Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Red Dirt Heart
Author: N.R. Walker
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 162 pages
Release Date: February 20, 2014
Available at: Smashwords, Amazon & All Romance eBooks
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads & Booklikes
Blurb: Welcome to Sutton Station: One of the world’s largest working farms in the middle of Australia – where if the animals and heat don’t kill you first, your heart just might.
Charlie Sutton runs Sutton Station the only way he knows how; the way his father did before him. Determined to keep his head down and his heart in check, Charlie swears the red dirt that surrounds him – isolates him – runs through his veins.
American agronomy student Travis Craig arrives at Sutton Station to see how farmers make a living from one of the harshest environments on earth. But it’s not the barren, brutal and totally beautiful landscapes that capture him so completely.
It’s the man with the red dirt heart.
Please note: This book is set in Australia, using Australian English and lingo.
This was a really nice change of pace for me. I thoroughly enjoyed being brought to another place not often written about. This takes its time getting going, but it isn’t long before you are right there with them, as I had no trouble picturing the station and its landscape with the wonderfully descriptive storytelling. I swear I could feel the dust and heat as I was reading, and Lord knows I was trying to hear the accents.
Charlie is a hard working fella, choosing to live a life of somewhat solitude (being the only gay man anywhere in the remote vicinity) running his deceased father’s cattle operation. He has become quite successful with the help of his crew, especially his adoptive parents, George and Ma. He truly believes (with the help of his somewhat abusive father) that he doesn’t deserve to be happy, nor that a gay man can run the station. So, he has, up until this point, remained in the closet.
Then he meets Travis, a young Texan visiting the station on a sort of educational work program. Travis is a wonderfully capable young man, able to adjust quickly to life on the station, as well as on another continent. He is a total sweetheart and gets along well with everyone he meets. He is also quite funny and doesn’t let Charlie get away with much.
After the two hit it off and decide to enjoy each other for the duration of Travis’ visit, they share many things together, something which Charlie has, thus far, been unable to do with anyone else. He is able to really open up and be himself with Travis, and the two share a very easy-going camaraderie in addition to the steamy connection that provides for some really hot sex.
Some of this was a little bit predictable, but I found myself engrossed and not wanting to put it down. I loved the characters and was cheering them both on to the end. It takes some doing for Travis to convince Charlie to get his head out of his butt, but true to fashion, he’s fully capable and the perfect match for Charlie.
I’m a big fan of Ms. Walker, having loved the Elkin series, and while I was slightly unsure of whether I would enjoy this one at first, I gave it a try and was not disappointed. I loved the different setting and was thrilled with yet another quality story. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*