Author: Brad Boney
Genre: Gay MM/ Contemporary
Length: Novel (248 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 23, 2012)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4.5Hearts
Blurb: 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?
Review: This is one of my favorite types of stories. A tragedy, big family and adjustment into a new life promise excitement as well as an interesting read.
This time I was a bit reluctant to let my heart into the drama, but just meeting the brothers was enough to put me at ease. Ben lost it all in a heartbeat. His parents died in an accident leaving his three brothers alone and forcing him to leave his career and move back home.
It’s not a perfect situation, but the more time Ben spends with his brothers more he realizes what he’s been missing by keeping his distance. There is also a small matter of an intriguing neighbor Travis, someone his family accepted into their fold and who his brothers just love. Well, they weren’t the only ones. It didn’t take me long to adore Travis, the way he speaks, acts, and just that big heart of his and the need for a family. He is probably one of the best characters in the book, but I’m not the only one who loved him, and unlike me and my love for fictional characters, Ben also had to make peace with his previous life and this new one, where choices not only impacted him, but also his family.
The reason why I’m taking half a star away is the way Ben acted in certain situations. I did like him and he impressed me more than once, but in those situations where he could have acted differently, with more consideration, he chose to show his teeth or just dismiss the other person. It was not a quality I appreciated and I definitely thought his victim deserved better.
The Nothingness of Ben is a family oriented story, where boys rule the adults and the adults do their best. The Ben/Travis pairing really worked for me, especially with the whole ‘different worlds’ aspect of their relationship. It had the perfect parts of sweet, funny and romantic combined in what amounted to a great love story.
This is a book I recommend without reservations and an author I will probably stalk when it comes to future books. Great job.