"An epic love. An epic hate. An epic story that would last a lifetime."
Today, 8:15 p.m.
I hurt. I hurt so deeply, I felt the pain searing in my bones and jabbing like a hot poker into my heart. I knew nothing would make it better as the memories pulled from the crevices of my mind, detailing the bad and the ugly, filling my thoughts with regret as I slipped into the darkness...
When I was eight, my mother was dying of cancer, my father lost his job, and the bank kicked us out of our house. I was forced to move to the strange town of Arlis, Texas where my father and I slept in our car in the hospital parking lot. Desperate and hopeless, we lived on fumes of our former life.
Then one night, everything changed forever. A knock on the car window brought a family into my life that I only wanted to shut out. I hated charity and I hated the Masons. Well, except one. He made it impossible to hate him.
Jess Mason had the biggest blue eyes and ornery smile of any boy I had ever seen. He was a ray of sunshine in my dark world. A boy full of adventure, dragging me across the meadow of Sprayberry Ranch; a beautiful Texas paradise full of horses and tree houses that got us into more trouble than anyone ever imagined.
Jess was my everything as a kid, until we grew up and the rules changed. Instead of living happily ever after with a boy full of love...I destroyed it.
©2015 S.D. Hendrickson, LLC (P)2017 S.D. Hendrickson, LLC
A great debut novel from S.D. Hendrickson. It shows how for better or worse the scars of her childhood impact Alex's decisions as she grows into a young woman. Once you start on this journey with Alex and Jess you won't be able to stop.
The heroine begin the book moaning about her life and that is what she did throughout the entire story. All of us experience tragedy it is what you do afterwards that make or break you.
If it is anything like this one I would be hard put to try it. I loved the story for Jess and am glad he got his HEA but
She portrayed the characters too well. the whining was annoying and I had to stop and start listening to the story. I know that sounds negative but when a narrator actually makes you feel the emotions they are doing a good job.
No. Another book by the author without so much "why me?" in it would be good unless she is going to write one that tells more of Jess's story.
I got this ARC book via audiobook boom.
Avid listener while doing everything from chasing after my toddler to running errands. Fan of all Romance, PRN & fantasy, mystery thrillers.
Jess. He was by far the redeeming aspect of this story.
The accident. It was like the best character is the one who got the worst of everything.
This was my first listen from Honey St. Denise and she did a fantastic job. My only issue is she spoke quickly at times and it felt rushed sometimes because of this, rather than performed. I did try slowing down to .75 speed and that helped make it sound more flowing.
Yes. I have never been so annoyed and frustrated by a heroine before. I spent 85 % of the book volleying between hating her, and pitying her for being a self absorbed twit.
This book is a hard one to review. The story was good and yet it wasn't. There really are no hearts and flowers, it is a story of self destruction, bitterness, and a heroine that has a huge chip on her shoulder, despite being treated wonderfully and cared for on multiple fronts. I questioned if she had any redeeming qualities, and I am still not sure if she does. Despite that the story is beautifully tragic, and a good insight to people who are self destructive and misunderstood. In the end I was glad that Jess the hero got his HEA, because he deserved it after everything he put up with. I say 3.5 stars overall because this story would have been more bearable had it not been overly detailed on minutiae, and drawn out without any dangling carrots that gave you hope for character improvement. It was a great story, and I would recommend because it is honest in its delivery of people, just don't go in expecting batting eyelashes, tender kisses and sweet nothings, it's not that story. I was given this audiobook for free from audiobook boom for my unbiased review.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes. It was a well written story. The narration, except for a few spots, was great. Honey has a very smooth voice and is able to differentiate between the characters.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Jess. He was unwavering in his love for her. He was always thoughtful and always tried to take care of her.
Which character – as performed by Honey St. Dennis – was your favorite?
Jess. I Ioved his accent. Honey St. Dennis is able to do a male voice, so there was no guessing as to who was speaking.
Any additional comments?
I enjoyed Honey St. Dennis performance but there were times, like the beginning of the book where the narration was too fast. I don't know if it was a production error because even though that happened several times throughout the book, the majority was smooth and at a perfect speed.
Regarding the story, I would have loved more of the present time and more story after the accident. It seemed that it ended with a big gap of nothingness. Other than that, I really enjoyed the book.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher.
Overall a very entertaining, engaging and emotional story. You really need to be prepared before you dive into this story. It will put you through the ringer of emotions. It's one of those stories that you love but hate at the same time.
The story itself was really good. However, the narration took away from some of my overall enjoyment of the story. I really struggled with this book at times. Especially in the beginning. The speed of the narration was hard to get past for me. I double checked to see if I had accidentally speed up the playback. After about an hour the narration changes a bit. It's still fast at times but as they grow older the narration is much smoother and more even paced.
For most of the story you are not really sure exactly what is going on in the present. The story starts out in the present then switch's between the past and present with a majority of the story being set in the past and told through flashback's. So there are two storylines going on at the same time that eventually merge. It took most of the story to reveal exactly what was going on in the present. I keeps you on the edge of your seat because you know whatever it is, it's traumatic and devastating.
It is a very emotional story of friendship, loyalty, forgiveness, life, learning to believe in yourself and embracing an all encompassing love that has always been your foundation.
The events that happen throughout your life shape you into the person you are. All of them. Even though you can't control them, it's your choice how you choose to let them affect your life.
