Listening Time: 12 hrs., 29 min.
Emery Hazard is ready for Valentine’s Day. He’s made reservations months in advance, he’s ordered flowers, and he’s got a boyfriend he wants to treat right—even if John-Henry Somerset occasionally lets the dishes sit in the sink a little too long. They even have an extra reason to celebrate this year: Somers has received a special commendation for his police work.
Everything begins to go wrong, though, when Hazard’s ex-boyfriend shows up on their doorstep. Billy claims he just needs help getting away from an abusive partner, but Somers believes Billy has other motives, including designs on Hazard.
When men who have been hired to track Billy show up in Wahredua, Hazard agrees to help his ex elude them. But as Hazard prepares to sneak Billy out of town, a woman is murdered behind the local gay bar, and Somers’s investigation leads him towards Hazard’s ex.
As Hazard and Somers find themselves working together to find the killer, they both must confront a hard truth: everything comes at a cost—career success, healthy relationships, and even justice. The only question is if they’re willing to pay the price.
There are two things about writing reviews that for me are irrevocable truths...
1. The hardest reviews to write are for books that you truly hated. I say this because in my naivete I truly believe that when an author publishes a book they're realizing at least one of their dreams to share a story that will touch the minds and hearts of those who read it. So when someone writes a bad review they’re essentially telling the author that they've failed to achieve their dream…no one wants to hear that and I truly don’t want to be the person to deliver that message.
2. The hardest reviews to write are for books that you truly loved…books that linger in your heart and mind long after the last page has been read. I say this because when you’ve read a book or in this case listened to the audio book and the story has stayed with you long after the last page is read then as a reader, and very amateur reviewer, I hope to find the words that express how much I loved and enjoyed the story that has been shared with me in a manner that will hopefully compel others to give it a chance and to also express to the author my appreciation for the talent that they’ve shared providing those of us who love to read/listen hours of what is often thought provoking entertainment.
Fortunately for me the one that’s far more palatable to do is the second one and it’s the one I need to attempt now. I actually finished listening to “Transactional Dynamics” two days ago and during that time I’ve spent a lot of hours asking myself how? How do tell people what an incredible story this is. How thought provoking, heart breaking and at the end of it incredibly touching this story was.
I love this series, I’m pretty sure I’ve said it more than once. Just like I’m pretty sure that I’ve said more than once that without fail Tristan James is one of my absolute favorite narrators and here with this latest installment in ‘Hazard and Somerset: A Union of Swords’ he has once again shown me why as he brings Emery Hazard and John Henry Somerset to life for listeners.
As with previous stories there’s a crime to be solved here but more importantly Hazard and Somerset unwittingly find themselves at a crossroads and if they’re not careful they may discover to late that they’ve each chosen a different path.
Sometimes the hardest thing for any relationship to survive are the things that lay outside of a person's control…Emery finds he can’t control his ex-boyfriends who suddenly turn up with the intentions of manipulating him to their own ends. He also can’t control how John Henry behaves or reacts to things…in the end what he realizes is as is the case for most of us…there is really very little that he can control beyond his own reactions and behavior.
John Henry for different reasons struggles with the same issues and if he doesn’t stop buying into his own hype he may loose what he loves most.
I found myself very quickly engaged by this story especially where Emery was concerned. I empathized with him to the point of subjecting my poor spouse to multiple rants about John Henry and even more so about his partner Dulac…I admit even though he did a very decent thing at the end of the book, he’s still just too much of a jerk for me to totally forgive and forget liking him, I’m not sure that could ever happen.
I really, really wish I could say more...honestly, I could go on for hours about this one, but to me the point of a review isn't to tell the reader what happened in a story, but rather how it made the reviewer feel and whether or not they enjoyed it...so, here goes...
1. obviously I enjoyed it...right...I think my 5 stars pretty much put that question to rest.
2. how did it make me feel...well, as with anything that I've enjoyed by this author, at the end I was emotionally drained and I loved it. If a book doesn't put me through my paces and take me on the same emotional journey as it takes the characters on...then really, what's the point?
*************************An audio book of "Transactional Dynamics" was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading gives us someplace to go, when we have to stay where we are. (Mason Cooley)
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