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Office manager Sam Emery is unemployed and out of luck. When his emotionally abusive wife demands a divorce, he contacts the one person he has left, his brother, Neil. He doesn’t expect Neil to reject him, but he also doesn’t expect the news of his divorce - and of his sexuality - to be met with such acceptance.
Neil takes Sam to Lang Downs, the sheep station Neil calls home. There, Sam learns that life as a gay man isn’t impossible. Caine and Macklin, the station owners, certainly seem to be making it work. When Caine offers Sam a job, it’s a dream come true.
Jeremy Taylor leaves the only home he’s ever known when his brother’s homophobia becomes more than he can bear. He goes to the one place he knows he will be accepted: Lang Downs. He clicks with Sam instantly - but the animosity between Lang Downs and Jeremy’s home station runs deep, and the jackaroos won’t accept Jeremy without a fight. Between Sam’s insecurity and Jeremy’s precarious position, their road will be a hard one - and that’s without having to wait for Sam’s divorce to be final before starting a new life together.
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A sweet chapter in the Lang Downs saga
Pretty much every series I've come across suffers from the same fate as this one. The first book or two are really good, but as you start getting to books three and four, you're used to the author's style, the narrators cadence and the books start feeling pedestrian.
It's a pity, cause it's actually a good series. My advice, space them apart. They're a great set of books.
3 people found this helpful
- N. Houghton
I read gay romances because porn doesn't do it for me. I need context. This one was wonderful in setting up a real romantic connection the reader cared about. What a change of pace. The apparently the writer got bored or someone forgot the last reel. Loved the first two books, but what a way to end. Thumbs down.
1 person found this helpful
This book starts with a phone call from Neil’s brother Sam, who asks him if he could come and stay with him for a while as he’s getting a divorce and needs to get back on his feet. More than happy to help Sam out, Neil drives to town to pick him up. It’s not long before Sam admits to being unhappy and only marrying his wife because he felt forced to. At the time he couldn’t imagine living like he wanted; as an out and proud gay man. When Sam told Neil this I was so proud of how he handled it. It shows how far he’s come, it made me smile and believe that people could change.
I enjoy Neil’s character. I believe in him. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not a book boyfriend in any way shape or form. But he’s wonderfully human, he’s flawed. When we first met him in Inherit the Sky he was a giant pain, and an even bigger homophobe and not shy to voice this fact. Things changed when Caine saved his life and he’s now their biggest supporter. What I love is that even though he changed, and changed a lot, he didn’t get a personality makeover. He still holds grudges, is still quick to temper and his newfound open mind doesn’t apply to everything. And just mentioning the name Taylor is a sure way to fire him up. Like I said, I believe in his character and he has things yet to learn.
Jeremy Taylor is getting fed up with his brother in so many ways. How he runs the station, the feud with the neighboring station, Land Downs, but more importantly he’s fed up with all the homophobic slurs rants. And when he’s given an ultimatum; get married or get out, Jeremy packs a bag and leaves. He doesn’t go far though; he goes to Lang Downs and asks for shelter for the night or a job as a jackaroo if they’ll have him. He’s not there to cause trouble, he just wants the chance to start over.
Sam and Jeremy are drawn to each other from the beginning. It started with curiosity that morphed into a friendship. Something they both needed. I loved how Jeremy was building Sam up again, encouraging him, and showing him that he was important and made a difference. Throughout we followed how Sam grew, gaining the confidence to stand up to his brother for what he wanted, for Jeremy.
There are very little sexy times in this book. Mainly because when Sam and Jeremy meet and fall for each other Sam is still technically married, and the divorce won’t go through for another six months or so. And deciding to hold off on anything physical as to not give the soon to be ex-wife any ammunition to use in the settlements, they spend the time to really get to know each other. Building a strong foundation for the future.
So while an Aussi narrator would probably be preferable for this book William James does have a nice Aussie accent. This coming from a non-native English speaker, so I can’t tell you if it will sound authentic to natives. There is no doubt that he is a very talented narrator has a range of voices for the characters, adds in feelings and passion to his work. My only niggle, and this is a small one is his pronunciation of some words that were completely off – even to me. They weren’t many, but at times very noticeable and this distracted me from the story a bit. All in all though, I really enjoyed his narration of this book as well and am looking forward to listening to the next one.
A copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.
New lives, and new loves. A friends to lovers
This is the Thrid book in this series. Though Sam and Jeremy both are new characters to the station, old storylines are carried from book to book so I suggest you listen( or read them in order).
Sam Is Neil's brother and down on his luck. His wife kicked him out filed for divorce but was footing his bills. He finally contacted his brother and is going to the station to get his head on and see where to go from there to start his life over, find a job and home and hopefully a boyfriend.
Jeremy Taylor is the brother of Devlin Taylor for Tayor Peaks. Taylor had hoped to buy out Langs down after Michael passed away and there is a lot of friction there.Taylor is on Jeremies back to settle down and get married, have a family. They have a big fight and Devlin kicks Jeremy out with nothing but his clothes. Jeremy heard that since Kaine and Macklin came out as a couple some of the summer help didn't show up so he goes to see if they could use a Jackaroo.
Kaine is so kind he doesn't turn anyone away and lets Jeremy come to work. He also hires Sam to help with the books to free him up for other things, since Sam is an accountant.
The story is sweet as we follow all the different characters as they interact. I love how Ariel makes her characters so lifelike and draws me right into the story.
So you know the story is awesome, let me move on to the Narration.
William James blows me away. He is the perfect choice for this series. He has several distinct Aussie accents for the Australian characters. It is easy t tell each one just by voice alone. He doesn't make the women sound silly ( a pet peeve of mine) and he even has Kaines American accent. I have no Idea how he juggles so many voices but he does it with Clarity and style. He also interjects action in places it's needed such as worry, and the sex scenes.
If you like Sheep Stations, Australian culture, Australian accents, continuing series,friends to lovers, sweet romance, dogs, cats and horses, and two men starting new lives, and falling in love this is for you.
If you are looking for a great series t kill a week or so, I suggest grabbing this one. It makes your afternoon go fast.
I received a free copy of this book to read for Inked Rainbow Reads in exchange for an honest review.
I have to say I was a bit wary with how this story was going to go knowing that Jeremy is a Taylor and that Sam is the brother of Neil, who didn't start out so nice toward Caine because he was gay.
However, I have to admit that I'm glad that I picked up this part of the series because I did end up loving the story and the men, as usual. I just don't think it's possible for Ariel Tachna to write an unloveable main character.
I have to say that I really this this series is getting better and better as it continues on. We are getting men from off Lang Downs coming to find a place that will help them heal emotionally and even find love, although neither is usually the intent when they land there.
I love that we get little views of previous couples from the first two books, but not so much that it takes away from the developing story.
The more I read into this series, the more I love it.
The narrator did a great job with the voices of so many men and keeping them all from sounding the same.
Diminishing returns for this series
Is there anything you would change about this book?
This book really stretched credibility too far. It is so wildly unlikely that all these gay graziers are turning up at one isolated station, that I was able to overlook that. However, unlike the others in this series, the premise of the story was too flimsy and unbelievable. There is no inheritance tax in Australia. Only capital gains tax, and seeing as the story has been along the lines of showing that the business was going downhill, there may have been a tax credit rather than debit. A small family-run hardware store employing a back office business manager seems very unlikely, as does his apparent business acumen.
An Australian consultant/advisor might have been useful. In the previous books the author had clearly done a lot of research, which was impressive, but there were also Americanisms that are annoying and take the (Australian) reader out of the story. Such as the very American terms 'fixings' and 'sides' in relation to preparing food.
I think that really an isolated station is a canvass too small for all these gay characters to be introduced, couple after couple. Maybe it would have been better to continue the story of the existing couples rather than introduce another one.
Would you be willing to try another book from Ariel Tachna? Why or why not?
I loved the earlier books in this series, but it has become tire now. I would give her other books a try as I did enjoy the earlier ones so much.
What aspect of William James’s performance would you have changed?
This is difficult. I would say that although a long way from perfect, his Australian accent is by far the best that I have heard from an American. Having said that, it is also entirely unconvincing, closer to a weird New Zealand/South African hybrid than an Australian accent, and I have grown less tolerant as the series continues. The mispronunciation of words used heavily throughout the series - especially place names and brand names - becomes increasingly irritating and distracting. Words like jackaroo, Drizabone and Yass. Instead of following the story I am thinking 'why hasn't he looked up how to pronounce these words?'. As does the strange way that words that should be pronounced the same way as an American accent are twisted into strange forms.
I don't know why Audible continues to employ American readers for Australian and British roles. There are so many British and Australian actors in the US, why not give one of them a try?
Having said that, the rest of his performance is good enough to get me listening. With other readers, such as Max Lehnen's awful attempts at a British accent on Sue Brown's books, I can't get more than ten minutes into it before giving up in despair. He has distinct voices for each of the characters. So he has done a very good job apart from the accent.
Was Outlast the Night worth the listening time?
Not really, I only stuck with it because I had invested so much time with the previous books. If it was the first I had read, I think I would have stopped listening fairly early on.
Any additional comments?
The first two books of the series are worth reading. However, maybe give this one a miss.
1 person found this helpful
- Christine J.
Sweet romance on an Australian sheep station
This review was originally written for Prism Book Alliance.
Story Rating: 3.5 Stars
Narration Rating: 4.0 Stars
Overall Rating: 3.75 Stars
When Sam Embry loses his job and his wife, he has no one to turn to except for his brother, Neil, who takes him in and helps him land a job as the accountant at the Australian sheep station, Lang Downs. Jeremy Taylor also needs to rebuild and relocate after taking all he can stand from his bigoted brother. These two newcomers form a quick friendship they both need while struggling with a mutual attraction neither is ready to act upon. They both need to overcome their personal obstacles in order to focus on a future together.
I enjoyed this sweet story, the third in the Lang Downs series. Not having read the previous two titles, I was a bit concerned that I might have difficulty following at this point. I did struggle at the very beginning with some of the character names, but I quickly caught on. The author does a good job of providing just enough backstory to fill in necessary plot and character information, and I felt this allowed Outlast the Night to function well as a standalone. Always a fan of settings in Australia, I found the Lang Downs station and its jackaroos charming and likable. It was a bit like spending a week on vacation, getting to observe a small slice of life in a faraway land.
The main characters of Jeremy and Sam were compassionate, genuine, and tender. I truly cared about these two and wanted them to connect and build a relationship. I only wish I could have seen more of their backgrounds. It would have been easier to understand Sam’s confidence and self-doubt issues if the author had perhaps provided a bit more insight into his relationship with his ex-wife. Flashbacks or more expansion on his history with her could have added more dimension to his character, adding in an extra layer sympathy for him and his struggle to overcome his insecurities. Sam and Jeremy are sweet with one another, but the chemistry is lacking a bit. Though there is a mutual attraction, there is very little “action,” and it would have been more enticing to see the tension kicked up a notch or two to make up for the lack of physical contact. I also felt that there was never any major conflict for these two to overcome, just some small bumps in the road that were resolved with little struggle. I appreciate the low angst approach, but I think there might have been a bit too much side story that took attention away from further development of Sam and Jeremy’s plot line.
That being said, I did enjoy Outlast the Night and am so intrigued by the original characters and the setting that I plan to go back and read the first two books. The author has created a lovely universe with interesting people, and I would truly enjoy a return trip to Lang Downs to get acquainted with the other characters and immerse myself in their stories.
Narrator William James does a good job of bringing the characters of this story to life and is skilled at alternating American and Australian accents. His voice is pleasant and well modulated and inflected, and I would definitely pick up his narrated works in the future.