Carter Haywood lives for the weekends - specifically the one weekend every month when he escapes real life, with all the pressures of work and caring for his special needs brother, to do whatever he wants, with whomever he wants. Sex is only a release; he's not looking for love, a relationship or even a second night with the same man, until he walks into a bar and finds someone who makes leaving it all behind impossible. After one incredibly passionate encounter, he breaks his rule and goes back. He needs to see this man again. And again.
Damaged goods. That's all Reed Kincaide sees and hears when he looks in the mirror. Anxiety and ADHD define his life and he's learned to keep people at a distance, never letting them get close enough to know who he really is. When Carter proposes a monthly weekend of sex without strings, it's the ideal arrangement for him. Or so he thinks. Every month, leaving Carter proves to be more and more difficult. It's not only the intensely hot sex they have in their hotel suite; Reed wonders about the secret life Carter refuses to share.
As months pass and they grow closer Reed finds himself falling for Carter, but he needs more than hurried hugs and farewell kisses. He wants it all. Letting Reed into his carefully constructed family life could upset Carter's whole world, but it might be the risk he's finally willing to take, if it means keeping Reed. Once bodies are engaged, the heart is sure to follow, and Carter and Reed discover that holding on to each other is the first step in letting go of the past.
©2016 Felice Stevens (P)2016 Felice Stevens
Ahhhhh! This is the Felice Stevens I know and love. Carter and Reed are two damaged but absolutely redeemable characters who flourish in the other’s affections.
There are some outside forces in play, but really those are mostly only in the minds of the MCs themselves, and their past experiences.
The chemistry between these two is SMOKIN’! and the feels are very, very sweet.
For me, what makes this book so lovely, is that I was drawn in right away. The MCs meet and hook up relatively quickly and have fairly constant contact throughout the book. (I hate when the MCs spend pages and pages apart!) They do a fair job of communicating – even when Reed should be feeling very daunted by his brash proposal to change up the rules of their “arrangement” he knows enough to at least ask and not assume. (Yay grown ups!)
Though there is a lot of angst in the story, it’s not an angsty story at all.
Totally what I needed and highly recommended!
4.5 of 5 stars
Man, I do love Charlie David’s voice! He’s an actor, so he knows how to deliver emotion with timing and panache. He’s just so easy to listen to and I really love the quality of tenor of his voice. He doesn’t do a lot to differentiate Reed from Carter, but it’s still easy enough to follow along.
I like how he handles Jack’s voice as well as the female voices in the story.
This is a great way to experience this story and highly recommended!
5 of 5 stars
Overall 5 of 5 stars
Avid reader, reviewer, blogger and budding author.
I sure will! First, it's an amazing and well written story. Second, Charlie David is the king of narration and he did not disappoint with this book.
Perfect Imperfections by Cardeno C. The storylines have some things in common, they are both well written and they are both narrated by Charlie David
Ummmm... everything? He goes all in when he's telling a story and you can literally hear the emotions in his voice.
It was, but it took a couple of days. I really can't wait to listen to it again.
Carter and Reed are both forgotten children, both tossed aside by their own mother's. Carter because his mom was absolutely worthless and should never have had children. Reed because he wasn't "normal" enough for his mother. When looking at the bigger picture of life... laughter, joy, pain, memories... it's the women's loss, and the men, well they're better off without them.
Their arrangement is one weekend a month. Carter works full time and takes care of his litter brother. Another forgotten child, tossed aside by the same mom that left Carter on his own. Jacks, Carter's brother, is a lot like Reed. They both have deep seeded, residual fears that stem from being abandoned by the one person that should have loved them unconditionally. It makes it hard for them to open up or trust. As weeks become months, Reed starts to want more, but Carter refuses to bend. When he stops moving long enough to explore his emotions, he realizes that he and Reed want the same thing.
I like it when a book I read and enjoyed is brought to life with amazing narration. It's almost like getting a new story out of it. Charlie David gave these characters life with tones and inflections, as well as emotion. Carter and Reed have an undeniable, animalistic attraction to each other from the first time their eyes meet. They are both passionate, sensual and loyal people. What was most interesting and entertaining for me was the fact that these two were actually dating and falling in love during their "arrangement" though neither would admit it.
Definitely worth a read and a listen.
The vocal performer was pretty good. He has a deep voice which I really liked and he put some good emotion into the performance.
I originally read this book about a year ago and I have to say that I really didn’t like Carter for about the first 60% of the book. Yes, I understand he’s a good guy for taking in his brother and getting him the help needs and loving him the way he should, but he was just such a jerk to Reed. I screamed at my kindle several times for Reed just to WALK AWAY! Listening to the book, I wasn’t as angry with Carter as I was when I read it and I’m not totally sure why. I do appreciate what Carter went through and his abandonment issues. The times when Carter let his guard down and was freely with Reed he was really sweet. By the end of the book, I was cheering for him.
