Desert Run by Marshall Thornton

Title: Desert Run

Author: Marshall Thornton

Genre: Action/Suspense, History (1973)

Length: Novel (190pgs)

Publisher: Torquere Press (12th January 2011)

Heat Level: Hot

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4 1/2

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Palm Springs, 1973. Don Harris is a piano player on the run after killing a Chicago mobster’s son in a bar fight. On the lam, he meets a pretty blonde girl in town for a convention. He lets down his guard and spends the night with her only to discover she’s the younger sister of his best friend all grown-up. Foolishly, she tips her brother off to Don’s location, and he’s on the run again, hoping to find a safe place to land.

Out of money and desperate, Don accidentally walks into a gay bar where he allows a kid named Harlan to pick him up so he’ll have a place to stay. As the mob chases them, Don begins to fall for the kid, putting them both in harm’s way. Harlan has problems of his own, and Don knows he shouldn’t get involved but he can’t help but step in when Harlan gets in trouble. To save himself, Don’s got to save Harlan.

Warning: Explicit m/f scenes in the early part of the book.  

Review:  Don, a Vietnam Veteran, is on the run after accidentally killing a mobster’s son.   He meets with a woman who turns out to be his best friend’s sister and he has to run again. Harlan is a ‘caretaker’ to a Hollywood movie star and after a couple of games of pool picks Don up and helps him out.

Now, I will admit that this wasn’t a favorite of mine as it had explicit m/f scenes but they were a part of the plot and storyline. I can’t deny that it’s a really good book with an interesting storyline and a good plot though.   So… I really can’t complain. Don’s straight and decided to use Harlan as he has nowhere else to go but in the process he learnt a thing or two about himself and his sexuality. Now this is a Gay for You and was done really well.   Don questions himself about what he’s doing and what he feels and passing it off saying “I’m not gay”, before he finally admits how he truly feels. I found that Harlan was a great character who refuses to believe at first that Don could change from being straight to gay and doubting how Don feels; especially seeing as how they are in such a dangerous situation.

I found the setting interesting and enjoyed being taken to the seventies.  Liked the way it was written that Don struggled with his flashbacks and nightmares of Nam.   We also got flashbacks to when Don was younger as the author described that Don had been tempted by men in the past. The action and danger seemed realistic to the time.    I also liked the fact that the author didn’t make Don into a cold-blooded killing machine but had him feel guilt about those who had died… even those who were trying to kill him.

I would recommend this to those who love a more realistic action/danger/suspense story, a great plot and a HEA.




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