Dakota Skies by Taylin Clavelli

4.43 out of 5
(7 customer reviews)

US$6.99

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Release Date: 12 September, 2014

Born in the wrong time…

In 1875 Dakota, Sheriff Jamie Carter has to hide his interest in men, even from his gutsy twin sister, Anna. On a good day, the truth can mean a bullet between the eyes, and on a bad, one in the back.

A man on a mission…

Jamie leaves Anna in charge of Blackrock and he hits the bounty hunting trail, along with his faithful equine companion, Houston. Five territories, scores of ‘Wanted’ posters, and many bullets later, his path unexpectedly converges with that of enigmatic loner, Kit Brooks.

Two men with one soul…

Will the smoldering fire between them rage into an inferno and break down protective barriers, allowing them to find love? Or will it separate and kill them?

Beneath Dakota skies…

Jamie and Kit’s story is a sweeping saga of cowboys, Indians, persistent broads, and vengeful villains, where the cowboys aren’t always the good guys, and love can’t be taken for granted.

To view the Book Trailer, click HERE

CHAPTER ONE: WELCOME TO BLACKROCK

Welcome to Blackrock The young sheriff, Jamie Carter, looked at the bold words above the town entrance and sighed. Would he be welcome in Blackrock if the people knew what he suspected about himself?

“Knew what?” a little voice inside him hollered.

That their butch, gun-totin’ sheriff was pretty sure he preferred men to women. It was a revelation that, if public knowledge, would get him killed.

He’d pondered over many scenarios, but in the end, Jay suspected he’d been burying his true feelings deep down for a long time. Two major questions almost constantly floated around his head. In his line of work, what was the likelihood of being approached by a similar-minded man? And how would he react if he was approached?

He had no idea what the answers were. It was a situation that might never happen. Whatever the scenario, secrecy was of the utmost importance.

If absolutely necessary, he considered the possibility of locking bodies with a woman just to keep suspicions at bay. It wasn’t like he’d never been with a woman. His experiences with Claire sprang to mind. Only being with her taught him more than where to stick his dick. The success of his plan to hide his sexual leanings hinged on his ability to act on his imagination.

He looked up to the sign again—Welcome to Blackrock—and snorted at the irony. He wanted to add—providing you satisfy criteria A, B, and C.

Ever since he’d returned from doing some tracking work for General Custer, he’d felt… different.

He was restless and agitated. So he made changes. He insisted on being called Jay, instead of Jamie. He had his shoulder-length hair cut short. Not next-to-his-head short, but a hell of a lot shorter than it was.

Jay had always been a handsome young man, but the alterations brought him to the notice of women even more. They loved his new look, swooning after him like he was the last candy bar. Not to mention, he was in his early twenties and eligible. He was tall, with a broad back, muscular body, short brown hair, and some scruff around his jawline. What set him apart, though, were the blue eyes both he and his twin, Roseanna—or Anna, as she preferred—inherited from their ma.

For a while, he’d considered the possibility he hadn’t met the right girl. After all, when it came to ladies, there wasn’t much choice in Blackrock, and Anna was an advocate of ‘Carter men only ever love one woman’.

Even if that was the case—which he seriously doubted—many women seemed to want a Carter man. Some of the young, bolder ones, made advances toward him, under the sights of their fathers. Similarly, a few mothers had spoken to him quietly on behalf of their daughters. Regrettably, none of them stirred him into action.

Women confused Jay, including his sister. Sometimes he totally understood what she was doing and why. Other times, her actions bewildered him. On occasion, she was understandable, yet still downright complicated. Women were a conundrum who, in his mind, could never be fathomed. On top of that, he was uncomfortable with the attention. Unfortunately for Jay, the female populous was relentless in their pursuit of him.

The most persistent of them all was Lila Miller, daughter of Liam and Mary, of Miller’s General Store. She was definitely unforgettable—for all the wrong reasons. She wasn’t a bad looker, once you got past the bows, frills, high-pitched voice, and sugary smile. Unfortunately, she seemed to believe she and Jay were destined to be together.

In Jay’s eyes, Lila was living proof the devil existed. He was convinced regular exposure to her squeaky, perky tones would kill his eardrums within a week. If ever, by some change of destiny, she got her claws into him, he had a standing arrangement with Anna to shoot him.

Another pain in his side was Cora Young, a whore who worked at The Dusty Nugget Saloon.

Within earshot of Anna, no man could ever use the word lady to describe Cora and get away with it. Anna hated Cora with a vengeance. She even told her once, “Get your grubby little claws and disease-ridden mouth away from my brother before I shoot you. If he wants a woman, he can find cheaper and better elsewhere.”

