Author: N.R. Walker
Narrator: Joel Leslie
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.
Excellent! Excellent story! Excellent voice actor! Excellent reading experience! Just excellent!
This series has been on my TBR for a number of years. Why it sat there, I’ll never know, but I made a commitment to read it and was, in fact, reading book one when the opportunity to listen to the audiobook of Red Dirt Heart 2 presented itself. Add to that the fact that Joel Leslie, my #1 favorite voice actor, is the narrator, and I was all in.
I suppose I should say more about the story, however, and not just my opinion.
This story is a love story, not a simple romance—it’s a gritty, tear-your-heart-out love story between Charlie Sutton, owner of Sutton Station in Australia’s Outback, and Travis Craig, an American Agronomy student, who comes to Sutton Station as a part of a field experience program in book one and never leaves. Or at least never leaves up to this point in their story. But over and above the usual drama associated with not only running the largest spread in the Territory, but coming out as a gay man to his workers, his peers, and his business associates, the true drama in this book is Travis’s expired visa status.
The fight to keep him is the hardest of Charlie’s life, and he realizes just how deeply he depends on Travis, and in fact, needs him to breathe the very air he requires to survive. I was brought to tears—literally. And that’s a rare event for me. Of course, I believe the tears were caused by how caught up in the story I became as Joel Leslie brought the characters to life. I can still hear Charlie’s broken voice when he despaired of winning the fight to keep Travis in Australia. Perfectly en pointe.
If you’ve ever read this series, by all means pick it up in audiobook so you can enjoy the rich vocalizations provided by Mr. Leslie. And if you haven’t read it, by all means, get it now, and be sure to get the audio version. Between N.R. Walker’s writing and Joel Leslie’s narration, you won’t be disappointed. Highly recommended.