Erryn and Dana review ‘Charlie’s Rainbow’ (Rainbow Key Book Two) by Victoria Sue. The ebook was self-published April 10, 2018, 222 pages. The audiobook was released January 3, 2019. It is narrated by Darcy Stark and is 7h and 2min.
Why I chose this book (Erryn) – I loved Joshua’s Rainbow and desperately wanted to see Charlie get a happy ending.
Why I chose this book (Dana) – I was definitely intrigued by Charlie in Joshua’s Rainbow so I was happy to listen to this book and find out what was in store for him.
Eventually being diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder as a child, “difficult” didn’t even begin to describe the nightmare of Charlie’s life. Escaping the drug-induced limbo he existed in and running from his alcoholic mother and despotic grandfather, he finally finds some peace and a home on Rainbow Key.
Noah is also running, even if he doesn’t realize it, and the guilt he feels over his brother’s suicide chases him no matter where he goes. When he meets and falls for Charlie, he finally thinks he might have the chance to make a home and a future with the adorable man, except he doesn’t realize the secret that Charlie is hiding is the one thing he fears the most. And not even a chance of mending their future can heal the scars of Charlie’s past.
Welcome to Rainbow Key – held together by love, family, and sticky tape.
The former owner of Rainbow Key on Paradise Island was a man named Clive. He spent his life collecting those who had been rejected by those who should have loved them the most. “Broken things” he used to say. More like people broken by others and thrown away. Joshua was one of Clive’s rescues and when the older man died, he took on the responsibility of running the island. He found his happy ending in Book 1 and when I met Charlie, I knew I wanted his book to be his because I had fallen a little bit in love with him.
Charlie was diagnosed with tactile sensitivity as a child and was badly treated by his mother and grandfather. Horribly treated, institutionalized multiple times, and treated like an outcast. A misfit.
There’s a special place in Hell for people like his grandfather and mother. He ran away and found Joshua who brought him to the island and has kept him safe ever since. Charlie has to live things in a very proscribed way. His food has to be a certain way. He cannot tolerate certain touches and absolutely not from a stranger. He chooses clothes that feel a certain way against his skin. Basically he lives in a very established and orderly world. He avoids anything that might disrupt it.
Noah arrives at Rainbow Key minus the groom he was expecting to bring. After having been left at the altar, he bravely decided he’d rather spend a week on an island than deal with the uncoupling of what turned out to be the biggest mistake of his life. Charlie is there to greet him but the young man’s demeanor is very off-putting and Noah assumes it’s because he’s black.
Of course nothing could be farther from the truth. Charlie wants to be a good host, replacing Joshua for just a few days. Noah is no ordinary guest and the attraction is clear. Charlie wants to be ‘normal’ but his disorder prevents him from being like other people. Finally he tells Noah the truth and he expects the same rejection he’s faced his entire life.
Noah isn’t like that. It’s not so much that he sees Charlie as something that’s broken and needs to be fixed, but he sees a man who delights him and he wants to know more about the enigmatic creature.
Bad news in Charlie’s life threatens to send him careening out of control, but Noah is there to help him. Help him, not rescue him. That difference is important. He sees Charlie as an equal.
In the end, both men have to make choices about what they’re willing to risk to find happiness. Although the choices are different, the implications are profound. Keep doing what they’ve always done or take a risk to find happiness.
They took the risk and I was so happy. This is a book about finding a way in a world that doesn’t always understand you. I know that’s why I related to Charlie so deeply and why I was so invested with seeing him get his happy ending.
The narrator, Darcy Stark, performs the entire series and I think he was a great choice. There are many inhabitants of the island as well as plenty of visitors and he has a distinct voice for each of them. He’s a pleasure to listen to. I think it’s a great series and I can’t wait for Book 3.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Let me start with the narration. Darcy Stark is becoming one of those narrators that I will buy audiobooks for. He emotes well and has a pleasing voice. I definitely recommend checking his narrations out.
I really fell in love with the idea of Rainbow Key when I first read about it in Joshua’s Rainbow. It’s an island resort run by people that are, for lack of a better word, broken. For some reason or another these men and women arrived there and found a home and not just a job. Charlie was “rescued” by Joshua when he ran away from caretakers at a hospital and ran into Aunt May-belle, a frequent visitor to Rainbow Key. Charlie wasn’t accepted by his family for several reasons including the fact that he is gay, and because he is touch adverse. Instead of trying to find acceptance from his family or continue to hate himself, he hid away at Rainbow Key from his family and from most visitors to the island.
Noah comes to Rainbow Key for a temporary getaway that was supposed to be his honeymoon. He thought he was content with his life, his fiance, and his job, but he realizes that he hasn’t been happy for some time. Rainbow Key is running on a skeleton crew and Charlie’s mysteriousness draws Noah to him. Besides not really being satisfied with his life, I’d say Noah is pretty well put together. He only has one thing that weighs him down. Noah had a younger brother who suffered with an eating disorder and depression, and Noah wondered how he didn’t see his brother was in trouble before he took his own life.
Yes, Noah needs to forgive himself and that is part of this story, but Charlie’s keeping a part of his history secret and it has a chance to put a wrench in their happiness. Noah is pretty understanding about Charlie’s special needs, but can Noah handle all of him? When touch is such a sign of love, how will it effect their relationship? It’s not an easy road for them, but both Noah and Charlie are stronger than they think, and I was definitely rooting for them. The Rainbow Key series seems to get more intense with each book, and I love learning about these different residents. I definitely plan on reading/listening to the rest.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Victoria Sue fell in love with love stories as a child when she would hide away with her mom’s library books and dream of the dashing hero coming to rescue her from math homework. She never mastered math but when she ran out of library books she decided to write her own. Loves reading and writing about gorgeous boys loving each other the best—especially with a paranormal twist—but always with a happy ending. Is an English northern lass currently serving twenty to life in Florida—unfortunately, she spends more time chained to her computer than on a beach.
Loves to hear from her readers and can be found most days lurking on Facebook where she doesn’t need factor 1000 sun-cream to hide her freckles.