Audio Review with Giveaway: Texas Family (Texas Series, Book 4) by R.J. Scott

Narrator: Sean Crisden
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Narrator: Sean Crisden
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
Length: 4hrs 19 mins
Texas Series
The Heart of Texas (Book #1): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible US | Audible UK

Texas Winter (Book #2): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible US | Blurb:

Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes begin a journey that will change their lives forever.

Set against the backdrop of the Double D, the cast of the Texas audiobooks face changes that won’t leave a single one of them untouched.

Jack and Riley want to extend their small family of three. Their first choice is surrogacy with Jack as the father, and when all this begins smoothly both men can’t help but contemplate at what point would things go wrong. After all, their lives are far from normal, and nothing is ever smooth.

Add a small four-year-old boy in foster care into the mix, and suddenly things become a whole lot more complicated.

four-stars

I really enjoyed this one as much as book 1. It is book four and I am still shipping Riley and Jack Campbell Hayes. These two continue to be a great place in their relationship and we got more emotional moments in this installment. I love what the author R.J. Scott did in this book, adding to the foundation of the main couple and expanding their family. I also love that author writes realistic relationship and family dynamics, nothing over the top and ridiculous. The narrator Sean Crisden did a great job delineating the various characters. I was able to follow each story with no mix-ups.

Riley and Jack are at a point in their marriage where they decided to expand their family. This story takes us through the process as the couple finds a surrogate, deal with their individual as well as collective fears as a gay couple having a child in Texas.

My favorite part of this story was how the surrogate really made it a seamless process. She was communicative and kind as Riley and Jack navigated this new terrain. I was both excited, happy and full of angst for the couple. the new children will definitely make the next book very interesting because the Campbell-Hayes family really grew in size. I was hoping for more clarity with Eden and Sean. This couple has been struggling for some time and I thought this book would deal with it but it wasn’t really resolved. I still found this journey endearing and entertaining.

If you want a romance that revolves around family with a western feel, you will love this story.

Ezi

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About R.J. Scott

My goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

I’ve has been writing since age six, when I was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies and the mixing bowl. You can’t tell a six year old not to lick the bowl!

I was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader myself, I can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, my first real true love will always be the world of romance. I love my cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and love to write dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men. (Yum)

With over 90 titles to my name and counting, I am the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway, which was All Romance Ebooks best selling title of 2010.

I’m also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

I’m always so thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers.

Texas Heat (Texas Series, Book 3) by R.J. Scott

Series:
Narrator: Sean Crisden
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: Signal Boost Promotions

Title: Texas Heat by R.J. Scott
Series: Texas Series, Book 3
Release Date: May 4, 2017
Format: Audiobook (4 hrs and 18 mins)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Western
Published By: Love Lane Books Limited

Against the backdrop of 20 half-naked models on DD land, and in the midst of fighting the oil establishment that just won’t give Riley a chance, Texas Heat is the story of one hot summer in Texas with a Gay Rodeo, humor, angst, and a love between two men that just grows stronger every day.

Jack hires Robbie, a man recovering from a great loss, to be his right hand man. Meanwhile, Riley’s mischievous photographer friend, Eli, decides the DD is the perfect backdrop for a cowboy themed model shoot. Eli has secrets not even Riley knows about but despite what he is hiding he falls in lust with Robbie at first sight. Everyone except Robbie can see how perfect Eli would be for him.

What happens when secrets spill and lies are discovered? And just how far will Riley and Jack go to play matchmaker?

three-half-stars

Honestly, I don’t enjoy the narrator Sean Crisden’s work in this series. His voice makes the characters sound like early twenties college dudes and not like the mature men I picture in my head. Thankful, the writing and plot remains very solid so I enjoy the story because Jack and Riley love was a gift that touched all those around them.

Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes are settling into family life with their daughter Hayley and their extended family are finding their own way to love. The Double D Ranch is growing with new employees and Riley is trying to find a way to expand their oil exploration endeavors. The main couple is still crazy about each other and then of course, we get a blast from Riley’s wild past in the form of a man named Eli. Eli was a photographer who had been a prankster/irresponsible work, but now Eli is trying to clean up his work image. In order to secure his “comeback”, he asked to use the Double D Ranch for his photo shoot.

While Eli is taking pictures at the Ranch, he meets one of the ranch hands Robbie, a hurt soul who came to the Double D to heal from a past of abuse. For the first time in this series, the reader is taken on a journey to couple-dom featuring people not bearing the Hayes or Campbell last names. From Jack’s sister Eden and her boyfriend Sean to Riley’s mom getting married to her vet fiancée, it just feels like Jack and Riley’s relationship balanced the people around them. It is clear that they still are trying to find ways to make time for romance and putting their relationship first, but as a couple, they still make me smile. I’m thankful that the author doesn’t make them have those unnecessary relationship miscommunications and issues. Jack and Riley are the reason I love this series but I am looking forward to finding out what’s wrong with Eden’s boyfriend and having them back on solid ground.

