Title : Easy Ryder
Author : Deanna Wadsworth
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Historical
Length : 228 pages (e-book)
Published : August 23, 2013
Rating : ★★★★1/2
It’s July 3, 1976, the beginning of America’s bicentennial weekend, and everyone seems to be celebrating their freedoms except eighteen-year-old runaway Michael Ryder. Fresh from rural Pennsylvania, Michael is doing whatever and whoever it takes to get to San Francisco, where he hopes to find a new life with the freedom to love without fear.
While hitchhiking, a mysterious, tattooed biker named Snake offers him a ride west—on the back of his customized Harley chopper. During their journey across Route 66, Snake introduces Michael to new and steamy pleasures, leaving Michael aching for more than just a physical relationship. But a violent encounter with a cruel biker gang and a harrowing secret from Snake’s military past might destroy their unlikely relationship long before they reach the end of the road.
Michael Ryder is eighteen and running away from his abusive and homophobic father. He’s inspired by a movement happening in San Francisco where “guys like him” can be who they want to be in the open. Freedom and love is what he’s searching for and he’ll do whatever it takes to get there. Catching rides with whomever will take him a little further and sometimes sex is the required fare. Michael isn’t proud but he’s so focused on getting to his destination he accepts it as part of his reality. He’s dropped off at a truck stop one night. Michael’s choices for heading west are slim. He’s about to head to the highway to hitchhike when the sexy biker guy he’d been drooling over offers him a ride as far as Albuquerque. Much further than his former rides, and the guy is hot. Michael is a little scared but the idea of climbing on the bike with Snake and hitting the road is also exhilarating. The man is straight out of one of his fantasies but Michael has no idea if he’s gay. Pressed up against Snake on that bike, smelling him, touching him, makes Michael so turned he forgets for a minute that Snake could kick his ass and leave him the woods for being “swishy”. But Snake is into it and seems to want Michael just as bad. The sex is so much more amazing with Snake than it’s ever been before. Snake actually makes sure Michael gets off!
At another gas station they stop at Michael is busted looking at Snake’s ass by four burly biker types. Michael is outnumbered and alone. The men try throwing him in their truck to take him somewhere to teach him a lesson. Snake saves him. Now they’re on the run but it’s not just the bikers they’re running from. Snake’s past just won’t let him go. Michael’s running from his family. Somewhere along the way they form a connection but they’re going different directions when they hit Albuquerque.
This book had so many layers I’m just going to mention a few. First the sex. Holy hell it was hot! Michael and Snake has some amazing chemistry. Their scenes were spontaneous and intense. It was Michael’s true sexual awakening. For Snake it was more of an emotional re-awakening with mind-blowing sex. There was one sex scene involving a cop and the MCs that made me squirm but at the same time it was hot. All the sex scenes in this book were spectacular IMO. Some were raw and dirty (in the good way). Tender and packed full of emotion.
I thought the author did a great job of transporting me to the time in history this all would have taken place. All the hiding, shame, fear that went along with being gay in the 70s without it overwhelming the story. Even Michael referred to himself as “queer” or “swishy” because that’s how he’d been raised. Snake being ex-military had hidden his nature for so long it he lost himself in it. He was blackmailed and made to do things he never would have done. Thinking he could never love and be loved as a gay man with his past. Really sad but not in an angsty way. Just how it was for “guys like them”. Michael was so brave. He wanted that freedom to love and be who he is so badly he was willing to do whatever it took to get it. He found it with Snake but that was never an option for Snake, which created more conflict.
I loved Snake and Michael. They were just so good together. I loved every minute of their journey from their first kiss to their HEA. This was a great coming of age story. It was about finding happiness when the world wants to oppress a part of you that screams for its freedom. I highly recommend this book.
Rated 4.5 stars by Whit