Reed is a good guy who also has abandonment issues and self-esteem issues. It was nice to see him finally stand up to Carter. When he and Carter are uninhibited but their issues, they are really great together and their chemistry is off the charts. I love Reed’s relationship with his dad, especially after his mother treated him so badly.
I loved the last few chapters and the supporting cast – Reed’s dad, Vernon, Helen, Dr. Childs and of course, Jacks.
Overall this was a good listen/read that I’d recommend.
*Audible code provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author for my listening pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*
I read The Arrangement when it first released and loved it, and I loved this audio version just as much!
Carter is raising his much younger brother, who was dropped off on his doorstep one day by their mother. Carter's entire focus for three years has been in getting Jackson all the help and support that he needs. Though he's had delays, Carter continues to see improvement in Jackson and is happy to see the strides his brother is making. Carter has no interest in relationships, his mother has shown him that people can't be trusted to not walk away. Carter allows himself one weekend a month away from his brother. He books a hotel, and goes to the bar to unwind and pick up a hook-up for the night. One night while at the bar, the bartender (Reed) gets his attention and they go back to Carter's room for the night.
Reed isn't really into one night stands and doesn't like the way he feels after Carter treats him like a business associate. He vows not to do it again, and to instead continue to focus on improving himself. Reed is going to college for Hospitality Management, he's helping his boss with duties outside a bartender job, and he's focusing on his mental health. Reed is shamed by his ADHD and Anxiety Disorder and knows that they'll never allow him to have a relationship. After all, if his mother could walk away because of his issues, as did previous boyfriends, why take a chance again.
Only Carter can't stay away, and suggests to Reed that they hook up once a month with no commitments. Reed is willing until he finds he wants more than Carter can offer. Only Carter refuses to give more and both men go on their own way. I really loved that Reed thought enough of himself to not accept the scraps that Carter offered him. And that both men finally find a way to heal each other.
The narrator of this book is Charlie David and he did a great job. Charlie has a very smooth, deep voice and kept a great pace when telling the story. I didn't feel like he differentiated between Carter and Reed's voice very much, but it didn't hurt the storytelling at all. It was really enjoyable listening to the narrator and I definitely will again!
Overall: 5 Stars
Performance: 4.5 Stars
Story: 5 Stars
OMG! This is hands down my favorite Felice Stevens book yet. Reed and Carter own a piece of my heart forever. This was different from all of the other books I've read by Felice. This book starts hot and ended sweet. It was perfect. I couldn't have asked for a better book from her.
Carter spends his days running his business and his nights and most weekends taking care of his special needs brother. One weekend a month he goes into the city to get laid by random men. He never goes back for more. One meeting with Reed and that plan goes to sh:t real quick.
Reed's mother ran off when he was a child because she didn't want to deal with a child with ADHD and anxiety. He was raised by his father but had a hard time letting people in. His last boyfriend called him all kinds of names and made him feel like dirt. So when Carter waltzes into the bar he's bartending at, he doesn't immediately fall for the act. Carter can be very convincing though.
After that one night of hot sex, Carter kicks him out immediately. Weeks later he finds himself searching Reed out again though and that's not like him at all. They decide to have an arrangement where Carter will come down once a month and they spend the weekend together. It works out just fine until someone wants more.
This book just gets better and better as you keep reading. I can't wait to see how much everyone else loves it too. The narrator does such an amazing job and pours his heart and soul into these beautiful words.
I do love a good book. I also love a good audio performance of a good book :-)
Getting to know what made Carter and Reed tick, as individuals. Watching them progress in their relationship and in their comfort within their own skins. I really appreciate how Felice Stevens humanizes her characters in a fashion I can relate to. An example would be the sexy steaminess Carter and Reed radiated and craved, while still maintaining a strong check on other areas of their lives. Her inclusion of a child in the story makes the relationship dynamics even more interesting and powerful. Mr. David's spot-on performance is the crowning touch to this highly enjoyable story.
Not sure I like comparing books. The underlying theme is people believing they aren't quite worthy of a committed partner; that their life is too burdensome for someone to share. Then, the right someone comes along to push and challenge them. To truly love them.
Everything!! I read this book before listening to the audio, and Mr. David, in my mind, presented the voices of Carter and Reed perfectly. This is a very sensual story, and Mr. David has a smooth timbred voice, deep enough to be mesmerizing, but not sound at all "announcer like." He became the characters.
Well, I feel the author already has the perfect one with: "It wasn't supposed to get personal...until it did"
The story flowed well, and I felt the actions of the characters were well timed and plausible. The sex scenes are very erotic, they are important in demonstrating the evolution of the relationsip and while hot, are not there simply to titillate. At times I feel the story could have been tighter. Some of Carter's conflicting thoughts were repeated on page potentially more than necessary.
I absolutely LOVED the idea of this story. This book could have been amazing.
TOO long for my taste (mostly too many long inner monologues, and the same monologues repeating themselves over and over again - and in politically correct shrink speak, on top of it all!). I felt that there were many things missing.
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