The Return by Brad Boney

Return[The]LGTitle:  The Return

Series:  Follow up to The Nothingness of Ben

Author:  Brad Boney

Genre:   M/M Contemporary Romance

Length:  Novel (350 pages)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (June 5th 2013)

Heat Level:  Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb:   Music. Topher Manning rarely thinks about anything else, but his day job as a mechanic doesn’t exactly mesh with his rock star ambitions. Unless he can find a way to unlock all the songs in his head, his band will soon be on the fast track to obscurity.

Then the South by Southwest music festival and a broken-down car drop New York critic Stanton Porter into his life. Stanton offers Topher a ticket to the Bruce Springsteen concert, where a hesitant kiss and phantom vibrations from Topher’s cell phone kick off a love story that promises to transcend ordinary possibility.

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Reviewer:   Tams

Review:  This story is a follow up to Boney’s debut novel, The Nothingness of Ben. Reading that book first is not a requirement, this book stands alone well, but you might have a better understanding of certain characters if you’ve read Ben. So if you can, I definitely suggest reading Ben first.

Topher Manning is a singer, songwriter, musician, and mechanic. He splits his time between his band and three best friends with his job at the local garage with Travis. Yes, ‘the earth is flat’ Travis. Getting his hands greasy pays the bills, but his heart is in the music. The problem is he hasn’t figured out yet how to translate the songs in his head into music. When middle-aged music critic Stanton Porter walks into the garage one afternoon, Topher’s life will never be the same.

Stanton is tall, dark, and handsome and the young rocker is taken aback as he realizes he’s attracted to him. Topher doesn’t give it a second thought when the urge to kiss Stanton strikes him, so he just does. This random first kiss reminds Stanton of something else though, a love he lost twenty-five years ago.

Topher is young, inexperienced, and straight. Well, he was until he met Stanton. I love the part in the book where Stanton is questioning this inexperience with other men and Topher says, “I didn’t say I wanted to kiss other guys, I said I wanted to kiss YOU. There’s a difference.” Topher never really struggles with the fact that he is suddenly and insanely attracted to another guy, he’s more concerned with the mechanics of a relationship with a man. The wild, spontaneous and often outspoken characteristics of Topher meshed well with the more reserved and cautious tendencies of Stanton.

The story alternates between the present with Stanton and Topher, and the past with Stanton and Chris. Boney puts a lot of life into his characters, they are definitely three-dimensional, they are flawed, and that just gives them depth. Their shared love of music is key to the story as well. The past, present and future collide over concerts, album covers, and missed phone calls.

Without a doubt a well-written and engaging novel, especially if you are a music lover. There isn’t a lot of bedroom gymnastics going on in this book, but there is enough to keep your blood pumping. I think this book was more about the story than the sex, and it was quite a story. Boney is going to be hard pressed to ever beat ‘the earth is flat’, but he still maintains his unique writing style where he is able to turn a description on paper into a movie scene in your head. There are some catchy lines in this book as well; my personal favorite is ‘flip flop’!

This one is a must read for fans of the genre. And I think I can safely say that if you don’t usually read M/M because of the sex on a stick guy action, this might be to perfect book for you to delve into the genre with. I can’t wait to see what Boney cranks out next!

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