An enjoyable series made better by the narrator. Morey's characterization of Sam Kaje is incomparable!
I liked the premise even though I thought the execution was somewhat wanting because the main characters just weren't attractive. Or attractive enough. Lord Benjamin Parker came across as a nondescript, boring person, without even the benefit of good looks to attract me. As a romance-lover, I need at least one of two things - the MC has to be gorgeous even if he isn't powerful, smart or rich; or he has to have a great personality if not the looks to accompany it.
The other thing that lost it another star, IMO, was that the author tended to over-write. The narrative was too long, stretching out a point as if she thought I, the reader, wouldn't get it. Much of the time I was itching for the story to get moving. Instead, one of the drawbacks of audiobooks, I was forced to listen as Cavin went on endlessly about some point or other. In the end, I had to hit the pause button and read the ebook, skimming over the lines until the storyline picked up again. As any audiobook lover knows, this is not an easy task and does pull one out of the story by the time you locate the spot you want.
Charlie Belmont was good but even he couldn't save this work. I fell asleep in the second book, Fortune Hunter, so I can't review that beyond saying I like my heroes taller than me (superficial bitch that I am) so five feet four doesn't do it for me. I will try the last book in the series, though, and if that doesn't work either, then no more Ava March for me.
I do hope to see more MM romances by Belmont, though. He has a lovely timbre to his voice. His execution may not be as smooth as David Morey, Jack LeFleur, Sean Crisden or Charlie Carr but he's still better than many male narrators out there. I'd like to see how he carries off a story that's set in the US with American characters.
For some reason I couldn't get through the ebook version of this sequel to Keeping Promise Rock. I had loved the first installment, though, and had bought all three ebooks so decided to see if Morey could help.
Unlike Mickie Ashling's Taste, Morey enabled me to reread the first book and enjoy the second. I still like him better in Calmes' A Matter of Time but Morey's inconsistently good so I tend to buy when he's narrating even when the book isn't one I'm looking out for, as in this case.
MP isn't as angsty as the first installment but it still tiring. Lane does that to me and even though I may be engrossed in the story, when it's over I always feel like I need a palate cleanser. It's been months since I listened and read this book and I still can't bring myself to do the third and final installment.
I will, though. It IS Morey after all,
THE STORY: 4 and half stars
Dan Stagg, ex-Marine, is one fuck away from ending up on the streets. When he gets what seems like an easy job - 10 big ones up front and 20 more when he delivers the package, he thinks his luck has changed. Well, it has, but at a price he's not quite ready to pay. Especially when he's still grieving and embittered over the loss of his career and the only man he'd ever loved.
Despite the bittersweet overtones to both Dan's and Jodi's characters, The Hardest Thing is easily the most enjoyable book I've read this year and its audio version the best I've heard since I started listening to them earlier this year.
While there is romance and Lear and his hero sorta know there is more to life than one easy fuck to another, both happily make use of every situation to get one more fuck in for the reader. And I happily went along for the voyeuristic ride because Dan is about one of the most likeable characters I've come across in a long, long time. Lear has given me an MC I can sympathize and laugh with, and at, from one chapter to the next. The title of the book does make it sound like the start of a series and if so, I wonder whether Dan and Jodi will be the main couple, both fucking their way through one adventure after another.
THT is a fun, bawdy contemporary tale that had me both laughing at, and assessing, the character at the same time. I was getting exasperated at Dan for being unable to pass up a fuck while Jodi was sleeping off his exhaustion after being on the run, when Jodi has been abducted and Dan is supposed to be trying to rescue him; but Lear so cleverly wraps me around Dan's finger (or another appendage, rather) that I, who am particularly critical about inappropriately-timed sexual trysts in my romantic fiction, am prepared to be magnanimous on this occasion.
...because this is that type of book - smutty and rough, bursting with graphic sex and a hero whose self-deprecating humor made me putty in his hands.
Now, if Jodi were some sweet, innocent romantic counterpart to Dan, I guess I would have balked at Dan's tom-cat ways but Jodi can handle himself and taken together, this couple of gay characters make THT a very different type of gay romance that I normally read - and so much better than most. It has action, sex, suspense, sex, romance, sex. While pure porn can be boring and too many or lengthy sex scenes in MM romance gets me impatient to be moving on with the story, I enjoyed every sexual encounter Dan grabbed (in case it's the last fuck he'll ever get). Why? Because Dan is able to preempt every one of my reactions when his insatiable cock, yet again, zeroes in on a new ass like a diving rod.
Despite his promiscuous nature, I can believe that Dan has come to love Jodi towards the end of the book and is ready to move on from his grief of losing Will. I was given a subtle HFN but in this instance, it was sufficient for me.