About R.J. Scott

My goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

I’ve has been writing since age six, when I was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies and the mixing bowl. You can’t tell a six year old not to lick the bowl!

I was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader myself, I can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, my first real true love will always be the world of romance. I love my cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and love to write dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men. (Yum)

With over 90 titles to my name and counting, I am the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway, which was All Romance Ebooks best selling title of 2010.

I’m also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

I’m always so thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers.

Crooked Tree Ranch (Montana #1) by R.J. Scott

Series:
Narrator: Sean Crisden
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: Signal Boost Promotions

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Crooked Tree Ranch by R.J. Scott
Series: Montana, Book 1
Release Date: November 16th, 2015 (first published on December 13th 2013)
Format: Audiobook (6 hrs and 20 mins)
Genre:
Published By: Love Lane Books Ltd
Purchase Links: •  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible US | Audible UK

When a cowboy, meets the guy from the city, he can’t know how much things will change.

On the spur of the moment, with his life collapsing around him, Jay Sullivan answers an ad for a business manager with an expertise in marketing, on a dude ranch in Montana.

With his sister, Ashley, niece, Kirsten and nephew, Josh, in tow, he moves lock stock and barrel from New York to Montana to start a new life on Crooked Tree Ranch.

Foreman and part owner of the ranch, ex rodeo star Nathaniel ‘Nate’ Todd has been running the dude ranch, for five years ever since his mentor Marcus Allen became ill.

His brothers convince him that he needs to get an expert in to help the business grow. He knows things have to change and but when the new guy turns up, with a troubled family in tow – he just isn’t prepared for how much.

four-stars

This story was very sweet and satisfying. It wasn’t overly dramatic and angsty but it was emotionally engaging enough that I listened to the book in one day. I have to be honest, I am on the fence about Sean Crisden, but his narration of this story was spot on. The author told the story in a dual POV and the voices the narrator used for the characters fit my image of them. This one was one of Sean Crisden’s better performances.

Jay Sullivan worked for a marketing firm while taking care of his sister Ashley who has a history of falling in love with abusive guys. Currently, Jay was standing as a male figure for his 15 year old niece Kristen and 6 year old nephew Josh as Ashley’s husband was serving time in jail for abusing them. When Jay is laid off from his firm, coupled with Ashley’s husband was released from jail, Jay quickly accepted a job to be a business manager for a ranch in Montana and they quickly flee New York City.

Crooked Tree Ranch was hemorrhaging money so they agreed to trying marketing the Ranch differently to attract new customers. The Ranch is owned by three families, The Todds, The Allens and the Starachs. Nate, Gabe and Luke represent the Todd family and work on the Ranch. They were skeptical about the City boy Jay being in charge of creating a marketing plan, but they were low in funds and they were desperate.
Nate is the oldest and he used to work in the rodeo circuit so the city boy just rubbed him the wrong way. But Nate accepted that Jay’s expertise was necessary so he tried to tamper his irritation with Jay. What Nate couldn’t ignore was his attraction to Jay and vice versa. Soon, the two agreed to try a relationship. Nate and Jay were a delight because their attraction was clear but they were so supportive and accepting of each other and their respective families.

I though the author did a great job in building up the relationship so while it was short amount of time, it didn’t feel like insta-love. RJ Scott’s writing appeals to me because she focuses on the family, their interactions and their emotions more than the physical acts between the couples. I prefer a juicy story over copious amounts of sex so this audiobook was so good. There was a number of subplots, but the pace at which the author tackled them was comfortable so the reader never felt bogged down with angst or overly emotional scenes. I am looking forward to finding out more about the second family of the Ranch trifecta, The Allens.

Ezi

About R.J. Scott

My goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

I’ve has been writing since age six, when I was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies and the mixing bowl. You can’t tell a six year old not to lick the bowl!

I was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader myself, I can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, my first real true love will always be the world of romance. I love my cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and love to write dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men. (Yum)

With over 90 titles to my name and counting, I am the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway, which was All Romance Ebooks best selling title of 2010.

I’m also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

I’m always so thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers.

The Rancher’s Son (Montana #2) R.J. Scott

Series:
Narrator: Sean Crisden
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: Signal Boost Promotions

 

 
Narrated By: Sean Crisden
Length: 6hr 25mins
Cover Design: Meredith Russell 
 
Blurb: A man without memories and the cop who never gave up hope.

