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“Highly recommended…Bitter Springs is a wonderful depiction of a lost period of gay life and history in the rural West of the 1800s.” — American Library Association, GLBT Roundtable
In 1870s Texas, Renaldo Valle Santos, the youngest son of a large and traditional family, has been sent to train with Henry “Hank” Burnett, a freed slave and talented mesteñero—or horse-catcher—so he may continue the family horse trade. Bitter Springs is a sweeping epic that takes themes from traditional Mexican literature and Old Westerns to tell the story of a man coming into his own and realizing his destiny lies in the wild open spaces with the man who loves him, far from expectations of society.
Kudos to this author for researching her facts and history. This was a really good story. I definitely learned a few things from reading this. I really appreciate the author’s note at the beginning. Never would have thought about what she said. It makes sense a lot, and it’s crazy to have these negative feelings today in society seeing how history went. A really good historic romance.
Both of these characters were really good. Oh my goodness I enjoyed the story alot. It was a slow burner, I’m talking real slow for the romance to happen, more than halfway in the book for anything to happen. I was okay with that, because I liked see how the two guys interacted with each other, I liked reading about their stories, and wanted to see how they were going to fare on this journey. I liked how the author wrote the main character as a Mexican. His family’s story isn’t something that I was familiar with, but it was informing to see such freedom for people of color back then. I definitely appreciated the author giving Henry Bennett his own independence. I am familiar with Henry’s upbringing. It wasn’t common at all, but I think Laura Stone did a great job on getting the facts, and emotions right with his character. I
I think the way these guys came together was very endearing. They kinda became friends, and learned what love is to one another. Renaldo was sweet, and I loved his fiery side. I’m not an animal person, but both guys were good to those horses. It was humbling seeing the way Hank’s reputation came about. I loved Renaldo’s family, they were like anyone else but with way more affection and touching. I’m going to be on the lookout for more from this author.
About Laura Stone
Born and raised in Texas, Laura Stone’s first novel, THE BONES OF YOU (Interlude Press), was a Foreward Review Book of the Year finalist and a Lambda Literary longlist entrant. Her next, BITTER SPRINGS, is an historical LGBT novel set in 1870s’ West Texas, arrives Dec. 3, 2015. She lives in Texas as proof it isn’t completely populated by hard-line right wingers and because that’s where the good tamales are.