Welcome to Alvarado 3: In the Wind by C.E.Kilgore

Title : In the Wind                          Word Count :64,000
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Sometimes you have to get good and lost before you’ll have any hope at finding yourself.

Dustin Hunter has returned to Alvarado after seven years of military service and one bad shot that shattered his self-assured ego. Struggling to forget what he left behind in the desert, he finds himself drifting in the wind, homeless and without direction. When the wind blows something unexpected his way, he has to decide if he’s ready to feel emotion again and deal with what he lost in the sand.

Scott Weller’s red hair, strange clear blue eyes, glasses and mechanically inclined intellect have always made him the perfect lure for bullies. Despite being well past the age of school yard harassment, Scott’s reoccurring bruises don’t go unnoticed by his friends and the newly returned Dustin. Scott’s easy smile and calm voice give Dustin a needed sense of peace, and Scott’s blushing freckles make Dustin feel something he never has before.

As the desire to protect Scott grows, Dustin finds himself in a different kind of war. An unsettling wind is blowing through Alvarado, dividing families and bringing change. When the dust settles, the small town of Alvarado will never be the same again.

My Review : Dusty comes home to his small town Alvarado from a seven year stint in the military. He is a little bit broken from all the horrific things he has seen and done. Dusty is a shell of a man his first night back, seeking out something familiar. He shows up at his grandmother’s house only to find out that it has been sold. The occupants are none other than Clint and Ricky. Clint is a familiar face from his high school days. Clint is shocked to see Dusty, but he offers him a safe place to stay while he gets his land legs. Dusty is shocked to find out that Clint is gay, but it doesn’t bother him seeing the beautiful love that these men share. He hopes one day he’ll find his way out of the darkness to experience what they have.
In a small town, news travels at the speed of light. It is not long before the whole town knows he’s back. When an old friend stops by, Dusty starts to reminisce about his old school friends and the good times they had. He is shocked to see how much Scott has grown, the little boy he used to protect from schoolyard bullies. Dusty realizes how easy it is to talk to Scott and they gravitate towards each other forming a very easy friendship. Scott is a loner who lights up whenever he is in his junkyard tinkering with old cars. He likes breathing new life into things that no longer work. Scott is laced with mysterious bruises around his neck , but Dusty doesn’t feel as if it’s his place to question him.
Dusty’s reintegration into civilian life is going better than expected especially with the help of Scott. Soon Dusty realize that what he feels for Scott is more than friendship. Dusty and Scott fall into an easy , comfortable, loving relationship. It is made easier by the fact that Dusty is also working alongside Scott at the junkyard. Their relationship is definitely not embraced by everyone in the small town of Alvarado. They make an enemy out of one of the more esteemed members of the community. Dusty defends
Scott from his bully Ryan McMasters who turns out to be the bank manager’s son. Ryan is arrested for beating up Scott and almost raping him. It’s only Dusty’s timely intervention that stops Scott from being abused further. Lots of secrets come out into the light when Ryan commits suicide and leaves a note for Scott.
Sweet , caring Scott is devastated by his bully’s death wishing that he could turn back the hands of time to help a lonely, terrified, repressed young man. Ryan leaves behind a legacy of self hatred when he tells of the conversion therapy that was foisted upon him by his father who could not accept his homosexuality. He left the world feeling still confused and so desperate and totally in love with Scott, the same man he bullied because he could not acknowledge his feelings. It is so sad to think that so many young men go through these feelings of desperation, confusion and utter loneliness because of their sexuality.
Scott confronts Ryan’s father and he continues the cycle of violence. Gabe McMasters retaliates by setting fire to Scott’s home in the middle of the night. Scott is hurt, regardless of Dusty pulling him to safety. Dusty realizes how precious Scott is to him. He makes a conscious decision to leave the shadows of his past that haunts his every waking moment and live in the light with Scott beside him. Scott and Dusty create history by being the first gay couple to tie the knot in small town Alvarado. I truly enjoy watching these flawed characters redeeming themselves through their love for each other. I give this my rating of 4 – lose the underwear.

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