Jess was a fantastic character. Who wouldn't want a boyfriend like Jess. He was open, honest, caring, giving and constantly unwavering in his feelings for Alex. Even when he was at the end of his rope with her. He constantly showed her through his actions and the way he treated her how he felt and how good life could actually be. How many times can one person have their love rejected and still hang on to hope? You can't blame him for losing his temper with her at times.
Alex was not the most likable of heroines. Although I can understand her feelings of being not good enough to an extent she also comes across as extremely ungrateful and bitter with a huge chip on her shoulder for most of the story. Pride has ruined many relationships. Refusing to just let yourself be happy and have what your heart desires because of some twisted reasoning was just prolonging her bitterness and pain. She seemed to be a on permanent self destruct mode.
The way in which she "repaid" the items on the list she kept was creative, redeeming, and soul healing.
I would have liked to have had more of them in the present.
Overall the narration turned out to be really good but it was really rough in areas. It had the potential to be fantastic.
The good-There were times her narration was perfect. Pleasant voice. Some really good character voices. She was able to bring the characters and ALL their emotions to life. She was able to convey their emotions in a way that you felt them. Which is fantastic. Not many narrators can do that. She absolutely brought the characters to life through her narration.
The bad- the speed at times. It was to fast. It was usually when she was narrating the part of Alex that the narration was too fast. She sounds like she's speed reading. Which distracts you from the story and effects the flow. The rest of her narration was great.
Chapter 12, clapping then repeated line. Chapter 50, repeated line.
Background noise occasionally.
I was voluntarily provided this free review audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher.
I busy myself living life, chasing smiles, and enjoying adventures!
Be ready to dive right into a chaotic, emotional beginning... similar to what I can imagine Alex's beginning must have felt like. I was so perplexed by the first few pages that I had to stop and return to this one when I was ready to invest time and emotion into this one. I had no idea what was going on but the characters turmoil and distress was so obvious that I was admittedly effected by her distress.
But, when I came back ready to dive in I was glad I did. The flashbacks throughout did not give any obvious hints as to why Alex was in her current situation so I was near obsessed with both storylines (now and then) as I tried to figure out why/what/where and how. Very well done!
Jess and Alex were childhood friends tied together by unwanted (although much needed) charity and an unexplained 8 yr old connection. Through unfounded shame and resentment along with typical coming of age situations their friendship was tried and tested yet their connection was undeniable. The ongoing backstory was compelling and well laid out. When the current situation was finally revealed I was on the edge of my seat begging for a happy ending. It was revealed so late in the story that I thought I had figured out how this would all end... I was wrong. Sorry - no spoilers. You have to wait to hear for yourself! It's worth the emotional ride!
Narration was great although there were some sound quality issues and a couple of repeated lines about an hour before the finale. This did not effect my listening experience and did not appear to be any fault of the narrator. Technology, right?
Anyhow... definitely worth a credit!
I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator and I'm so glad I had an opportunity to review this one. This did not influence my review in any way.
Book lover at heart. There needs to be more time in the day dedicated to reading. Full time mom and wife.
As a whole, I enjoyed this story. But it took me 2/3 into the book to get a grasp of what was going on.
The story is laid out in such a fashion that the reader/listener is mostly stuck in flashbacks. The occasions where the reader is in present day the reader doesn't really know what is going on.
I found myself slightly annoyed with Alex and her continual refusal to accept the generosity of the Masons. I could understand her stubbornness but I had a tough time relating to Alex's position.
As for the narrative, I found the pace to feel slightly rushed. Initially I thought that the narrator was rushing because she was portraying young, energetic kids. But as Jess and Alex grew up, the pace of the narration did not slow down as much as I thought it should have.
This book was a doozy. I listened to it on a road trip and found myself pulling over a few times due to blurry vision. Between the storyline and the narration I just couldn't keep it together. My heart broke so many times, I found myself completely invested in all the characters...even the ones I didn't like! Worth the credit, the performance from Honey alone makes it worth it!
I was provided a complimentary copy for an honest review...honestly I'll be listening to this one more than once ;)
This book was just okay for me... until the last 30 minutes. Then it went from "eh" to "OMG!" I loved seeing The Mason List come to life. I loved the emotion and seeing the characters "wake up".
My absolute favorite part of the book was seeing Alex put the Mason List into action. I had tears in my eyes as I was driving and listening!
Just okay. Eh.
I didn't have much of a reaction until the very end. Then I felt all the feels! I got teary-eyed. I felt sick to my stomach. And I smiled. It was beautiful.
I didn't love the narrator's performance, which may be part of the reason that the beginning of the book didn't really grab and hold my attention. But as I listened, I was able to get past the narration that annoyed me and really listened to the story.
I believe so. The audiobook just seemed to flow along. I enjoyed Honey St. Dennis's voice for Alex, she sounded the way I would have imagined her.
Spoiler * My favorite part was when Alex finally realized she was in love with Jess too. It was obvious from the start that they loved each other. But I was happy when they both FINALLY admitted it.
She did a good job with Jess's Texas accent for the majority of the time. That could not be conveyed in the book. Some times his drawl was a bit slow and made him sound a bit dim. The emotion of both characters was well read.
I was getting upset towards the ending, hoping the book would go the way I hoped it would. Of course the last chapter had me crying like a babe and whooping at the good parts.
Great story, seems that it doesn't get the marketing that it deserves.
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