What wasn't, though, and caused me to deduct half a star, is that the story is told completely from Dan's POV and, as usually happens, I don't get to know the second MC as well as the first. What I felt was needed in this case was an epilogue to give me a more balanced feel to the book. Especially when Jodi is not the man he led us all to believe he was. The Jodi Dan and we are introduced to at the start of the book is nothing like the young man we are left with. His subterfuge and lies were too casually dealt with for someone like Jodi who's fallen in love with someone like Dan.
This book does beg for a sequel, IMO, as I would like to know how Dan copes with the new man in his life and heart, is he going to carve out a new career or will he continue to eke out a living taking one odd job to another (Jodi isn't exactly low-maintenance). I'd like to know the effect Jodi's brain hemorrhage and the recent events have on him and his future with Dan.
I'd like to see Dan and Jodi move out of Jodi's Dad's house and into their own home so that Dan won't have to share the couch with the other biting critters that have taken up residence there.
THE NARRATOR: 5 stars!
Charles Carr did a fantastic job. His ability to give different voices to Dan and Jodi made it easy to distinguish between the two characters, or when it's Dan and the other secondary characters.
Carr's skill at communicating the relevant expression to his words is one other narrators ought to emulate. I've heard narrators who are so deadpan they have no business narrating anything and I've heard those with the sexiest voices ever (Boulton, LeFleur, Morey et al) but none of them do as great a job as getting the characters' personality or the author's intent across as well as Carr does.
More than 5 stars, for the narration and Audible is to be commended for this excellent production. If you're planning to listen to, or want to try, an audiobook, make it THIS one. It's at a special price of $3.99 right now if you're an Audible member. Otherwise, beg, steal, borrow or sell your body to get it.
I was so disappointed with this latest from Sandra Brown. The prologue and first couple of chapters were fine though, like Dawson, I couldn't care less about the what happened to the baby of the terrorists. It had no relevance to Dawson (nor me the reader) at the time but I trudged on certain that Ms Brown would trigger some interest on my part.
Instead, the ensuing chapters read like Women's Fiction, focusing on a divorced Amy and her home life which revolved around her kids and an unlikeable Steph, her kids
nanny. It took too long for any suspense or real mystery to kick in and by then I was bored to tears.
I found this a very unSandra-Brown book.
Stephen Lang's narration didn't help either. I didn't care for him in Chill Factor but I think he's worse here. While I like that he softens his voice for the female parts, in general he is boring and doesn't bring life to the characters or the scenes. I hope, if the author continues to write, that she will return to her previous style where there was drama, suspense and romance - and that the audio producers can get Slezak or Phil Gigante. Anyone else but Lang though Lang is still better than any female.
There was some attempt to add in some action/suspense but don't expect much. This series, up to this 3rd book, will never rise above what fans of Flynn love - fluff. Read it for that and you won't be dissatisfied.
Unfortunately, the 4th (and final?) installment, Final Addition, is not available in audio. I hope it will be as I'd buy it.
The narrator is better than some I've heard from Silver Publishing. Unfortunately, the publisher's website doesn't give audio samples or tell us who the narrator is so I prefer to buy their books from Audible if available. I've tried some direct from Silver Pub and while far better than MLR Press, they are nowhere as good as those from Dreamspinner.
It'a fluffy fun and I enjoy werewolf stories.
McDonald was competent but not as good as many of the male narrators Dreamspinner gets. I guess you get what you pay for?
I wish the 4th book, Final Addition, were available in audio but I learnt the publisher, Silver Pub, was in trouble so I doubt anymore audiobooks will be out unless the company manages to resolve the problems.
This was a nice follow-up to the first book, Second Chance Bite but these stories are so light and fluffy (but enjoyable, unlike some other fluff) that they can all be listened to in one sitting since the stories are sequels rather than standalone.
The narrator is competent but if this were done by Jack LeFleur, it would be doubly enyoyable.
No because I do not like Jim Bowie's voice and style.
Not unless I really want the story in audio. Bowie reads competently but I do not care for his voice. His lines just come across with a slightly strange accent.
Not really though some might find it touching. I found it was alright up to about 70% and then it got boring because it was just more of the same - Kaden's skittishness and insecurity and Logan hovering around like a mother hen, reacting to every nervous gesture from Kaden. It just went on and on like this. Very tiresome.
Predictable but nothing wrong with that. I read/listen to romances and expect an HEA or a solid HFN at least.
First, I hated that Gelder narrated Bulletproof from one of my favorite MM series. He did a horrible job there but I was so surprised by his work here in Touch Me Gently. The difference was detectable even in the meager sample that Audible gives. It was this that made me buy the book.
I have the ebook but had not read it yet. If I had read it first, I would not have bought the audio.
No, it was rather boring. I listened to it because I was on the road and only had a limited number of books on my iPhone.
Added a suspense thread, maybe.
No more Samantha King books for me. I'd listen to DeGrassi again, though.
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