Red Dirt Heart (Red Dirt #1), by N.R. Walker
Well worth the money…
Welcome to Sutton Station: One of the world’s largest working farms in the middle of Australia – where if the animals and heat don’t kill you first, your heart just might.
Charlie Sutton runs Sutton Station the only way he knows how; the way his father did before him. Determined to keep his head down and his heart in check, Charlie swears the red dirt that surrounds him – isolates him – runs through his veins.
American agronomy student Travis Craig arrives at Sutton Station to see how farmers make a living from one of the harshest environments on earth. But it’s not the barren, brutal and totally beautiful landscapes that capture him so completely, it’s the man with the red dirt heart.
Review by Gerry Burnie
I have a thing about Australia – the wide open spaces, the magnificent and rugged scenery, and the equally rugged men, evoke a certain romance that appeals to my love of all things unpretentious and masculine. All of these things are captured quite authentically by N.R. Walker in her latest novel, Red Dirt Heart [N.R. Walker, Feb. 20 2014].
Charlie Sutton is the young owner and operator of Sutton Station in the “ute back” near Alice Springs, Australia. He has learned the business and his self-reliance from his rancher father, who, although dead, still exerts considerable influence over his son.
Charlie is also a closeted gay, once again reflecting his father’s influence, which was unquestionably homophobic. Therefore, Charlie keeps his orientation well to himself.
Travis Craig is a young agronomist from Johnston City, Texas … Oh, and a hunk. He has come to Australia to study farming methods, and as usual fate is about to change things for both of them.
As well, there are some charming side-characters: George, the lead hand, and his wife, Ma, who second as Charlie’s family.
Altogether, there is a lay-back feel to this novel, sort of folksy in the way you would expect an out-back story be. Time and life move at the pace of the seasons, and slow-and-steady is the way things get done. Nonetheless, everything has to be accomplished in the four weeks that Travis will be visiting.
In this respect, it does – while leaving room for a sequel (which, I believe, is already on the market).
You cannot not like this story. The main characters are solidly masculine, and their coming together (even in the four short weeks) seems both inevitable and natural. The sex is also manly; although, I generally skim over these. When you’ve read one sex scene you’ve generally read them all.
Well worth the money. Four and one-half bees.
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