Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Blogger Audiobook Review: Texas Wedding by RJ Scott

Summary:
Sometimes Riley and Jack have to be the ones to fight other people's battles and stand up for what is right.

Faced with the life changing prospect of a yes vote from SCOTUS on the issue of same sex marriage, Riley and Jack realise they have decisions to make. Add in some distressing family news and the very real possibility that old secrets may resurface, and this book in the Texas series pulls together as many threads as the boys can manage to handle.

But through all the ups and the downs, children, family events, laughter, and tears, there is nothing as special as the forever love between these two men.

Listening Length: 5 hours and 59 minutes.
Narrator: Sean Crisden


As I said in my original review(and the re-read), Texas Wedding is jam packed with warmth, laughter, friendship, family, and love as life on the Double D react to SCOTUS' ruling on gay marriage.  We see not only Jack and Riley's reactions but everyone's.  Texas Wedding is a lovely addition to the Texas universe and Sean Crisden brings it to life and frankly I don't think anyone could have done it better.  I don't often listen to audiobooks despite having quite a few in my library(including old tapes, CDs, and now digital) because no matter how much I love the story I found myself tuning out and concentrating on what else I was doing, suddenly the story shuts off and I've missed most of it.  So now when I do set out to listen I want to know that I will be hooked and not distracted, well between RJ's writing and Sean's voice I am mesmerized.

ebook Review:
Re-Read Review 2016:
I don't think I can say anything that I didn't say a year ago when I read it the first time. I still found myself tearing up throughout both from laughter and heartwarming. So good, I just can't imagine it ending any other way.

Original Review 2015:
This book had me in tears, both from laughing and tenderness, had me fanning myself from hotness, simply put Texas Wedding had me in a jumble of emotion. I don't really know what to say about Jack and Reily that I haven't already said throughout the series. When Texas Wedding's release day arrived my heart warred between my need to know and my need to prolong the finale but my need to know won out. This was a great way to end an amazing series and the idea of there being no more Jack and Reily is heartbreaking but I am sure we haven't actually seen the end of our favorite couple, even if their future is in the form of secondary characters in a future spin-off series, Legacy, coming in 2016. Texas will always be my absolute favorite series in the M/M genre, not only because it was the first I read but because it is superbly written with characters that are interesting, intriguing, and real. RJ Scott has given us a true gem when she created the world of Jack and Reily Campbell-Hayes.

RATING: 

Chapter One 
Jack slid his arms around Riley from behind and pressed his cheek to the space between broad shoulders. He couldn’t stop himself from moving his hands under the soft T-shirt material and caressing the warm skin. Touching Riley was an addiction.

“You all done?” he asked.

Riley turned in Jack’s hold, the laundry in his hands crushing between them.

“It’s like these tiny T-shirts multiply,” Riley groused. “I turn my back for one minute and suddenly there’s another ten of the damn things.”

Jack smiled up at his husband, at the narrowing of his beautiful hazel eyes and the stubborn set of his mouth. Then he released his hold of his waist and instead cradled his face.

“It was your idea to sort out the twins’ old clothes,” he reminded Riley.

“I wanted to box it away….”

“We can do it together at the weekend.”

“I want to do it today—”

“It’s a Tuesday.” Jack interrupted Riley’s reasons why. “I thought you said you had that report to read from Tom?”

Riley huffed a little. “I can’t concentrate.”

“So, you’re sorting clothes?”

“Is that a bad thing?” Riley sounded so defensive.

Jack sighed. “What are you avoiding?”

Riley raised an eyebrow, and Jack couldn’t help but press a kiss to his lips. After all this time together, he had learned these weird domestic chores Riley undertook were usually a way of avoiding things he didn’t want to do. Whether it was Riley’s way of thinking about things, or pure procrastination, Jack didn’t know.

“I have a shareholder meeting the first week of February.” Riley finally said.

“I know. I got the same letter, but I wasn’t planning on going. Why will this be different from any other meeting?” Jack was confused. Hayes Oil meetings were dry and boring, and he’d survived the only two he’d attended by slouching back in a chair directly opposite Riley. He would eat as many of the complimentary mints as he could manage and gently disrupt the meeting by rustling the wrappers. This never failed to make Riley smile. Mostly Jack conned Josh into going, or gave Riley his proxy. Still, when he did go, he loved nothing better than insolently lazing around and being all cowboy in the room full of suits. Inevitably, this led to hot sex with Riley, who couldn’t keep his eyes off Jack throughout the entire meeting.

