- Reviewed by: Scott
- Print Length: 121 pages
- Posting: Romance
- Publisher: Brigham Vaughn (September 19, 2014)
- Book Provided by: Prism Book Alliance
- Author: Brigham Vaughn
- Posting Date: September 20, 2014
- Rating: 4 Star
If you haven’t read Equals the first book in this series you really should do so before reading this one. Partners picks up on the story line where Equals ended.
Stephen’s Father has passed away so Stephen and Russ are readying themselves to go back to Putnam, GA to lay his Father to rest.
This book is very solid and the writing is is very good, something that I have come to expect from Brigham. Where Equals was about Stephen and Russ meeting, going into a relationship and learning about the other, sort of like setting the groundwork to their relationship. Partners is very much about them truly and forever falling in love with each other. There isn’t any of the angst between the characters that we saw in Equals. The angst in this book was brought into the story through the inhabitants of Putnam a small southern town in GA. Homophobia seems to run pretty rampant in this little town and then add to the equation the age difference between Stephen and Russ, it lent the fuel for disparaging comments and sideways glances.
This book is all about Stephen as we are taken down memory lane of his growing years in this town and what lead to him being thrown out by his family and his eventual move to Atlanta. Like I said earlier, this book is about the growth of Stephen and Russ’s relationship, this setting and circumstances made our characters realize the deep feelings that they have for each other. This is why I thought the book and writing was so solid. Death will truly bring your emotional character to the surface, which makes the feelings of others around you so much easier to see and grasp. Through loss Stephen was truly open and felt the love that Russ had for him. It was shown through the support that Russ gave and the feisty side of Russ when faced with the homophobes of this little town.
I had to read the whole book to truly understand the message that Brigham was relaying. The meat of the book was all story and there wasn’t any big revelation or anything that really surprised me. Like I said I had to read the whole book to understand it, I was a bit bored in the middle, but when I got to the end and Brigham tied all of it together, it all made perfect sense. It is what bumped the rating up and what enabled me to recommend this book to you. When Brigham put all of the pieces together, I was a little emotional myself.
The Book Description:
After a rocky first few months, Stephen Parker and Russ Bishop’s relationship is at a crossroads when the death of Stephen’s father forces them to visit Stephen’s hometown in southern Georgia.
Estranged from his family, Stephen must find a way to come to terms with his past and say goodbye to the father whose expectations he could never live up to. The small, conservative town provides its own challenges as Russ realizes providing emotional support is one part of being a true partner for Stephen.
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“Were your parents happy together?”
Stephen glanced at him out of the corner of his eye. “I don’t know. I think maybe at first they were, but not by the time I was born.” Russ squeezed his thigh. “Don’t get me wrong; I didn’t have a terrible childhood. I have good memories: my mother humming as she ironed, swimming in the summer, Sunday dinners. Holidays and birthdays were lean, but nearly everyone in the area was poor. The problem was—the older I got the more unhappy my father became. He shouted at my mother and me more, smoked more, grew angrier at what he couldn’t control: the weather, a bad harvest, or blight. I worked the farm with him and a few seasonal hands, and I remember being so tired when I got up for school in the mornings I wanted to die. Working the farm, going to school, and playing baseball was exhausting. My father hated me playing. It was one of the few things I stood up to him about though, and I think he grudgingly respected that I did. Although I’m sure the only reason he didn’t forbid me from playing was because it didn’t interfere with the pecan season. We planted in December, January, and February and harvested October through December. Football was out of the question. I liked baseball, but I would have played anything to get me off the farm. I was grateful I got the athletic scholarship to UGA. It was my ticket out of the damn town and off the farm.” He chuckled. “If I hadn’t gotten the scholarship, my back-up plan was to join the Army.”
Russ smiled at the thought. He couldn’t quite picture Stephen as a military man. Although, he was certainly disciplined enough to do well at it. And the idea of Stephen in uniform wasn’t necessarily a bad one. He felt his cock stir at the thought and forced himself to get back on topic.
“You were in college when you came out to your family?” he asked, resuming the slow, soothing strokes on Stephen’s leg when he felt him tense.
“Shortly after graduation. They didn’t come to my graduation—thought it was pointless—and they never quite forgave me for leaving the farm. I went home a few months after I graduated, hoping they’d be proud of me, but my father told me it was a waste of my time. He should have seen getting an education was a chance for a better life than he had—like your father did—but all he could see was I’d deserted him. Forced him to sell off another parcel of the farm because he had one less man to work it. I think, deep down, I knew what they’d do when I told them I was gay. It wasn’t like they talked about it; who did then? But I knew what the church taught, and I knew them. I knew they wouldn’t be okay with it. I knew.” Stephen’s tone was bitter. “But I said the words anyway. Maybe a part of me wanted a reason to walk away and never go back to the godforsaken town.”
Russ’ childhood hadn’t exactly been a picnic either, but his father had been a strong, steady presence. Overworked and rarely demonstrative with his affection, maybe, but Russ had never doubted his father loved him and wanted the best for him. Russ continued to stroke Stephen’s thigh reassuringly as the older man grew silent, focused on navigating the car around a truck that had pulled off to the side with a blown tire. They were miles passed when Stephen spoke again. “They told me never to come back, and I didn’t return to Putnam for years.”
Meet The Characters:
The Giveaway #1:
Brigham Vaughn is giving 1 commenter their choice of a backlist title from Brigham Vaughn (excludes Dr. Feelgood). For a listing of Titles go to the GGR-Review Brigham Vaughn Author page.
Comments must be time/date stamped by Midnight Pacific time on Friday, September 26, 2014, to be eligible. One winner will be selected at random on Saturday, the 27th, and notified via email for prize delivery. (Void where prohibited)
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The Giveaway #2:
In addition one commenter in all of the tour will win a $10 Giftcard from Amazon. Grand Prize giveaway ends 4 October 2014 @ 11:59pm CDT. Winner will be drawn by random drawing among all entrants on 5 October.