Wednesday, January 14, 2015

ARC Review: Red Dirt Heart #4, by N. R. Walker

From the blurb:

Moving from a Texas ranch to an Australian Outback station was a life changing decision for Travis Craig. Though it wasn’t really a decision at all. Something in his bones told him to go, though he had no clue as to why. Until he met Sutton Station’s owner, Charlie. Loving Charlie shouldn’t have been easy. The man was stubborn, and riddled with crippling self-doubt. No, it shouldn’t have been easy at all. Yet somehow, falling in love with Charlie was the easiest thing in the world. Loving him was easy. Living with him, teaching him how to love in return and, more importantly, how to love himself, was not. But Travis knew all along it’d be worth it. He knew the man with the red dirt heart was destined to be his. Just like he knew the red dirt that surrounded him was where he was supposed to be. In the final instalment of the Red Dirt Series, we see Charlie through Travis’ eyes. We see how much he’s grown and how much he loves. We go back to Texas with them, and we see Charlie get everything he truly thought he never deserved. Red Dirt Heart 4 is Travis’ story. And this is the story of not just one red dirt heart, but two.

AnnaLund's rating:





The Sutton Station final installment, and what a beauty it is.

And how brilliant is it that this one is told from Travis’s point of view? What a gorgeous man he is. The whole setting gets a new light, seen from his eyes. Still full of red dirt, but with the added awe of a person who has chosen to live in this wondrous land, one who wasn’t simply born into it.

So, author. You proceed to break my heart in so many pieces I’m still looking for some of them. Then you go on and mend it, like it was never broken in the first place.

As I sit and read, I get lost in the red dirt trails, and I rightly don’t know where I am when I look up from the pages. It takes a moment to realize that I am in my home, not in the outback, struggling.

What I really loved in this last book was the fact that there wasn’t any mandatory romantic crisis, no shocking turn of events to put everything upside down. Just life, and all its quirky happenings of deep joy, coupled with deep sorrow—that’s what a good story is.

The only minus note I have is that the women in this last installment were extremely traditional in their roles, except for a very small window of red disappearing into the setting sun at the end. All the other women, from Ma, to Travis’s mother in Texas, they were all cooking and taking care of their houses. It irked me a bit. One yiihaa-cowgirl scene doesn’t make up for all the fabulous roles these ladies could have presented.

Another thing I absolutely adored was the fact that all the love scenes were mostly fade to black. I am very weary of the explicit sexing, and this was just amazingly well done. Thank you. It was sweet, and good, and just enough.

The epilogue was great, I loved it. It added a lot of little nuggets of fun facts, little things that I know I would be wondering about, later.

Because, you see, this is a story that stays with you. For days, dare I say months? Charlie and Travis are real, to me. They live very far away, so I don’t hear from them very often. But they are friends, nonetheless.

The first three were my Best of 2014.
This last one lands smack-bang in the newly instated Best of 2015.
Read this series.

***

I was given a pre-edit ARC copy of this book. A positive review was not promised in exchange.





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