According to Hoyle by Abigail Roux, narrated by Mason Lloyd #AudioReview

According to Hoyle by Abigail Roux, narrated by Mason Lloyd #AudioReviewAccording to Hoyle by Abigail Roux

Narrator: Mason Lloyd
Genres: Historical Romance, M/M Romance, Romantic Suspense, Western Romance
Published by Riptide on August 23, 2016
Length: 7 hours 48 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Buy: Amazon | Publisher
four-half-stars
four-flames

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A Western suspense story that takes the reader into the world of lawmen, outlaws, secret government agents, mysterious treasure, raw and wild towns, riverboat showdown, and a trail of growing friendship and romance for four hard-bitten men.

This is not my first encounter with this book, but it is my first time getting the audio version.  Mason Lloyd was a new to me narrator.  He did a remarkable job with four main characters and a handful of minor characters, three perspectives.  I thought he matched well for this style of story.  He transitioned between thoughtful and descriptive times and equally well when big action scenes were taking place.

The story opens with a prologue of a meeting in Denver.  Gabriel ‘Dusty’ Rose and Bat Stringer, gunmen are summoned by government agent, Baird.  Baird wants them to steal a native artifact from the army for him.  Rose is suspicious and wants no part.  Stringer takes the job.  Baird can’t have loose ends so tells Stringer to take Rose.  Rose gets away.

Not long after that, US Marshall’s Flynn and Wash are sent for a prisoner pick-up.  Flynn is none to pleased about the whole thing with Wash’s arm still hurt from his last assignment and one of the prisoners being the infamous gunman Dusty Rose.  Rose is jailed with a pair of army prisoners who are being sent to St. Louis for trial.  One of the men is a mute man named Cage.  Not far along the trail, Rose and Cage grow friendly especially since Rose is kind to the man who cannot speak and seems to understand him without the words.

Rose’s wit rubs Flynn and the others raw and he is uncomfortable with Rose’s openness about preferring men.  Flynn’s own mind is in conflict because of his feelings for his own trail partner.  He and Wash went off to war together and then into the Marshalls.  He struggles against the feelings that want Wash as more than a friend.  He’ll be happy to get rid of the prisoners and get back to normal.

Unfortunately, first Wash and then Flynn grow more and more convinced that things aren’t as simple as they appear.  Rose gives them glimpses into the broader situation and they are forced to figure out what to do with what they know.  Before they can make up their mind, the issue blows up in their face and they are all left scrambling for their lives.  Trust in each other is crucial and Flynn finally figures out his heart, but may have left things too long.  Cage is confronted by his past and Rose must prove that he truly is the best if all of them are to make it out of the situation alive.

This has a great sense of setting and place.  The tone is just right.  A strong western story that feels like the real deal through and through.  All four main characters are painted well and interact well as a group and in their partnerships.  The author gave a fifth perspective with Stringer so the reader got many views at the situation since Flynn and Cage were the other narrators.

The suspense was a nice addition that kept me guessing.  I had a good idea what was going on until a twist and reveal out of nowhere made me realize there was more to it.  The ending was fantastic and left me breathless and glued to the story.  I loved how it ended at a spot that can be seen as a complete story or the jumping board for more to come.  Incidentally, if I get my wish, there will be more to come with these characters and an ongoing story.

To wrap it up, fantastic book experience that I would recommend to any m/m Western Romance lovers who don’t mind an action-suspense element.

My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to listen to this story in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #288 LGBT
Audio #34
Books N Tunes #38 Brandon Feichter’s Tumbleweed Town

 

About Abigail Roux

Abigail Roux was born and raised in North Carolina. A past volleyball star who specializes in sarcasm and painful historical accuracy, she currently spends her time coaching high school volleyball and investigating the mysteries of single motherhood. Any spare time is spent living and dying with every Atlanta Braves and Carolina Panthers game of the year. Abigail has a daughter, Little Roux, who is the light of her life, a boxer, four rescued cats who play an ongoing live-action variation of ‘Call of Duty’ throughout the house, a certifiable extended family down the road, and a cast of thousands in her head.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Yay! Another historical romance and with four and a half stars! I think I’m more convince now to try this but only after I’m done with the Harry Potter series (haha, I just had the courage to finally read it lol)

    • More like big Western adventure with a touch of romance, but definitely fun.

      OH, love Harry Potter. 🙂

  • It’s been a while since I’ve read a Western and while it’s not really my type of story it does sound interesting.

    • It reminds me of the movie Maverick- fun, exciting, and not everything what it seems. Definitely it was interesting. 🙂

  • oh man once you are in the mood for western you are in the mood for western XD this looks great

    • You caught me, Lily. Haha! I am a professing mood reader of the highest order. Lately it’s been sci-fi so be prepared for a glut of that hitting our reviews. Haha!

  • A riverboat showdown? For some reason that got my attention. It sounds like a good and suspenseful read. Glad to hear the audio version was done well. I hope all the different point of views worked well in this case, I always like seeing multiple point of views in books, although not all authors can pull it off right. And those type of endings are great where it feels like a good ending, but also could serve as jumping board for more.

    I saw your comment to Lily about being a mood reader and sci-fi coming next. I’ve been in a sci-fi mood as well, so I am looking forward to your sci-fi reviews ;).

    • Yes, that was a very exciting scene near the end on that riverboat.

      I think in this case, the multiple points of view helped keep the mystery strong even while moving the story forward. You’re right. Sometimes it works and other times, it’s distracting. I liked how Abigail did it.

      Ha, yes, I read the Pets in Space and two other right in a row. Definitely there will be a few sci-fis in the next month’s review queue. 🙂