A MelanieM Audio Review: Red Dirt Heart 2 by NR Walker and Joel Leslie Narrator

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Up until Travis arrived on his doorstep, Charlie had lived a very solitary life. He had surrounded himself with isolation; a couple million acres of red dirt, scorching sun and loneliness.

Six months on, winter has settled over the desert, and Charlie has the life he never dreamed possible. But living and working together, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, for six months straight starts to take its toll.

Charlie is a stubborn, stubborn man, who tends to have more conversations in his head than what comes out his mouth, whereas Travis has no problem saying what’s on his mind. And even as they both struggle to communicate, struggle to make sense of need versus want, Charlie can see that he’s pushing Travis away – yet seems helpless to stop it.

When it all boils down to whether Travis should stay or go, maybe the decision won’t be theirs to make.

Listening to the amazing repertoire of voices that emerge from Joel Leslie, the narrator of NR Walker’s Red Dirt Heart series, it has come vividly back to me why I loved this book and series so in the first place.

Here once again I feel all the insecurities that have Charlie Sutton pushing Travis away, fearing that he will leave him sonner or later after all, getting tired of Charlie or the harsh landscape that is the outback of the Sutton Ranch.  Also the deep fear and pain instilled by Charlie’s father about his sexuality that continues to influence his behavior, all in negative ways. It’s a daily battle for Travis to fight, against Charlie’s inner demons and monologues and the verbal fights  that seems to be getting more frequent.

Along with all the personal relationship dynamics, we get the wonderful “found family” on display at the ranch too.  There’s Ma and George, Billy, Bacom, among the core that’s being gathered together here.  There’s watching Charlie stretching forward through his interactions outside the station as well as his tentatively accepting a future outside his fears with Travis at his side.

And always there’s the growing love and deepening relationship between them both that I just love, that encompasses both mens past history, family, respect and love for the land and each other.

This is what it’s all about, right here. Open desert, flat to the horizon, blue sky, red dirt and you.

 

All Red Dirt Heart stories flow naturally, one right into the next, so reading or listening to them without interruption now that the series is finished is a true joy this time around.  It just highlights how well constructed the stories and series is as well as how well developed and multidimensional all the characters are.  Stomtimes a series doesn’t age well with time.  Not so with the Red Dirt Heart series.  In fact, I may even love them a little bit more.  Joel Leslie’s voices have now become those people for me in my head, Trav’s slow southern Texas drawn and Charlie’s broad Aussie tones forever set as theirs.

Nut how I love this love affair.  Of the heart and of the land.

“He had this way of making me love him just a little bit more by doing the simplest of things. The littlest of things.”

I’m heading into RDH 3 audio next, then all the way to the end.  I’m smiling and picturing the station, the people, and yes, even the animals, especially Nugget.  I can’t imagine that as a reader you haven’t found this series already, but if you haven’t the audio version is such a marvelous way to make it’s introduction, via the superb narration of Joel Leslie  who inhabitants these characters as if he was made to do it.  I highly recommend  every aspect from author to narrator.  Just listen in the order they were written and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Cover art:  While all the covers have a certain similarity, this is one of my favorites with the red dirt front and center.  Love it.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Book Details:

Listening Length: 7 hours and 10 minutes

Audible Audio, Unabridged, 8 pages
Published January 18th 2017 by NR Walker (first published August 17th 2014)
Original TitleRed Dirt Heart 2
ASINB01N9RLT2B
Edition Language English
Series Red Dirt #2
setting Australia

A Lila Audiobook Review: Red Dirt Heart #2 by NR Walker and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

red-dirt-heart-2-audiobookUp until Travis arrived on his doorstep, Charlie had lived a very solitary life. He had surrounded himself with isolation; a couple million acres of red dirt, scorching sun and loneliness.

Six months on, winter has settled over the desert, and Charlie has the life he never dreamed possible. But living and working together, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, for six months straight starts to take its toll.

Charlie is a stubborn, stubborn man, who tends to have more conversations in his head than what comes out his mouth, whereas Travis has no problem saying what’s on his mind. And even as they both struggle to communicate, struggle to make sense of need versus want, Charlie can see that he’s pushing Travis away – yet seems helpless to stop it.

When it all boils down to whether Travis should stay or go, maybe the decision won’t be theirs to make.

Red Dirt Heart 2 looks into Travis’s and Charlie’s relationship months after they became a couple. They’re cautious, but every day gives them an opportunity to learn more about the other. Solidifying their decision to be together.

I like how their relationship moved forward and how they integrated it to their everyday chores. Finding that combination between life and work took them a while but it became central to the book. I’m not a fan of stories in which the main characters had trouble or break up just to add more books to a series. So, I’m glad it was more to this second book than relationship issues.

This is a sweeter, warmer story. It seems slow in parts, but it shows how relationships really work. We get to see Travis and Charlie getting comfortable in their skins and with their relationship. Just like before, Travis helps Charlie be a better man and in return, Charlie shows Travis the beauty of small acts of love.

Book two is raw and filled with emotion, not only from the MCs but from the rest of the cast. They all play an important part in Travis’s and Charlie’s future and added color to their days. There are very sad moments, but the happiness around Sutton Station compensates for it. Keep an eye open for unexpected guests and lovely quiet times.

Joel Leslie continued to impress me with the narration. It was up-to-spot, not missing a single beat from the previous installment. He gives the characters more than a voice, he makes them real. It’s hard to imagine than Sutton Station doesn’t house all these characters in real life. It’s like they came together to tell us their stories.

Another fitting cover by Sara York. Just like book #1, the cover makes more sense after you read the book.

Sales Links:  Amazon | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Joel Leslie
Length: 7 hours 10 minutes
Published: January 18, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Love Lane Books
ASIN: B01N9RLT2B
Edition Language: English

Series: Red Dirt
Book #1: Red Dirt Heart
Book #2: Red Dirt Heart 2