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.
©2014 NR Walker (P)2016 NR Walker
I hate writing reviews of books I love and narrators I could listen to over and over again. Why? Because nothing I ever come up with can reflect truly the talent and skill of both N.R.Walker and Joel Leslie.
Red Dirt Heart is only the beginning of Charlie and Travis' journey and what a beginning it is. I loved every second of this book and cannot wait to get started on the next one. Romance aside this book makes me want to pack up my life and go travelling the depths of Australia. I don't really like deadly spiders, snakes and such so the next best thing I can do is to close my eyes and listen to the deep voice of Joel Leslie while he takes me on this beautiful ride through Red Dirt Heart.
And since this review is for the audio version of this book I have to sing praise to Joel's talent. How can one man do so many accents so well? How does he make every character so individual that you can differentiate then by voice alone?
I could honestly listen to Joel narrating his shopping list and still be a happy bunny but as it happens there's no need because it seems this gentleman is kept very busy with his work and there will be more narrations to come.
Check his work with caution. You might want to ask your boss for a raise or beg, steal or borrow Audible credits where you can!
I for one have Red Dirt Heart 2 to look forward to in my very near future.
Sweet, romantic, fun.
The Australian accent wasn't great.
I'm a huge NR Walker fan and this was the first time I've managed to listen to a whole romance book on audio.
Sweet, charming and passionate.
I need a chapter time to adapt to his accent but his timbre of voice (bass-hoarse) was remarkably on the point. I could feel Charlie's story with every fiber of my being.
I like it when N.R. Walker's boys do dirty things...but like it much more when they fall in love. This was exactly the case here but, in the first part their dirtiness was a little more for my personal preference.
I liked the progression of the relationship between Charlie and Travis, beginning from animal (passionate and desperate) attraction and finishing with something more.... love? I always love to be included some contrasting negative character and here was the figure of dead father. Being gay wasn’t on his father’s wish list.
I liked as well as the relationship among Charlie, George and Ma. Those supporting characters were well written and added so much additional flavor to the story.
My favorite part was the the setting.Just stunning. The red dirt, the heat of the outback and one secret place were so complementary to loneliness of the main character.
Overall, for a short novel, Red Dirt Heart by N.R. Walker was a sweet, charming and passionate M/M Contemporary Romance.
It can be a worry, that sometimes a much loved book can be spoiled by a poor narration, I'm thrilled that this is the exact opposite, it's been a joy from start to finish, I thoroughly recommend this and can't wait for Joel Leslie to record the rest of the series.
No, this was the first narration I have heard by John Leslie.
I have read the whole series and am a big fan. I love the realtionships in the book, not just between the main characters but also the other characters. I was worried the narrator might ruin the book for me if he didn't get the accents right, thankfully that didn't happen they were great. I found the longer I listened the better they got, I can't wait for the next one.
Joel Leslie's narration is excellent, and he is so good at creating different voices to the different characters. Another plus with him is that he does believable female voices too (no falsetto screeching in his performances), so Ma sounds just right (to me).
Ariel Tachna's Lang Down Series, as that too is set in Austrialia with a US import (ie second MC), although the narration doesn't come close to Joel's (in my opinion). Mind you, I'm not Australian, English isn't even my mother tongue, but I've listened to enough audiobooks to know what I like when it comes to inflection, cadence and character differentiation. :)
Won't say too much as it's kind of "spoilerish", except it involves a horse returning without it's rider.
I hope N.r. Walker decides to do the rest of the series in Audio too, and that she gets Joel to do the narration. It's one of my all-time favourite series, and I adore Charlie & Travis.
This has always been a favourite story of mine and the audio just makes it better. Joel Leslie's narration is really great. I loved the characterisation of Charlie and Travis but for me he really made the secondary characters of Ma and George stand out.
This is a great story and now a great audio. Joel Leslie knocks my socks off
This is one of my favorite series and I was thrilled it came out on audio. There are 4.5 books in the series and I really hope they all come out in audio. Each book is better than the last IMHO. Joel Leslie's performance is great. It took me a few chapters to get into his characterizations and Australian accents, but once I did, I was swept into the story. This story is set in the Australian Outback on the 3rd largest sheep station in Australia. Charlie, the station owner, is deeply in the closet when an American exchange student comes to the station for three weeks.
The story is told from Charlie's POV only and it is heartbreaking that due to "father issues" he has resigned himself to a life of solitude. Therefore he has a lot of trouble accepting the love Travis is offering. The whole thing comes to a head when Travis is almost killed and Charlie is faced with the prospect of him going back to America. Joel Leslie's performance of the highly emotional confrontation at the end brought me to tears. He really knocked it out of the park.
"Loved Joel Leslie - Kudos!"
You know what I love most about this story? Even though it's short, it manages to make me laugh, sigh, cry a little, fan myself, and feel all the fluffy feels.
