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5 stars1Amazon Lost sleep reading to the end! I've read several of Rhamey's books, and one thing I love about them is his genre-bending style. In "Summer Boy" he gives us a murder mystery, a teen romance, and a coming-of-age story, all woven together with effortless skill. Rhamey has created a believable cast of characters--some heroic, some disturbed--whom readers come to really care about, plot twists rich with lethal pitch forks and black widows, and all of it supported by a back-drop of real-life Texas ranch experience--like how to prepare cactus for cow consumption during dry spells.

The main character Jesse's crush on Lola brought back my own teenage longings--minus the murder--without being sappy. A pleasant surprise was that Jesse's evolution over the course of the novel emerged not only from his encounter with first love and ranch life, but also from his challenging relationship to the jealous and dangerous ranch foreman, Buddy.

I read Rhamey's novels quickly, shaving off sleep time in order to finish them. "Summer Boy" was no exception. Highly recommended!

5 stars1Amazon Coming of age in Texas  Sixteen-year-old Jesse takes a summer job on a Texas ranch, and encounters a series of tests and challenges that a kid without his guts and gumption would never survive. From water moccasins to flame throwers, from the rancher's knock-out daughter Lola to her malevolent witch of a mother, from one dead body to another, Jesse must navigate the perils like a modern, younger Odysseus. There is mythic quality to this initiation journey. At the same time the book is so rich in realistic detail that you realize by the end that you've learned a great deal about ranch life in the hinterlands. I was fascinated throughout.

5 stars1Amazon Ray Rhamey does it again!  A warm and engrossing tale of growing up--Texas style. You'll find yourself rifling through the pages as you sweat through the oppressive Texas heat along with Jesse, a young man struggling to survive his summer job as a newly hired ranch hand in 1950's Texas.

Jesse's journey to discover who he is as a man and find his place in the world is complicated by his budding relationship with a young woman, Lola, who he can't keep his eyes off of; a dangerous loose cannon of a co-worker, Buddy, who is bent on forcing Jesse to leave the ranch by any means necessary; Lola's psychotic mother, who disapproves of her daughter's relationship with Jesse; and a murder that looms large over everything that happens that summer at the ranch.

This novel will tug on your heartstrings. Great fun and powerfully written. Don't miss out.

© Ray Rhamey 2017   ray (at) rayrhamey (dot) com 206.291.8758  Ashland, Oregon


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