I vaguely remember this title previously being given five-star reviews on some known review sites, but admit that such ratings never swayed me before. Truthfully, I bought this book entirely on merit of Sean Crisden being the narrator. He did not disappoint me! Neither did the novel itself. Admittedly, I'm a huge gay-for-you fan and as Sean Crisden is one of my top ten favorite audiobook narrators, I knew I would not regret this purchase.
Even at its angsty-est moments, this novel is a cut above the rest. Personally I found that the storyline reminded me quite a bit of the movie Shelter (2007) and as the previous reviewer mentions, there is an overdone ocean imagery that could have been reigned in. I'm also not the biggest fan of the main characters (incl. the supporting cast!) bursting into tears at any given emotional moment. But all this is forgiveable in light of a well-written, well-narrated story. And it is indeed a well-written novel! I never got bored, never had a moment when I was tempted to skip forward. The pace and the story arc was excellently done, balancing angst with humor very well. To his credit, Sean Crisden does what he does at his best, giving personality to the characters and diving into every scene with such enthusiasm and fearless animation that it was difficult to turn the audio off, and I never really wanted the book to end. With over 12 delicious hours to enjoy, I say forget listening to the sample. Just go ahead and buy this one!
I have a very eclectic reading range, but ranked amongst all the other chick lit books, I'd say it's a very solid read. It's one of the longest chick lit books I've listened to with 11+ hrs but I listened to it all in one sitting. Not necessarily something I'd recommend doing since I was exhausted by bed-time, but it's one of those books you won't mind continuously listening to, or pausing to come back to, since the story is engaging enough.
The closest other I can think of is Sophie Kinsella - 'Remember Me'. More for the heroine being thrown into the deep end, not knowing what's going on, and having to work out who she is and what her life is about. In 'Step Back In Time' it's time travel vs. memory loss, which makes it a harder sell, but it's handled well enough that it's not hard to suspend your belief and take the journey with Jo-Jo.
I really enjoyed her performance. There are distinguishable voices for each character and she kept her narration light, to go with the tone of the novel. There were no annoying habits or weird inflections to throw me out of the story. I had no problems whatsoever, listening for hours.
If pushed, I would say something that is obvious, yet subtle, Beatles themed. Something like 'That Road Before' (from The Beatles - 'The Long and Winding Road'). But really, I think the current title did all right.
As you might have realized, there's a very strong Beatles theme to this book. I think if you're a solid Beatles fan, you'll love picking up all the clues and hidden gems related to the Beatles that are thrown out. You might even want to make a game of it, and see how many you get right. As a regular fan of the Beatles it's a good read, where you'll get some clues but won't feel overwhelmed, and may even laugh when you realize you missed some obvious ones. That being said, this book is about love and friendship. I particularly liked the long and winding road that Jo-Jo takes to finding herself, falling in love, and discovering friendships across the universe, in the sea of time, and in [her] life (okay I'll stop!). Each time she wakes up is an entire story unto itself. You'll forget that you still have hours more to listen to. And once she's down again, you'll be intrigued to know what happens this time. So, a very intriguing story that keeps moving forward. I recommend listening!
This book! My goodness. Thank you to all the forces that came together to bring this one to us listeners. It was 7+ hrs of bliss to listen to.
Although there are very solid explanations and twists to the tropes, generally the storyline of this book has nothing new. If you've read the Change of Heart series by Mary Calmes, and/or the With or Without series by Langley, or really any M rated werewolf/human fanfiction, then you know exactly what route the storyline of this novel takes. YET, I have no idea what sorcery Cardeno C. worked, but whatever it was, the author sold me this entire story as though it was brand new. Every single word made my heart ache for these two men. I needed them to be together more than they needed to be. I believed 100% in their love and kept forgetting to breathe, chapter after beautiful chapter.
Charlie David is perfect as the narrator of this book. Perfect. In fact, I will just take a moment to commend him and all the other truly amazing male narrators that we have in this genre; the Method-Readers as they seem to be, who do more than just read the words but truly perform every scene. He did things with his voice that made my heart flutter. He gasped, and laughed, and delivered lines in a sexy, husky, tone that had me swearing out loud and needing air. The way Jonah sounds during certain moments, the voice he uses for Zev that is all Alpha, dear heaven....
Enough said! You're reading this review because you like gay romance, so you will almost certainly love this book. Gorgeous, sexy, angsty, and very, very good. Forget about food and sleep. You won't be needing those, at least not for the next 7 or so hours. Five star, recommended!
So many of the YA books I've recently read, or read when I was a teen, was told from a teen girl's perspective. I find it extremely refreshing to now be reading books from the teen guy's point of view. It's incredibly entertaining! As a female, I had no idea what teen guys thought or felt, but if it's anything like Carter in this novel - and I'd be disappointed if it wasn't! - then their minds go a lot of place in a few minutes. And it's hilarious! The character of Carter and 'his boys' left me giggling in public and laughing aloud like a mad person when alone. Brent Crawford did a wonderful job of cutting the angst of growing up and replacing it with hilarious, embarrassing, moments that will leave you shaking your head, mumbling 'You are such an idiot!' a lot, to wanting to fight your way into the novel and give Carter a tight hug.
As for Nick Podehl narrating this audiobook. He. Is. PERFECT! He just is. He brings such enthusiasm and realism to the characters that I'm a little jealous that he clearly has so much fun doing this job! This is exactly the genre he belongs in reading, and he does an amazing job at it. May he continue to be given these books to narrate. He's great at it!
Worth the credit if you don't mind being stuck inside a teen guy's head for a few hours and just want something a little light and a little teen-angsty and a lot funny!
I personally feel like anyone who gives Armed & Dangerous more than a 3 star rating does so on merit of all the other books in the series and the work of the two authors in the books prior. No argument whatsoever that this series in general is lovely. I wish to judge Armed & Dangerous on its own as its own book, and as such, well I have to say that this is one book in the series that was like nails on a chalkboard to me. It took me almost two weeks to finish listening to it when usually I stay up all night and lose sleep.
One of the most disgusting thing to me is that Cameron and Julian from 'Warrior's Cross' was introduced into the Cut & Run series. This irritates me to no end and makes me think that the authors sank to a new low just by doing something so distasteful. Still, fair is fair and Julian's character, and even Preston, upheld their part of the deal by being two very brilliant characters, even as they had to compete for the limelight with Ty and Zane. I will refrain from giving too much of my opinion on Cameron. I can't stand the character in Warrior's Cross, and I despised him even more in Armed & Dangerous, but that's enough said. It was interesting to see Ty and Julian battle against each other. Two fierce fighters in their own rights, ruthless and smart, were the most engaging parts of this book to listen to. Ty and Zane were also lovely as usual in their muted interactions as they tried to remain professional. I'm not sure I came out of listening to this book with much confidence in Ty's ability to love Zane entirely though, especially as Nick makes an appearance. Still, for what was involved, and with the twists and sad turns, I didn't entirely hate the plot. Little things, however, I found could have been tweaked to strengthen the story. But Roux, having shed Urban, have decided to take the two characters down a winding path in this and the upcoming books, and we the readers/listeners must go with where she takes us or jump ship.
Sean Crisden as the narrator did his usual style whilst reading this book. Not bad, and not his very best, but good enough to propel me forward at the points when listening to certain parts made me want to rip my hair out. Nick's voice is still annoying. Julian's voice was so 'wrong' that I had to bite my tongue to stop from swearing the first few times the appalling Irish accent made an appearance. In spite of this though, Crisden kept the pace and worked with what he had. To this, fair due must be given.
Overall, I can't imagine I will ever be re-listening to Armed & Dangerous again. It's an okay stepping stone within the series but if it had never been written, we would be missing absolutely nothing important within the storyline. As it is, having listened to it, I'm relieved I got through it. Some people might truly have loved it. I'm not so convinced. But as I said, the series in general is very good and we can't all like all the books. Bring on Stars & Stripes to audiobook! Hopefully that one does not disappoint quite so much.
I've been having a very hard time recently getting through an entire audiobook. Still, I've been devouring e-books from my favorite authors. This leads me to believe that my dissatisfaction is down to the narrators (and yes, a lot is also down to the books and the authors). I bought this book on merit of Jack Lefleur alone. I've never heard of the author, Fae Sutherland (which is likely my own folly and nothing to do with her talent) but I've been wasting so many credits buying books and losing interest that I got desperate. I knew Jack Lefleur as the narrator would not let me down (the synopsis of the book sounded like something he would excel at reading).
Somebody needs to figure out how to bottle this man's voice. It's one of the sexiest things I've ever heard and the more he reads is the more you lose yourself in the words he's weaving around you. Every book he reads is a performance. Each character is given their own distinct voice. Each action pulls you in. It's not hard to imagine that you're sitting in that cockpit with Rain or stalking around the ship with Torin. Once he starts going, you really just have to drop everything, close your eyes, and let his words infuse you.
This book is sexy. There is no other word for it. If I've listened to it slowly it's because I've been savoring it. This is why we listen to gay romance as audiobooks. A sizzlingly hot story with a great plot. Throw in some off-planet action, hidden pasts, and running from the law and you're left with a story that has great characters and lovely world building. I wouldn't say it's the best story I've 'read' but it's definitely better than so many others. Rain and Torin burn the pages the second they are in a room together. Hot, sexy tension and scorching hot sex. And it helps that the plot is solid and believable.
If you have a lazy weekend or could do with a lie-in, download this book and listen. Definitely worth the credit!
When Sophie Kinsella has a chick lit out there's no need to even listen to the preview. Really, just buy it. Okay. To be honest, there were moments when Poppy's character edged my teeth with how flighty and air-headed she seemed. This is one very ditzy heroine. And she's impulsive. And sometimes I found myself thinking aloud to her "God girl think this through!" But well, she is just a character in a book. Fortunately this is a very well-written book. And it's fun to read (bought it in the airport for a flight), and especially fun to listen to (left the book behind then just re-bought it here on Audible as soon as I got back home). It's all the funny moments, and yes, all the groan-out-loud at Poppy's madness, moments and of course those moments when you're really so into a book that you can't bear to put it down (or turn it off in this case). I do have to warn again the narrator's choice of voice for Sam. He sounds like an old man! I couldn't get over it. This was sadly disappointing since the narrator is otherwise really great and everyone else had convincing voices. But for some reason the 'leading man' got assigned the voice of a 50 year old. No idea why! Fortunatley once you get over the shock the first few times it turns out alright. Bottom line, don't expect the next of the great best literature here, it is chick lit after all. But if you want a fun easy listen with laugh-out loud moments then this is a no brainer to just buy.
I would certainly recommend this book to a friend but must admit that this would be a title I would rec only if I've run out of more interesting titles. It's definitely worth the recommendation and is by far better than most other books out there in this genre. Still, it's not the kind of book you'll find yourself listening to over and over. So, it's not going to be one of those titles that immediately spring to mind when a friend asks for a recommendation.
The most interesting aspect was the romance between the two male leads. I liked the development of the romance between the two men, as well as the friendship within the band between the bandmates. I was however a little irritated because one of the men already had an established best friend and suddenly the two lead men were being referred to as 'best friends' just to perhaps give the upcoming relationship a firmer foothold. I don't mind the two men being best friends. I just got a little miffed because I saw no point in establishing a bff just to 'replace' him, since the bandmates are all pretty tight with each other throughout the story anyway.
The least interesting aspect I found was the climb from obscurity to fame. I am admittedly divided on this opinion because on one hand it was very interesting to live the 'journey'. However, on the other hand this is a romance novel. Brace yourself, I warn, because 3/4 of this book has no romance whatsoever. It's all about the climb. For the 1/4 that is all about the romance however, this was admittedly well written and well-read. So while I was seriously bored during some parts, if those parts were edited out, the story would have fallen flat because so much of it was about the rags-to-riches. To take even the tiniest bit of that away would have destroyed the story. The UST however was nicely handled, and the fact that the main characters were best friends helped to distract from the lack of romance. Also, the second half of the book does its best to make up for the prudeness of the first half. So, much of this is forgiven.
I loved Sean Crisden's performance. As usual, it's not his best performance, but neither is it close to being his worst. He does a very good job with establishing each character and bringing his own unique brand of youthful enthusiasm to the read. He kept my interest in the story even at its most boring points.
I realize though that my like for Crisden as a narrator helps me to appreciate this and some other novels he's narrated, more than if I'd read them myself in print form. I imagine that if you dislike Crisden as a narrator then this may not be the book for you to buy. In my opinion he carries the book further than I would have appreciated it on its own. In the same way, I imagine that in this particular book, disliking him as a reader can just as much take away from the experience, especially because so much of this book is about the band, the bandmates' friendship, and their journey from obscurity to fame, more than about the two men who eventually - admittedly convincingly and very gorgeously, and slowly - fall in love with each other.
I happen to love this book. It???s my favorite in the series so far. Personally, Sean Crisden had his work cut out for him being the narrator of a novel that I've loved reading in print. I know every line in this book, know all the jokes and all the emotional scenes, and I've had a mental impression of what these scenes sound like. Sean Crisden doesn't always get it right, but he gets it right when it counts. It must be said that I'm not impressed by his reading of the first quarter of the book. For whatever reason his tone seemed monotonous and frustratingly, his inflections were off. He seemed to emphasize random words in sentences instead of the correct words. Also the voice he chose to use for Nick O was so irritating it borders on being the worst voice I've ever heard assigned to a character. However, his reading of Ty and Zane, and the supporting characters in general, were very well done as usual. The most important scene in the book (you know which one!) was read with a combination of strength and vulnerability, for which Crisden deserves the highest kudos. It may not be Crisden's best, but it's certainly a lovely effort. This is for the most part due to the story that was written. There's no getting enough of Ty and Zane. Urban and Roux makes falling in love breathtaking and sexy, hard to come to terms with, sometimes even painful to bear, and achingly difficult to endure alone. Therein lies the reason why this series is so popular. Although I intensely dislike Cameron as a character in Warrior's Cross, I have every faith in Roux succeeding in her new solo role for the crossover sequel. I will likely buy the next book in the series, Armed and Dangerous, provided Sean Crisden (or someone as talented) continues to read.
I have no words to describe how gorgeously beautiful and heartbreakingly touching this book is. Sarah Drew puts a world of emotion into her reading. And the words that Lauren Oliver weave are so breathtaking that I cried and laughed and ached and loved. 'I love you. I LOVE you. I love YOU...' so simple this sentiment and yet so very powerful. If this book were a poem it would be Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda. And if it had a song at the closing credits it would be Amongster by Polica. I reccomend listening to this book with every fibre of my being. You'll not regret it.
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