For Chad Ollom, landing on the Willow Springs Ranch after his teaching career crashed and burned last year was a lesson in irony, considering he’d sworn off all things related to horses and cowboys after a near fatal fall as a child. Now with a new mission in life, Chad plans to bring critically ill children to the ranch for a special celebration. Aging rodeo cowboy Jesse Duran lives life eight seconds at a time, and whether it’s broncos or men, it’s always been get on and get off before anyone gets hurt. When he’s required to take a break from the circuit and ends up on the WSR, the enticing ass of a stand-offish teacher turned contractor might just be enough challenge to keep him entertained for a week or two. As attraction flares, personal boundaries start to crumble, and the lines between seducer and seduced begin to blur. When the series of on-going attacks against the WSR moves from sabotage to arson, Jesse steps up to help, but when Chad is forced to return to his past to face charges, the men of the WSR want to know if Jesse will stick or leave Chad hanging.
Chad Ollom has two skills, construction work and teaching. After finishing his Master’s work, Chad thought his days of working construction were over then a whisper campaign over his sexual orientation derailed his career. Though there was NO evidence against him, just a malicious rumor, Chad now finds himself unable to teach and working construction on the Willow Springs Ranch. The WSR has become Chad’s sanctuary and everyone present knows, he isn’t interested.
Jesse Duran just loves a challenge and Chad Ollom is definitely a mountain that needs a good climbing. With his rodeo career on hold and in the interest of helping an old friend, Jesse has made his way to the WSR. With nothing but time on his hands and a willingness to work, Jesse quickly fits in with the cowboys and is warned, Chad is off limits. Oh, Chad isn’t partnered with anyone but he has made it clear he isn’t interested in horses or cowboys. In an instant, Jesse sets out to correct that situation and show the beautiful man just how good saving horses and riding cowboys can be 🙂
As fate would have it, Jesse and Chad are thrown together when Chad aggravates an old injury. No one at the ranch is better at soothing injuries than a rodeo rider so Jesse jumps in to help Chad. It doesn’t take long for the chemistry between the two to make itself known which inevitably leads to some naughty bits. For a day or two, things are all sunshine and roses for the new couple but trouble is on the horizon. Chad is called back to Flagstaff to face yet another trumped up charge and both he and Jesse get caught up in a dangerous scheme cooked up by the bigots at the neighboring ranch. Amid all the drama and upheaval, both Jesse and Chad are forced to face some harsh truths, accept their situation, and acknowledge their true feelings for one another.
The Bottom Line: Hanging Chad isn’t just Jesse and Chad’s story but also a continuation of the big, ugly, dangerous drama that was introduced in Taking Chance. The WSR and its inhabitants are clearly under attack and the attacks are becoming more serious as the series goes on. Both Chad and Jesse are victims of the attacks and while the attacks are heinous they also propel the two men toward each other which is exactly where they are meant to be. Though I can’t Chad and Jesse are my favorite characters in WSR series, I can say I liked their story and particularly how the series plot line is expanding through this couple. As always, Harner includes characters from past reads which only serves to enhance the current read and create an evolution in these characters. As with every other review this week, I’m out and on to the next book 🙂