Malachi’s Word by Lissa Matthews
Author: Lissa Matthews
Blurb: Drunken confessions. Sobering friendship. And two cowboys gambling on love…
The Bar Next Door, Book 1
Could he love me? Malachi has wanted to know the answer since his best friend, Daniel, confessed to being gay. He has never forgotten that long-ago conversation, or the secret hope that another confession would follow: that Daniel is in love with him.
Daniel is—and always has been—in love with Malachi. But how is he supposed to share that information without risking the only friendship that has ever mattered to him? He couldn’t handle it if he were kicked out of Malachi’s life. The best Daniel could do was move home to Texas, buy a little rundown ranch to work outside Austin, and visit the watering hole where Malachi tends bar.
Malachi knows that something heavy is riding his friend and he’s tired of watching Daniel’s downward spiral of too much beer and too many meaningless flings. Enough is enough.
Except, when he gets Daniel home and some strong coffee down his gullet, the truth comes pouring out. A truth that nearly knocks Malachi out of his boots.
Courage like that doesn’t come easy…and Malachi can only pray his answer is enough to turn lifelong friends into forever lovers.
Review: I love the idea of slightly drunken cowboys two-stepping through my heart, and this short story is written well enough I had no trouble reading it. It’s well paced, has nice settings, and the characters are attractive.
But here’s the kicker, my darlings: the entire story revolves around a lack of communication. Mal has been in love with his friend, Danny, for years and never said a word. Unbeknownst to Mal, Danny feels exactly the same way and one night, liquored up and half crazy with lust and fear, Danny finally admits his feelings to Mal. While they’re in Mal’s bedroom, no less.
And what does Mal do? Nothing. And what does he say, after pining for this guy for years? Nothing.
I shook my head in disgust, because honey, if someone I secretly lusted for had finally come clean about having similar feelings, I’d have been all over him like white on rice. The miscommunication trope can work, but it’s overused and in this story, didn’t feel right at all. It stuck out like a nun at a tittie bar.
I give this story a Liza because it was well written and cowboys are always hot; it would have gotten a higher rating if Mal had only said what he should have said when he should have said it.
Reviewed by: Red Licorice