowy winter. Come spring, though, Clancy knows he’s going to want to move on, and he thinks Roy will be easy to forget. Then tragedy hits, and Clancy has to rethink his entire life. Can these two strike gold?

First Edition Published by SCREWDRIVER An imprint of Torquere Press, January 2007.

Roy is a huge fan of the theatre and attends as often as his meagre earnings as a miner will allow. One evening he attends a Shakespeare play and is instantly lustful over the lead actor, Sir Edward Clancy, until he has a poor encounter the next morning while meeting the local journalist to share his review of the play.

Clancy has no time for anyone but those he chooses as bedpartners, but a bad review from Roy makes Clancy livid and determined to get a retraction, at any cost. Even if he has to trudge up a mountain on a mule and demand it from the unsightly oaf who uttered the fateful words against him.

This is fun, witty, and light. Roy and Clancy manage to make their time together work, even when they fight. They have good chemistry and strong personalities. Clancy being stuck for the winter in a small town makes for entertainment on its own. Roy has to squash hopes for a future as Clancy continues to insist that once the snow melts he is off to sunnier places. Clancy is in denial and even though he has some *feelings* his plans will not change.

“Nonsense. I will not run after the man.” Clancy sat on the bed ticking, hand on the post. “Really, what good would it do? We’re not at all suited.”
“No. He love you. You love you. Only thing you have in common.”
Clancy glared. “That is quite enough out of you. Don’t you have a new job to attend?” “Tomorrow.”
“Well, I think you should go now.” He bounced up again and began filling his trunk.

I loved the way this story evolved. Clancy was endearing in his self-obsession. Roy was just the man to match his stubbornness and while not educated, he is a force with the witty banter and retorts. Clancy thought he had Roy pegged, and could outwit him, but no sir, Roy could match him with an equally sharp tongue and quick mind.

I like this style of writing, and found the setting and plot engaging. Even though Clancy is vein and self-involved he was a really enjoyable character to read. Roy was loveable, and didn’t allow Clancy to stomp on him. He was a mix between firm about his place and giving enough to enjoy his time with Clancy.

Their chemistry was steamy, and their relationship building was wild and at times conflict ridden. I loved them both equally, for very different reasons.

If I’m in the mood for something from the past, Julia Talbot is a sure bet for me. Even if you’re not a fan of historical romance, this is worth it for the sass.

a review copy was provided for an honest opinion.

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