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I'm a HUGE fan of Sean Crisden, but I didn't care for his narration here. I can't quite put my finger on why, I only know that while I usually love and enjoy his narration I didn't this time.
Sometimes a story resonates with you and sometimes it doesn't. This is one of those times where the story just didn't work for me. If you're interested in why, please read on.
I felt like this was two different stories packed into one book and I felt like this is a mostly "then suddenly" book.
For example: the first 75% of the story takes place over a matter of weeks, then suddenly within a matter of paragraphs it's two years later, and then suddenly again it's two years after that.
I've been a fan of Billy since the first A Southern Thing story, and after all he's been through, and after all his brother Jack has been through for him, I didn't buy Billy moving to New York, meeting and falling in love with some guy in days, and then literally throwing Jack and Andrew over for this near-stranger. After all Jack has done for Billy, I did not believe Billy would have treated Jack the way he does. And, I'll admit, I was disappointed in his behavior.
There is also a mountain of miscommunication that happens time and time again in this which drove me nuts.
"Disappointed" I think is the best way I can describe how I feel about this story. I was disappointed in Billy, his choices, Sawyer, his behavior, and, most of all, the ending.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Billy?
Everything. How innocent and vibrant he is. How he refuses to be labeled or hide his true colors.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Billy. I've wanted his story since I read the first book in this series, and I can tell you I wasn't disappointed. Well worth the wait.
Which character – as performed by Sean Crisden – was your favorite?
Sawyer. There was this sexy, brooding, alpha male aspect to this character. But he was so gentle and fiercely protective of Billy. I just loved the way he spoke.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Some loves are timeless
Any additional comments?
Billy Miller made it through high school pretending to be someone he’s not. Fear kept Billy in the closet, so to speak, but now he’s moving to New York to live with his brother and brother in law and start college. If he can be himself anywhere, it’s New York, right? Excited and anxious to start the next phase of his life, Billy embraces college, his acting class, and being able to wear mascara and lip gloss in public without being beaten to a bloody pulp.
Sawyer Fredericks didn’t intend to get involved with anyone. His life is complicated. He has secrets and can’t afford to drag someone into the chaos when he can’t even tell them the truth. But Billy catches his eye the very first day and soon friendly smiles, conversations during classes and quiet lunches on campus turn into something more. Sawyer knows he shouldn’t pursue a relationship, but he’s enamored with Billy’s vibrancy from the start. When Billy learns Sawyers secret, will he turn away? Or embrace the man he’s falling hard for.
I was sitting in for York’s reading at GRL 2015 when she got up on stage and started talking about what she was going to read, that the character was never supposed to have a story, but he was persistent. I immediately knew she was talking about Billy and I literally squealed. I think people were starring. But seriously, who didn’t fall in love with this character in the first book in this series when he said, “I don’t think God made me right.”? And then everything that Jack endured to protect Billy’s innocence? He’s always been my favorite character in this series and I’m so happy York decided to write his story, and Crisden agreed to give him a voice.
There are a lot of highs and lows in this story, definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat. As Billy starts to slowly reveal more and more of his true nature, he worries how he will be perceived not only by Sawyer, but by his peers as well. But Billy is one tough cookie and he proves that more than once. Andrew and Jack are having issues of their own as well. Not only are they looking into adopting, but they aren’t exactly pleased with Billy’s choice in boyfriends. Billy realizes the gravity of what Jack did all those years ago to protect him, and that Jack is still just trying to protect him, but above all he wants his brother’s trust.
I knew going into this it wasn’t going to be all sunshine and roses. That wouldn’t ring true in relation to the series or the characters. Billy has to do a lot of growing up and continue to conquer fears and hurdle obstacles to find his happy ever after. And then, right when he and Sawyer think they’ve gotten everything they want. Well, it’s not quite that easy. Relationships are hard work. As hard as you think they are, you wind up wishing they were that easy. Billy and Sawyer continually grow as the story progresses, as do Jack and Andrew.
Sean Crisden took over to narrate Billy’s story, and while I questioned that decision at first, I have to say now I think it was brilliant. While Billy is an important part of the world York created four books ago, he is his own person and deserves his own voice separate from everyone else. That is exactly what Crisden did. The thing I love most about Crisden’s narration skills is how he can put so much emotion into his words. The conversations that Billy and Sawyer have as their relationship is slowly progressing could have been lost on me, or glossed over in print, but to have Crisden giving each character such precise tones, inflections and nuances really brought them to life for me.
Dramatic, emotional, passionate, fun… these are just a few words that describe this story. If you’ve been a fan of the series from the start, you know it’s not going to be an easy road for Billy. But the writing just grabs you and you become invested in the characters and will weather any storm with them while you wait to see where they will land when the dust settles. Obviously I recommend this book, this series. And while you could walk into Billy’s life without having travelled through Jack and Andrew’s stories, you will miss a lot of the back story, so I suggest started at the beginning if you haven’t.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful