Book: Lickety Split
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publication date: March 13, 2017
Length: 286 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Lickety Split: Love won’t wait.
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.
There's a saying "You can never go home again" which played in the back of my mind all through my reading of Damon Suede's new book, Lickety Split. With a title like that and an eye-catching (though not my personal favorite) cover, not to mention, hello, a new Damon Suede book, I was more than a little pumped to read this one. By the end, I was glad I'd read it, even if my feelings about it are a bit complicated, much like the main characters of the book, Tucker and Patch.
I'll say this first, though. I'm a Southeast Texas girl. I grew up in Beaumont so seeing my hometown and the surrounding area as a setting of a book was a kick in the pants. I don't know that it's ever happened so right away I wanted to love this book. I totally got Patch's ambivalence and his conflicted feelings about his hometown of Hixville. After leaving home at the age of seventeen, it's seven years before Patch goes home again, though it's to bury his parents. He hasn't seen or talked to them since he escaped and not only does he have to deal with that, but the man that made his growing up particularly painful, Tucker Biggs, has been named the executor of his parents' estate. So, not so much to be happy about returning to Hixville. Patch also has complicated feelings toward Tucker. Sure there's some misplaced hatred, but there's also a gnawing infatuation and draw to Tucker.
Patch and Tucker are definitely not the most endearing characters I've ever read. In fact, it was quite difficult to like either one of them. At the beginning, through Patch's selective memories, Tucker is nothing but a homophobic, womanizing pig. The more time adult Patch spends around Tucker we come to find out that much of what Patch has believed and the things that sent him fleeing his hometown have been inaccurate. It turns out his parents didn't hate him for being gay. It turns out that Tucker had strong feelings for Patch all along but couldn't deal with them. And to be quite honest, Tucker is hard to like. He's gruff and crass and crude and some of the things that came out of his mouth made me squirm uncomfortably. Not a horrible thing to have happen mind you, which just goes to show how talented Damon Suede is. I did warm up to the big cowboy though, and once he was actually honest with Patch, I enjoyed him more.
There are plenty of hot sex scenes in Lickety Split; from Damon Suede would you expect anything less? I mean they were on fire hot. But what I really appreciated was how Patch redefines what home is. Patch is impetuous and whiny and quick to form an opinion. The miscommunication between Tucker and Patch made me want to pull my hair out they were so frustrating, but two people who have such strong personalities are bound to clash, and these two do that and more. It takes quite the talented author to make me care about characters I don't particularly like and Damon made me care about Tucker and Patch. I wanted them to be happy. I wanted them to find their way past their hurt and anger and find a way to make things work. That says something about the quality of the storytelling.
Lickety Split is a romance that's outside of the norm for sure, but it's definitely worth the time to read it. And by the end, you might just think about what your definition of home is a little differently. I know I did.
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