Title: Shards in the Sun (The Heart of Texas: Book One)
Author: Trina Lane
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Length: 251 Pages
At a Glance: Shards in the Sun is my first Trina Lane book, and I was hooked. And with the way this novel ended, I’m looking forward to the sequel.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: The heart of Texas beats strong, fueled by the love between two men whose lives are interwoven like the long grass of the hill country they call home.
Brandon Blackstun has spent the last decade moving on from the hellish halls of high school. With an invitation to his reunion in hand, he plans to show his former classmates that not only did the repeated occurrences of being slammed into lockers not cause brain damage, but he’s now a successful cover artist for the very books they buy off the shelves.
Tyler Synder was determined not to follow in his father’s footsteps as head of the international corporation that bears the family name. Instead, his heart is tied to the beat of his horses’ thundering hooves. He operates a breeding program for Tennessee Walkers and a guest ranch a couple of hours from the urban luxury of Dallas where he was raised.
The two men might live very different lives, but the heat between them is hotter than any Texas sun. With the help—or meddling—of an unlikely pair of friends, the two explore a relationship that stirs something deep inside them. Distance and misunderstandings force Tyler and Brandon to consider whether the fulfillment they’ve experienced in each other’s arms is worth the sacrifice of the lives they’ve built individually.
Texas may be the second biggest state in the union, but is it large enough to embrace the love between these two men, or will their deeply hidden fears shatter the boundaries of their hearts?
Review: Brandon Blackstun came out in high school. He was never ashamed of being gay but was bullied and harassed. His mom, Miranda, loves him and supported both him and his best friend, Jessenia Sawahla, as they faced life head on. Brandon has a full-time job as a library assistant now, and loves the quiet and the access to all the free books, and his job gives him the opportunity to do what he does best—cover art.
Jessenia is now a graduate student in molecular biology. She comes from a strict Muslim family that emigrated from Egypt, and she faced ridicule because of her Muslim beliefs. Once high school was over, she chose to no longer wear the hijab or follow Islam, which caused her to be disowned by her family.
Ten years have passed since their high school graduation, but Brandon and Jessenia are off to the ever-dreaded reunion to face their bullies. Before attempting the big reunion, though, Jessenia heads to the first party room for some fun and drinks to loosen up; unsure, Brandon joins her. On the way to the crowded bar, Brandon gets pushed to the floor by a long, lean cowboy who saves him from a pitcher of beer. After, as the liquor starts to take over, Brandon keeps an eye on the cowboy, who seems to be taken. So, filled with liquid courage, Brandon and Jessenia decide it’s time to face the reunion where bully, Javier Alde, makes his way over to Brandon. After a serious scolding from Brandon, Javier reveals some very personal information about himself. And, Javier throws a strange twist into this story that you have no idea is coming.
After the wild weekend, Brandon finds he’s made a hang-out date with Javier that he’s not so sure about, but they hit the clubs with the intention of being each other’s wingman. When Brandon gets a glimpse of what Javier’s kink is, he knows that’s not his style; then, suddenly, Brandon finds himself in a situation with Javier and the cowboy, Tyler Synder. As an argument becomes heated between Javier and Tyler, Brandon leaves the club to avoid the confrontation. Tyler does his best to get back in touch with Brandon, but Brandon keeps avoiding his messages.
Brandon sees a lot that he likes in Tyler, but he just doesn’t know if he can survive in Tyler’s world. Tyler comes from a wealthy family, they own the lucrative Synder Oil Company, but he turned his back on the family business and now owns a resort ranch where he also breeds horses. Tyler has a tense relationship with his parents, but he does his best to get along with everyone.
Trina Lane has created a really great novel with some of the most in-depth and diverse characters, and some contrasting family dynamics. There is an abundance of information on Tyler’s horse breeding and running a resort ranch, and Brandon takes us into his world of books and how he got started with cover art. I think the main theme of the story is also about change—in life, in love, and how it causes fear for some while others face it head on. Shards in the Sun is my first Trina Lane book, and I was hooked. And with the way this novel ended, I’m looking forward to the sequel.
You can buy Shards in the Sun here: