My Heartache Cowboy by ZA Maxfield, the follow up to My Cowboy Heart which came out last year, takes the words CONSENTING ADULTS, to a whole new level. I for one respect the hell out of her, for deciding to write Jimmy and Eddie’s story the way that it needed to be written. Jimmy tells us his, and Eddie’s story in the first person, and we meet up with them just as Eddie has taken Jimmy out of the J Bar Ranch and to friend’s cabin, in the middle of the night to force him to stop drinking cold turkey. Jimmy is so angry at this betrayal, he doesn’t even think he has a drinking problem. Something IS wrong though…First Crispin coming in and changing everything about their lives, now their boss was a gay man, a coupled gay man. Eddie who apparently has been GAY this whole time is out too…And Crandall, the owner of the J Bar, the ranch’s heart and soul, has passed away…It’s too much. Can they blame him for needing a little bit of liquid comfort?!
But Eddie seems so in need to have him sober up, it’s like he’s desperate for things to be how they were…Truth is, he’ll do anything for Eddie. So despite the fact that he is more than a little resentful about the situation, and more than a little angry at this friends, he tried go with it. He’d do anything for Eddie.
For these cowboys I wanted to make something a little more like a snack, since they liked to…play around a lot *ahem* and it’s nice to have stuff to snack on when one is worn out…So to speak. *grins* Also due to the theme of the book, there will be no alcohol on this one. I made a Roasted Poblano Pepper Hummus and a New Mexican Cracked Wheat Salad which goes great with some pita chips, and avocado chunks or even on a bed of romaine lettuce. It’s wonderful as a lunch or afternoon snack. Now that we’ve got food worked out, back to our boys.
SO! There they are in a cabin that belongs to Eddie’s “friend” (more like fuck buddy from the eyeful Jimmy got! He might have been drunk, but he’s not BLIND), and things are a getting a little too fucking real. Jimmy is sick and confused, he wants a drink like nothing else, and the whole time he looks at Eddie, and he sees so much worry and disappointment that it makes him want to give up. Also he’s finally coming to the realization that he has to face up to who he really is. His past, it’s messy and full of hurt, there is so much he has never gotten of his chest. But know this news, the fact that Eddie is GAY. He must do something with that information. But things get messy really fast between them, and they end up having to ask, Don, Eddie’s friend/lover for help. That is when things REALLY get interesting.
This book was for one thing, VERY VERY sexy, the erotica was YUMMYLISCIOUS. It was very purposeful in terms of prompting things to evolve. For another I loved that this book challenges a lot of the taboos that we have, even as WAY outside of the box romance readers. Eddie and Jimmy, they’re complicated. They’ve been with each other for so long, they are partners in many ways. However their age, what they do for a living, and their personal histories has kept them from being open with each other about sentimental things. They are STUCK. They can’t go forward, and clearly if things don’t change their friendship, their BOND will be destroyed. By Jimmy’s addiction, by Eddie’s insecurities…So many things, they just can’t get past…They need a catalyst, something to help them wade through all those years of not being able to be open with each other (or even themselves) about how they felt.
Don, he’s a surgeon, a wealthy man and good man. He comes into the picture and it’s intimidating for Jimmy. He knows Eddie in ways, Jimmy never hoped to. The thing is Don brings to the surface all the things he didn’t know how to admit about himself…Both sexually and emotionally. Don comes into their lives (no pun intended!) to lubricate things between Eddie and Jimmy, and the result is they finally find a way to TALK to each other. They find a way to move on from being scared and angry with each other and to FINALLY go for what they want. There is heartache, and impasses, but they get there, in their terms, in their way.
The threesome angle is going to put off some people, but I really hope most readers see it for what it is. Consenting adults finding ways to build connections, friendships that bring happiness to their lives, without doing themselves or others any harm. I think Z.A. Maxfield has really done a fabulous job of advancing the concept of “romance” here, and presented us with a story that really challenges us with the notion that “a love story needs not follow as script, because every heart is different, every soul has its own map, and how two people find their happy ending SHOULD resonate with their own life story”. Jimmy and Eddie had a hard road to love, they knew loss, and had given up on finding love in the light for their own lives. Only when they saw it happen between Malloy and Crispin, did it actually become a possibility, and even then it was a regretful realization. So yeah, in the end to me, this might not be a comfortably laid out love story for some, but I think, it’s genuine and COHERENT for these two cowboys. I BELIEVE in their happily ever after.
Once again, fabulousity to the max, thy name is Z.A. Maxfield. My Heartache Cowboy is available for purchase here. I hope you give this story a chance, and go into it with an open mind and heart. It’s a beautiful and hopeful story.
Roasted Poblano Pepper Hummus
1 poblano pepper
1 14.5 oz can of chickpeas rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons of tahini
1 clove of garlic minced
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablesppoon of fresh cilantro
5 slices of pickled jalapeno
1/4 teaspoon of cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Directions: pre-heat oven at 425, place the poblano in the oven for 25 minutes, turning it over after 12 minutes. Once the pepper is blackened on the surface take it out of the oven and put in an airtight container until it is cool enough to handle. Cut in half and remove all the seeds and veins.
In a food processor place all the ingredients and pulse until the hummus has the proper consistency.
New Mexican Cracked Wheat Salad
1/2 cup of bulgur wheat
1 medium onion minced
1 cumcumber peeled and seeded chopped small
2 roma tomatoes seeded and cut small
1 14.5 oz can of black beans rinsed and drained
1/2 cup of corn
2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro minced
1 clove of garlic minced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of powdered ancho pepper
salt and pepper to taste
In a small saucepan put in 3/4 cups of water to boil, once water is boiling put in the bulgur wheat, reduce heat to low simmer and cover (think cooking rice), for about 15 minutes. Once the bulgur is cooked, fluff with a fork and allow it to cool. Meanwhile mix all the other ingredients in a large bowl, add wheat when it’s cooled. Adjust seasoning to your taste.
I hope you guys try out this new book, it is wonderful and a truly touching story. I love when a book aims to tear down taboos, and it does it WELL.
Cheers and Happy Reading!