From the Boots Up by Andi Marquette

fromthebootsup

I know some people feel like self-publishing and electronic books have ruined the publishing world. But I find that there’s so much more stuff that can be read that way – and I’m happy. I’m aware that some of what comes out of the woodwork is not worth the reading, but there are also treasures that otherwise wouldn’t have been discovered. So, you can keep your cynicism when it comes to these new forms of publishing, because I love it. And I don’t mind reading something bad every once in a while – there’s a time for trashy stories, too.

Fortunately, From the Boots Up is not one of those. It’s a good one. Here’s a synopsis:

Meg Tallmadge works on her father’s dude ranch when classes are over for the summer. Her recent coming out is still a sore spot on the otherwise good relationship with her dad, Stan, when she meets Gina Morelli, a reporter come to the ranch to write an article about it. While the two women are attracted to each other, Meg doesn’t want to compromise the work ethics on the ranch – but can their passion for each other be contained by mere will power?

As said, I liked it. It’s a well-written novella from a woman who knows her story-telling. I must confess, I’m partial to stories set on dude ranches – or other kind of ranches. The romantication of the (wild) west has worked for me all my life and I’m drawn to lesbian romances that involve boots, hats and horses, and have read my fair share.

Still, I find From the Boots Up different in some respects. For once, it focuses entirely on Meg’s point of view and while her feelings for Gina are at the core of the story, her life does not only revolve around them. There are other things going on, other people in her life, her studies, her plans for the future. Gina does not step into a void, she rather disrupts Meg’s already full life, and Meg struggles with her feelings because they come at a inopportune time – as those feelings tend to.

There is a sequel to this story called From the Hat Down and it’s already on my reading list for next year (this year is already filled with books that made it to my kindle before this one). If you are like me and love stories with a western feel to them, if you care for well-written, well-told, well-established characters and plot, you should give From the Boots Up a try – you won’t be disappointed.