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Short Stories 365:92

Even just a few of years ago, I wasn't particularly big on e-books. I had my trusty Kobo, don't get me wrong, and I downloaded a few books for it (it was the original Kobo, so it also came pre-loaded with a hundred classics on it) and I read a few books on it. Partly it was because the great draw of e-reading - ie: the lower price - wasn't often actually case given my job (and thereby my employee discount). Partly it was because I just liked physical books, and clicking that button at the bottom of the device wasn't the same. That I listened to audiobooks quite profusely didn't seem to be a contradiction (though for favourite authors I still both bought the book and listened to the audio).

Today? Now it doesn't bother me at all. Somewhere between the last few years and now, alongside a much faster and better Kobo and my iPhone and iPad, I read e-books probably about a quarter of the time. I'm sure it would be more often, were it not for that employee discount. I like carrying my Kobo - especially when I'm on the plane or a train - and I cannot stress enough how much I love that I can buy novellas and short fiction from authors I enjoy.

Recently, Bold Strokes Books launched the "BSB Impressions" line, which is a digital-first line. One of the first books released under this imprint is by an author I adore.

"Brazen," by Dale Chase

The first story in the e-book Crack Shot is "Brazen." Now, you've heard me say this a few times already whenever I've talked about a Dale Chase story, but before I'd read a Dale Chase story, I'd never found a western particularly intriguing. Put in the capable hands of the right author, though, western stories such as "Brazen" basically sear off the page.

This story is grand. It highlights the strengths Chase has in this genre, by which I mean the aforementioned ability to make western gay erotica sizzle on the page without losing any of the western flavor or tone, but also giving you the first glimpse at how the stories will bait-and-switch you, delivering more than you had expected. The set-up is simple enough - a man making camp by his fire for the night is basically caught finishing some "alone time" with his own affection still visibly in-hand by another man, and the two introduce themselves thereafter. That they are of a similar mind and persuasion seems at first fortuitous, but not every stranger is what you expect.

Definitely give this one a glance.