Why I read this book: I picked it up as part of a blog tour but enjoyed it personally.
When Sean Loves Rusty
A Sean and Rusty story collection
Best friends since grade school, lovers since high school, Sean Delahunt and Rusty Duchene thought nothing could ever tear them apart. Then Sean graduates college and his world changes, while Rusty’s stays the same.
Offered a job in Boston, Sean knows asking Rusty to leave New Orleans is a big sacrifice for his soul mate, who has a successful career and supportive family. Abused and rejected by his own family, Sean struggles with self worth and thinks this career opportunity will give him a new life.
Rusty wavers in his trust but takes and chance and agrees to follow him to Boston.
Alone for several weeks in a strange city, Sean is determined to make friends on his own. When Rusty arrives, this new Sean makes him feel insecure. Crushing student loans, being unable to find a job and suspicions about the nature of Sean’s friends strain an already tenuous relationship.
A trip home for the holidays reminds both men of all they’ve left behind and makes them reevaluate what they want in their future.
On the verge of wedding vows, a career crisis threatens to bring their lives back full circle.
Money, moves and men…will this longtime love last forever or will life in the big city destroy their young love?
includes: Meant To Be, Moving On, Tricked Up for Treats, Jingle My Bells and For Better Or Worse
Published March 19, 2014; 206 pages; Cox Endeavors, LLC
The cover: I thought the cover was nice looking. The background colors were beautiful and the men on the front were seemed true to the character as I imagined them from the descriptions inside.
My thoughts: I was immediately intrigued with the characters and the contradictions of their personalities to their pasts. Sean is a shy and effeminate gay man. He feels best when adding on the finishing touches of mascara and eyeliner to his appearance. His father not only kicked him out of his home after he came out, but became violent with him as well. His partner Rusty’s experience was the polar opposite with his family embracing his sexuality as a facet of who he is, something that makes him…him. They not only support him, but they took Sean into their fold, when he became homeless.
Ironically, Sean is the strong one in their relationship, when by all rights he should be broken by what’s happened. Rusty is the unsure one. He doesn’t feel confident in his own self and it effects the confidence he has in his relationship with Sean. There is a lack of proper communication, something a relationship needs to survive. It appears for a moment that the couple might not make it when Sean takes a job in another state, determined to be independent and strong. Rusty agrees to move with him, but it will take him away from the loving family that supported him and a job he truly enjoys.
The collection is actually made up of five different stories about these two characters. Months take place between each story, but it flows seamlessly, and it didn’t feel like I was reading separate books.
In Meant To Be and Moving On we learn about the two men, the job offer that leads them from New Orleans to Boston, and the moments where there relationship experiences some shakiness. In Tricked Up For Treats, we experience the tribulations they have living in a high cost city, and Rusty’s depression while trying to find a job. He signs him and Sean up for a Halloween Drag Costume Contest, hoping to bring out the side of Sean that he had buried after the beating his father gave him. In Jingle My Bells, the two return to New Orleans for a bittersweet reunion with Rusty’s family and an emotional meeting with his own mother and sister. In this book Sean grows the most, finding a news strength in himself to move on to a better place with Rusty. Rusty discovers that even though he misses his family and where he grew up, home is where Sean is. In the last book in the collection, For Better Or Worse, the plot is more or less given away by the title and I don’t want to go into too much detail and spoil it. It was sweet and it was happy is all I can say.
Rusty and Sean are very likeable and humorous characters though they have admittedly selfish moments throughout the books. You feel empathy for them and eagerly hope that they get a happy ending. They deserve it. The book is full of romance, the sex scenes are mostly alluded to, and toned down compared to most when they are described. I would definitely recommend this book to romance lovers and those who want the underdog to win.
In Chris Cox’s stories, men climb steep mountains of emotion and brave treacherous valleys of personal growth on a journey to love. The Bayou Boys series is about deep relationships, about finding yourself as well as your soul mate, and about learning to feel right in your own skin.
Sexy and complex, Chris’ writing delivers the stories that touch readers’ hearts. Born and raised in Louisiana, Chris worked as an electrical engineer before chucking the corporate ladder and becoming a full-time writer. Chris resides in Louisiana, where the gumbo is hot…but the men are hotter. You can check out more about Chris Cox by visiting www.chriscoxwrites.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook/chriscoxwrites.com and on Twitter: @ChrisCoxWrites
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Sean wanted to go to him. To wrap his arms around the boy who always included him, to the man who always comforted him.
Instead, he squeezed the pillow tighter and willed Rusty to turn around. If he would just turn around.
“Bravado. It was all bluff. I was scared shitless. Every time we moved, I was scared shitless.”
“What were you afraid of?”
“Of being alone.”
“Is that why you’re with me?” Rusty unfolded his arms and scrubbed both hands through his curls. “No, of course not. You would never have to be alone if you didn’t want to be. With the way you look, with the way you are, you’d just have to give a guy one of those sideways looks and he’d follow you anywhere.”
“No, Rusty. No. They wouldn’t. I wouldn’t.”
“You did. You said you really wanted to go to Boston.” Rusty turned around. The tears streaking his face broke Sean’s heart. “And I said I would follow you anywhere.”
“And now you don’t want to.”
US ONLY: Bayou Gift Basket (Everything Cajun)
International: $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
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