The whore was about to get up close and personal while Jay’s attention was distracted by a good hand in poker. The first he knew of Cora’s approach was when Anna’s voice rang out. Cora, of course, feigned innocence. Everyone in Blackrock knew there wasn’t an innocent bone in the broad’s body.

“Are you going to let her talk to a lady like that, Jamie?” Cora huffed, hands on hips, miffed at Anna’s tone.

“A lady… certainly not. But you ain’t no lady. Oh, and don’t ever call me Jamie. Sheriff Carter, please,” Jay clarified, standing before leaving—he was losing anyway.

Jay was more than capable of defending his own corner. But where Cora was concerned, Anna had too much fun slapping her down for him to interfere in her entertainment. Morgan, owner of the saloon and Jay’s best friend, usually perched his elbows on the bar and watched with a smile. He was amused by every encounter. That being said, like a true friend, he was always ready to step in and break up the fight.

Jay’s troubles weren’t just his lack of attraction for the fairer sex. No, his biggest problem was he lived in a time where men were men, and those that weren’t… were on the stage.

Gents didn’t mind the saloon gals getting it on with each other. In fact, they could get downright dirty and the men would lap it up, getting even hornier. But seeing two guys go at it in public? That made their privates shrivel quicker than a snowball in a forest fire, and inspired them to draw a gun from their holsters, load it with bullets etched with ‘Fag Stopper’, and then empty every chamber into the man.

The young sheriff had several theories on the reasons why. The favorite was that at some time in their lives a good portion of them tried being with a man. Or at least, seriously considered it. A person could spend weeks out on the trails, and occasionally a hand wasn’t enough. So men did one of two things—they hung on like crazy, running for the nearest whorehouse as soon as they hit town, or they played with their buddies. The understanding being what happened on the trail stayed on the trail. Seeing two guys together reminded them of things they didn’t want to remember. The reaction to memory jerk… violence.

In his heart, he knew what he had to do. He had to get out of town to get himself sorted. The question was one of timing.

The decision alone would cause a ruckus. It meant Anna, as Blackrock’s other sheriff, would be left in charge. Not that she wasn’t capable. He laughed, contemplating what would happen should any man cross her with theories of where a woman’s place should be. Her public side was up front and in your face. Strong and hidebound, she preferred to stop a person with a bullet than words.

Anna was a woman years ahead of her time. Most women were opinionated. However, they tended to only let their tongues wag to other women, behind closed doors. Anna wasn’t like that—if she had a view on something, she let you know. Even as a little girl, Jay could remember her telling their pa she thought the name of Blackrock sounded more like something to be dug up rather than live in.

There was another aspect of her personality few knew about—she loved nature, especially flowers. Whenever the opportunity presented itself, she’d disappear on her horse to the open prairies where she’d lie among the blues, golds, and pinks of the local flora.

Still, Roseanna being the way she was shouldn’t have been such a surprise, especially to anyone who’d lived in town for a while, or who was aware of its history.

Their pa, Sheriff John Carter, was a tough lawman. Their mother, Helen, was a strong woman, too; one who always supported her man.

Sadly, when the twins were teens, Helen caught a fever and died. Her sudden death devastated the family and all who knew her. Losing his wife broke Pa Carter’s heart more than anyone knew. Being the ultimate strong man, he dealt with the loss by throwing himself into his work. Many men would have turned to alcohol—not John. He had a job to do, and in Helen’s memory, he did it the best he knew how.

Being a proud man, he refused offers of help, and raised the children on his own. It wasn’t easy. They ended up getting into a whole heap of trouble, which earned them a whoopin’ or two. He took care of Jay and Anna the only way he knew… man-style. Jamie thrived, but it was difficult to be a girl in a house with no female influence. Roseanna was constantly exposed to the male working environment. Frills and frocks, prim and proper, went by the wayside. After a while, she even dressed like a boy, wearing a shirt, waistcoat, breeches, and boots.

The twins grew up fast, witnessing the seedier side of life. Part of that upbringing ensured they learned how to defend themselves, track, tell a lie from the truth, and how to trust that little voice inside your gut.

Anna and Jamie worshipped their pa without reservation. They saw he genuinely believed in the law. He stood for everything honest and decent. Always doing his best to make right what was wrong. So, it seemed natural his children followed him into law enforcement. It only took a couple of years to become their pa’s loyal deputies. They’d grown up together. They were deputies together. Upon their pa’s death, they became sheriffs together.

