People pleaser Ben Forman has been in the closet so long he has almost convinced himself he is straight, but his denial train gets derailed when hotshot lawyer Micah Trains walks into his life. Micah is brilliant, funny, driven...and he assumes Ben is gay and starts dating him. Finding himself truly happy for the first time, Ben doesn't have the willpower to resist Micah's affection.
When his relationship with Micah heats up, Ben realizes he has a problem: His parents won't tolerate a gay son, and self-confident Micah isn't the type to hide. If Ben wants to maintain his hold on his happiness, he'll have to decide what's important and own up to the truth of who he is. The trouble is figuring out just what that truth is.
©2013 Cardeno C. (P)2015 Cardeno C.
I'm an unabashed fiction fan: mostly M/M, Romance, Erotica, Suspense, Thrillers, Action, NA/YA genres.
This review is for the audio of the second edition of this book, which includes a bonus chapter.
Filled with hotness, heat, and a heavy sprinkling of angst Alexander Collins delivers another wonderful performance.
So I'm not going to lie to you. Ben Forman is arguably my least favorite Home collection character. Because Ben, whom we first met as the meddling brother in Home Again, is a closet case of EPIC proportions. A clue: His daily mantra is "I'm not gay. I'm not gay. I'm NOT gay." He has a string of girlfriends, none of whom outlast a tube of toothpaste, and he had a pretty heavy closet crush on his best friend from high school and college, Clark Lehman, which almost destroyed Clark's happiness with his soul mate.
I understand why, I mean he grew up in a household that casually denigrated gays and created a hostile environment for anyone even thinking about being different. Then there was the fact that Ben tried being the perfect son to make up for the fact his brother, Noah, was a constant source of contention in the family. I understand, but that doesn't make it easier to like the character.
Frankly, if it weren't for how absolutely freaking awesome Micah Trains is this would be a very different review. But we do have Micah, who is strong, funny, open, honest and wonderful. Micah also brings out the very best in Ben. Giving him the strength to finally come out and be the man he always was deep down. To rejoice in their love and relationship. And, finally, to have the family that he always wanted but could never find with anyone else.
It also doesn't hurt that the sexy times are plentiful, hot and full of enough bow-chicka-wow-wow moments to make me need a fan...STAT!
Bottom Line: Collins' narration is spot on and made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Even when I wanted to knee Ben in the balls and punch him in the throat. I laughed, I cried a little, I raged a little, and I rejoiced. I can't ask for more than that from a book.
love love love this story. for about 30 years ben a struggle with his sexuality, it took meeting Micah, for ben to discover himself. and the love of someone else to show you what life is all about.
Avid reader, reviewer, blogger and budding author.
The extra epilogue, it was the perfect bow on the package.
Oh hell yes, she is amazing. Everyone has hits and misses.
I loved it when the narrator truly connected to the written character and brought them to life. I didn't like it when he lost the tones for the characters that differentiated them when listening.
Micah. He was steadfast and unwavering in this love for Ben.
Micah Trains steamrolls into Ben Forman’s life and turns it upside down, then turns Ben inside out. Ben has this track running on a constant loop in his brain… You are straight, you meet a girl, sleep with girl, move on to next girl, you are straight. And he’s managed to maintain this for appearances sake if nothing else. That is, until Micah Trains, the sexy, confident, successful lawyer in his firm takes a liking to Ben.
While this broken record continues to play in Ben’s mind, he manages to recognize his attraction to Micah. But until Ben comes to terms with his own deep seeded issues with his sexuality, works on his rocky relationship with his openly gay brother, and seriously gets over this insane need he has to be this picture perfect person his parent’s envision for him… he will continue to doubt himself and his feelings for Micah.
So, I had a couple huge issues with this story. First, Ben was very unlikeable for more than half of the story. I could understand and even appreciate his struggle, but I didn’t really connect with his character until he finally had that heart to heart with his parents. From there the story was so good; he was like a completely different person. Perhaps that was CC’s goal, but it made it difficult for me to press play for the first few hours. I will say this, Micah was steadfast and unwavering, even with Ben’s behavior that ping ponged between happy, psychotic and occasionally almost comatose. I have to admit, Micah was his strength and his saving grace. And that ending, the extra epilogue CC went back and wrote when DOMA was overturned. Perfection!
Now, for the narration, at times Collins lost the tones he had given Ben and Micah and the story came through like he was simply reading off the grocery list. When the correct tones and inflections shone through, it was amazing. Those times where the tone of Ben’s voice lined up with the stress or pain, even the joy he was feeling and the same for Micah, that was great listening. Then there were times when Ben would be talking to someone on the phone and suddenly it sounded like I was in a tunnel and there was a guy five miles down, yelling up at me, that was annoying. Sadly, I would just skip past these parts.