Charlie has been resigning himself to being alone for a long time; his father's harsh words being a constant companion since taking over the station after his dad's death years ago. But Travis breaks through all his walls and barriers and steals Charlie's heart...one nose nudge at a time.
And damn if it doesn't make *me* melt every time.
Joel Leslie does a fantastic job bringing these characters to life. He sounds authentically Aussie and Texan, brings depth and nuance to the story, and displays every emotion beautifully.
Kudos sir, I can't wait to hear Book 2!
"Intense and emotional...5 stars!"
I have two words for you...Australian cowboy. If that's not enough to pique your interest, let's thrown in an American farm boy from Texas. The accents alone are enough to do me in. Add in the fact that our Australian cowboy is firmly closeted thanks in large part to his deceased father's negative influence and an attraction between our two main characters that is intense and grows stronger every day and you've got the buildup to an emotional eruption ready to go.
One thing I can say about N.R. Walker's characters no matter which book of hers I'm reading is that they are complex, have lots of depth, and will make you emotional as well as they grow and evolve throughout the story. Charlie is a prime example of this--he's denied himself for so long thanks to his father's emphatic assertion that a "fairy" can't run Sutton Station. Charlie has let this color his life-and not in a good way-even though it is blatantly clear to anyone who knows him that he CAN run it, and he does a damn good job of it. I felt so bad for him, suppressing his own nature and wants when even those who love him and call him family try to encourage him that it's okay to be who he is and love who he wants.
Enter Travis-and thank goodness he came to Sutton Station. He's the kind of guy who will tell you like it is, and doesn't worry about what other people will say. He's strong and hard-working, dedicated and pitches in to help even though he's just arrived. He's the perfect man to show Charlie how things could be if Charlie would just open up. The physical chemistry between the two is amazing, and the naughty scenes between them range from wild and passionate to intimate and sweet.
N.R. Walker paints a vivid picture of life on a farm in the Outback, and brings Travis and Charlie's story to life so perfectly-expressing the intensely emotional bond the two forge so well that it hurt to think that Travis was only supposed to be there for a short while before going back home. The scene in the kitchen between them right before Travis is supposed to go home is one of my favorite scenes (and not just from this book, I mean overall), and when it comes to the audio version, Joel Leslie does a simply phenomenal job at relaying the intensity and tremendous feeling occurring in that scene-he honestly left me breathless.
This was a remarkable start to this series, and I highly recommend this story to any M/M romance fan 18+ (that's for the adult language and super sexy, steamy, naughty M/M sexual content). 5 stars for Red Dirt Heart!
Joel Leslie did a superb job at voicing Charlie and Travis, especially in the scenes that expressed raw emotion and heightened feelings. He injects passion into the characters voices and thoughts, and really brought Red Dirt Heart to life for me. And I've got to say it again--that kitchen scene is filled with such energy and emotion...you'll see what I mean when you listen, and I think you'll agree. 5 stars for the audio!
"NR Walker + Joel Leslie = ABSOLUTE PERFECTION!"
Warning: this review is going to sound a bit gushy.
This is one of my all-time FAVORITE series…ever. And when I found out that one of my favorite vocal performers was going to be performing this story, I HAD to have it.
This book, as well as the rest of the books in this series, is everything I ever want in a story. They just make me FEEL…well, everything. And I didn’t possibly think I could feel any more about these stories…until I heard it. And then I somehow felt it more. I know that Joel Leslie is talented. I’ve heard him perform many stories and loved them all. But his performance of this story and these characters was nothing short of sheer perfection. This is not a simple narration, this is a performance. One that sucks you in with every word uttered and emotion conveyed. And trust me…I was waiting for him to slip up between the Texas accent and the Australian accent because that has to be really hard to keep straight. But it never happened. And not to emasculate Mr. Leslie but I think my favorite voice was Ma.
Oh, Charlie with all his insecurities and Travis with his quick wit and endearing patience…I just absolutely love them. The sexual tension is off the charts between these two. Travis is the perfect match for Charlie and is exactly what he needs. In this book, Travis is my favorite of the two (that later changes) because he makes me laugh out loud. The emotions toward the end of the book and the way Mr. Leslie delivers them brought me to tears.
I’m sad I’m finished listening to this story as just like every time I finish one of Ms. Walker’s books I’m left feeling bereft and have a hard time reading anything else for a couple of days. If you haven’t listened to or read these stories, I beseech you…READ or LISTEN to them right now. You absolutely won’t be sorry.
"Great story with a good narrator! Must listen!"
Yes. The story is enjoyable and the narrator's voice is easy to listen to. I liked how he brought to life the various characters in the story.
I think the end when even though he is hurting, Travis goes to the kitchen and confesses to Charlie.
I loved how each character had a different voice. It made the characters more real than if i just read it myself.
Yes! In fact, I practically did.