To view book trailer, click HERE

 

Additional Information

Available Formats

Epub, mobi, pdf,

Cover Artist

Lily Velden in collaboration with Jay’s Cover Designs

7 reviews for Dakota Skies by Taylin Clavelli

  1. Zipper Ripper Reviews
    4 out of 5

    :

    “The book had everything you would expect in a western: saloon fights, bar brawls, feisty women and bank robbers. But like with any story, its heart lay with the characters, particularly Jay and Kit in this instance. The love scenes between them were both hot and sensual, with an almost poetical quality to them.

    The supporting characters are also well-drawn, I loved Anna, Jay’s sister, she was a bit of a firebrand. Some people might consider that a bit unrealistic, but these are women in the Wild West, I think they would have been feisty and tough, not demure wallflowers.”

    To read the rest of Zipper Ripper’s Review, visit:
    http://zipperrippers.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/book-review-dakota-skies-by-taylin.html?zx=c2b7f024ecbdcc7

  2. Rainbow Book Reviews
    4 out of 5

    :

    “This is an epic love story told by an omniscient narrator, in a lyrical style which proves to be more than appropriate for the characters, setting, and action. While reading, I felt as if I were watching a cowboy movie or TV series. The manner in which the chapters are divided and named was like reading episodes rather than sections of the book. There’s so much more of the story to tell, but my review would be too long. Jamie and Kit have so many unexpected twists and turns in their journey that are alternately sad, happy, ugly, and beautiful, I was crying one minute and smiling the next.”

    To read of Rainbow Book’s Review, visit:
    http://www.rainbowbookreviews.com/book-reviews/dakota-skies-by-taylin-clavelli-at-wayward-ink-publishing

  3. Multitaskingmommas Reviews
    5 out of 5

    :

    4.5 Stars from Multitaskingmommas
    “There is something about a great story unfolding gradually and with surety that grips my attention. I love cowboy stories and am a great lover of old cowboy movies. Dakota Skies is a cowboy story that brought back much of those old movies to mind. It was written without hesitation, the imagery of the action when these did happen was vivid, and the sense of quiet of the environment and the thoughts of the men was very strong.”

    To read the rest of the review by Multitaskingmommas, visit:
    http://www.multitaskingmommas.com/2014/09/happy-happy-release-day-blitz-earc.html

  4. World of Diversity Fiction
    5 out of 5

    :

    4.5 Stars from Word of Diversity Fiction
    “The blurb got me curious and I am actually not a huge fan of historical but this book surprising was that great. I enjoyed pretty much everything about it. It was a comfort read; at least it was for me….
    All of the secondary characters were well defined and excellent developed. I was able to learn who they were and how they helped the book to be something good…”

    To read the rest of the review by World of Diversity Fiction, visit:
    http://www.wodfreview.com/home/review-dakota-skies-by-taylin-clavelli

  5. Saguaro Moon Reviews
    4 out of 5

    :

    “This novel made me laugh, cry, laugh again then cry. I found myself rooting for Kit and Jay, feeling the love between them as it grew and kept on the edge of my seat after the first few chapters. Thank you Taylin for sharing this with us. Dakota Skies is a must read for anyone who enjoys this genre of books.”

    To read the rest of the review by Saguaro Moon Reviews, visit:
    http://smr.asciiking.com/?p=329

  6. Slashsessed
    4 out of 5

    :

    “Not only did the love story between Jay and Kit draw me in, but the supporting characters were well-rounded and interesting people as well. I loved the Mason character and really enjoyed the interactions Jay and Kit had with Kit’s Native American family.

    If you’re in the mood for a good, old-fashioned western with an m/m romance twist, Dakota Skies is definitely the book for you!”

    To read more of the review by Slashsessed, visit:
    http://slashsessed.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/book-review-dakota-skies-by-taylin_18.html#more

  7. Gay Guy Reading Reviews
    5 out of 5

    :

    4.5* from Gay Guy Reading Reviews

    “Being a historical fiction aficionado, I loved this story. This book is very well written and fun to read. Ms. Clavelli has a great way with words, painting the scenes and characters with her words. She has done some research into the period, which makes it more fun to read, and has a great imagination. If you like this kind of story from the Wild West, you will love this story. You will find it hard to put down sometimes because the tension of the scene just keeps you reading.”

    To read the rest of the review please visit:
    http://www.ggr-review.com/dakota-skies-by-taylin-clavelli-blog-tour-wreview-excerpt-and-giveaway/

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