Rattlesnake by Kim Fielding – Romance>Contemporary
A drifter since his teens, Jimmy Dorsett has no home and no hope. What he does have is a duffel bag, a lot of stories, and a junker car. Then one cold desert night he picks up a hitchhiker and ends up with something more: a letter from a dying man to the son he hasn’t seen in years.
On a quest to deliver the letter, Jimmy travels to Rattlesnake, a small town nestled in the foothills of the California Sierras. The centerpiece of the town is the Rattlesnake Inn, where the bartender is handsome former cowboy Shane Little. Sparks fly, and when Jimmy’s car gives up the ghost, Shane gets him a job as handyman at the inn.
Both within the community of Rattlesnake and in Shane’s arms, Jimmy finds an unaccustomed peace. But it can’t be a lasting thing. The open road continues to call, and surely Shane—a strong, proud man with a painful past and a difficult present—deserves better than a lying vagabond who can’t stay put for long.
Kim Fielding is, simply put, amazeballs. Her books aren’t over the top. They don’t lay thick the tragedy in an obvious attempt to fuck with your emotions. They don’t present a simple romance with a white-picket fence HEA.
They give you someones life. Real and true and not always pretty, but also not gruesome. It just is. And it is so fucking beautiful. And when you get your white-picket fence HEA it feels honest and genuine and well deserved.
I’d be hard pressed to tell you a character that I’ve loved more than Jimmy. I could listen to him talk all day in that rambling drawl (I don’t think he was actually southern but I put a twang on his voice in my head and have no qualms about it!) He was sweet and sad and wonderful, and so much more broken than the well-loved Shane who limped into his life and wouldn’t let go.
I loved that he was 43 years old. It’s easy for us to accept the idea of a man in his twenties having a life-changing experience or turning things around. Whether or not we admit it, society does tend to be harder on people pushing middle-aged and we’re not nearly as accepting and forgiving as we like to think. Similarly to A Note In The Margin by Isabelle Rowan, this book really made me think about homelessness and drifters and the way we treat people.
There’s really not much to say except that this is an absolutely beautiful story. I teared up a few times but it’s not a tear-jerker. Jimmy had a horrible upbringing but it’s not angsty. And although my heart skipped a beat every time Jimmy mentioned that he’d be leaving the next day or so, I could see through him as transparently as Shane. You need to read this. Now. Thank you and your welcome.