“I have something to admit,” Riley said with a sigh. He eased himself away from Jack and leaned back against the cabinet. “Dad has appointed this new manager to the team, and we have a history.”

Jack huffed a laugh. “Riley, you have a history with so many people, I lost count.”

Riley looked affronted for a second, but that emotion didn’t slip into a ready smile, so Jack realized this was serious. Jack stood next to Riley and waited for the man he loved, to admit what the hell was going on. In fact, Riley had been weird for a few days: less quick to smile, less easy to poke at, in a hurry to go find a quiet space away from everyone.

“Not like that,” Riley said. “The woman’s name is Charlotte Harrold, and her dad is Josiah.”

Jack nodded. He and Josiah had their own kind of history, one where Josiah had tried courting Donna and failed, where Josiah looked down at Jack, and where Jack refused to give a rat’s ass. The fucker had blocked Hayes Oil on several occasions and didn’t have a high opinion of Riley, nor of Riley and Jack. Add to that, Tom, Riley’s right-hand man at work, had unfortunately had a run-in with Josiah Jr., Charlotte’s brother. Too much history between the Hayes and Harrold families.

“Why would Jim hire her, then?” Jack paused to think about what he knew concerning Charlotte. “I remember her being a bitch with daddy issues.”

Riley shrugged. “I don’t know. I mean, I asked him, and he said she’s good at what she does, and that she’s changed, whatever that means. Oh, and I should give her as much of a chance as people gave me.”

“Cryptic. So you think she’s going to cause trouble.”

Riley looked at Jack sharply. “Hell no. I know her work, and she’ll be an asset. It’s only….”

Jack tensed. “You slept with her.”

“Jesus, Jack,” Riley said instantly. “No way. She was Jeff’s. I mean she and Jeff were having an affair. He called her Charlie, and I damn well walked in on them once. The wedding photos were still wet at the printer’s, and there he was, fucking around on Lisa.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah, oh. And we’re going to be in the same room as her. All I can remember is that Jeff was balls-deep in Charlie, and he had his hands—” Riley demonstrated with his hands in front of him in a ring. “—around her neck.”

Jack immediately realized what the problem was. The joined families, whether Campbell or Hayes, had quietly consigned Jeff and everything he had done to something never to be talked about. Riley never shared cute childhood stories where he, Eden, and Jeff were friends; no tales of brotherly misadventures. To Jack’s mind, Jeff had been born a sadistic bastard, and likely there were a lot of stories Riley hadn’t told him about the kind of things Jeff had done to both Riley and Eden.

“Seeing her makes you face what he did,” Jack said. He reached over and held Riley’s hand, lacing their fingers together and squeezing. This was what he did best. He was there for Riley, supporting him, holding him up, knowing as much as he needed to know, and still being there for the man who was his other half.

Riley sighed and bumped shoulders with Jack. “Yeah,” he whispered.

“So your dad doesn’t know that Jeff and Charlie were…?”

“No. I’m sure I’m the only one.”

“Lisa didn’t know?”

Riley squeezed back. “She always knew he was unfaithful, but with Charlie, no, I don’t think so.”

For a second, Jack allowed the words to settle. Lisa was damaged by much more than physical pain. She had a world of hurt where her dead husband was concerned, not least of which was the end result of what he did to her. The secret she carried with her was too awful for Jack to contemplate knowing how she lived with it.

“We don’t see enough of Lisa and the kids,” he said.

That was true. Lisa hadn’t visited in a while. Although to be fair, whenever Jack and Riley organized a family gathering of any sort, they always invited her. She’d moved to San Antonio with her fiancĆ©, Ed, and was building a place for herself and the kids well away from the life she’d had here. Luke was sixteen, Annabelle coming up for nineteen. They weren’t at the ranch as often as Josh’s kids. They had lives of their own, but still, Jack was all about family.

“We’ll get them over, or maybe we’ll go visit them,” Jack said. He wasn’t going to let Riley focus on this one thing to distract himself from the central issue. “Back to the meeting. When you sit there, it will be all business, and if she comes over to talk to you, you smile, nod, and put on the best goddamn Riley act you can.”

“You’re not planning on being there.”

“I hate them,” Jack said, then he felt guilty. Riley was clearly concerned about the meeting, and he should make the effort. “I can try.”

“Don’t say that.” Riley smiled at Jack. “As much as I like it when you do that ‘I don’t care, I’m a hot, dusty cowboy’ thing, I seriously think you should stay away.”

“Yeah?”

Riley looked at him again. This time, the shadows had disappeared from his eyes. “It’s like torture for you.”

“Tell me more about how you like the cowboy thing,” Jack growled.

Riley grinned. “When you push the chair back and you kind of sprawl there, with your thumbs in your belt. You smile and nod when you need to and all I want to do is crawl over the table and ride you right there in the meeting.”

Jack’s cock swelled and pressed against his jeans. Riley’s voice was husky and low and sent every molecule of blood south.

“Jesus, Riley.”

“Sometimes you unwrap those stupid little mints, and you press one to your lips, and then you suck it in.”

“I like the mints.”

“All I can imagine is my cock in your mouth, and I’m so freaking hard I can’t concentrate on the numbers.”

Jack wriggled to get comfortable, and he had to press his free hand to his zip to ease some of the pressure. “Like it’s easy for me,” he muttered. “You in your suit, and those ties you wear, and all I can imagine is ripping it all off, tying you down and fucking you into tomorrow. That’s the only reason I go.”

Riley moved so quickly Jack didn’t have time to draw breath. He straddled Jack and pushed him back on the bed.

“Carol.” Jack mentioned their nanny’s name with the last remaining moments of having the presence of mind. “People…,” he added as a warning, as Riley stole his words with the deepest, dirtiest, messiest kiss he’d had since the last time they’d been in the barn.

Riley pulled back enough so Jack could look into his eyes. “Barn,” Riley said. “Now.”

Riley scrambled up and away, unbuttoning his jeans and adjusting himself. “Now,” he repeated.

With determination, they made it out of the house. Hayley was at school, Max out with Robbie and the horses, the twins were happy with Carol, so they had nothing to stop them. It didn’t matter it was ten in the morning, this was happening.

“Hey, boss,” Robbie called as Jack stepped outside.

Jack stopped so suddenly that Riley had to do some nifty footwork to try not to walk into the back of him. He didn’t quite manage it, and instead they met in a slam of limbs.

“Fuck,” Riley muttered.

“Hi, Robbie,” Jack said. He needed to cover the fact that he was hard and thanked the heavens that Riley had tugged out his shirt.

“Starting on the porch today,” Robbie said. He was carrying a box full of tools. “Lumber got delivered at the ass crack of dawn.” He gestured toward Jack and Riley’s barn, at the wood piled in front of the door.

Fuck. Whose idea was it to get a porch added to the main house?

Yours, you idiot.

Liam was next to him, a saw in one hand and a bucket of nails in the other. Liam didn’t seem to want to stand still, restlessly moving his weight from one foot to the other. Liam still wasn’t entirely comfortable talking to Jack one-on-one, but Jack didn’t have time to think about that now. He’d forgotten that today the lumber was arriving. Jesus. Fuck.

“Good. Riley and I are… inspecting… stuff.” Way to go with the lack of the English language.

“Stuff,” Riley repeated.

Robbie tilted his head a little and damn it if there wasn’t a slight smile on his face. “Okay, boss,” he said, then he and Liam carried on to the old barn and the woodpile.

Jack thought for a moment, then grabbed Riley’s hand, and in the space of a few minutes, they were leaving the ranch house and heading out on horseback. People were around; people were here: visitors to the riding center, people working. Along with kids, nannies, moms, dads, siblings. Hoping to find peace, Jack deliberately turned Solo to the east and into the parts of the ranch he knew Riley hadn’t seen, the rougher parts of the acreage that were fenced off.

Riley followed. Alex was a little skittish this morning until they were in a smooth canter and heading up into the thick, lush grassland to the east of the ranch. Ten minutes of riding, with no talking, and they reached a stand of trees. A small tributary from the main water supply to the Double D house carved through the coppice. It was a typically cool, fresh January day.

