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The Heart of Texas

Texas Series, Book 1
By: RJ Scott
Narrated by: Sean Crisden
Series: Texas (Scott), Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4.5 out of 5 stars (385 ratings)

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This Story Is Seductive

Publisher's Summary

Riley Hayes, the playboy of the Hayes family, is a young man who seems to have it all: money, a career he loves, and his pick of beautiful women. His father, CEO of HayesOil, passes control of the corporation to his two sons; but a stipulation is attached to Riley's portion. Concerned about Riley's lack of maturity, his father requires that Riley 'marry and stay married for one year to someone he loves'.

Angered by the requirement, Riley seeks a means of bypassing his father's stipulation. Blackmailing Jack Campbell into marrying him for love suits Riley's purpose. There is no mention in his father's documents that the marriage had to be with a woman and Jack Campbell is the son of Riley Senior's arch rival. Win win.

Riley marries Jack and abruptly his entire world is turned inside out. Riley hadn't counted on the fact that Jack Campbell, quiet and unassuming rancher, is a force of nature in his own right.

This is a story of murder, deceit, the struggle for power, lust and love, the sprawling life of a rancher and the whirlwind existence of a playboy. But under and through it all, as Riley learns over the months, this is a tale about family and everything that that word means.

©2011 RJ Scott (P)2016 RJ Scott

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Irritable Cowboy + Hot Metrosexual = true love!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Definitely. It's not only a well written story with likeable characters, it's given the "Crisden Effect"

What other book might you compare The Heart of Texas to and why?

It reminds me a bit of Saving Seth and Forgiving Thayne by JR Loveless. The characters have similarties as does the storyline, though these two books are Shifters, there is a Cowboy sherrif in that series that so reminds me of Jack.

Have you listened to any of Sean Crisden’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have, I purchase Audiobooks simply because he narrates them. This one is just as amazing as always, love Crisden's various vocal tones and attention to finite details.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Irritable Cowboy + Hot Metrosexual = true love!

Any additional comments?

I am so in love with this series. I immediately got book 2 and started it when I finished this one and now that I've finished 2 I'm ready to dive into 3!

Fans of the Author and Narrator of course you'll want to listen. But if you like sexy cowboys that are full of piss and vinegar, awkward and unsure but fiercely loyal pretty boys that know what they want, but are terrified to go after it, go ahead and grab this one you'll love it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great story

this story had it all! Love, betrayal, murder! loved the narrators deep sexy voice! was well writen. I've read the book years ago and loved that as well!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Don't judge a book by its description!

I had seen this book in my reccomended list for quite a while and just wasn't that interested in the description. I hate books where the Mc is a d0uche, for lack of a better term, and the other Mc still falls in love with him and/or stays with him and that's exactly what this sounded like. Boy was I wrong! Yes Riley is flawed, but there are reasons behind what he does, and you may want to smack him upside the head sometimes but he never makes you dislike him. From the beginning you're rooting for him to break away from his family and be his own man and to fall for Jack. A great book with an unpredictable story line that keeps you guessing throughout.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great story

The author pulls you into the lives of the characters. The narration was great as well. I can see myself reading this again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Sean Crisden is absolutely wonderful!

Any additional comments?

If you like the forced marriage trope, coupled with high drama, family politics, old feuds, murder mysteries, lots of plot twists and turns, and really entertaining narration then look no farther - The Heart of Texas has it all!

This is the quintessential feuding families high drama soap opera story. It's absolutely scandalous!

Sean Crisden is absolutely wonderful! He brings Jack's Texas drawl and growling tones, and Riley's upper crust and more subtle tones, to life as well as doing a great job with the various feminine voices of the story. I enjoyed his timing, pacing, and the way he navigated the different dramatics of the material.

Sean Crisden’s honeyed and mellifluous tones kept me entertained, involved, and waiting for the next dramatic moment. I’ll definitely continue with the series, especially if Sean Crisden continues to narrate it!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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The Heart of Texas

This book is cute and the story line and plot are interesting and slightly over the top, which makes it grab your attention and keeps hold of you. There's all kinds of twists and turns and suspense and crazy family members giving us some subplots that will have you entertained enough to keep you wanting more of Jack and Riley's story together. Which luckily is ongoing into the next several books of this series.

Cowboys. Enemies to Lovers. Fake Marriage. Blackmail. First time "gay for you" trope.

