The ongoing dramatic series, Boystown by Jake Biondi, continues with season eight. It would be incredibly difficult to read this book as a standalone as it’s built upon all the other seasons and the characters have been layered throughout. However, when you do follow the series, the drama and the intrigue from one season to the next remains high as the characters get put through one extreme situation after the next.
This season opens with the death of not one, but two characters and the effects of those deaths are felt throughout the entire season. Joyelle is missing and being held against her will along with her infant daughter, while Aiden unleashes his plan for revenge on both the Mancini and Ciancio families, as Jensen is put into an impossible position and forced to make an impossible decision as the clock counts down.
New characters come to town with deep ties to established residents and it seems almost everyone has dubious intentions. Even the most committed of the Boystown residents have roaming eyes and in some cases roaming hands as well. As the season, and the year, comes to a close, a blizzard has far reaching effects as there is murder, back stabbing, double crossing, cheating, love, and lust all for the taking in the heart of Boystown.
The Boystown series has kept me entertained through eight seasons now with little intention of letting up. The series retains the dramatic soap opera style and that’s an important distinction because what works here doesn’t always work in a more realistic style romance novel.
Many of the characters from the first season remain and Biondi quickly gets us caught up with all of them, including adding in the signature recap. The shift between scenes remain tight and Biondi is able to integrate all of the characters and the plot lines seamlessly. Once you start a season it’s difficult to put down and it’s almost a race to the finish to see what cliff hanger awaits and which character will be in mortal danger this time. (Not a spoiler: It’s more than one.) The storylines move almost as quickly as some of the characters change partners, but Biondi makes it quite easy to follow along.
My struggle this season came from the storylines being similar to the prior seasons. This season once again opens after a full scale social event goes awry and again there is much time spent at the hospital. Then, there were other plotlines that also read as similar, but just with different characters moving into position. There were times I would have liked to have seen a fresh approach to the episodes, but then other scenes had me intrigued and engaged with the over the top drama. The style does not lend itself to much emotional depth or growth for the characters. The characters act and react in true dramatic fashion, but by this time I was looking for a little more insight to them in addition to the constantly changing landscape of their lives.
The Boystown series keeps the dramatic serial style going strong and the drama will keep you turning pages each season as you sink back and just enjoy the ride. The ending makes it certain that I will be tuning in for the next season as Biondi’s tag line remains true: There’s no place like BOYSTOWN!