Release Day Review & GIVEAWAY: The Return by Brad Boney

Posted: July 5, 2013 by sidlove in 5 Star Reviews, Book Reviews, Free Stuff, Giveaway Contest, Heather's Reviews
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Reviewed by Heather C.


TITLE: The Return
AUTHOR: Brad Boney
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 350 pages
BLURB: Music. Topher Manning rarely thinks about anything else, but his day job as a mechanic doesn’t exactly mesh with his rock star ambitions. Unless he can find a way to unlock all the songs in his head, his band will soon be on the fast track to obscurity.

Then the South by Southwest music festival and a broken-down car drop New York critic Stanton Porter into his life. Stanton offers Topher a ticket to the Bruce Springsteen concert, where a hesitant kiss and phantom vibrations from Topher’s cell phone kick off a love story that promises to transcend ordinary possibility.


“Without music, life would be a mistake.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The Return brings us the journeys of Topher Manning, a 26 year old mechanic and aspiring musician living in Austin, Texas, and Stanton Porter, a 50 year old widely-known music critic for National Public Radio from New York. Stanton is in Austin for the annual South by Southwest festival and finds himself in a time crunch when his borrowed car breaks down across the street from where Topher works. Topher offers to help him out, and the two immediately connect over their mutual adoration of Bruce Springsteen and all things music. An unexpected kiss kicks off an impossible romance that opens up ‘gay-for-you’ possibilities, controversial age differences, and the fact that the two men have roots set in entirely different parts of the country. Can Topher and Stanton overcome all these obstacles and find their happy-ever-after?

I am absolutely in love with this book! And the cover! I have been impatiently awaiting this book ever since I read The Nothingness of Ben last November and I just couldn’t believe it when I finally had it on my Kindle.

I will not go into all the details of the plot and rehash the storyline…I kinda want to keep those things close to my chest so I don’t spoiler all the good stuff. So, instead, I will point out a few things that made this book so great for me:

The Characters: You may remember that Topher was briefly introduced in The Nothingness of Ben as a coworker of Travis. This book really CANNOT be read as a stand-alone even though Travis and Stanton had no role in TNoB. All the Walsh boys, and many key events that took place in TNoB, were crucial here in The Return. Also, I’ve never been a huge fan of May/December romances, but, I never really felt the age gap between Topher and Stanton, because the two were so compatible…it was like they were destined for each other. Plus, there is just something about Brad’s writing that makes it so easy to care about his characters, and not just the MCs…I’m talking about ALL the secondary characters too; very character focused and driven.

The Music: Much of this story was told through music. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I have very limited knowledge about “The Boss,” and the majority of the music discussions went right over my head. But, I can honestly say that I appreciate how the author took the meaning of the music and intertwined it with the characters’ lives. It gave important moments of the story so much more depth and meaning, and actually added to my enjoyment.

The Present and the Past Storylines: The story alternated between Topher’s POV in present day, and Stanton’s POV back in the early ’80s. After some initial disorientation with the blast to the past, I didn’t even notice it anymore and became totally immersed in the flow of the story. I wouldn’t classify this as flashbacks because it felt like two interwoven storylines being told at the same time that were equally important and related. This story wouldn’t have worked any other way, and Brad has executed it seamlessly.

The Dialogue: Just like in TNoB, there was A LOT of talkin’ in this book! The characters talk talk talk leaving no time for the reader to ever get hung up on internal monologues and scenery descriptions. Makes for a fast reading book IMO.

The Atmosphere: The story is set primarily between three different locales: Austin, Fire Island, and New York. And the vivid and vibrant way Brad portrays them left me feeling like I had experienced a little piece of the culture without ever having traveled there before. I also got the feeling that these places are very meaningful to the author.

In summary, I loved everything about this book! And I doubt my words have even come close to doing it justice. If you loved Ben and Travis, I definitely think you will be able to find a place in your heart for Topher and Stanton. True, this story is a bit different, but I promise you all of the charm is still there. I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning finishing it, leaving myself with a nasty book-hangover to suffer through the next day.

So, here I am again, impatiently waiting for another ‘Brad Boney’ experience…

Highly recommended.

BUY LINK: Dreamspinner Press  ::  Book Store

Heather C. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: HEATHER’S REVIEWS

Check out all our recommended books in Sid Love’s eBook Store:
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(Support this site and buy the books from my A-store)

—– =============================================== —–


1) Follow the given format to enter yourself into the contest:

Email ID*:
The format in which you’d prefer to read the book, in case you win*:

Message to the author:

2) Don’t forget to “FOLLOW THIS BLOG”. The widget is on the top of this page where you can either subscribe to this blog via email or if you are a wordpress user, you can “Follow” it through your READER!

Why do you need to follow? – To get instant updates on the winner announcement, or other giveaway events that are planned to be hosted on this blog or simply for the reviews and author interviews that are posted here.

3) If you are on Facebook, join our official Group: The Blog of Sid Love


CONTEST WILL END ON 8th July, 2013 @ 11:59 PM Central Time!!

So, hurry!!

  1. Maeve says:

    Oh la la! Count me in the draw!
    I guess you got the name and email, so the format preferred is PDF.

  2. Ilhem says:

    *clutches chest*
    you said Bruce Springsteen??!!
    *runs to add*

    Great review.:)

  3. Dani says:

    definitly want to enter this one!
    cannot wait to read this
    great reviews btw Heather

    danielle maas
    kindle file or pdf please

  4. Toni Whitmire says:

    the excerpt is very interesting

  5. crozzy67cinders says:

    Love the blurb…wow someone new to read for rockers.

  6. DebraG says:

    What a great review. I hope to be able to read this one.

  7. Name*: Darcy
    Email ID*:
    The format in which you’d prefer to read the book, in case you win*:
    Message to the author: Congrats on your new release! I can’t wait to read this. I just got Nothing of Ben this morning, and I have been dying to read. Thank you for the giveaway! Wishing you all the best,,,*S*

  8. H.B. says:

    Congrats on your newest release and thank you for the giveaway =)

  9. Jbst says:

    strive4bst(AT) yahoo(Dot) com
    Mobi or prc format please.
    Congrats on the five star review and new release! You must be thrilled.

  10. Cornelia says:

    Sounds like a great read.

  11. Carey says:

    Can’t wait for this new book!
    Really enjoyed your last book, please count me in 🙂

  12. kek219 says:


    ePub format

    Loved ‘The Nothingness of Ben’. Looking forward to reading this!

  13. Marie says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to win! (If I’m lucky enough to win, mobi/prc is my preferred format, please.) Congratulations on your recent release and the great review!

    awindandbooks at gmail dot com

  14. Vicky Golar says:

    *runs to add book*
    80’s music – hell yeah!

  15. Penumbra says:



    EPUB format

    Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

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