Aside from me being a fan of N.R. Walker’s stories, this book was also highly recommended by some friends. I’ve a lot of books on my to-read list and decided to just dive in this series right away due to its raving reviews. I actually liked most things about the book but there are also things which I didn’t like. First thing you need to know is that this story was set in Australia and second, it’s set in a freaking desert in Australia. Charlie Sutton runs the Sutton station on his own [a farm / ranch and is about a million acres 0_o – ikr?] after his father died and was isolated from most of the world [yeah, say almost literally] – life just seemed to go on with a few staff at the station until American agronomy student Travis Craig came into his doorstep and change everything Charlie has ever known.
The feel of the story somehow reminds me of the vibe of Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. The laid-back Marlboro country feel of the red dirt in this side of Australia was almost hypnotic. I loved that N.R. Walker could easily convey that. My concern is the too slow-a-pace of the first half of it. I feel like going through the pages with nothing happening with the characters. If this was what slow burn is and another definition of underlying sexual tension between Charlie and Travis, I’m all for it but I had a friend inside my brain screaming, “Get on with it already!”
On a more positive note, I loved the couple here. Charlie and Travis are only in their twenties and I liked the fact that they act their age but with maturity. I loved Charlie’s gruff persona and his diarrhea of the mouth was rather funny. Travis is also a beautiful character with his nurturing and sensitive nature. They really balanced out each other well.
Yes, I find the first half of the story dragging itself into this red dirt hole but it picked up and I started to understand (or appreciate) it better. It was some sort of mood building which I thought took longer than necessary but was forgivable.
This first book was about Travis’s introduction to the red dirt harsh environment where Charlie grew up. This was also Charlie feeling alive after the longest time and finally letting go of some of his angst. It was a beautiful start of a promising series. There were minor stuff that didn’t work for me but Charlie and Travis easily made their way to my heart.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars