Title: The Nothingness of Ben
Author: Brad Boney
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Adult Romance, Contemporary, Male/Male Romance
Synopsis: Ben Walsh is well on his way to becoming one of Manhattan’s top litigators, with a gorgeous boyfriend and friends on the A-list. His life is perfect until he gets a phone call that brings it all crashing down: a car accident takes his parents, and now he must return to Austin to raise three teenage brothers he barely knows.
During the funeral, Ben meets Travis Atwood, the redneck neighbor with a huge heart. Their relationship initially runs hot and cold, from contentious to flirtatious, but when the weight of responsibility starts wearing on Ben, he turns to Travis, and the pressure shapes their friendship into something that feels a lot like love. Ben thinks he’s found a way to have his old life, his new life, and Travis too, but love isn’t always easy. Will he learn to recognize that sometimes the worst thing imaginable can lead him to the place he was meant to be?
Disclaimer: This is a gay romance novel. That does mean guy on guy action, but certainly no worse than anything I've read in any straight romance novel, and honestly, there's a lot less of it than in most romance novels I've read. Onto the actual review.
Let me start with just wow. This was just an overall good read. The characters came alive for me. From the out of his element Ben, just trying to do the right thing, to Travis's easy going affability and certainty of self and each of Ben's brothers being individuals. In his biography, the author calls his style "dialogue and stage direction." It may be accurate, but it also does his writing an injustice. The detail in the settings, the way you feel like the author knows exactly where things are happening, add layers of reality to the book.
This was a book that I just wanted to keep reading. The pacing flowed effortlessly and the dialogue was spot on. I smiled helplessly, outright laughed and even cried a bit. And yes, the sex scenes are smoking. If you want a contemporary story that just builds a relationship, step-by-step, watching the characters grow and fall in love, this is a book you have to read. Just when I was itching for a good, solid love story, I found this book. And if slash is not your thing, skip the sex and read the love story. I promise it's worth it.