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?
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Debbie Attenborough on 21-07-18
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.
By alex on 27-12-15
expected more.. silly me
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
a week ending really but in line with the complete story
What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?
the 'nothingness' of ben is a good title, as nothing really happens.
If this book were a film would you go see it?
Any additional comments?
having first read the return by the same writer/narrator. in which ben and his 'family' are mentioned I felt I should listen to this one to see how they fit together.. I wish I hadn't,the story is ok in itself and the narration not too bad, but there is no great wonder, no suspense.. even the walk round New York with Jason was a nothingness really.. just an excuse to throw in references to stonewall etc.. very weak,all in all a nothing story really.. I wasn't over impressed with 'the return' and this one is even less so..
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Boys like Boys on 26-10-13
A simple read
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
If my friend had already listened to most of the other book in the M/M genre, had both money and time to spend, then yes I would recommend it. Not to say it was that bad of a book but for me, the plot that I'd gathered from the blurb wasn't all that compelling to begin with. And then it sort of dragged, going through the motions of the usual book with a "gay for you" (suburbs style) theme that you find in this genre. I found this book similar to the book "Nothing ever happens" by Sue Brown but ironically less climatic.
If you’ve listened to books by Brad Boney before, how does this one compare?
Unfortunately I haven't because it didn't really leave a strong impression on me.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By James on 10-04-15
You've Gotta have Heart Ye’ll!
What about Charlie David’s performance did you like?
Mr. David’s performance was first rate. He captured the Texas accent as well as the New York, upper-east-side accent. His voice is rich and melts into the ear like a warm caress. It adds humanity to the somewhat directorial love scenes.
Any additional comments?
This book serves as a prequel to the next book “The Return”. It introduces a subset of characters that become important second half of that book.
The novel has a lot of heart. The title character Ben is a self-absorbed trial attorney in New York City who has become estranged from his family and roots. He has a dream boyfriend and a dream job when BAM his life is turned upside down by the death of his parents and he becomes guardian to his three much younger sibling boys. While sorting the newly re-founded family out, he meets the odd duck that is destine to be his soulmate. The two characters are really an odd pairing of square peg in a round hole; no pun intended. LOL But these differences are part of the charm and heart of the work.
The differences become accentuated when Ben brings the three siblings and his new lover to New York City at the behest /scheming of his former Columbia classmate and best friend with an eye to moving the family the big apple. The trip is a disaster, throwing a monkey wrench into the relationship, and causing Ben to conclude that Austin is a better place for the family and his responsibility to rear his siblings trumps all other relationships.
The soulmate has some soul searching maturing to do as well. Stung by the snooty reception by Ben’s, upper east side, A-list friends, and Ben putting him on “time out” while he learns his a pseudo parent role drives him to a 6 month hiatus in Alaska. Upon his return he has grown a pair and a backbone and gives Ben the business he so richly earned. Ben stupidly takes relationship advice from a straight Austin attorney friend who a few chapters earlier admitted he has no experience in gay matters, rather than following his heart. He would have thrown his soulmate away were it not for the intervention of the eldest of the three siblings to get Ben to remove his head from his bum and satisfyingly resolve the love interest plot.
The most memorable portions of the book are his conversation, during a bad fever, with his deceased father; and the charming Thanksgiving Day speech of gratitude made by the eldest sibling at the end.
The sex scenes are a no holds barred directorial description of M/M action. You can mentally visualize everything. However, the sensory hooks of sent, texture, taste, color, and auditory word stimuli, that invite the imagination into the picture, are too sparsely distributed to adequately enrich the monochromatic picture flashing in your brain.
My recommendation is this: Enjoy the amuse-a-bouche of literary references that peppers this book designed to appeal to the delicate sensibilities of the intellect. Tuck in to the gut filling chili spiced bowl of this hot Austin Texas offering. Top it off by savoring this crazy banana split with bitter sweet hot chocolate fudge, savory salty nuts, and the pure as the driven snow whip cream with popped tart cherry on top. So dig out your book or ear bud spoon and tuck in to this adult meal of hot steamy raw sex and good old fashion down home heartwarming sentiment. “You've Gotta have Heart” and this book has lots and lots and lots of heart. Yeeeee Ha!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful