Monday, March 31, 2014

Blog Tour, eARC Review, Excerpt: When Sean Loves Rusty (Bayou Boys #1) by Chris Cox

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, on Facebook at www.facebook/ and on Twitter: @ChrisCoxWrites.

When Sean Loves Rusty
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?

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My Review
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

When Sean Loves Rusty. This is the story of two boys who had been best friends since grade school. They had gone through all the angst of growing pains and the problems young people go through, be they good, bad, vicious or just plain stupid. When both young men realized their feelings for each ran deeper than just a platonic friendship, they embraced their love and promised to always be there for each other. Forever. Thus began the adventure in the life of two young men who grow up in an adult world where the most trusted can turn against you and the most unexpected is the expected thing.

This story spans the time when both young men are finally thrust from the protective arms at home and  the comfortable lives of a school housing, into a world where each of them must find a job and succeed. They go through the usual illogical rejections. They are qualified but may not have the experience. They have the experience but are not qualified. They are over qualified. Just the everyday sob story of how difficult it is to find work in this current economic fatigue. 

As the money dwindles, it is enough to test their relationship. Will their love for each other stand the test of life? When Sean lands the job of his dreams, they are once more tested for it means moving to a different state and Rusty leaving his loving family behind. And no job.

Each man hides the truth, each one wants to shelter the other from the pains of reality.  Each one has their own insecurity and it eats them up. There is one thing they can rely on, each other. With the changes in their roles, they begin to doubt their own personal capabilities.

The story has five parts which details the opening and closing of their lives' chapters. The struggles these two young men face was written lightly, beautifully and so lovingly by author Chris Cox. Her story of life and of trials met and not yet encountered was gripping and astoundingly familiar. 

This one hit me on a personal level. I think this is really where I sat up and thought that here was a drama that was not, a story that I could not refuse to read. A story I need more answers for.

Was this it? Was this the end of them?

No. It couldn’t be.

Sean bit his knuckles using the pain to clear his tears. “I have loved you since the first time you scooted over to let me sit with you at lunch. Do you remember, Rusty?”

Please, remember, Rusty. Please remember who we’ve always been to each other. Who we are to each other. Please be my lover. My love. My soulmate. My completeness.

Magnificent in his nakedness, Rusty nodded once. His dark curls tracked down the nape of his neck. Sean knew that whispering kisses right there, right where that bottom curl rested, drove Rusty wild.

“I was the new kid and nobody would let me sit with them. But you did. You pushed Toby McClellan off his chair and told me to sit.”

Rusty’s shoulder blades tightened. “You looked so sad. So lost. But you had this look in your eye, like you dared anyone to pity you.”

“So you did.”

“No. I didn’t pity you. I admired you. I admired your courage. Your bravado.” Rusty hugged himself.

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.”

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