NEVADA HIGHLANDER is a novel about two gay men: a Scot and a cop. My tag line asks: Who’s on whose tail?
I wrote the book during NaNoWriMo, the month-long national novel-writing frenzy. When I started on November 1, I had a rough idea in mind of what I wanted. Two gay men are attracted and must overcome both cultural and emotional barriers to find love.
True to my nature, I ended up writing a romcom instead of a book rife with angst. The novel has its moments of anguish, of thoughtful confrontation, and of emotional decision making. And yet above all, it’s a study of opposites being attracted, and the comedic/ironic results of that attraction. It’s rated “five flames,” very hot.
Rory Drummond is a castle laird from the area of Angus, Scotland, a man whose brash gay lifestyle sticks in the craw of his politically ambitious uncle. Deciding to make Nevada’s mountains a temporary highlands for his restless wandering, Rory travels to the Mt. Moriah area in Eastern Nevada to join a big game hunt. His uncle Robert sets the wheels in motion to have him watched, afraid his ambition to become Scotland’s next Prime Minister will be compromised by his boisterous nephew.
Alex Dominguez is a Nevada State Trooper, assigned by Nevada’s governor to keep an eye on the free-living and free-loving Scot. Alex agrees only reluctantly, and he finds himself duty-bound to keep tabs on a man he becomes very attracted to.
So the conflict is set early: a cop assigned to watch over one man instead falls for him romantically and is afraid to admit he’s there as part of his job. The tailed man, too, is attracted to the one he sees as scrupulously honest; and he refuses to see past his own arousal to the possibility that Alex may be there not as a tracker of mule deer, but of the Scot himself.
There are other factors at work. Alex has lost his father and has spent much of his early life in foster homes, so that his trip to Nevada’s Mt. Moriah is a kind of pilgrimage back to his youth, full of love but also anguish. While the Scot is slowly discovering his new friend’s past, he is starting to become less a roustabout and more a truly committed lover. But the irony remains: before this trip is over, the deceit must be discovered. What will happen when Alex’s cover is … blown?
I would describe NEVADA HIGHLANDER as a romantic comedy. The sex is explicit, and the emotional confrontations are sometimes raw. And yet the irony of these men’s situation is so rich, I could not help but fill it with my own brand of humor… Like a well-endowed Scot poured into tight Levi’s, wearing enough tassels to qualify as poster boy for a Roy Rogers festival.
Here is a brief excerpt from the beginning of the book, when the men have just met and go to dinner together.
When their meal finally arrived, some kind of meat that could have been steak, they both ate as though it were the finest prime rib. At one point, Rory lifted his head and jabbed him with a strange look.
“A man could drown in them.”
The way he said it ... raw, direct, unsmiling ... caught him off guard. Alex drew in a sharp breath at the same time blood pumped into his cock first, then spread, a wildfire, consuming every inch of his body. He felt the heat rise even to his neck and into his ears. He and the other man seemed to lock eyes for long minutes, but it must have been seconds before he ducked his head to stare at the dinner plate. When he dared to glance up again, the Scotsman was calmly eating, looking around at the surroundings, fingering his whisky glass.
He must have heard it wrong. The Scottish accent, his way of quirking one side of his upper lip into his mustache, his own desperate longing... Alex kept eating in silence, aware that the conversation had failed miserably. He tried to pick it back up, straighten the ragged edges.
“So ... tell me about your flight.”
“Why is it, lad, everyone always asks about the most miserable part of any trip? I haven’t a foogin idea. I was drunk the whole way. And now, at last, I’m in my own private heaven.”
He was almost afraid to ask, because Rory was setting him up for it. “And what heaven is that?”
So quickly he didn’t see it coming, the handsome man leaned closer and put his lips close to his ear, almost touching the delicate rim. The heat of his breath sent a jumping, jolting current under his skin that traveled all the way up his ass. God in heaven what was this man doing? And why wasn’t he, Alex, leaning away from almost tasting his breath?
“A perfect dinner companion. One who fires my ... imagination.”
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