*A Better Than Story*
Matt Sullivan understands labels: law student, athlete, heterosexual. He has goals: graduate and begin his career in law. One fateful night, Matt tags along with his gay roommate to a dance club and everything changes. Matt finds himself attracted to the most beautiful man he's ever seen. All labels go flying out the window.
Aaron Mendez doesn't believe in labels, and he's leery of straight curious men. He makes it clear that he'll hide his fabulous light for no one. While Aaron can't deny the attraction between him and Matt, he is reluctant to start anything with someone who is still dealing with what this new label means--especially when that someone has a girlfriend.
©2013 Lane Hayes (P)2014 Dreamspinner Press
This is one of my favorite gay-for-you stories that I've read recently. Or actually, Matt is more bisexual, but he's only had one previous gay experience and we don't really have much interaction between him and his ex-girlfriend, so...
Anyway, I thought this was well written. I really liked both Aaron and Matt's personalities, though I can't help wishing I could've gotten Aaron's POV as well. Matt is your standard all American, former jock, pre-law student and Aaron is the older, femme-y, out-and-proud, makeup-wearing gay guy.
I liked that there wasn't any big drama with Matt's ex. No evil girlfriends here.
Sexual tension was good, and the Matt's big declaration scene was over-the-top sweet and romantic, but if you're expecting edge of your seat action, this won't be for you.
Tyler Stevens did a great job narrating the story. He used the right pace so it was easy to follow the story, there was a good variety between character voices so I could tell who was speaking without any difficulty.
All in all this was an enjoyable listening experience.
Avid reader, reviewer, blogger and budding author.
Romantic, Light hearted, Fun.
Aaron! He is so unapologetically gay and I just loved that about him.
The first time they had sex. The way Aaron calls him Mattie and how careful Matt is with Aaron, it was sort of beautiful, definitely sensual.
Aaron. I would have a blast with this guy, I swear.
Matt Sullivan is out having drinks with some friends when they decide to accompany their gay roommate to his favorite bar. Matt has no idea that his head is about to turn, and his life is about to change. He notices the flamboyant, beautiful and boisterous Aaron straight away and the two end up talking at the bar. Over the next few days the colorful guy at the bar is all Matt can think about. As luck would have it, they wind up meeting again. Aaron is standoffish at first, certain that Matt is nothing more than curious, but the chemistry, conversation and connection is magnetic. Hesitantly, the two become just friends, of a slightly flirtatious nature.
Matt struggles throughout the story with his future, but aside from a little hesitancy early on, I never got the feeling that he really struggled with his feelings for Aaron. The more time the spent together it was clearly obvious they were falling in love, but they took their time, dinner dates, art shows and long runs in the park. It’s when Matt gets caught off guard at the appearance of his ex-girlfriend while out shopping with Aaron that things take a dark turn. Matt will pull out all the stops to prove to Aaron his feelings are sincere, but is it too little too late?
First, I’d like to disagree with something in the synopsis and sub-genre listing for this book. Almost from the start, Matt admits to a sexual fling with another guy so to label him hetero is inaccurate, in my opinion. He is obviously bi-sexual. As well this shouldn’t be tagged as a gay for you story. Rant over.
Better than good was, well… better than good, it was fantastic! The story just flowed steadily from start to finish. There were a few issues and struggles with Aaron’s dad and Matt’s trying to avoid ‘labeling’ his sexuality while feeling fairly certain he’s fallen in love with a man. But it was all well conveyed without too much angst or unbelievable situations that can ruin a great storyline. I loved that they both had their own lives and even when things got tough, they kept going.
Narrated by Tyler Stevens and I think this was his best audio narration yet, that I’ve listened to at least. Matt is smart, successful and confident and you could hear that in the way he was voiced. Aaron is flamboyant, colorful and carefree and Stevens poured so much emotion into the character that I just fell in love with him, especially when he calls Matt, Mattie. There was a sensuality to the story as well and that was evident not only with Hayes writing, but with the passion that was dripping off both guys words during certain, steamier scenes.
If you like gay for you type stories you’ll definitely like this one, though I don’t think it’s truly a GFY story. It is really well written and so romantic and fun, definitely a more light hearted read.
Goodreads reviewer and blogger... also dentist and wife/mom when I get the time!
Oh what a sweet and glorious out-for-you book this was! I adored the crap out of it. I mean, what's not to love?! A simple love story with a slow burn romance and a fabulous audiobook narrator to boot? Just perfection.
I was so addicted to this audiobook that I listened to the entire thing in 24 hours. That is 6 hours and 5 minutes of listening or 1/4 of my day. Dedication, folks! I listened driving to work, between patients, on my entire 1.5 hour lunch break (the lady at the diner called my name about 10 times before I heard her!), while doing dishes, and while exercising. I only didn't listen when I was sleeping (duh) and with my kids/husband. The narration was really excellent, with a wide range of distinct voices, tons of emotion, and lots of energy.