When he wakes up in the hospital, the victim of a brutal beating, John Doe has no memory of who he is or who hurt him. The cops can find nothing to identify him and he can’t remember anything to help…except the name Ethan and one recurring place from his dreams. Two words, and they’re not much, but it’s a start: Crooked Tree.Detective Ethan Allens has never stopped searching for the two boys who vanished. When a report lands on Ethan’s desk that may give new leads, he jumps at the chance to follow them up. The man he finds isn’t his brother, but it’s someone who could maybe help him discover what happened 12 years ago.What neither man can know is that facing the very real demons of the past could destroy any kind of future they may have together.
 four-stars

In Book 1, we met Marcus Allen, who tended to the financial aspects of Crooked Tree Ranch, the 300 acre land in Montana shared with The Todds (see book 1) and The Starachs. We also got a small glimpse into his strained relationship with his son Ethan especially regarding the disappearance of the youngest son Justin.

Marcus’ wife died and his son Justin disappeared 12 years ago with his best friend Adam when they went swimming. Marcus’ oldest son Ethan Allen never accepted the “death” of his brother Justin and best friend Adam, and left his family’s ranch and joined law enforcement.

In this sequel, Marcus still struggles with his health and still doesn’t believe Justin is alive. His relationship with his son Ethan was still strained and the return of Adam absent answers to what happened twelve years ago added to the tension. As a police officer, Ethan had put out feelers and one day got a call about a John Doe asking for Ethan and Crooked Tree Ranch. At the hospital, Ethan comes face to face with Adam, although, now Adam is an amnesiac. Ethan brings Adam back to the Ranch to help jog his memory.

This book was more emotional and angst than book one, but I love it just the same. Ethan was a really great guy. He was so hopeful, steadfast and patient with Adam as the families tried to figure out what happened those years ago. Again, the narrator gave a masterful performance as he returned the reader to Montana with the same families, giving more detail to the subplot of the Allen’s family. RJ Scott does a great job slowly building these characters and their stories. These characters feel like people I could relate to and I definitely rooted for their happiness. I had a hard time deciding which couple I liked best, Ethan & Adam or Nate & Jay. Plus, Gabe (Nate’s middle brother) & Ashley (Jay’s sister) was an added extra dose of sweetness to this story. While this particular love story ended well, some other threads remain loose and I look forward to the author’s next book.

I received this audiobook for free from in exchange for an honest review.
It
did not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ezi


 

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

About R.J. Scott

My goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

I’ve has been writing since age six, when I was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies and the mixing bowl. You can’t tell a six year old not to lick the bowl!

I was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader myself, I can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, my first real true love will always be the world of romance. I love my cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and love to write dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men. (Yum)

With over 90 titles to my name and counting, I am the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway, which was All Romance Ebooks best selling title of 2010.

I’m also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

I’m always so thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers.

The Baller (A Down and Dirty Football Novel #1) by Vi Keeland

The Baller (A Down and Dirty Football Novel #1) by Vi KeelandSeries: Down and Dirty Football #1
on 2016-01-18
Pages: 300
AmazonB&NNarrator: MacKenzie Cartwright, Sean Crisden
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
 The first time I met Brody Easton was in the men’s locker room. It was my first interview as a professional sportscaster.The famed quarterback decided to bare all. And by all, I don’t mean he told me any of his secrets.No.  The arrogant ass decided to drop his towel, just as I asked the first question.  On camera. The Super Bowl MVP quickly adopted a new hobby—screwing with me.When I pushed back, he shifted from wanting to screw with me, to wanting to screw me.But I don’t date players.And it’s not because I’m one of the few women working in the world of professional football. I’d date an athlete. It’s the other kind of player I don’t date. You know the type.  Good looking, strong, cocky, always looking to get laid.Brody Easton was the ultimate player.Every woman wanted to be the one to change him.But the truth was, all he needed was a girl worth changing for.Turned out, I was that girl.Simple right?Let’s face it.  It never is.There’s a story between once upon a time and happily ever after…And this one is ours.

Author's note
- The Baller is a full-length standalone novel. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.
three-stars

Emma Stone meh photo Emma Stone meh_zpswpkqau3q.gif
This one was a big meh.

Delilah Maddox was a sports reporter and she just got the assignment of a lifetime covering the football team The New York Steel. On her first day, she met star quarterback Brody Easton and there was an instant attraction. Brody immediately began making passes at her (pun intended). Delilah resisted his charms for awhile, but eventually gave in. They have both been in love before and are afraid to be hurt again. Delilah and Brody are extremely cautious about giving their hearts to someone else again but Brody was just hard not to love. He was funny, he managed to turn everything into a sexual innuendo and his loyalty gave him depth as a man.

