Morning Report

morning reportTitle: Morning Report
Author: Sue Brown
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novel (216 PDF pages)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A guest review by Tj

Summary Review: An interesting and sexy story about a relationship’s strength under pressure.

The Blurb: A decade on from their first kiss, Luke Murray is more in love with Simon every day. Running the Lost Cow ranch for Luke’s parents, they keep their heads down and get along with the locals, even if Luke is known for being a hothead. Then one day they discover the local store owners refuse to serve them.

They’re bewildered until Luke’s mom tells them the new pastor has targeted the couple in his sermons. Suddenly Luke and Simon find themselves alienated from people they called friends, and their ranch comes under a series of attacks. As the town’s hatred and homophobia turns on them, Luke and Simon will face a critical choice: give in to the town’s demands and disappear, or stand and fight for themselves and their love.

The Review: Luke and Simon met in their freshman year of college, when they were assigned as roommates on the first day. Now 10 years later, we meet them on the ranch that they run for Luke’s parents. Their relationship is neither a secret, nor do they flaunt it publicly, preferring to just live their lives. The small town that they call home more or less accepts their presence, in part due to the fact that Luke grew up among them. Then suddenly Luke and Simon find themselves ostracized by the people that they thought were friends. Soon the guys discover the cause of the climate change – the new pastor and his wife have been telling the townsfolk that the “sinners” in their midst must not be tolerated.

So, first let me tell you what the title refers to. Every morning Luke does the ranch accounts, a job he hates, while Simon gets started on the chores that need to be done. Then Simon, who is the ranch foreman, returns to the house to give his “Morning Report” to the boss, Luke. Let’s just say that their activities give a whole new meaning to the word report! While we’re on the subject, I should also tell that there is a lot of of sex in the story, for those readers who like that kind of thing. 😉 The men are very much in love and committed to each other, and are not shy about expressing it, although not publicly – well that is to say not in front of other people. They seem to use sex as a way of communicating and affirming their love – and do so all over the ranch.

It was interesting to see how very differently the two men reacted to the situation. Luke becomes very angry, furious at both the pastor and the residents who are bending to the pastor’s will. But Simon drew into himself, and Luke had no idea why. As things worsen, homophobia drives some of the town’s residents to vandalize the ranch, and threaten Luke and Simon’s business partners. Now, the guys must face the first real test of their relationship in the 10 years they’ve been together. The story is primarily about Luke and Simon’s relationship and how they navigate through the problems thrown at them and I think the author did a good job with this aspect of the story.

That said, I must admit that I kept waiting for something more from the characters. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that they were one dimensional – they did talk about their feelings, but I don’t feel like I got to really know them. I understood the basics of their motivation, but I kept looking for the subtleties that make a character come to life for me. Again, this may very well just be me and other readers won’t feel the same. Actually, I‘m quite sure that many readers will love the guys and their story. And the book was still quite good despite my feelings.

Overall, although I wanted more from the characters,  I found the story to be interesting and believable. Luke and Simon are very sexy, but also imperfect and make plenty of mistakes along the way. The ending is not a complete HEA, but more of a realistic  HFN, that should leave readers satisfied.



  • TJ,
    Thanks and great review. Any committed relationship that has lasted for 10 years, a HFN really is pretty good. Ive been going back and forth to Dreamspinners website looking at this book. Im gonna buy it. I like stories that pick up after the relationship has been in place for awhile.

    • Well thank you Hannahva! I liked that the guys had been together for so many years, and how they deal with the problems that threaten the home that they’ve made. I’d love to hear what you think after you finish reading. Thanks for commenting!

  • Thank you TJ. I quite like the sounds of this – seeing how a relationship under pressure progresses. On my ever expanding eBook TBR list :)

    • Hi Orannia – you’re welcome, and sorry about adding to that long TBR list! :) thanks for your comment.

  • I have this one on my Nook, and bought it for the simple fact it had cowboys on the cover. I’m a sucker for a cowboy!!!! Hee Haw!!!
    This was such a great review that I intend to make this my next read.

    • Well who doesn’t love cowboys Hope! I hope you enjoy the story and please come back and let me know what you think.

  • Hey Tj! Mmm, I love cowboys :) I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while, but I haven’t had the time. Sometimes I think I can forgive some of the plot dropping away (I’m thinking of the comment about the pastor) if the narrative is insular within the relationship. But I’m definitely more intrigued now than I was before, so I’m going to give this one a try. Thanks for the wonderful review :)

    • Hey Cole! Thank you. The story really is focused on Luke and Simon’s relationship. I tried to keep that in mind, and there is another confrontation with one of the townsfolk that was satisfying. Let me know what you think – and be honest!

        • I didn’t mean that you would lie, just that you are too nice to just give it to me – and you know I’m a straight shooter – well sorta. 😉

  • Tj
    As you know I love cowboys, and even though Morning Report didn’t quite do it for you it does seem to have some elements that I would enjoy – and I don’t mean the hot sex. lol. Based on your in depth review which I was waiting for, I think I’m going to try Morning Report. Thanks for this Teej. :)

    • You’re welcome Wave. And you know I love the cowboys too. There were a lot of good parts in the story that you will enjoy. And lots of hot sex! I’d love to hear what you think after you’ve finished reading. As I said in the review, it might just be me that wanted a bit more.

  • I had a bit of problem with the overnigth effect even if it has been going on for some time. And I know it´s not Tommy story, but I would have been glad to have more of him since it´s probably the character with more issues to sort out… at least he has his instant moment :) I think it´s an enjoyable reading and Luke & Simon, on top of being hot :) are a lovable couple: very much in love after all their time together and planning on going on like that.
    Thank you for your review :)

    • Hi Helena! Oh yeah, Tommy has an interesting story just waiting to be told. Maybe Sue Brown will write a sequel for you. 😉 I liked reading about a couple that’s been together for many years. Thanks for commenting.

  • I’ll be adding this book to my TBR list. With so many new titles coming out, I often don’t have time to visit publisher sites and find myself relying more and more on sites like this to bring new to me authors to my attention. Your review gave me a complete, well presented explanation of plot and character development so I know what to expect from this novel.
    I have found your reviews to be well written.

    • Thank you Jill. It’s good to hear that my reviews help you decide. I don’t think anyone could possibly keep up with all the new releases. I also use the reviews done here as a buying guide. Thanks for your comment!

  • Well as someone who’s read the book I have to say I agree with your review. One thing that was missing IMO is that I would have liked to have seen the issue of the pastor addressed a bit more, at least at the end when things start improving with the residents and the whole thing sort of just faded into the background. Aside from that I found it to be an enjoying read.
    Also, not to be a bother, but shouldn’t the book length at the beginning be novel and not novella?

    • Hi Eva – I love to hear from someone else who’s read a book I’ve reviewed. I agree that it would’ve been interesting to have had some on page conflict with the pastor. It could’ve provided us with some insight into the pastor’s personality instead of being a “faceless” enemy. And thank you – you’re right it should be a novel. Thanks for commenting Eva!

  • Larissa that is one thing that made me notice the book too. The fact that we have an established relationship.

    Thanks for the review TJ. It sounds more or less how I expected the book to be.

  • Thanks for the review. This is one I’ve been looking at getting. Looks like I should go ahead and pick it up.

  • Mmmm like! Something different. You don’t get to see a lot of stories about characters who are already in a relationship!

    The book is already on my reader, but I haven’t gotten around to it just yet. I should definitely move it up!

    Thanks for the great review!

    • Thanks Larissa. That’s what caught my eye – that the guys were in a long term relationship. There’s a lot to like in the story, so I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know what you think.

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