Bonfires (Susan’s Audio Review)


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Title: Bonfires
Author: Amy Lane and Nick. J. Russo – narrator
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 9, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary M/M Romance
Length: 9 hours and 34 minutes
Reviewed by: Susan
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Blurb:

Ten years ago Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron George lost his wife and moved to Colton, hoping growing up in a small town would be better for his children. He’s gotten to know his community, including Mr. Larkin, the bouncy, funny science teacher. But when Larx is dragged unwillingly into administration, he stops coaching the track team and starts running alone. Aaron – who thought life began and ended with his kids – is distracted by a glistening chest and a principal running on a dangerous road.

Larx has been living for his kids too – and for his students at Colton High. He’s not ready to be charmed by Aaron, but when they start running together, he comes to appreciate the deputy’s steadiness, humor, and complete understanding of Larx’s priorities. Children first, job second, his own interests a sad last.

It only takes one kiss for two men approaching 50 to start acting like teenagers in love, even amid all the responsibilities they shoulder. Then an act of violence puts their burgeoning relationship on hold. The adult responsibilities they’ve embraced are now instrumental in keeping their town from exploding. When things come to a head, they realize their newly forged family might be what keeps the world from spinning out of control.


This book is awesome!! One of the best Amy Lanes out there.

I was afraid it would be terribly angsty, since it’s Amy Lane. But this book made me feel all warm inside. There is no relationship angst. Just the way I like it.

What made this book so great were several things, but these two stood out to me. The first was that Aaron and Larx were both just so incredibly likable. It’s been a while since I read MCs that held my attention this much. I just loved them.

And the other thing was the kids. Well, they were around 17, so no little kids in this book. But I just loved how Kirby interacted with his father, Aaron, and how Christiana was with her father, Larx. And how both kids had the same big hearts as their fathers and were just so accepting. Larx and Aaron were amazing dads and taught their kids well.

I was a bit afraid that the bigots of the small town would focus on Larx’s and Aaron’s relationship, but I was glad that was not the angle Amy Lane went with. The bigots concentrate on two gay boys at school, and one of them even gets hurt in the process. But Larx as the principal and Aaron as the deputy, were there to take care of the kids and to fight against the ignorant and bigoted people. I was happy to read most of the town was great though! There were only a few rotten apples, the rest was just super cool.

“I take it I’ll see Deputy George at your place?”
Larx blinked. “I assumed he’d be going home.” But Sheriff Mills just looked at him, unblinking.
“I would prefer to find him at your place drinking coffee in his pajamas, Principal Larkin.”
“Uh….”
“Because you’ve both had something of a day.”
“Yeah, well, uh….”
“And I think you both need caring for,” Eamon continued implacably. “I like to make sure my deputies have someplace to go when things go to hell. Someplace good.”
“That’s, uh, yeah. Good idea. Good talk. Sure. Aaro… Deputy George will be at my place. Drinking pajamas in his coffee. Or something. Yes, Sheriff, good idea.”

There were lots of funny moments in this. Especially with Larx. He was just so adorable.

“Right here,” Aaron said, popping out of bed per usual. “Here, let me brush my teeth.”
Larx giggled. “There’s another man in my bedroom.”
Aaron met Christi’s amused look. “Not so good with mornings, is he?”
“You see him after two miles. Probably the only reason he remembers your name.”
“That is not true,” Larx said, sounding indignant. “I remember his name ’cause he’s cute!”

This is a heartwarming book, with family, love, and great sexy times!

I really enjoyed listened to the audio of this wonderful story. But while Nick J. Russo is definitely a great narrator, I was not always too happy with his choices of the voices of some of the characters. Other readers will disagree with me, because it’s all about how you picture a character in your head. And with this it was just different from what I thought some characters would sound.

I did get confused when Schuyler was pronounced as Shuler at first and then all of a sudden as Skyler. But other than that, Nick J. Russo is a narrator I would gladly listen to. I’ve listened to other books he narrated and this was the only one where I had a bit of trouble with the voices, so it was definitely a case of, it’s me, not him.


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Review Copy

Audio copy of Bonfires provided by publisher in exchange of an honest review.

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