Laurence Dalziel is worn down and washed up, and for him, the BDSM scene is all played out. Six years on from his last relationship, he's pushing 40 and tired of going through the motions of submission. Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable. Everything Laurie can't remember being.
Toby doesn't know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. But he knows, with all the certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie. He wants him on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love. The problem is, while Laurie will surrender his body, he won't surrender his heart. Because Toby is too young, too intense, too easy to hurt. And what they have - no matter how right it feels - can't last. It can't mean anything. It can't be real.
©2015 Alexis Hall (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
Avid listener. Cisfem. Ally. I have a degree in English am getting a Masters in social work and listen to as many books as I can afford.
Yes. Everyone. Forever.
Why? Because its a piece of art that's why.
Listen, BDSM is a hard thing. It's hard to participate in, its hard to watch, it's hard to understand and its hard to portray. Yet with For Real, it felt effortless. Laurie and Toby pulled me into their world of dominance of submission and trust and care with the ease of a fish gliding through water. Of course there were stumbles but not for one moment were you ever thrown out of the moment. It was, as the title said, For Real. Toby and Laurie were whole realized and complete people. They were strong and sure and beautiful and vulnerable and interesting all on their own and it made their coming together. I would've been fascinated by their relationship even without kink to be honest.
Plus, as someone who spent a bit of time in the London Underground Clubs scene many many moons ago, it was lovely to hear clubs I knew name-checked every now and then. But that was mostly a bonus for me. ;)
Good lord. Not a book but maybe the movie Secretary if Maggie Gyllenhall and James Spader switched kinks but everything else stayed exactly the same.
Laurie and Toby were both divine but I felt far more comfortable with John Hartley's Laurie than with Paul Berton's Toby because I am closer to Laurie's age than Toby. That's not a sign on his performance, just a sing that I'm getting old *sob*
Old enough to know better. Young enough not to care.
This book was brilliant - both in the sense that instilled joy and pleasure and in the sense that it was in fact intellectually brilliant. Toby was so smart I wanted to reach into my Audible app and shake him with his poetry and literary criticism and creativity and emotional maturity. Everyone in this book was there for a reason. There were no extemporaneous characters. Everyone, even the incidentals, had a purpose. I walked away feeling like I learned something even as I'd been entertained. It's been a long time since I've felt that way about a book. It's lovely to feel that way again.
Now who do I have to bribe to get the rest of Hall's works audiobooked?!
M. Jones - fanatic reader- Phoenix
I chose the book because I've read nearly all of the books by Alexis Hall and enjoyed all of them. This one really touched a special place for me dealing with confusion, loss, low self- esteem and just wanting to be loved no matter what your station in life.
One of the best books I've listened to in a long time.
I loved, loved, loved this book. It's still wonderful, I'll still listen, but the original narrator was so much better than this updated version. I see the desire to have two separate narrators for the two POV characters, but the original narrator did a much better job keeping two distinct voices when one chapter belonged to one person while making the other's dialogue in their section so much more seamless.
As much as I enjoy reading Alexis Hall's excellent prose, this time I enjoyed hearing it even more. These narrators brought the characters to life by dramatizing the story, not merely reading Hall's beautifully literate prose.
I highly recommend this production, and know I will listen to it many times.
I loooooooooved this book when I first read it. And now I love it even more. John and Paul's voices were absolutely stunning, true to the character I pictured, and had me swooning with love for these characters all over again.
This is one I will listen to over and over again!
Well, I not only read the book over the last week, but I listened to the audio as well. The narrators are two that I don't remember listening to before, John Hartley and Paul Berton. Their voice characters was inspired, and I loved their accents which brought the characters even more alive. I felt that I could actually see Toby and Laurie at times, and I ached for their awkwardness and I cried with them as they navigated through the beginnings of a new, unusual relationship. I'm glad they were able to overcome their obstacles and be happy. A truly well-written story and totally worth a credit.
Reading what you love is a wonderful thing ;}
Brilliant, genuine, stunning!
The most memorable moment was when Toby walks into his bedroom in his own flat and sees Laurie sleeping soundly upon Toby's bed. It shocks Toby that Laurie is waiting for him, and he show Toby that yes... he is in for the long haul to make this "thing" (love) work for them both. This is when Toby gets that yes.... Laurie's love for him is REAL. Lasting love and worth fighting for together. What an emotional read (Listening...LOL) experience. Alexis.... this has to be my most favorite audio book because your writing is so pure and involving through this story. You made me care and get an emotional attachments to both these two different men. I would love to read a follow up on these two guys because they both so deserve it.
Both of these talented men owned these character 100 % without question. Each took their character and made them so real and emotionally and in the moment. I just love this book so much more because these narrators owned these two men so sincerely. No other pairing would have worked because these two men so melded with these two characters so completely without hesitation. Kudos to both John & Paul. I want to listen to more of them so much.
I laughed and cried in this book, and to me that is saying it all. I have to care about the main characters as if they are becoming friends and I am thirsting to know more and more and more about their story.
I am off to read the rest of Alexis HAll's books. I seriously would love to listen to both these gentlemen read together again. They are brilliant with characterization and put their whole beings into making them real.Thank you Ms. Hall for the enjoyment and hours of truly enjoyable reading.Wishing you the best Ms. Hall and continued success.Wishing both John and Paul the very best as well.
Love listening to great stories matched well to the right narrators.
Great story , love the characters , the bdsm was good, love the young Dom and older sub.
Great performance , outstanding ....the audio could have been a bit shorter it dragged a bit. But it was very enjoyable .
It's become so boring so quickly!
No connections in between the characters! There is 19 years old experimenting , and 37 years old in middle age crisis!
Alexis Hall is an absolute wordsmith, and I have been waiting for the audio book of this, my fave story of his. Not sure how much input he had in choosing the narrators, but Paul Berton was fab as Tobermory although his 'voice' was a little more upmarket than I expected for someone from Shoreditch, which is definitely East End London. As for John Hartley's Laurie, well I couldn't make my mind up whether he's Australian or South African trying to read as an Englishman, but there were several phrases that gave him away, in particular I'd which came out as Ah'd, but it didn't detract from this wonderful story. Thrilled to bits with it.
Alexis Hall's books are a joy to read but seem to be made for audio. John Hartley and Paul Berton really bring the characters of Toby and Laurie alive
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