The story was just an awesome OFY and a great one to read, both if you are a fan of GFY (ME!!!) and not a fan of GFY because the way Matt's sexuality was shown was incredibly believable. This book was also so romantic. It was a LOVE story, with sole focus on the development of a relationship from a seed of attraction to full blown lurve.
A little warning for those that can't stand any sort of cheating: Matt has a girlfriend at the start of this book (mentioned in the blurb) so if that bothers you, be forewarned. I am not a huge fan of cheaters but here it was done in a way that I didn't find offensive.
Excellent sexual tension, hot love scenes....
**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
Either, I have them both. This was my first audio with Tyler Stevens and love it!
Aaron and Matt! Loved their characters, loved their developing relationship, loved their vulnerability.
?? Both Matt and Aaron
Both Matt and Aaron. Loved everything about them in their developing story
Would listen again, and would listen to others by the narrator!
I really enjoy the world of books! Narration just add layers to that world... don't u think? :)
This was way way better than good. For a m/m romance... OMG! Hot dang, I loved it! I think this is only like the 3rd time I have rated a m/m romance that isn't Roux or Calmes a 5!
OMG..I was literally hanging onto every single word of this...the entire book.. I loved when Matt (Matty) finally got a small taste of Aaron... then Aaron threw him out! Man... then the friends thing... What .... you know you cannot simply be friends when you want someone as badly as Matty wanted Aaron...Perfect title for perfect book! All m/m romance fans rejoice! Audible is finally updating the m/m romance genre with the best of the best!
This is actually book 2... Aaron's bff story is actually book 1, and until that come out on Audible.... you don't wanna miss out... So get this and enjoy!
Narration was great... this is a buy, credit or sale!
Not a bad story, not bad narration, just not really good. The plot, the setting, even the characters were decent and fairly believable. The downfall came with dialogue. Too much stereotypical romantic language - if I took a shot every time the love interest was called "adorable"........ Really enjoyed the narrator's choice of voice for the MC, but Aaron and all other gay and female characters were just annoying. This was my first book by Hayes, and I doubt I'd try another one.
This is a really well written GFY jock wants flamboyant proud gay man story. Nice listen b/c the narrator does an excellent job. But the story is cute but really nothing special. Other than the usual angst that accompanies a straight guy who discovers he is bi, no other conflict. Worth a credit if you want a comfort read.
Matt is a straight guy (ok, he’s maybe looked a time or two, maybe more…) who meets Aaron at a club one night. He’s immediately hooked. They dance and then … sort of date for awhile, but Aaron is skeptical. He’s been burned by men “experimenting” before and doesn’t want a closet case either.
At first Matt is in agreement with Aaron. He’s straight, Aaron’s gay. What was he thinking? But as they get to know one another the feelings he’s feeling don’t go away, they grow stronger.
After what feels like a long time, they do finally agree to give things a chance and thus starts the beginning of a lovely relationship.
I just love Aaron. He’s a mostly, very self assured person. And, really, so is Matt. Once we get over the rocky start their romance is just so lovely!
I loved the GFY/OFY exploration we get to see and the evolution as Matt identifies himself as gay.
As we get to see the couple evolve over time, they only get better and better!
4.5 of 5 stars
Tyler Stevens is an excellent narrator. I love the emotion and rhythm of his narrations. He does a tremendous job with this and makes the story really come to life. He’s very easy to listen to and adds to the overall enjoyment of this wonderful story.
5 of 5 stars
Overall 4.75 of 5 stars
This was a pretty sweet romance between a proud gay man and an unsure bi man. I really enjoyed the book so I decided to give the audio a chance. I was not disappointed. I really enjoyed Tyler Stevens performance for the most part. I wasn't crazy about the voice for Aaron at first. I thought it was bit over the top. But as I listening more, I realized that voice for him fit. Let's be honest, Aaron was a bit over the top. Although very lovable. Other then that I was pleasantly pleased with the audio performance. I would definitely listen to more by Tyler.
Matt and Aaron are two characters that you would like to know. This is a nice little ride with these two. Matt can not deny what is right in front of him, the best part is he doesn't try. Yes he has a girlfriend when he meets Aaron, however that doesn't last for long. Aaron is fast talking and very fun and friendly, but he is no joke. He knows who he is and takes his life seriously so when Matt seems to want more then just casual friendship Aaron will not be easily convinced. But our Matty has found something "better than good" and he will earn Aarons love.
I haven't read the print version but as far as narration goes I think Tyler Stevens is pretty much perfect for this, he really brings the story alive. I'd be happy to listen to this again and I haven't bought the print version so I guess that answers how I feel about it.
Better Than Chance for obvious reasons.
I liked the different voices he uses, the consistency of how he portrays different characters and the 'aliveness' he brings to the listening experience. I am hoping he's also going to do the third book in the series, because I can't imagine wanting to listen to anyone but him read it. I've listened to a lot of narrators, he's the first one that really stands out as excellent for me.
Recommended if you like well written romance with a deft touch and without too much angst.
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