One of the most diverse and lively neighborhoods in the country, Chicago's Boystown has something for everyone. So it's no wonder that Jesse Morgan and Cole O'Brien chose to live there upon graduating from college. Ready to begin the next phase of their lives in an exciting new city, Jesse and Cole quickly find themselves at the center of a new group of friends.
Joyelle and Derek Mancini have been happily married for years, but Derek is harboring a secret that could tear them apart. Derek's brother, Emmett, is about to discover that his boyfriend, Keith Colgan, has a past that will haunt them both. Longtime couple Logan Pryce and Max Taylor must face a crisis that neither of them expected.
And, before they realize it, Jesse and Cole find themselves at the center of it all in the adult playground known as Boystown.
©2014 Jake Biondi (P)2016 Jake Biondi
Roger K Ward
In this introductory book of the series, Jake Biondi introduces his reader to a cast of ten main characters, all of whom are in some way intertwined with each other, either as friends, family, or love interests. The problem is the relationships are extremely complex which results in the reader being taken on a suspensive and spellbinding journey as these characters live their lives and discover that perhaps the person they are with is not the person destiny had in store for them. This leads to some characters finding love where least expected and others being set up to be physically and emotionally harmed. Mr. Biondi masterfully tells the story in a steamy manner which transitions rapidly from scene to scene with many twists and turns and ends with many unanswered questions as well as a jaw-dropping ending which makes the reader eager to race out and purchase the next volume. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in reading some damn good fiction. Jake Biondi’s writing style, character development, and interwoven plot reminded me very much of the works of Armistead Maupin. I look forward to reading the next volume.
I thoroughly enjoyed the audio version of this series. Normally I prefer reading a book but it was very nice to be able to enjoy it by not even having to pick up the book.. By the way, if you have not read Boystown, Season 1, it is a MUST read. It keeps your interest from the very first page until the very last and the ending, all I can say is wow. I cannot wait until Season 2 comes out ! there were so many cliffhangers, I can only use my imagination to see how season 2 will start off.
I thin the narrator has a very pleasant voice but I would have liked more variation between character voices to differentiate them.
I was a bit confused when I read the title Boystown – Season 1. Not book one, but season one. As I started reading it all made sense to me. It read like a daytime soap opera, or maybe a night time drama like Dallas, each chapter was called an episode and the book a season. There is a large cast of characters and the setting changes frequently as we follow several different story lines through the book. I’ll admit at first it was a bit confusing, but once I remembered their names and how they fit in with the other characters it became easier and I was quickly sucked into the drama.
The first character we really meet is Joyelle, an emergency room nurse. Her husband Derek is keeping a secret from Joyelle, but when he returns from a business trip without his wedding ring, she seems to fear that he’s not being completely honest and fears losing him. I would normally have a problem with Derek’s activities, but Joyelle appears to be a little bit manipulative and sneaky and I find myself excusing him.
Derek’s brother Emmett becomes engaged to his boyfriend Keith and at first look they seemed to be a perfect couple. The only normal couple, but not all is as it seems. Keith is very jealous and distrusts Emmett’s friendship with his long time friend, Max. Then there is Keith’s shady past relationship that seems to be haunting him. Emmett does seem to be an honestly good guy, but I thought he had more fight in him to make things right with his fiance.
Max loves his partner Logan, but Logan’s alcoholism is tearing apart their relationship. Max does seem like he is harboring feelings for Emmett at the same time but he keeps trying to make things work with his partner. Logan, despite his alcoholism, surprised me by not moving on quickly when an employee expressed his interest. I feel like he loved Max but there are some underlying issues to his drinking that he needs to deal with before he will be happy.
There were quite a few other notable characters in this story. Cole and Jesse were college roommates who move to Chicago from Notre Dame. They end up moving in across the street from Derek and Joyelle and become quick friends with the couple. Cole is in love with a married man and Jesse is interested in his new boss. Justin is Derek and Emmett’s estranged brother. Though we aren’t given the reason they haven’t talked in awhile, when he shows up, his actions seem highly suspicious. Jacqueline is Jesse’s mother, and has a history with one of the Boystown characters and is being courted by a man who is not what he seems. Ben is a former friend with benefits of Jesse’s and when his deepened feelings weren’t returned, he seems determined to cause a little bit of trouble. Last but not least is Michael, a detective brought in when one of the characters is kidnapped and appears to have interest in one of the other characters.
In true television drama fashion, things come to a head with the kidnapped character being found and shots fired. Who was shot? We don’t know. What a cliffhanger! With all these characters and plots weaving through the book together, it is never boring. There is a lot of action, heat, and drama. It kept my interest throughout the whole book though I wouldn’t consider it my usual read. While the couples did have feelings for each other, I wouldn’t classify at as a romance. It was a fantastic job of storytelling though, and I can’t wait to move on to Season 2.
This book has potential. However, it does seem like the author wrote a script for a TV series and couldn't sell it so turned it into a book. Each chapter is called an 'episode' and the book is 'season 1'. I wonder if a pilot was filmed?
The story revolves around the interconnecting lives of lots of characters. After describing one interaction, the text frequently continues with 'at the same time', making me think of how this would have been done on screen. The impression was of a low budget daytime soap opera. It's an odd thing to do, as it would take very little tweaking to make it a book, and to raise the impression from a cheap soap. Books don't have the limitations of the screen, so why an author chooses to confine himself and obey the conventions of the box is a mystery to me.
In any case, I was completely lost because there are so many characters and their lives are constantly intersecting. The narrator, who is wooden most of the time, made barely any attempt to distinguish one voice from another. I couldn't keep track of which character was which. My mind would wander a lot and I lost track of what was going on. I left it playing in the background just to see how it would finish. It finishes with a cliff-hanger, in the dramatic style of Dallas. Hoping for another series to be commissioned, I guess. Unfortunately this didn't have the desired effect because the narration was alienating that I just didn't care what happened to any of the characters by the end.
With a different narrator I would give the second 'season' a chance, but I would avoid anything else narrated by Sean Michael Ryan.
This one is definitely being returned. Even though it was in the half price sale it doesn't feel like good value.
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