An emotional, angsty, figuring out who you are story about a guy that can’t be true to himself, without the support of the one person that loves him unconditionally. Overall it was an enjoyable read, just a couple issues here and there. CC definitely wrapped it up splendidly there at the end.
No matter how many times I read the book I always enjoy it. The narrator does a great job.
*** Audio book provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review. ***
Ben Forman is so far inside the closet, he's nearly convinced himself that he's straight. At least, until Micah Trains enters his life and before he realizes it, they're dating. Micah is smart, driven, older than him and all Ben wants in a man, so he gives in... kind of. When Micah asks more of Ben than he can give, will Ben be able to keep up with the charade that he's straight or will he finally give into his real feelings?
This book is my favorite on the Home series! There's just something about a character like Ben that can be sarcastic and self-deprecating and vulnerable all rolled up in a package made of awesome, that I just can't resist. Micah is pretty good, too, but my favorite is Ben. No matter if he messes things up at times, he keeps on trying until he makes things better.
Never mind that the story is funny as hell, with some angst thrown in for good measure. It completely captured my interest and my heart when I read it the first time around and listening to it was a pretty good experience for the most part.
I think at first it was a bit difficult for the narrator to capture that sarcastic, witty charm that Ben has, but as the audio book advances, it gets much better and damn if the room didn't get hotter when Alexander Collins read some of the very hot scenes between Micah and Ben. I also loved the several tones and voices he used to differentiate between all the characters that are featured in this story, that was pretty neat.
All in all, a fantastic read, and a very good narration, with which you can't go wrong! Very recommendable!
Rating: Book: 5+ Stars!!!
Audio Book: 4.5 Stars!!!
Yes, I enjoyed having the story read to me. It brought out things unnoticed in print.
Ben is my favorite character because I understand why he is the way he is. Also he's pretty funny.
No, I have not listened to this narrator before, but I thought he did a good job.
Ben is the most memorable character for me because the reader/listener is inside his head.
Ben has a hard time accepting himself as is. He's a gay man who has been told his entire life that being gay is wrong. His parents taught him that all gay men live wild and dangerous and end up alone. He has always been the good son. No matter how old he gets, it's hard to choose his happiness over pleasing his parents. When he meets Micah and can no longer deny his feelings, Ben goes through a life crisis trying to figure out how to move forward.
This story is filled with a family and friends vibe. I believe everyone can identify with Ben to some extent. We've all had to figure out who we are and where we're headed. I like the humor Ben brings. He tends to makes fun of himself to lighten the mood. Just What the Truth is also has lots of sexy bits and romance. I recommend this to those looking for a perfectly sweet happily ever after.
The character were well thought out and story flowed nicely. Some times the narration bothered me with his tone but I'd still highly recommend this book to others.
We met Ben earlier. He’s Noah’s big brother and Clark’s ex-roommate. He was always giving Noah a hard time for ruining Clark’s life by “seducing him to the gay side”. Now we see why. Ben has been harboring “gay” feelings for most of his life, including a crush on Clark. He hides it though, trying to be the best son he can be and denying that aspect of himself by dating women. He can’t make a relationship with a woman work (for obvious reasons) so he’s lonely and frustrated and constantly stressed.
When Micah comes to the office where Ben works, he’s immediately caught off guard by how attracted he is to Micah. Micah’s gaydar works great and he assumes not only that Ben is gay, but that he’s out and available.
Seemingly without his control, Ben begins to actually date Micah! When his brain catches up to his body he says the wrong things and hurts Micah. It’s only by being honest with himself and his family that Ben can have what he wants: Micah in his life for good.
God. Ya gotta love Ben. He’s tried so hard to be “good” and deny himself, but Micah is just too much temptation. He hits all Ben’s buttons in a good way and luckily Ben is smart enough to act on it.
I loved how tender Micah was with Ben. He was such a bad ass lawyer but so sweet and caring with Ben. It was a lovely juxtaposition.
Seeing Noah and all the others again was great and I especially loved brunch! Eli is a hoot! Micah’s family cracked me up and I enjoyed meeting them.
The smexy times are off the charts hot in this and the feels are too.
I have loved every book in this series and though it’s better to read them all and in order, you don’t need to.
Though I enjoyed the original audiobook as narrated by Paul Morey, in this narration Alexander Collins (who you’ll recognize from the narrations of Charlie Cochet’s THIRDS series) adds some wonderful elements. He does great things for adding depth and distance – so when someone talks in a hallway it sounds like that, or on the phone, or muffled or in another room – all those things that make you feel like you are “living” the story rather than just listening to it. He’s really great with the emotions and though he doesn’t do much to differentiate the MCs voices, I had no trouble knowing who was speaking.
(We get the added bonus scene (after the supreme court ruling) narrated here too for the first time and it’s awesome!)
I highly recommend this book, the series and this narration.
Jaime From Alpha Book Club
This is the 5th book in Cardeno C's Home Series and it deals with an issue that a lot of people struggle with, accepting and loving yourself - then add in the double issue of coming out of the closet, some office romance and sprinkle it with humor and you have the perfect book!
In this story we follow two driven lawyers who finally succumb to the chemistry between them. The problem occurs when one of them wants to have a relationship and the other is so far in the closet he can see Narnia! I enjoy the way CC brings real world issues to us via unique characters and helps these men find their happily ever after. Oh and never fear there are some smokin' hot scenes between Micah and Ben so get ready!
This book is narrated by Alexander Collins, the narrator of the other books in the Home series and he does a good job with this book as well. His narration is clean and crisp with the appropriate Cadence to each situation. I like that the author is using the same narrator for the series as I think it ties them together nicely. In this book we briefly see characters from other Home Books which is nice to see how they are doing.
All in all, Just What The Truth Is, is an emotional yet real story that takes the reader or listener on a journey of self-exploration and real life situations. I think it is one all can enjoy! 5 Stars!
A voracious reader since I was a child, I am now enjoying novels and novellas on Audible.
I bet the author had fun writing this. The narrator certainly had fun performing it. the voice alterations were a little odd.
"good story, just not a great one, great narration"
I bought my copy to READ, for the AUDIO version, I was gifted my copy to review.Ben is so far in the closet, he could be on the shelf. Meeting Micah throws him totally off his axis, and into a tailspin the likes he has never seen before. Micah is perfect for Ben, its just Ben doesnt want anyone to know. Micah doesn't want to be Ben's secret. Ben needs to make a devastating decision, one that could cost him both Micah AND his parents.This is a single person POV, in the first person, and thats totally not a favourite of mine, so this book was on a downer from very early on. ALso, I struggled to connect to Ben, since he tells the story, I really did. I can't pinpoint why, and you all know thats does my nut in! I hate not being able to work out what did not quite work for me, these 3 stars are the hardest for me to write.I did like that we get some of the other men in the Home series, Ben's brother Noah and Clark, Zach and Aaron, and Seth and Eli (not read the first two pair's books but have the third) And I LOVED how, while dealing with his relationship with Micah, Ben reconnects with his brother, Noah. And while mum and dad finally come round, I did not like that it took babies to make them see sense. BUT BUT BUT is a good book, just not an awesome one.3 starsI also had the opportunity to LISTEN to this book, I was gifted my copy. Alexander Collins narrates.I wanted to love this in audio, I really did, since I didn't much like Ben when I read it. And I cannot fault Collins narration, not at all. His voices are clear and defined, and I had no trouble remembering the other voices Collins did, Seth and Eli, Aaron and Zach. They were consistent throughout.It was just Ben!! Although I did feel a better connection hearing him to reading him, I still didn't like him much. I did like him better when reconnecting to Noah and to Clark, and I still didn't like his parents much.It might be that three, back to back, Collins narrated books, all in the first person, did me in. It might be, as was my original thought after reading, "oh dear, Ben!" still stands. Again, its still a good book, juts not a great one.3 stars I originally gave the book,4.5 stars for narration4 stars overall.**same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Audible.co.uk, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble**
"Funny & touching quest for self discovery & love."
I would listen to this book over and over again! The story is character driven and sensitive, yet very funny and moving. Ben's journey from denial and self loathing to happy and fulfilled family man is bumpy to say the least. His forever guy Micah is strong, self assured and just exactly what Ben needs. It is beautifully written, delightfully narrated and a joy from start to finish.
I loved the reality of the characters and that their contemporary life is so relatable that the reader/listener feels that they really know them. I love that Cardeno C creates characters we love, even when we are frustrated with them! Ben needs a hug and slap more than any other character I've come across!
Alexander voices the characters exactly as I felt them when I first read the book. His voice variations give clear insight, the listener knows exactly who is talking. His narration is moving and real.
Be who you are, it's the only way to be.
The joy and satisfaction in a Cardeno C happily ever after is unparalleled. Whether you read or listen, you need the maturity, love and satisfaction of Micah and Ben's happy ending in your life.
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