Robby Dalton is the perfect all-American boy. He played the sports his father chose for him in high school, attended the college his father selected, and has worked hard to conform to his father's macho views. But emotionally, he doesn't fit anywhere, and he can't connect with a woman beyond a few uninspired dates.
Robby's not in the closet, because he's never guessed he's gay. Now he owns a small commercial construction company, and one night after work, he runs into Savannah Meyers. He finds her fascinating and agrees to a date, thinking maybe this woman would be different.
But Savannah has her own agenda. She is looking for a love match for her roommate, Tristan Chartrand, whom she rescued from the streets years ago. He's like a brother, and her only family, so she wants him safe and happy. Her plan seems to begin well, because when Robby meets Tristan, he's surprised to find it's Tristan he wants, not Savannah.
But some people in Robby's life don't approve of Tristan's lowly station in life, and some don't approve of Robby being gay. Some people are full of hate and violence, and Robby and Tristan will need courage and strength if a loving future is to be part of the deal.
©2013 Mia Kerick (P)2014 Dreamspinner Press
Avid reader, reviewer, blogger and budding author.
Different, intriguing and raw.
The author taking on the challenge and writing a unknowingly closeted guy that has lived a straight life.
This was my first. I wish he could capture a little more inflection and change in tones.
Tristan Chartrand is shy, slightly introverted and nervous around strangers. He really only opens up to his best friend and roommate Savannah. When they were younger, Tristan and Savannah saved each other from some bad circumstances, and the two have been connected at the hip since. While they love each other and are very protective of each other, the connection isn’t a romantic one. Savannah is determined to find someone that can love Tristan with all his faults, protect him and understand their relationship.
Robby Dalton lives a shell of a life under his father’s thumb. Everything he has ever done has been to impress the one man whom he is never good enough for. When he meets Savannah in a bar, he’s intrigued and wants to spend more time getting to know her. Then he meets her roommate and is instantly enamoured with the beautiful young man. The three of them agree to an unconventional relationship, not your average threesome. And the three of them truly fall in love with each other, just in different ways. It’s hard to explain and not give too much away, so I’ll just say that I was intrigued by the dynamics of it all. The way they had the relationship of the three, but then the individual relationships and how it all played out in the end.
Kerick conveyed a believable struggle for Robby, the unknowingly closeted gay man, that never even realized his sexual preference. When you are surrounded with stupid, hateful and ignorant people like Robby had in his life though, it’s no wonder. It takes him a very long time to decide that his love for Tristan is worth risking everything for, because it’s REAL love. Not the fabricated, imitation love that his father and supposed best friend have been traipsing around in front of him his whole life. So, to spite the fact that he made some bad decisions, at the end of the day I wasn’t mad at him because he really didn’t know any better. Everything is fresh and new and he is learning as he goes along with Tristan.
There was uncertainty, passion, genuine love and nurturing in this story that drew me in and kept my attention throughout. This was my first audible with Hogan and while it wasn’t the best I’ve heard, it definitely wasn’t the worst. He was good when conveying emotions, especially during the more romantic and passionate scenes, but a couple times he supposedly went from Robby to Tristan and I had to rewind to be sure of who I was with at the moment. If you are a fan of Kerick’s books or those love stories where the characters have to work for their happy ending, you will enjoy this book.
Tristan had a horrible child hood, then he was kicked out and lived on the street and that was horrible, too. He found a friend in Savannah and now works as a waiter and is living with Savannah as her roommate, in the same bed, but platonically.
Robby led the life of an all-American guy and is now working at his own construction firm and seems to be happy enough but can’t seem to find the right woman. Then, at the urging of his friend Mickey, he meets and begins to date Savannah. Savannah hits all his buttons, but doesn’t come to any of their dates alone. She brings along Tristan, who also seems to hit Robby’s buttons, even though Robby doesn’t identify as gay.
Though it’s all terribly confusing, Savannah, Tristan and Robby date one another for awhile until it becomes clear that Robby and Tristan are ready for their part of the relationship to get physical. Savannah bows out and leaves the boys to it.
Though the relationship between Tristan and Robby is satisfying, Robby won’t admit to his friends or family he’s gay and that causes a lot of trouble. For a day. Then Robby eschews friends and family in favor of Tristan and a happily ever after ensues.
If that didn’t make sense to you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The book doesn’t make a lot of sense. The relationship between Robby and Tristan is weird. The relationship between Savannah and Tristan is weird. The relationship between Savannah and Robby is weird. And I can’t even tell you what the thing between all three of them was. Can it be a triad when one only is a friend, who sleeps in the same bed and holds your hand?
There is so much wrong with this book I almost don’t know where to begin. It started out intriguing: Robby not knowing he was gay, Savannah helping both boys out by acting as intermediary. Neat idea. But she doesn’t leave. Tristan is afraid to proceed without her and fancies himself in love with her, but unable to perform sexually due to his past.
Robby wants to get it on with Savannah – he thinks – or maybe just Tristan – but he’s not gay – ok he is gay–what?
The story was jarring. The characters spoke in a way that was strange and acted in a way that never made logical sense. Robby’s father asks him “Did you take up on my suggestion to hook up with that nice fellow, Michael, and paint the town red last night?” Huh? Is this 1950?
In fact, Robby’s homophobic dad was the only consistent character in the book. He hated “fags” at the beginning and never came around to thinking differently.
Mickey, Robby’s best friend, acts as wingman for Robby to meet Savannah, then beats the crap out of Tristan when he finds out he’s gay, but manages to remain Robby’s employee because Tristan won’t let Robby fire him, then cries in his beer because Robby isn’t his friend anymore then cries again when Robby finally gets the stones to fire him. Weird.
I never understood Savannah’s motivation. She tells the boys, “Just, when you guys think about me, no matter where I am, I want you to think of me as yours, like I matter to you.” The boys wait to have sex til Savannah gives them her written blessing to do so. Bizarre.
Tristan loves Robby and tells him he is ready to move forward in a sexual relationship but then immediately freaks out because he can never be sure he trusts Robby or any man ever. Right after they have sex, Tristan thinks “No man had ever gained my trust. Not even Robby.” Great.
Robby denies Tristan is his boyfriend to his family, spends the night on the streets, then has a come-to-Jesus moment and tells Dad and Mickey to go to hell all in 24 hours.
Another distraction was the constant interruptions in the flow of the story for snippets of the past being told. I get that it can be a lot to just dump the back story in one fell swoop, but the times when we are fed bits of Tristan’s or Savannah’s pasts didn’t necessarily have any relevance to what was going on currently and took me out of the story.
Another negative for me was the sex. It was essentially a fade to black or 1950s romance style sex that started hot and heavy and then ended with “we took each other to a place I’m certain neither of us had ever before been in the company of another human being”. That in itself is fine, but strange given this is not a YA book (at least not how it’s billed) and since the book feels comfortable discussing rape and prostitution. I’m sure the author had artistic motivation for this, I just don’t know what it was.
I just never really bought into the entire pseudo-three-way relationship and never felt Tristan actually trusted Robby, nor did I swallow Robby’s too-fast conversion to gay.
I liked the premise but the blurb really doesn’t do the book justice.
I can’t recommend this book and give it
Sean Michael Hogan does a fine job. His voice is nice and clear. He has a cute little Canadian (?) accent and the sound quality was good.
He didn’t try to do any voices and so he mostly blurred into the background, making it easy to focus on the book itself. (unfortunately in this case)
I liked his performance and though I wouldn’t search out his work specifically, I wouldn’t avoid it either.
Wow A beautiful and deep book. As well as, well written and great narration. I was not expecting this book to be as good as it was. The storyline was not focused only on sex like many other romance novels but on the progression of the growing love and trust between Robby and Tristan.
The memorable moment in the book for me was when Robby finally stood-up to his father and told him he was gay and in love with Tristan. I thought it was a big moment because he was so fearful of his father's opinion of him his entire life.
And finally the narrator was great. I think his performance well represented the characters. Thankfully he did nothing to take away from the story or distract the listeners.
This was a very intriguing story. I wasn't exactly sure where it was going when I first started it but the twists it took were great! The transition from friends to lovers to family was really smooth and believeable even with Tristan's horrid past holding him back.
The threesome angle was really different and I liked it. The fact that one of them isn't in it for an intimate relationship, but rather the feeling of being wanted/needed was nice to see even though it was unexpected.
While I found the book great, I had a bit of an issue with the narrator. Some words were mispronounced and he said 'bean' instead of 'been' every time. And the airy quality in the background was annoying at first, but I got used to it as the book continued.
I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Inked Rainbow Reads.
The story started out so well. I enjoyed the concept behind the story and at first I just couldn't wait to find out how the characters would make their relationship work. But as the story progresses I became more and more confused about the characters and who they are because they seem to change fundamental things about themselves throughout the book. Is Robby a confident and successful business man or is he a man-child who let's everyone else make his decisions for him? Is Tristan a little child who crawls into your lap and "giggles" or is he a street savvy young man who knows how to take care of himself in a street fight?
Some of the scenarios were just ridiculous to me as well. Am I really supposed to believe that a right thinking adult would still employ someone who had physically assaulted someone they care about and on top of that not report it to the police? When Robby goes missing for one night, why do Tristan and Savanah assume that Robby has left them instead of worrying what might have happened to him? All very frustrating.
To top it all off, the narration was completely wrong. The narrator makes no effort to give the characters different voices which made it difficult to follow the changes in POV. The Canadian accent for characters who supposedly are born and live in Boston is also quite distracting and took me out of the story often.
I would not recommend this book.
This was a point of view storyline that isn't touched enough at. Wonderful assessment of the human soul and our capacity to overcome, love and survive. Mankind can become focused on material possession equalling a man's worth. Hence the decline of mankind's superiority when we act no better than animals. Heartwarming story thru and thru.
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