- File Size: 1311 KB
- Print Length: 350 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (July 5, 2013)
- Publication Date: July 5, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00DSGNFOG
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,821 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$6.99|
|Print List Price:||$17.99|
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The Return (The Austin Trilogy Book 2) Kindle Edition
|Length: 350 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, all that build-up seems to go nowhere. The dramatic tension seems to shoot its wad prematurely, and then not really build again. It is a sweet romance without much drama.
Those who believe that things happen for a reason, though, might appreciate the following incident. Two characters in the book were discussing a popular song, as they do frequently throughout the novel. The song was "Somebody That I Used to know" -- a song that I'd never heard of. Was listening to Pandora which, for those of you who don't know, plays a random music selection based on a favorite song you've entered. So just as I read the words "Somebody That I Used to Know," the music playing caught my attention. When I looked at the screen to see what was playing, it was a cover version of "Somebody That I Used to know" (Pentatonix, I think). I got shivers up my spine. The only point to this story, besides bizarreness, is that I was really primed to love this book. I just felt so let down by the end.
This book is very much worth reading, and I feel guilty because maybe I'm not judging it on the same scale as I do most m/m books, but holding it to a higher standard. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for Brad Boney and will auto buy his future books.
"The Return" brings us the journeys of Topher Manning, a 26 year old mechanic and aspiring musician living in Austin, Texas, and Stanton Porter, a 50 year old widely-known music critic for National Public Radio from New York. Stanton is in Austin for the annual South by Southwest festival and finds himself in a time crunch when his borrowed car breaks down across the street from where Topher works. Topher offers to help him out, and the two immediately connect over their mutual adoration of Bruce Springsteen and all things music. An unexpected kiss kicks off an impossible romance that opens up 'gay-for-you' possibilities, controversial age differences, and the fact that the two men have roots set in entirely different parts of the country. Can Topher and Stanton overcome all these obstacles and find their happy-ever-after?
I am absolutely in love with this book! And the cover! I have been impatiently awaiting this book ever since I read "The Nothingness of Ben" last November and I just couldn't believe it when I finally had it on my Kindle.
I will not go into all the details of the plot and rehash the storyline...I kinda want to keep those things close to my chest so I don't spoiler all the good stuff. So, instead, I will point out a few things that made this book so great for me:
The Characters: You may remember that Topher was briefly introduced in "The Nothingness of Ben" as a coworker of Travis. This book really CANNOT be read as a stand-alone even though Travis and Stanton had no role in TNoB. All the Walsh boys, and many key events that took place in TNoB, were crucial here in "The Return". Also, I've never been a huge fan of May/December romances, but, I never really felt the age gap between Topher and Stanton, because the two were so compatible...it was like they were destined for each other. Plus, there is just something about Brad's writing that makes it so easy to care about his characters, and not just the MCs...I'm talking about ALL the secondary characters too; very character focused and driven.
The Music: Much of this story was told through music. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I have very limited knowledge about "The Boss," and the majority of the music discussions went right over my head. But, I can honestly say that I appreciate how the author took the meaning of the music and intertwined it with the characters’ lives. It gave important moments of the story so much more depth and meaning, and actually added to my enjoyment.
The Present and the Past Storylines: The story alternated between Topher’s POV in present day, and Stanton's POV back in the early '80s. After some initial disorientation with the blast to the past, I didn't even notice it anymore and became totally immersed in the flow of the story. I wouldn't classify this as flashbacks because it felt like two interwoven storylines being told at the same time that were equally important and related. This story wouldn’t have worked any other way, and Brad has executed it seamlessly.
The Dialogue: Just like in TNoB, there was A LOT of talkin' in this book! The characters talk talk talk leaving no time for the reader to ever get hung up on internal monologues and scenery descriptions. Makes for a fast reading book IMO.
The Atmosphere: The story is set primarily between three different locales: Austin, Fire Island, and New York. And the vivid and vibrant way Brad portrays them left me feeling like I had experienced a little piece of the culture without ever having traveled there before. I also got the feeling that these places are very meaningful to the author.
In summary, I loved everything about this book! And I doubt my words have even come close to doing it justice. If you loved Ben and Travis, I definitely think you will be able to find a place in your heart for Topher and Stanton. True, this story is a bit different, but I promise you all of the charm is still there. I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning finishing it, leaving myself with a nasty book-hangover to suffer through the next day.
So, here I am again, impatiently waiting for another 'Brad Boney' experience...
As with "The Nothingness of Ben," Brad populates his tale with believable characters doing mostly believable things. (I'm still not convinced there are all that many straight men who suddenly become gay because of one particular man. But I don't get out much, so maybe there are.) "The Return" offers the nice addition of music as a focus and metaphor, with several discussions about classical music as well as pop songs and singers of the last 40 or so years. This may please or annoy you to varying degrees, depending on your tastes. I liked it a lot. In particular, John Cage's 4'33"--which is mentioned fairly early in the book in a seemingly superfluous discussion--reappears towards the end in a heartbreakingly apt context that elevates the piece itself to real art.
The title of this review refers to a quote from Kahlil Gibran that Brad includes at the beginning of his story: "Sadness is but a wall between two gardens." As an illustration of that thought, "The Return" succeeds amazingly well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For original review, please visit the Prism Book Alliance® blog online.
Firstly I have no idea why The Nothingness of Ben, The Return and the The...Read more
Not really. Cause I know I should've liked it more than I did.Read more
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