When Brody’s old flame Willow returned to town, Delilah felt threatened. It was clear that Brody cared about Willow and that made Delilah unsure as to whether Brody’s past relationship was truly over and resolved. Who did Brody want for his future?

First of all, the pace of this story was slow! It took a while to build up to where the author was going and then the author made a non-isssue an issue. The narrators did what they could but the issue was the story.

What I loved most was Brody because it was like seeing your college boyfriend. While he was a grown man, he was all boy too. Everything, and I mean everything related back to sex for Brody. I found myself chuckling a lot. On the surface, it just seemed like Brody was about sex, food and football, in no particular order. But Brody was actually more complex as a character. On the other hand, I found Delilah’s character to be flat.

Delilah Maddox’s success as a reporter, would require her to be observant and Brody was pretty much an open book. Yet she didn’t see the most obvious things about him nor did she learn them about him after they had spent so much time together.

I blame the author for making Delilah slightly pathetic because the author spent time developing Willow even more than Delilah. I was rooting for Willow because while she made mistakes, there was a lot of growth in her life. I thought how the author mishandled the Willow, Brody and Delilah situation. I don’t like manufactured conflict and the drama was so forced to extend the pages. It was slowly built up and then the resolution happened as an afterthought. It was never a true triangle.

About Vi Keeland

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twelve languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

Unexpected Fate (Hope Town #1) by Harper Sloan

Unexpected Fate (Hope Town #1)  by Harper Sloanon February 17th 2015
Pages: 301 pages
AmazonNarrator: Sean Crisden, Shirl Rae
Have you ever felt like you were living your life for a future that was predetermined? Like there was some bigger picture you just prayed you would someday see clearly? That picture has been crystal clear to me since I was old enough to recognize it for just what it was.

Or I should say recognize him for who he was.

I’ve loved Cohen Cage since I was a small child. He’s been my everything for the last twenty-two years. I’ve loved him through every girlfriend he’s ever brought home. Through his college years and then mine. I’ve loved him through two deployments. And ever since the day I told him how I felt, he’s acted like I’m a stranger.

My name is Danielle Reid, and it’s time for me to get my man.

Our future is an unexpected fate, and no matter what our parents, siblings, and friends say…it’s going to be worth every second of the fight to make it happen.
three-stars

I could tell this book was a spinoff even though I have never read the original series nor anything by this author before. After some research on goodreads, I found that the main characters were “Corps Security” Series, the next generation. I liked that Danielle Reid was confident in her love for Cohen Cage even if she was an adolescent. It never wavered through the book. She pursued Cohen while he ignored her. She stood by him while he served overseas in the military. She welcomed him back when his tour was over.  Then the struggled for Dani and Cohen was to get re-acclimated with their new realities.

I knew early into the audiobook that this one wasn’t going to be as fun because there was too much crassness to the characters. It wasn’t as refined of a love story as I typically prefer.  I liked the characters well enough, but the overly dominant alpha male thing was overdone. I thought Danielle was smart and savvy enough not to have Cohen constantly acting like a caveman. I have read enough to know that the over-territorial alpha male plot seem to go with Biker books so I guess for fans of that trope, this book would be enjoyable. I also didn’t enjoy the sex scenes as I like more romance and less dirty talk sex. I am not a prude but I found most of the scenes a tad vulgar (not kinky). My friends who loved the original series were very happy with this spin-off. Unfortunately, I wasn’t entertained enough by plot to want to read further into this series.

 

*Special thanks to Tantor for the audiobook for review.

Ethan in Gold (Johnnies #3) by Amy Lane

Ethan in Gold (Johnnies #3) by Amy LaneSeries: Johnnies #3
on 2013-10-04
Pages: 350
AmazonNarrator: Sean Crisden
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Johnnies: Book Three

Evan Costa learned from a very early age that there was no such thing as unconditional love and that it was better to settle for what you could get instead of expecting the world to give you what you need. As Ethan, porn model for Johnnies, he gets exactly what he wants—comradeship and physical contact on trade—and he is perfectly satisfied with that. He’s sure of it.

Jonah Stevens has spent most of his adult life helping to care for his sister and trying to keep his beleaguered family from fraying at the edges. He’s had very little time to work on his confidence or his body for that matter. When Jonah meets Ethan, he doesn’t see the hurt child or the shamelessly slutty porn star. He sees a funny, sexy, confident man who—against the odds—seems to like Jonah in spite of his very ordinary, but difficult, life.

