Riley Hayes, the playboy of the Hayes family, is a young man who seems to have it all: money, a career he loves, and his pick of beautiful women. His father, CEO of HayesOil, passes control of the corporation to his two sons; but a stipulation is attached to Riley’s portion. Concerned about Riley’s lack of maturity, his father requires that Riley ‘marry and stay married for one year to someone he loves’.
Angered by the requirement, Riley seeks a means of bypassing his father’s stipulation. Blackmailing Jack Campbell into marrying him for love suits Riley’s purpose. There is no mention in his father’s documents that the marriage had to be with a woman and Jack Campbell is the son of Riley Senior’s arch rival. Win win.
Riley marries Jack and abruptly his entire world is turned inside out. Riley hadn’t counted on the fact that Jack Campbell, quiet and unassuming rancher, is a force of nature in his own right.
This is a story of murder, deceit, the struggle for power, lust and love, the sprawling life of a rancher and the whirlwind existence of a playboy. But under and through it all, as Riley learns over the months, this is a tale about family and everything that that word means.
Man! This brings back memories.
This was one of my first m/m romance series, and I fell in LOVE with Riley and Jack. They are a super hot, GFY couple, with two VERY alpha personalities who have a TON of super hot sex. This series is definitely up there as being one of the reasons I fell in love with this sub-genre.
All of the drama reminded me of stories long since passed. Depending on your age – you might be reminded of TV’s Dallas (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077000/) or Dynasty (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081856/?ref_=nv_sr_1 ). Especially since this is set in Texas, the rich cowboy feel is unmistakable. As a reader, I was reminded of Janet Dailey and her Calder series (https://www.goodreads.com/series/53488 ). That was one of my first introductions into Romance as a genre and it plus Johanna Lindsey (https://www.goodreads.com/series/43347-wyoming )made me an addict!
In any case, I’ll say that the all the drama didn’t bother me on the first read through, but as a listener, who’d already read the book, I did get a bit bogged down by all the nonsense. It did seem a bit OTT. However, Sean Crisden’s narration makes it all mostly palatable.
Since there are SO man characters, having someone as gifted as Sean do the narration makes listening to this the adventure it should be. He gives each and every person of importance a unique voice and I really love how he depicts Jack and Riley. (Though even Sean’s gorgeous voice couldn’t make me love the nick-name “Het-boy”!)
I figure there are two groups of listeners out there. Those of you who’ve read the series and are eager to see what Sean did with it and those who’ve never read the series. To those of you who have read the series – I’ll say that you will be SO PLEASED with this narration, and you should absolutely give this a go! For those of you who are new to the series – I’d read some of the reviews and decide if you’re a fan of drama and soap opera-esque story lines (ie “That’s not your father!” and forced marriages and Last Will and Testament decrees and new babies. As the series progresses we get other types of drama – victims of abuse, etcetera, too.) then this is for you. I’d say this is also great for fans of first-time gay romance lovers, enemies to lovers, and cowboys.
I give the audiobook 4.5 of 5 stars because Sean Crisden is amazing and FWIW the series is a lot of fun and has a lot of great characters.
Copy Purchased For Review