Crack Shot: Western Erotica – Dale Chase (Bold Strokes Books)

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Buy it direct from Bold Strokes Books

Whenever I encounter an anthology Dale Chase appears in, I
always skip right to her entry because I know I’ll be rewarded with a terrific
tale. Whether it’s one of her tasty ghost stories, a stately Victorian piece,
or one of her westerns, I’m sure to find an interesting, erotic read. And
thankfully, she’s so prolific that I don’t have to wait long for another
morsel. Her latest e-book for Bold Strokes, Crack Shot: Western Erotica,
is no exception to the rule.

There are five exceptionally delicious Old West yarns here
and all are top-notch. The collection starts off strong with “Brazen,” perhaps
the thinnest of the lot in terms of plot but with a twisty ending that Chase
doesn’t do very often. Cal Huntley is pleasuring himself by the campfire when a
handsome stranger, Wade Lasko, drops by for a casual encounter. Although the
plot may be sparse, the sex—one of Chase’s strongest points—is hot, indeed. I
think of all the erotica writers I know, Chase has the firmest grip (pun fully
intended) on male-male scenes.

“Thyself a Man” is a nicely-turned tale that concerns Rev.
Alden Finch, a preacher from Springfield trying to bring the word of God to a
gold mining camp, and the saloon proprietor that he can’t stay away from.
Again, the sex is hot, but the main feature here is watching the right reverend
slide from propriety into obsession. My mind kept wandering to the Reverend
Dimmesdale in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.

“Gandy Dancer,” a tale written, but not sent to me, for my Riding
the Rails
anthology sees young Billy Quinn and new worker Devlin Roarke
working on track for the Transcontinental Railroad. The title story, “Crack
Shot” has a ne’er-do-well, Roy Burkhart, becoming the jailhouse boy-toy of
Marshall Ramsey. Ramsey stands up against the judge to get Burkhart released,
but what happens when the criminal commits another offense? Chase keeps you in
suspense up until the last.

But my favorite piece is “Picture Show,” a multi-leveled
story-within-a-story that examines that transitional period between the end of
the Old West and the beginning of the next age. Heartfelt and wistful, it takes
place in 1924 as former sheriff Wade Langer is shooting a movie about his
encounter with the outlaw Frank Parrish. Trouble is, the director is
perpetuating the many fictions that have sprung up around this legendary
battle. To complicate matters further, the actor playing his deputy suffers an
accident and Langer’s real deputy, Arlen Kight, is called in to play the role.
Langer and Kight were a hot item back in the day, and they re-kindle this flame
during the shoot. Not only do we get a fascinating look at the conflict between
film and fact, we also get a sweet love story as a bonus. This is Chase at her
best.

But there’s much to like in Crack Shot. And at the
price of an e-book, it’s not worth even thinking about it before you buy. Just
do it. You can thank me later. 

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©, 2013, Jerry Wheeler

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