Life for Charlie Sutton has never been better, or busier. With Travis now a permanent fixture of Sutton Station, a permanent fixture at Charlie’s side, Charlie’s convinced he couldn’t do anything on his ever-growing to-do list without him.
He can run a multimillion dollar cattle business, finish his degree, try and further the local beef industry, deal with staff issues, Ma’s failing health, and an attention-demanding wombat. He can even deal with an unexpected visitor and some shattering news.
He can deal with it all, as long as he has Travis.
But what happens when he doesn’t?
Red Dirt Heart 3 is the story of Charlie Sutton finally realising he can be the man Travis Craig deserves, even if he doesn’t have Travis. It’s a story of love, family, holding on, letting go and coming home.
Review by Mary
Listening to Red Dirt Heart books is like being welcomed home, sitting in the kitchen in the station listening to all going on around me. Superb. So much is packed into the story there is not a dull moment, but most importantly Charlie has grown in confidence with Travis by his side. He now sees his worth in the world and is stronger for it. I absolutely loved the way Charlie comes to realise everyone at the station is now family rather than employees. The thought of Ma being ill was so hard. Charlie can cope better with the things life throws at him especially with Travis by his side. The part when Travis goes back to Texas really got me in the heart because whilst he desperately misses him Charlie knows he can go on. Hearing Joel Leslie’s narration of this bit brought me to tears, Joel is a master at pulling the emotions out of a scene.
Nugget in the story is wonderful and proves some light relief, as does the names Travis gives the calves so cute and so much fun.
Joel Leslie makes this series on audio. I love both his accents for Travis and Charlie. There are so many characters and all of them so distinct I don’t know how he does it. When Joel Leslie narrates an audiobook it’s like sitting in the front row of a theatre. You are right there in amongst all the characters living everything with them.
5 out of 5 stars!
Review by Morgan
(Book reviewed here previously: http://kimichanexperience.com/red-dirt-heart-3-nr-walker/)
This is book three and it picks up almost immediately from where Book 2 leaves off. Travis has committed to staying with Charlie and the two are essentially living out and proud in the Outback. Charlie is making huge advances in defending himself as a gay man, the Station is prospering with a new huge account and Travis is still being the wonderful, supportive boyfriend he always is.
However, Charlie’s biological mom shows up and messes with Charlie’s balanced life and let’s out that Charlie has a brother! Charlie’s mother-of-his-heart, Katie, is sick and has to be rushed to the hospital with a diagnosis of cancer that leaves Charlie reeling.
Together, Travis and Charlie work through these issues, and Charlie is grateful for Travis’ support.
Everything looks like it’s just going to be great when Travis’ grandfather falls ill and Travis has to leave the country to see him before he dies. Charlie can’t go as he has no passport and everything is too busy at the Station.
Though he has absolutely no reason to be worried, Charlie worries the entire time Travis is away and when suddenly there is radio silence from Travis Charlie assumes the worse. Travis isn’t coming back. Ever.
But – WE all know this isn’t true, even if Charlie doesn’t and, sure enough, he does come back and we get a lovely surprise ending to warm the cockles of our heart.
In this installment the tension is mostly about things not related to the relationship. It was fun watching Charlie blossom and see him more and more confident with Travis’ love. Which was why his feelings of doom and gloom when Travis goes to America seem so frustrating and almost out of place.
On the one hand I can see being worried when there is silence for two weeks, but really? After all this time can’t he surely trust Travis a little? And since when is it the boys can only have contact through email? I mean, if Charlie was really that worried, why not pick up a damn phone and call him?
That part, the last little bit, kinda frustrated me. Though I loved the re-union- really, really loved it – I didn’t understand why Charlie couldn’t work through his worry logically. Then, when Travis realized how worried Charlie was, why not shoot him an email or … yeah – call him!?!
So, if you ignore the last 20% of the book, it was a wonderful look at the relationship as it matures. Though I appreciated where we ended up, I wasn’t as impressed with the plot device that had poor Charlie losing his mind over something that looked like a no-brainer.
So, this was not my favorite of the three books. I still loved it and there are parts (esp. the end) that I will read and re-read again, and I am forever a huge NR Walker fan-girl, and I will wait on pins and needles for RDH 4… but I have to give this a 4.5 of 5 stars, subtracting a bit for the crazy Charlie bit at the end.
Joel made me cry so hard! The part at the end, with the email – GAH! And the nose bumping and the … well it’s probably not a secret – the proposal… so emotional and Joel just carries it off so well!
I love this series and am amazed at how Joel can keep Travis and Charlie separated so well… as well as the myriad others in the ensemble. He’s amazing and paired with NR Walker – out of this world!
(There was one error I heard in my copy where the speed got messed up… but I’m hoping it was only my copy…)
5 of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review