Title: Neon Saturday Night: Audie and Calhoun 2
Series: Low Country Lovers
Author: Julia McBryant
Publisher: Chasing Rainbows Press LLC
Release Date: September 23, 2019
Genre(s): Youthful Erotica, Developing into Adulthood
Page Count: 223
Reviewed by: Bob-O-Link
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Audie and Calhoun continue their long-distance relationship through college. But Audie feels like he has little to offer in a committed relationship. Calhoun says he needs to learn to be loved. But Audie wants to be more than a fun top and a tragic boyfriend.
Neon Saturday Night continues Ms McBryant’s short stories series: Southern
Seduction, and we particularly follow Audie and Calhoun, from Hurricane Dreams
(Southern Seduction Book 4).
Neon Saturday Night is almost a stand-alone. While this volume quite sufficiently
provided all the necessary background, quizzically, it does make some passing narrative
references which, while nicely presented, remain in the shadows. No mind – as Ms.
McBryant has just about minimized plot in favor of generating a lovely mood piece. Here
are two young men, Audie and Calhoun, now physically intimate with each other, off on
vacation and further exploring their growing love. As they become more familiar with
each other, Calhoun becomes aware of the frailty of Audie’s interior being. Audie
has been raised by an abusive and homophobic father. Damage has been done, and he is,
essentially, very lonely in a world crowded with family and acquaintances. Audie’s fear of
the ocean (and its sharks), is a fine metaphor for fearing to fully surrender his heart.
(Calhoun: “Because you’re scared. . . . You just spiral.” Audie: “Then how do I stop?”)
Audie relates to their physical episodes, but almost at the expense of opening his soul to
attachment. In Neon Saturday Night, eroticism reigns – so beautifully that the reader will
be glad. (“If love is a story we can tell with our bodies Audie wants to recite it again and
again, chapter and verse.”) Their youthful hormonal energy is perfectly matched, and Calhoun
knows just how to use sex to unwind Audie from his occasional episodes of angst. And it
works: just as Audie believes he has started out to make Calhoun happy, he realizes that he
has ended up happy himself. A wonderful pair, especially as the book provides sufficient
role reversal, between who needs and who is needed, adding real dimension to these
characters and their burgeoning relationship. Again, Ms McBryant really nails the physical
intimacy of our heroes, so keep the air conditioning on high.
When reviewing the prior book – Hurricane Dreams, I expressed concern whether Audie
and Calhoun would obtain their HEA – but their HFN seemed assured. Again, it is still too
early to close out our bets, but it’s nice to see simple pornographic magnetism turning into
deeper, erotic love. Audie overcomes his fear of the ocean, recognizing that fear makes
beauty bloom. There is no beauty without danger, no awe without fear, no love without