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Up until Travis arrived on his doorstep, Charlie had lived a very solitary life. He had surrounded himself with isolation; a couple million acres of red dirt, scorching sun and loneliness.
Six months on, winter has settled over the desert, and Charlie has the life he never dreamed possible. But living and working together, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, for six months straight starts to take its toll.
Charlie is a stubborn, stubborn man, who tends to have more conversations in his head than what comes out his mouth, whereas Travis has no problem saying what’s on his mind. And even as they both struggle to communicate, struggle to make sense of need versus want, Charlie can see that he’s pushing Travis away – yet seems helpless to stop it.
When it all boils down to whether Travis should stay or go, maybe the decision won’t be theirs to make.
NR Walker is one of my favorite authors.
Red Dirt Heart 1 was one of my favorite books of the past year.
Charlie & Travis hold a special place in my heart…and so does Sutton Station.
Some of my most trusted other reviewers gave this 5 stars, raving about it.
For some reason, Red Dirt Heart 2 just didn’t work for me. Or at least, it didn’t meet my hopes and expectations. And honestly, I’m not quite sure why.
The book picks up after Travis recovers from his knee injury in book 1 and the two of them are happily working their way through a relationship. It’s sweet…we get it all from Charlie’s POV and he is so so so in love with Travis, it’s hard not to just be HAPPY the whole time.
But, the first 50% of the book was kinda just that…lots of smiles and grins and smirks, some hidden smiles and grins and smirks, some outright smiles and grins and smirks…but a WHOLE LOTTA smiles and grins and smirks. I actually got to a point when I wondered…Is anything going to happen here? Is the plot going to GO somewhere?
Eventually, it does…and there is some drama, and some breath-holding, and some worries, and my emotional strings were pulled. Because I love Charlie and Travis…I want to see them make it through anything and everything. So, thankfully, the book does pick up and gets much stronger in the end.
Here’s the thing, though, that really took me out of the book time and again…that happened so frequently, that I actually started to get frustrated. The author uses a writing style where words are hyphenated together to make up basically an adjective. An example: “I sighed, the longest out-of-patience-if-you-weren’t-so-cute-I’d-kick-your-arse kind of sigh…” and “She shook her head in wonder and quite possilby a bit of so-God-help-me-you’re-so-stupid.“
Now I wouldn’t normally have a problem with this. I’ve used this technique before in reviews. I’ve seen it in other books. And it actually can be quite charming and rather effective. The problem I had was that it was used so often, sometimes even in the same paragraph, and definitley more than 50 times throughout the book (I lost count…), that it was overkill. And it really started to bother me. And that might just be me. But with anything that is overly repetitious, it can get irritating and distract from the book. And that’s what happened for me.
Step away from the hyphen.
All in all, the book was fine. I enjoyed getting more of Charlie and Travis and you better believe I’ll be reading book 3. I just wish I loved this one more. I struggled with possibly rating this a MNY, but I really think it isn’t just me who would notice some of these things…it just seems that way.
Title: Red Dirt Heart 2
Author: NR Walker
Release Date: August 18, 2014
Purchase Links: Amazon