The way these two guys start out is really rocky, and they both *but mostly Riley* make some questionable decisions along the way. But, getting to watch their hate and resentment and all the smaller emotions the two strong willed men have, turn into something good, friendship and then love is a great ride to experience. Riley's family (aside from Eden) are all pretty horrible people that Karma eventually catches up with. But after everything that happens in this book and the suspense towards the end, you can undoubtedly see that Riley belongs with Jack.

Audio - Absolutely nothing bad to say about this audiobook. Sean Crisden gives us an awesome narration for both Jack and Riley in this book. *Which is not surprising* I'm really excited to hear the rest of this series in audio as well.

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Brilliant Series, Brilliant Bringing to Life

Overall Series 5th Re-Read 2019:
As I've said many times before, RJ Scott's Texas series was the first published M/M genre book that I read so they will always hold a place of pride in my heart. No matter how many times I read or listen to the journey Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes, their friends and family take I never tire of it. The characters and the paths they take are so real, so honest, the good and the bad, the heartache and the healing, it never fails to put a smile on face.

As for the audio versions, I can't imagine anyone other than Sean Crisden bringing these stories to life. Sean's voice make Jack, Riley, and the whole Texas family(which grows with each entry because its not just blood that connects everyone) real. Honestly I felt as if I looked up I'd see Jack with Solo Cal out in the yard or Riley on the floor with his maps.

If you haven't read/listened to Texas before I highly recommend giving it a go but it is a series needed to be experienced in order. I warn you though Jack and Riley can be addictive, you'll never want to say goodbye and now thanks to audio you really don't have to😉😉.

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I Love This Book & the whole Texas Series!

I love the story of Jack & Riley. I have read the whole series and this is one book I keep re-reading over and over. Come fall in love with Jack & Riley. Well worth your time to enjoy the whole Texas series.

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Good bones but disappointing execution

This book had such a great start, two interesting lead characters, a struggling family ranch and a successful company in turmoil behind closed doors, an arranged marriage and several clever plot twists. But then the plot twists and new plot lines keep coming and don't ever really stop. It quickly started to feel like a soap opera with every chapter introducing at least one new problem. (Seriously, every single character in this book has a secret. It's rediculous.) Possibly even more frustrating, every one of these problems are resolved nearly as quickly as they arrive, some not even lasting to the end of the chapter. Very few of these plot twists are explored in any kind of depth (sooo many plot holes and missed opportunities for emotional scenes and character growth) and it completely kills the emotional impact of the situations for the reader. Ultimately, it makes the whole book feel rushed, shallow and completely scattered.

As if that wasn't enough, this book also suffers from telling versus showing. There are a lot (A LOT) of scenes which are left out and we are told the jist of what happened versus being shown it. So frustrating. Along this same vein, we get a fair dose of instalove, as most of the interactions and time period where the leads actually get to know each other are just glossed over in favor of that chapter's problems to be solved. Which is really disappointing because the banter that we do get to see between the main characters is well written. There just isn't enough of it.

This book could have been fantastic but instead, you get a pile of drama with very little emotional investment.

On a side note, I really liked the narrator's voices for both of the main characters but man, his attempts to do female voices just sound painful. I hope he didn't hurt himself.

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Fantastic

Absolutely one of my favorite series. Can read and now listen to it over and over again. Cant wait to listen to all 7 of the books. A full blown soap opera just in a book. The Heart Of Texas will get you from the 1st page. Hook, Line and Sinker.

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  • MaryD
  • 08-24-16

Heart of Texas has my Heart

Wonderful story of family drama and love that Sean Crisden narrated perfectly, doing justice to all the characters. I will definitely listen to this over and over again. Can't wait for more in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-10-18

Absolutely brilliant...

I loved this story. It's so full of twists and turns. The narrator does an excellent job with all the different characters. He really did bring the story to life. I know this will be an audio that I will listen to again. I've also read the book and I just love the heartbreak and angst with a fantastic HEA.

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  • miss v harris
  • 06-12-18

So good

I loved everything about this, it's not my normal choice, I normally go for very dark books but this captured me right from the beginning sucking me in and holding me captive right to the end, I fell in love with Jack and Riley and most of the other characters and can't wait to continue with the rest of the series

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  • kindleaddict
  • 08-18-16

Fabulous

I loved this series in book form. The setting, the characters and the turn of mystery and intrigue. Add in Sean Crisden's wonderful narrative and this becomes another must have firm favourite. Can't wait for the next instalment.