Jack dismounted and tied Solo off, grabbing Riley’s hand as soon as Riley had secured Alex. He tugged Riley into the trees, to the one place that Jack knew they would get privacy. In his pocket, his tight pocket, he had lube. He was stripping before they stopped walking, and by the time they reached the smooth grassed area in the shade, he was naked and a trail of clothes lay behind them. Jack hoped to hell there were no armadillos in hiding or snakes waiting to pounce.

Jack attempted to lay out the blanket he’d grabbed as he saddled Solo, but a naked Riley jumped him and tackled him to the ground, and he knew this wasn’t going to be gentle lovemaking. This was going to be raw, and Jack needed the connection like he needed his next breath. He always did.

Riley covered him, pressing him into the grass and the rucked-up blanket, and kissed him. The kisses were more of the same—hot, messy, deep, with no words. This was heat and fire, and Jack rolled so he was on top. He needed something; he wanted Riley in the worst way.

“I want you to fuck me,” Riley demanded.

Jack nearly lost it there and then. Riley asking him to push inside and—

Jack kissed and bit Riley’s nipples, laving them as they pebbled, sucking marks of possession into Riley’s tan skin. In answer, Riley arched up into Jack and, with his nails, dug biting crescents into Jack’s back. They were nothing but sensation, and Jack wanted to claw his way inside Riley.

He swallowed Riley’s cock with no finesse, no gentle licks, nothing soft and slow. Only when Riley slapped at him with a protest that he was close did Jack release the sucking. Without hesitation, he pressed his lubed finger against Riley.

“Tight,” he ordered.

Riley clenched, then released. They’d worked this out—that clenching the muscle was enough for it to loosen. They knew each other that well. Jack pushed in the first finger, letting Riley adjust, waiting until Riley rocked against it, and he never moved it once. More lube, a second finger, a third, and Riley was begging now. Jack swallowed his cock again, as deep as he could, pinning Riley to his fingers and scraping his teeth gently against Riley’s soft skin. Riley pushed him up, forced him away, and curled his spine. Jack went to his knees, using his thighs to position Riley, then pushed inside his lover. The sight of Riley near slamming his head back on the grass and wool, exposing his neck with a groan of pain and need leaving his mouth, was almost too much.

“Riley, fuck,” Jack gasped. He thrust inside, walking a little closer on his knees, stones pressing into his skin. He didn’t care. He was the other part of Riley; they fit like they were meant to be. He didn’t move again but let Riley press, move and writhe and Jack stole kisses all the time. “I love you, I fucking love you. Riley… shit….”

Riley reached up above his head and grasped at tussocks of grass, holding his upper half still, forcing himself down on Jack’s cock his eyes open and intensely focused. “Touch me,” Riley begged when it was obvious he was close.

Jack balanced himself on one arm, reaching for Riley’s cock. The tightening of Riley’s muscles, the ebb and flow of pressure, and Jack was fucking into Riley’s heaving body with a shout of completion. He stilled as Riley groaned, cursed and shot white stripes over his chest.

“I love you, Jack,” Riley forced past his kiss-bitten lips. “Love you.”

They stayed joined, kissing and exchanging heated words of love, until Jack softened enough to pull free. He used his discarded boxers to wipe at the come, knowing that Riley would need more than that after Jack had come inside him. Riley wouldn’t be comfortable, but it didn’t look like he cared for now. He was blissed-out, flat on the ground, half on the twisted blanket and half on the grass.

“I needed that,” Jack murmured. He flopped to lie next to Riley, tugging at the blanket so they were at least both on it. He held Riley’s hand, “You think it will ever stop?”

“What? This?” Riley gestured with his free hand. “Making love under the blue sky in the middle of the morning?”

“No,” Jack said thoughtfully.

Riley turned his head to look at him. “Then what?”

“The burning. To be with you, to want you, to look at you. Think we’ll ever stop?”

Riley smiled, and the smile reached his eyes, which were more green than brown today. “It burns in me as well.”

“Always?”

“Yeah. All the time. It isn’t only making love. It’s sleeping next to you, looking at you, seeing our kids. It’s everything.”

Jack squeezed Riley’s hand. “Hetboy, you’re my everything.”

“Back at ya, cowboy.”




Author Bio:
RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the bestselling author of over one hundred romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.


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Sean Crisden(Narrator)
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Texas Wedding #7(Audiobook)

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