One of the most diverse and lively neighborhoods in the country, Chicago's Boystown has something for everyone. So it's no wonder that Jesse Morgan and Cole O'Brien chose to live there upon graduating from college. Ready to begin the next phase of their lives in an exciting new city, Jesse and Cole quickly find themselves at the center of a new group of friends.
Joyelle and Derek Mancini have been happily married for years, but Derek is harboring a secret that could tear them apart. Derek's brother, Emmett, is about to discover that his boyfriend, Keith Colgan, has a past that will haunt them both. Longtime couple Logan Pryce and Max Taylor must face a crisis that neither of them expected.
And, before they realize it, Jesse and Cole find themselves at the center of it all in the adult playground known as Boystown.
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Fast paced and addictive
I thin the narrator has a very pleasant voice but I would have liked more variation between character voices to differentiate them.
I was a bit confused when I read the title Boystown – Season 1. Not book one, but season one. As I started reading it all made sense to me. It read like a daytime soap opera, or maybe a night time drama like Dallas, each chapter was called an episode and the book a season. There is a large cast of characters and the setting changes frequently as we follow several different story lines through the book. I’ll admit at first it was a bit confusing, but once I remembered their names and how they fit in with the other characters it became easier and I was quickly sucked into the drama.
The first character we really meet is Joyelle, an emergency room nurse. Her husband Derek is keeping a secret from Joyelle, but when he returns from a business trip without his wedding ring, she seems to fear that he’s not being completely honest and fears losing him. I would normally have a problem with Derek’s activities, but Joyelle appears to be a little bit manipulative and sneaky and I find myself excusing him.
Derek’s brother Emmett becomes engaged to his boyfriend Keith and at first look they seemed to be a perfect couple. The only normal couple, but not all is as it seems. Keith is very jealous and distrusts Emmett’s friendship with his long time friend, Max. Then there is Keith’s shady past relationship that seems to be haunting him. Emmett does seem to be an honestly good guy, but I thought he had more fight in him to make things right with his fiance.
Max loves his partner Logan, but Logan’s alcoholism is tearing apart their relationship. Max does seem like he is harboring feelings for Emmett at the same time but he keeps trying to make things work with his partner. Logan, despite his alcoholism, surprised me by not moving on quickly when an employee expressed his interest. I feel like he loved Max but there are some underlying issues to his drinking that he needs to deal with before he will be happy.
There were quite a few other notable characters in this story. Cole and Jesse were college roommates who move to Chicago from Notre Dame. They end up moving in across the street from Derek and Joyelle and become quick friends with the couple. Cole is in love with a married man and Jesse is interested in his new boss. Justin is Derek and Emmett’s estranged brother. Though we aren’t given the reason they haven’t talked in awhile, when he shows up, his actions seem highly suspicious. Jacqueline is Jesse’s mother, and has a history with one of the Boystown characters and is being courted by a man who is not what he seems. Ben is a former friend with benefits of Jesse’s and when his deepened feelings weren’t returned, he seems determined to cause a little bit of trouble. Last but not least is Michael, a detective brought in when one of the characters is kidnapped and appears to have interest in one of the other characters.
In true television drama fashion, things come to a head with the kidnapped character being found and shots fired. Who was shot? We don’t know. What a cliffhanger! With all these characters and plots weaving through the book together, it is never boring. There is a lot of action, heat, and drama. It kept my interest throughout the whole book though I wouldn’t consider it my usual read. While the couples did have feelings for each other, I wouldn’t classify at as a romance. It was a fantastic job of storytelling though, and I can’t wait to move on to Season 2.
- Roger K. Ward