Title: Papa’s Boy (Morning Report: Book Three)
Author: Sue Brown
Narrator:: Aaron Pickering
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 7 Hours and 49 Minutes
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: When Ray Sloane tires of the men in his usual club, he finds himself in the Pink Palm, an inauspiciously named spit-and-sawdust dive, not the sort of place an elementary school teacher and pastor’s assistant should be seen in. On the other hand, Ray needs a fresh face. But what he gets is a closeted, desperately unhappy divorcé named Zeke.
Losing his teaching job and his kids has left Zeke bitter and in denial about his sexuality, but Ray is determined to get under his skin. Just as Zeke starts to relax, life interferes with Ray’s plans: Lee, the teenage organist from St. Mark’s, tells his parents that he was abused as a teenager by a prominent congregation member from his old church, and Ray becomes the target of bullies at school and has to worry about his own job. With the specter of what happened to Zeke hanging over him, Ray must protect Lee and his own reputation, all while trying to convince Zeke that he doesn’t need to run away when their relationship grows more intense.
Review: Zeke is an onion! How you slice your onions can be very important. Do you take the outer dry skin of the onion off first before slicing it? Do you cut it in half and then pull off the outer layer after exposing the inner layers of the onion, or do you just chop it up in little pieces?
Zeke had been sliced, diced and finally thrown away by his family . He was crusty on the outside , and as onions can do if not handled right, he will make you cry. Just as Zeke is at his lowest, Ray offers him a beer and some small talk and starts the journey of putting Zeke back together again (Sorry just had to do it. I love the story of Humpty Dumpty). But, as it should, it takes a village to help Zeke mend, and Sue Brown throws in tidbits of the other characters who live and work on the Lost Cow and the community that surrounds them. There was great character development, so much so that I really want the author to continue sharing their lives with us!
But alas, I am reviewing the audio version of this book, and Aaron Pickering was good! Really good! His voice had all the tone and pace of what I think cowboys should sound like, slow and easy. Why I dropped the rating down to a four star was because of the voices the narrator used for Pastor Noah and Tommy. I found them to be not so good. Pastor Noah sounded like an old man short of breath, and Tommy, his partner, sounded like an immature teenager, which I felt was kind of creepy.
Should you buy the audio version of a book that was first published in 2012? Yes and no. If you like this series and want to revisit the Lost Cow in audio, then yes, it’s worth it. If you are just discovering Sue Brown, then read the series in book form first. The narration alone really doesn’t add that much to the story.
You can buy Papa’s Boy here: