How can you be 25 and not know you're gay? Billy Ballew runs from that question. A high school dropout, barely able to read until he taught himself, Billy's life is driven by his need to help support his parents as a construction worker, put his sisters through college, coach his Little League team, and not think about being a three-time loser in the engagement department. Being terrified of taking tests keeps Billy from getting the contractor's license he so desires, and fear of his mother's judgment blinds Billy to what could make him truly happy.
Then, in preparation for his sister's big wedding, Billy meets Shaz - alias Chase Phillips - a rising-star celebrity stylist who defines the word gay. To Shaz, Billy embodies everything he's ever wanted - stalwart, honest, brave - but even if Billy turns out to be gay, he could never endure the censure he'd get for being with a queen like Shaz. How can two men with so little in common find a way to be together? Can the Stylist of the Year end up with the Knight of Ocean Avenue?
©2015 Tara Lain (P)2015 Dreamspinner Press
This story was too slow paced and uneventful for me. I don't think there was anything the narrator did but I was easily bored. I know many people like angst free reading, but I am not one of them. i don't need it overly angsty but this one was just meh on the emotional draw for me.
I found Billy's confusion as to his sexuality a tad baffling at his age, but I liked the growth in him as a result his relationship with Shaz. Shaz, on the other hand, was too over the top for me. While Billy was just oblivious and clueless, Shaz was like Boy George's cousin. I just couldn't connect with anyone in this novel though I found the family dynamics interesting.
If you like light and fluffy, then you will probably love this one.
*Special thanks to Dreamspinner Audio for the audiobook given in exchange for an honest review.
This was a wonderful coming out/GFY story about Billy, a blue collar construction worker who is 25 and can't figure out why none of his relationships with women work out. He has a close knit family and a domineering mother who is always putting pressure on him to settle down with a nice woman. Then he meets Chase (aka - Shaz) and his world is rocked; in a good way. The story is told from both POVs, which I love because I want to know what each character is feeling. There is a little drama, a little angst and a lot of good feeling; it is a great comfort listen. The narrator does a really good job on most of the characters, except Rue, Chase's best friend. Both Rue and Chase are out and proud flamboyant gay men and I think he just goes slightly over board with Rue. He interpretation of Chase and Billy are spot on. Overall, I really enjoyed it.
I thought the story was great, I just could not get past the way the character Ru was voiced.
The way the speaker voiced Ru was off-putting. Yes, Ru is gay. But did the speaker need to make Ru sound so very mincing? Ru sounds like some homophobe's idea of what gay men sound like.
I have listened to KC Kelly in a few other audio and loved his narration. This one is just as great.
I loved this audio. Chaz is the best! The storyline is unique. The chemistry between the main characters is off the charts. It is funny and sweet with a little angst.
This is the first time I've read this author and was pleasantly surprised. I loved it. Shaz's character was so unique. I loved the voice he was given both by the author and the narrator. He was so calm but could "qween" it up and make me laugh. He was so in touch with who he was. I found myself wishing I had a friend like him. Kudos to Tara Lain. I can't wait to read more from her!
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.
This was a charming story. The characters were a little implausible but fun. The narrator was awful. There has to be a way to read effeminate men w/o sounding ludicrous and mildly offensive. His Shazz was bad but his Ru was awful b
This is one of my all-time favorite books! Excellent writing, well developed characters that you will fall in love with and a good story! Highly recommend this book!
I love to listen to audiobooks, but I tend to only listen to them when I have household chores to get finished. As a result, it can take several weeks for me to get through a single audiobook. That was not the case with this one. No, with this one, I kept finding more stuff to do so I could listen to it longer. Until I got to the point that I simply sat down and listened to it straight through...all in one day. Yeah, that's not something I normally do. Definitely a sign of a good audiobook (and believe me, my husband wishes I had more like this because I got a TON of housework done this day...LOL.)
The narrator on this was incredible. Shaz is a flamboyant character, and normally that bothers me in my audio because it tends to hurt my mental visual of the character. But K.C. Kelly did an incredible job keeping Shaz so that he felt real and honest, not fake or plastic. And that's not an easy thing to do with this particular inflection. And kudos to the narrator, because he managed to keep that up even in the heavy duty, sexy scenes. Great narration!
But there's also an incredible story here, too. I loved Billy and his inner-conflict. For so many people, they can't even fathom a person not knowing they were gay for this long, but I completely believed it with Billy. It just never came up in his world and I got that.
On the surface, Billy and Shaz should have nothing in common, but wow...I loved them together. Shaz is just one of those guys who has the ability to make everyone around him feel better. And he did that for Billy, too. But it's not all one-sided. Seeing Shaz through Billy's eyes...aww! I just LOVED them together...so, so much. It's a sweet, melt your heart into a puddle, kind of romantic read. It definitely made me happier for having read/listened to it.
The story line, including all the backstory is really good. It all felt very real and it's definitely one for my keeper shelf that I will re-read again. I like books that make me happier for having read them.
Billy is a confused man he can't keep a girlfriend and his family hates it because he has become a man who can't hold on to a woman. He sees Shaz and runs, he spends most of the book running from his feelings for the flaming redhead. Billy suffers from anxiety and can't past the test to be a general contractor, Shaz will help him with that and every aspect of his life. Shaz is reel deep and not at all annoyoing. Billy will protect Shaz from any and everyone who tries to hurt him.
"The cat's meow"
The story is a proper feel-good, all obstacles overcome, no lasting contention.
The audio is very good, comfortable narration, hot scenes made hot. Would listen to K.C.Kelly again.
Chase didn't sound as described and the voice for Ru was rather odd, but it didn't hinder enjoyment. Absolutely loved the cat's meows though, they made me grin every time.
have not read the book, but did enjoy the audio edition, The Narration we really great. The different characters were easily distinguished and the reader was not monotonal but his voice flowed like I would imagine it in my head if I had read it .
"great story, but the narrator..."
I really liked the story and I have no complaints about it. but about the narrator though... he really was good with expressions and I like his voice, EXCEPT the voice he makes when portraying an effeminate character... especially Ru... it sounds more like they have some kind of disability 😕 had to knock off a star for that, sorry.
"A true delight"
Not many stories such as this are able to treat you to both tasteful description and also treat you to plot and story.
There is a lot to learn from this novel and it's a true delight to come across something that includes a detailed analysis of one's coming out story and the way it affects themselves and their world around them both negatively and most importantly, positively.
Knight of Ocean Avenue is funny, intelligent, sexy, well paced, intense and above all, I can honestly say I cared about every character in this. The fabulous, the devious and the pure of heart.
Superb narration, unhindered by its mature but entertaining content.
A sexy tale that is both generous in the bedroom and treats you like an adult.
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