Sometimes you have to loose the life you have to gain the one you're meant to live
That is what happened to Ben Walsh when on a winter day walking through the streets of Manhattan a phone call from home changes his life forever. His parents are dead. A car accident. They've left behind his three younger brothers in Austin, Texas where he grew up. Three boys he barely knows really. They are 16, 14 and 12...Ben is 28 and has been making his way in New York City as an up and coming litigator for one of the best firms in the city. But he has an obligation, and he does what has to be done.
Ben goes home and he buries his parents, but HE IS PISSED. What is he supposed to do with his entire fucking life?! His career that he has worked so damn hard for, his friends, his big time NY connections, his boyfriend!!...What will happen to them? Is he supposed to wave them goodbye to play parent to THREE teenagers? He is not prepared for this! He can't do it!
His brothers don't expect much from Ben to be honest, he's always been the distant brother who didn't have much use for family, or their hometown. Quentin the oldest is strong and direct and he tells Ben that he knows he won't do right by them...Jason the quiet one, he just wants to stay together he's going through stuff and he needs his brothers, and Cade the baby...He misses his daddy so badly. He wants to be protected and loved and just hopes that things will be okay.
Ben has hard choices to makes and he DOES NOT want to give up what he's worked for. Even with the hurt of his parents being gone he still wants the life he had. Because grief is like that, tragedy doesn't change who you are, or what you want magically. Giving up what you've worked for even when you know it's the right thing to do IS HARD. Loss does not make any of that easier, doesn't make you nobler. Growing up DOES, understanding love DOES, seeing what you would be missing by making the selfish choice DOES. Ben STRUGGLED with all this, and even though I wanted to bitch slap him for his utter dumbassness more than once, I sympathized with the guy, because the things he had to do were hard.
Thankfully for Ben in the midst of this terrible time he meets his parents' neighbor, Travis. Travis is close to his brothers (he has taken the role Ben wasn't there to fulfill) and he helps Ben make the right choices. He helps Ben get through those dark weeks of grieveing that him and his brothers do. He helps Ben try and get settled into the life of guardian of his brothers. He and Ben fall in love.
...And they lived happily ever after...NOT SO MUCH Because these were people and people are never that simple. Things were hard, VERY hard. Ben could not give up his hope of returning to NYC, despite knowing what was best he couldn't to give it all up and he tried HAVE IT ALL. The boys, Travis, the NYC career. Only when Ben understood, FINALLY, what really was the most important thing did he open his eyes to the fact that what he was giving up could not hold a candle to what he was getting in return. He earned the love and trust of his brothers, who he loved right back and he got the kind of love from Travis that he was willing to be selfless for.
I loved this family story. The boys were gorgeous, Ben was a self-centered clueless asshole sometimes, but the guy had integrity and he manned up when it mattered. Travis was wonderful.
Oh yeah and the sex was smokin!! Seriously this book was awesome. Very glad my friends sent it my way.
Wonderful debut from Brad Boney, looking forward to more from him.
VERY MUCH RECOMMEND.
The Nothingness of Ben is for sale on Dreamspinner Press