By now, all of you know how much I like to listen and review audiobooks, and this one was also an M/M. It’s my secret (or not so secret addiction). LOL. I can’t help it! So do you want to know all about Red Dirt Heart by N.R. Walker? LOVED IT AND I NEED BOOK TWO AND THREE STAT! This really don’t end on a cliff hanger, but you will want to know more about Charlie and Travis when the book ends.
Travis is visiting Australia in order to learn more about how farmers grow crops in different parts of the world. And the outback is vastly different from his country home in Texas. Charlie has come to terms with the fact that he will always be alone. He is also afraid that his employees will learn that he is gay. His fear is so great that he almost passes up an opportunity to be with Travis, but thankfully Travis has a mind of his own. Things are completely easy for these two, but they are learning.
So first my review for the story…4.5 stars. This book had feelings aplenty and the story line was great. Like it said, it didn’t completely leave you hanging, but you do want to know more about what happens between Charlie and Travis. Well written, the story flows from one chapter to the next. Nothing is rushed and the characters are fully developed. Not even the love story part of the book was rushed, which some M/M authors tend to do.
Now for the audio review…4.5 stars. I thought long and hard about this rating and floundered a bit between 4 and 4.5 stars. Honestly, in the beginning I was leaning more towards 3.5 stars. The voice starts off a little rough and I wondered if I would like Joel Leslie’s interpretation of the book, however, he was able to differentiate between the different characters and bring each one to life. There were a couple of times when his accents seemed to merge, but for the most part, by the end of the book, he had them down. His intonation was steady and flowed, and he didn’t have annoying long pauses where there didn’t need to be one. By the end of the book, he completely won me over. Each character was unique and he changed his voice to suit each one. He also read beautifully. Not once did it feel choppy or stagnant. My issue in the beginning had more to do with the voices and how he seemed almost unsure. He picked it up rather quickly though and after a couple of chapters I no longer had any issues. If I compare his reading to other audiobooks I have reviewed, I would say it was better than most, which is the reason I decided to give it the higher rating.
Overall…4.5 stars. The story is enjoyable and the reading done by Joel Leslie is entertaining. If you like M/M and you like audiobook, you have to check this one out. If you don’t like audio, but love M/M, check this one out.
"Love from across the globe"
When Charlie finds Travis after he's been lost. <3
love the Aussie accent
I like the name too much
I never knew about farming in Australia. They are not playing around. It takes a heck of man to even make an attempt. Red Dirt Heart has two tough, intelligent workingmen as the leads. They’re from two different countries, but beliefs and feelings transcend all that. I enjoyed how most everyone felt like family and was 100% ready to help each other. I love Charlie’s focus and Travis’s ability to break down his guard. I’ve focused a lot on their strength, but I want to add that there are really sweet moments also. I’m looking forward to more from this series.
"very passionate narration, and a heartwarming tale"
I had forgotten just how much I loved this series, the narration brought it all back tenfold! very passionate, love the accents, the drama, the excitement. Joel Leslie did a great job with Walker's heart pounding story of love found in the barren Australian outback.
This was my first audio book. I loved it when I read this story the last 3 times and loved listening to it too! Can never get enough of Charlie and Travis! I look forward to listening to book 2!
"Such a great story/series amazing narration"
Charlie Sutton is a closeted gay rancher in Australia, living on his newly inherited Sutton Station, 3 hours from civilization, with no hope of ever having a relationship or even any hook-ups.
Travis Craig is an agronomy student who comes to Sutton Station to compare agriculture practices in the Australian desert with those of the deserts of Texas. What he ends up finding is love.
It takes awhile for Charlie to admit his attraction and then the two must struggle with Charlie’s fear of being outed combined with his fear that Travis will never want to stay out in the boonies with him for any length of time.
God, Charlie is a mess! He is so filled with shame that his father instilled in him, but also so much stubbornness that he won’t bow to those ways of thinking. The relationship between him and Travis is so slow moving that when they finally do get together it’s like fireworks! The slow burn was exquisite.
Travis is his perfect counterpart to Charlie: open, loving, out, smiling all the time, hyperactive, a doer not a thinker. He gets along with everyone and when he is stuck out in the summer desert, lost and injured, he finds out just how important he is to everyone he has met, not just Charlie.
NR Walker does emotion so well – the aching with love, hopeless yet exalted at the same time. Charlie makes you want to cry and hug him, then smack him upside the head when he turns around and shoots himself in the foot (metaphorically speaking).
Travis just makes you smile, and makes you so glad Charlie found him. Really, a one in a million chance of finding happiness, stumbling into your life.
I highly, highly recommend this book and you will be so glad to know that the sequel is also out, so the greatness continues – no waiting necessary.
I give it a 6 out 5 stars – it was amazing!
Joel Leslie did an absolutely amazing job with this. He does a good Australian accent and a fantastic Texan accent. The emotion in this book is so, so deep and Joel is able to access that and help transmit it to us listeners. I had such great expectations for when this series finally came to audio and he didn’t let me down one bit! I hope he does the entire series!
6 of 5 stars
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