TWO 5 and 3 Stars for Brothers by Ralph Josiah Bardsley #MM#Family


Title: Brothers
Author Name & Publisher: Ralph Josiah Bardsley (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: December 14, 2015 – 254 pgs


At twenty-three, Jamus Cork’s plans are simple—graduate college, stay in New York City, and write. But those plans change when his parents are suddenly killed and he finds himself the guardian of his little brother, Nick. Jamus ends up back in the Boston neighborhood where he grew up, with a crying toddler on his knee and the challenge of building a new life for himself and the boy. Jamus somehow finds a way to navigate the ups and downs of single parenting, but over a decade of raising Nick, Jamus never truly overcomes his struggles with loneliness and the guilt he feels as the sole survivor of the crash that killed his parents. That changes when he meets bookishly handsome Sean Malloy. There’s a spark between the two men, but both must face down their own private demons to find love in the Irish enclave of South Boston.

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This book was amazing! It was so painful but yet beautiful at the same time too!

This was a story about loss.. About Jamus losing his parents and becoming a parent to his little brother. About learning to not blame yourself for something that was beyond your control.

There was a little bit of romance in this book but it was mostly about learning through things that happen in life and for Sean about admitting to himself and his family who is really his and how he really feels.

I loved the way this author wrote these characters and this story! You could really feel what these characters go through while reading this book and you can’t help rooting for them and hoping for these two MC’s to find happiness with themselves and each other.

All together I really loved this book!
I would recommend this book!

This book was not what I expected. The book was too slow for me. They didn’t even have their first date until 61% into the book.

The plot line, though, was great as well as the characters. The characters became very real and you could really feel for them and their situations. Sean’s family is awesome. The family dynamic made you want to be part of that family.  Nick and Jamus’s relationship as brothers is very sweet and they’re very close which is great. I love that. Jamus’s sacrifices that he had to make raising Nick was very admirable.

If you don’t mind a slow beginning and you like the story of an author raising a child and finding love then this book is for you. Like I said, it’s a great book, but the first half is very slow.  If I could, I would rate it 3.5 stars because it was pretty good


This is one of the best books I’ve read, and I’m so glad I picked it up. I chose it for the setting (I love Boston) and the theme of family. It exceeded my expectations.

Mr. Bardsley’s writing style is flawless and elegant. There is no fast-paced action in the story, yet it didn’t drag. I couldn’t put it down because I was so absorbed in the intricate relationships between these sets of brothers.

I loved the all the characters, even prickly teenage Nick (who is about as dead-on as any adolescent I’ve read in a novel aimed at adults). Kevin really surprised me, as did Sean’s would-be girlfriend, Grace. Some of Sean’s interactions with his family broke my heart, but there was also a seed of hope buried in their complicated relationship.

Although the story touched on a lot of heavy themes, it never felt bogged down or preachy. These were just people trying to navigate their messy life circumstances the best they knew how.

At it’s core, this is not really a romance, even though there is a growing relationship between Jamus and Sean. This is a love story between brothers and between friends. For me, this was absolutely perfect, and the way all the threads tied up at the end could not have been better.

What a wonderful and moving story, worth every minute.



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Ralph Josiah Bardsley was born in a small town outside of Boston. His father was in the Coast Guard and he grew up in a lot of different places – New Orleans, Cape Cod, North Carolina and Sitka, Alaska. When he wasn’t in school, he spent most of his time in Coast Guard hangers or reading. Today he lives in San Francisco with his husband Dana. Ralph’s hobbies include writing, running and wine tasting! Ralph works in the high tech industry in marketing. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Greensboro College and a master’s in communication from Emerson College.

“My writing comes from a combination of imagination and people and places that have shaped who I am today. My first book, Brothers, pulls from my childhood growing up as part of a big Irish family. OK, my immediate family wasn’t that big, but I had tons of aunts and uncles, and I can’t tell you how much wonder and amazement comes from being part of a loud, rowdy and loving family.”


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