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The Nothingness of Ben by Brad Boney

December 29, 2013


Ben Walsh is well on his way to becoming one of Manhattan’s top litigators, with a gorgeous boyfriend and friends on the A-list. His life is perfect until he gets a phone call that brings it all crashing down: a car accident takes his parents, and now he must return to Austin to raise three teenage brothers he barely knows.

During the funeral, Ben meets Travis Atwood, the redneck neighbor with a huge heart. Their relationship initially runs hot and cold, from contentious to flirtatious, but when the weight of responsibility starts wearing on Ben, he turns to Travis, and the pressure shapes their friendship into something that feels a lot like love. Ben thinks he’s found a way to have his old life, his new life, and Travis too, but love isn’t always easy. Will he learn to recognize that sometimes the worst thing imaginable can lead him to the place he was meant to be?

My Review:

Ack! I am in book love euphoria at the moment. This books was so good. I am on the best book streak right now. Brad Boney, you just about killed me toward the end of this book. Not even throwing The Vampire Diaries in there was healing. Not one damn bit but you pulled it off. Thank goodness.

Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.

Oh, I had no idea where this book would take me. I knew from Andrew’s status updates that the pop culture references to all my favorite TV shows was going a total draw to this story but what I didn’t know was  how much I would fall in love with it.

I am coming to adore the romances that involve kids. NO! Not in that way, goodness, but when someone either has kids or gets “stuck” with kids they have to take care of. It throws a different feel to the story and yes it becomes relatable to me as a mother.

Ben Walsh wasn’t expecting to be anything to his younger siblings than their older brother but a tragic phone call brings him home to Austin from the hustle and bustle of the bright lights and big city that is/was New York. He comes home for his parents funerals and meets the neighbor across the street who just so happens to already be a big part of his brother’s lives.

Travis Atwood. Hello my fair ginger. Good lord. I fall easily and fast for the big soft ones in these stories. I love how Travis lays it out on the line, says what he means and means what he says. He is so entwined in the lives of the Walsh boys that no matter what happened, it would have been heartbreaking for him not to be there in some way. Good thing New Year’s Eve happened then right?

I enjoyed this story. Not only was it a love story between two people who find one another but it was a love story in so many other ways. One of brotherhood, one of family, one of friendship and acceptance. I love it when there are other bits going on and while I was wrapped up in Travis and Ben (and Ben’s foot fetish…never has that been sexy until now) but I was concerned and wrapped up in the lives of Quentin and then Dakota. Jason and then Jake. Cade and his love for the Longhorns and even Colin, David and the Meads and the rest of the extended family as it grew and progressed right along with the story.

Ben wasn’t perfect, at times he was an ass but I liked him being an ass when it was needed and I REALLY liked him in that last scene with David. Where the hell did THAT come from? It was hot. Ben came from a world where it paid for him to be cutthroat but back home, with his new family he had to learn how to navigate the waters, even when they got muddy. I loved watching him change, grow and fall in love with Travis; it was gorgeous and he was so adorable on the first date. Le Sigh. His love for his family and for his new life was a joy to follow. Ben was a work in progress, he just didn’t know that yet.

Travis, he wasn’t perfect either but I loved who he was. Loved watching him figure out this whole new part of himself that he never knew existed. I love a good gay for you story but I honestly believe that people fall in love with people, not genders. I believe that people feel a connection and if they take that chance it can be greater than anything they have ever known. Call it idealism, romanticism, call it what you want but it’s what I l believe.

We can believe in the nothingness of life, we can believe in the nothingness of death and of life after death but who can believe in the nothingness of Ben?

The Nothingness of Ben was a wonderful story. That is all. It was wonderful and I am happy I added it to my “New to me author winter break” list to read. I hear The Return has something to do with this in a roundabout sort of way so I will definitely be checking that out and others from this author. After all, sixty-nine is my favorite number too.

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