HERO (Book #1 in the Donnie Ray Cuinn series) by Boyd Taylor

Check out my review of other books in this series!
  • The Antelope Play - Review coming Jan. 17th
  • The Monkey House - Review coming Jan. 26th
  • Necessities - Review coming Feb. 8th
Synopsis - 

When budding historian Donnie Ray Cuinn stumbles upon an old letter in the musty bowels of the Texas State Archives, he believes he has uncovered the true story of Sam Payne's valiant, or perhaps not so valiant, capture of Mexican leader Santa Anna during the Battle of San Jacinto. Cuinn's findings are published in a local magazine. But the article eventually becomes fodder in the gubernatorial race between Democratic upstart Bob Braeswood and Republican favorite Sam Eben Payne V, the great-great-grandson of the Texas hero. Braeswood is intent on exploiting the past, while Payne will do anything to suppress it. In the ensuing battle, Donnie finds his beliefs, not to mention his relationships, stretched to the limit in the first novel of the Donnie Ray Cuinn series.

Review - 

If you enjoy an underdog story, then let me introduce you to Donnie Ray Cuinn. Donnie is a recent history grad who was left by his mother with another couple - Lena and Papa - to raise as their own. While their circumstances were humble, they offered the loving, stable, supportive environment he needed. He has just graduated from university and is waiting to hear if he is hired for a teaching fellowship.

As the book opens, Donnie - sporting an enormous hangover after a night of partying - is pulled out of his bed and his home by two burly men, employees of a powerful politician named Sam Payne. Why? Donnie recently uncovered a damning document that paints the politician's well-known ancestor, formerly labeled a hero, in an unflattering light. The article he published on this document in This Texas was affecting the senator's bid to be reelected.  During this forced meeting he was pressured to sign a document recanting his article, something he refused to do.

From this moment on, the story takes us through a tangled web of move and counter move as the underdog tries to avoid the arrows flung by this powerful and formidable politician. On Donnie's side are Lena and Papa, his long time friend, party buddy and former star athlete - Wesley, Payne's opponent in an upcoming election - Bob Braeswood, This Texas publisher Drayton Philby, and attorney Cecelia Medina - a former girlfriend he hopes to win back.  Along the way more of Donnie's past is revealed and his birth mother comes back into the picture.

Hero has a strong set of characters, a well-paced storyline and a surprise ending that I didn't see coming, always a great way to end a book. Donnie's journey of stepping into adulthood is laid bare as he begins to see the world in a different way, including the truth about those he calls "friends" and the dirty side of politics.  

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Meet The Author -

Check out a fab behind the scenes interview HERE!

BOYD TAYLOR lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and their Havanese dog Toby. Necessities is the fourth novel in the Donnie Ray Cuinn series. In a former life, Boyd was a lawyer and a corporate officer. A native of Temple, Texas, he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in government and an LL.B. from the law school.

Boyd's first novel "Hero" was prescient in its story about fake news. His second novel, "The Antelope Play," dealt with drug trafficking in the Texas Panhandle, an unfortunately accurate forecast. The third, "The Monkey House", involved commercial development of a large green space in the center of Austin, all too familiar to Austin residents. Whether his upcoming novel "Necessities" predicts future events with the accuracy of the earlier books remains to be seen.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook