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M_M, Contemporary, Romance
Ben Walsh is well on his way to becoming one of Manhattan’s top litigators, with a gorgeous boyfriend and friends on the A-list. His life is perfect until he gets a phone call that brings it all crashing down: a car accident takes his parents, and now he must return to Austin to raise three teenage brothers he barely knows. During the funeral, Ben meets Travis Atwood, the redneck neighbor with a huge heart. Their relationship initially runs hot and cold, from contentious to flirtatious, but when the weight of responsibility starts wearing on Ben, he turns to Travis, and the pressure shapes their friendship into something that feels a lot like love. Ben thinks he’s found a way to have his old life, his new life, and Travis too, but love isn’t always easy. Will he learn to recognize that sometimes the worst thing imaginable can lead him to the place he was meant to be?
Listening Length: 6 hours and 33 minutes
5 out of 5 (exceptional)
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Ben Walsh is faced with bringing up his three younger brothers after the death of their parents in a car crash. Forced to leave New York and move to Austin, Texas, Ben feels overwhelmed by it all and finds a friend in Travis Atwood, a neighbour who his parents had taken under their wing before their death. Travis provides much needed support for Ben, and his brothers, but something else too. Ben just needs to see that New York isnt the be all and end all. I loved this story! Ben is a self absorbed young litigator, and he really has a shock to the system having to deal with the aftermath of his parents death. Travis is a lovely young man, who knows more about Ben's brothers than Ben does. And those boys?? oh. My heart broke for them, it really did. For Ben too, once it hit him. Ben has some difficult decisions to make, and I loved that he makes sure that all FOUR of them make those decisions, and the boys are given all their options. The way Ben deals with Quentin, and Jason, superbly done, I doubt even a parent could deal with things like that thrown at them all at once, let alone a big brother who hasnt seen his younger brothers but once or twice last couple of years. I also loved that with the New York boyfriend, David, and with Travis, Ben is completely different in the bedroom. I particularly loved how everything crept up on them both, then BOOM it all went belly up THEN finally Ben came to his senses. Also, it didnt end where I thought it would, that really surprised me, the added extrabits. Its not really an epilogue, I just thought it would have ended a little earlier. Charlie David narrates this tale, and he does an outstanding job. His (American) accent is soft, and subtle, making for easy listening. His Texas tone he uses for Travis and the other locals, is just how I imagine Texans to sounds, drawing out all the words. Each character is easily defined, making mutli person conversations easy to listen to without losing who is who. The only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars is because its written entirely from Ben's point of view and I would LOVED to have heard from Travis too. I like to hear from major players in stories, thats just MY opinion, but thats the only reason, its a single person point of view. 4.75 stars
**same worded review will appear elsewhere**
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
Brad Boney lives in Austin, Texas, the 7th gayest city in America. He grew up in the Midwest and went to school at NYU. He lived in Washington, DC and Houston before settling in Austin. He blames his background in the theater for his writing style, which he calls “dialogue and stage directions.” His first book was named a Lambda Literary Award finalist. He believes the greatest romantic comedy of all time is 50 First Dates. His favorite gay film of the last ten years is Strapped. And he has never met a boy band he didn’t like.