Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The minute Travis Craig saw the name Sutton Station on a list of places to apply to Travis just knew that was the place to go for his internship. And once there, he realized he had found home. It wasn’t just the harshly beautiful land and environment that called to Travis, but the owner, Charlie Sutton, himself. Loving Charlie was easy even though the man was stubborn, and riddled with crippling self-doubt. No, for Travis, loving Charlie Sutton felt as natural as breathing. But living with Charley? Teaching him how to love in return and, more importantly, how to love himself, was not.
But Travis knew all along it’d be worth it. He knew the man with the red dirt heart was destined to be his. Just like he knew the red dirt that surrounded him was where he was supposed to be. With Charlie and Sutton Station, Travis knew he was home. But there’s one more trip to take….that’s taking Charlie home to Texas to meet his folks and let them know the man who has come to mean everything to their son.
Red Dirt Heart 4 by N. R. Walker is the final story in this heartwarming, remarkable saga. It only took the first book for Charlie Sutton, Travis Craig, Ma, George and all the rest that goes for family on Sutton Station to grab hold of my heart. And with each book my love affair with this series deepened along with Charlie and Travis’ relationship and journey towards their HEA. We were there as Charlie’ dealt with all the doubts and fears that came with the damage his father inflicted upon his son. We were silent observers as Charlie came to grips with his past and learned to love himself as well as Travis. Along the way their story came to feel less a piece of fiction and more like desired visits with old friends. Now its at a end and I’m feeling kind of bereft. But what a send off N. R. Walker gave them.
For starters, Walker switched out the point of view. The first three books are told from Charlie Sutton’s perspective. By living in Charlie’s head and heart, we learned how hard it was for Charlie to accept himself and step out of his father’s shadow. We listened to his internal monologue, jumbled thoughts, stubborn feelings even as we learned that Travis loved to just to watch his Charlie, that Travis couldn’t sit still and was always busy, busy loving and moving Charlie along whether Charlie wanted to or not. I got comfortable with the fact that it’s Charlie we would always have an intimate knowledge of and that Travis would always be seen and filtered through Charlie Sutton. But that wasn’t the plan for the last story, Red Dirt Heart 4.
Red Dirt Heart 4 is Travis Craig’s story and the change up in pov was sort of disorienting at first. I was used to Charlie’s “voice” and now had to see Charlie and everyone else through Travis’ eyes. That was a little startling but after a while I realized that listening to Travis, visualizing everyone and everything through his thoughts and feelings, was necessary. It completes the picture. As Charlie and Travis are two sides of the same coin (an important and touching element in this story), we needed Travis’ perspective to make their love and relationship whole.
Sutton Station and Charlie have been through so many changes and those continue to mount up. Even as the farm is adjusting to having a baby around (not Charlie and Travis’) but other things are happening to shake up the status quo. Charlie decides to help out some disadvantaged kids and Travis and Charlie travel to Texas for Thanksgiving and Charlie’s first meet up with Travis’ folks. Each event acts like a seismic event, shaking the foundation of Charlie and Travis’ relationship in unexpected and quite wonderful ways. I’m not going into details here that’s one of the joys of this book and series…all the little paths and journeys that Charlie and Travis must take to solidify their love affair for each other, their determination to stay together and make each other home.
N. R. Walker has such a way of creating characters that feel believably, poignantly human in every way. Each character is realistically defined, densely layered complete person from dialog to actions, to their thoughts,feelings, frailties, and all. Then N. R. Walker gives us Sutton Station and the hot, red dirt environment of the Northern Territory and makes us fall deeply love all over again. I got Charlie’s almost cellular connection to the land and his farm, I came to understand how Travis could come to love a land both harsh and beautiful in the extreme. N. R. Walker’s almost lyrical descriptions of the desert, complete with its dangers and extraordinarily stunning features made me see it as though it was right in front of me. And it made this water loving, green hugging woman want to head out immediately to experience it for myself. I got all that and so much more and I did so because of Charlie and Travis and Ma and George and even Matilda and Nugget.
The Red Dirt Heart series is as much a love letter to Walker’s home as it is a love story about Charlie and Travis. I fell in love with all of this red dirt heart series, the land and the people. It has become my comfort read and a wishful travelogue all at the same time. N. R. Walker was one of my best discoveries in 2014. Make her and her Red Dirt Heart series one of yours in 2015! It’s absolutely one our most highly recommended books and series. Pick them all up today, read them in the order they were written, and see why! Happy Reading.
Cover artist Sara York completes the branding of the series with this lovely cover and still incorporates necessary elements in this story.
Release Date: January 9th 2015 by Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
seriesRed Dirt #4
Books in the Series (yep just 1 through 4)