Sensing a kindred spirit and a common interest, Ethan thinks a platonic friendship with Jonah won’t violate his fair trade rules of sex and touch, but Jonah has different ideas. Ethan’s pretty sure his choice of jobs has stripped away all hope of a real relationship, but Jonah wants the whole package—the sexy man, the vulnerable boy, the charming companion who works so hard to make other people happy. Jonah wants to prove that underneath the damage Ethan has lived with all his life, he’s still gold with promise and the ability to love.
four-stars

The timeline for this book matches with Dex’s book, right after Chase gets in the hospital.
What I always remembered about Ethan/Evan was that he needed “touch” so I was excited to jump into the book of the guy who needed lots of hugs & touches.

Ethan’s family life was as crappy as Chase & Dex’s life. Another reason that Johnnies because his make-shift family. Ethan was the “smart one”, the one who did well in school and was supposed to go to college. But right now, he is making movies.

I found his story to be so sad especially with the tattoos he used to label himself and keep people at bay. This whole time he craved physical touch, but he needed emotional touch just as much.
Jonah Stevens was a great match for him because Jonah was observant. His sister Millie’s illness had made them very aware of non-verbal communication and Jonah was able to see past Ethan’s aloofness.

I am glad that one of the Johnnies boys fell in love with a guy from a family who accepted their child’s boyfriend. Jonah’s family was really cool and I really enjoyed the love that they lavished on people. It will help Jonah and Ethan continue to grow and develop as they chart their lives together.

I must say that my tears this time had nothing to do with the two guys but was for the sister. Very touching and I was so sad for her. But the story was well written and another enjoyable installment in the series. I am anticipating the next book

About Amy Lane

Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

Bear, Otter, and the Kid (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, Book 1) by T.J. Klune

Bear, Otter, and the Kid (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, Book 1) by T.J. KluneSeries: and the Kid, Bear, Otter
on August 11th, 2011
Pages: 350 pages
AmazonNarrator: Sean Crisden
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Three years ago, Bear McKenna’s mother took off for parts unknown with her new boyfriend, leaving Bear to raise his six-year-old brother Tyson, aka the Kid. Somehow they’ve muddled through, but since he’s totally devoted to the Kid, Bear isn’t actually doing much living—with a few exceptions, he’s retreated from the world, and he’s mostly okay with that. Until Otter comes home.

Otter is Bear’s best friend’s older brother, and as they’ve done for their whole lives, Bear and Otter crash and collide in ways neither expect. This time, though, there’s nowhere to run from the depth of emotion between them. Bear still believes his place is as the Kid’s guardian, but he can’t help thinking there could be something more for him in the world... something or someone.
three-stars

This audiobook was 200 pages too long. I came in really excited because of the kid angle and I got a book of 5 matyrs.

17 year old Derek “Bear” as his baby brother Tyson couldn’t pronounce Derek came home one day to find a note for his mother. She was leaving with her latest loser boyfriend for parts unknown. Since the loser didn’t want her kids, she was leaving Tyson “Ty” in Bear’s care. She had the presence of mind to print ouf a power of attorney form from the internet, and signed it (though it was incorrectly executed). Then she so graciously left him $137.50…but drained Bear’s bank account because she and loser needed start up money.

Luckily Bear was turning 18 in a couple of weeks, and had been planning to go away to college. Now he was stuck with an 8 year old boy and he was petrified. Thus began Bear’s journey as “Brother-parent” as well as finding himself as a man. Luckily, he had some friends who stood by him and pitched in where they could. Bear’s best friend Creed, Creed’s older brother Otter, Anna–Bear’s girlfriend, Mrs. Paquin, Bear’s neighbor all became an adopted family that rallied around Bear and Ty. In the process Otter became more than a best friend’s older brother too.

I don’t know if there was much that I really enjoyed except Otter’s longsuffering and patience. He was awesome. I actually liked the kid too. I mean seriously, how many 8 year olds religious watch Anderson Cooper and are vegetarians based solely on his own research into animal cruelty. He was wise beyond his age.

What I didn’t like: Everyone was a matyr..well except for his deadbeat mother. Also, there was a lot of flashback, going from first person narrative to third person and a lot of monologue. This story could have been told in 150-200 pages. It was way too long. It wasn’t angsty at all. It was just meh for me. I wouldn’t be reading book 2.

About TJ Klune

When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn’t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder, wondering why he has to go to work as a claims examiner for an insurance company during the day when he could just stay home and write.

He lives with a neurotic cat in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. It’s hot there, but he doesn’t mind. He dreams about one day standing at Stonehenge, just so he can say he did.