Brute leads a lonely life in a world where magic is commonplace. He is seven and a half feet of ugly, and of disreputable descent. No one, including Brute, expects him to be more than a laborer. But heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and when he is maimed while rescuing a prince, Brute's life changes abruptly. He is summoned to serve at the palace in Tellomer as a guard for a single prisoner. It sounds easy but turns out to be the challenge of his life.
Rumors say the prisoner, Gray Leynham, is a witch and a traitor. What is certain is that he has spent years in misery: blind, chained, and rendered nearly mute by an extreme stutter. And he dreams of people's deaths - dreams that come true.
As Brute becomes accustomed to palace life and gets to know Gray, he discovers his own worth, first as a friend and a man and then as a lover. But Brute also learns heroes sometimes face difficult choices and that doing what is right can bring danger of its own.
©2012 Kim Fielding (P)2014 Dreamspinner Press
Goodreads reviewer and blogger... also dentist and wife/mom when I get the time!
4 stars for the book, 5 stars for the narration, 4.5 stars overall! This was an excellent listen!
Just from those first moments of the audiobook sample, I knew it would be a hit for me. K.C. Kelly did a gorgeous job narrating "Love, Like Water," so I had the utmost confidence that he would kill this one. And he did. With a rumbling bass for Brute and a perfect stutter for Gray, the narrator nailed it.
I happen to have a tender spot for stutterers, so listening to K.C. Kelly narrate Gray had me almost in tears. I come from a long line of stutterers. My father, brother, and grandma all stutter, but my brother's stutter is by far the most pronounced, affecting his daily life. Listening to Gray try to get out his words really moved me, and the narrator did a perfect job getting that intonation down-pat. I think K.C. Kelly might be known for this because he is also the narrator of "Ethan, Who Loved Carter," which also features a stutterer.
I also sussed out the narrator's home country from the way he gives many of his characters a New Zealand accent (I'm not that good, I knew it was Australian-ish sounding and then I looked it up!). I loved the range of accents and voices from Mr. Kelly. He did such a fabulous job giving this story character and body.
The story itself was also incredibly lovely. Brute is a tall, ugly, kind-hearted man who has been mistreated since childhood, and Gray is a prisoner, a condemned witch and traitor. The way they are thrown together and the way the romance develops slowly over time was really well done. I love slow burn romances, and this story really allowed things to happen organically between Brute and Gray.
Beware readers, this is a VERY angsty read. Brute was knocked down time and time again, and it was painful at times to read about the gentle giant being abused. Also, Gray's story is one that will break your heart. This story is also very light on the sex content, so strictly erotic romance readers, be forewarned.
My only complaint is that, at times, the story's pace dragged a little. There were many quiet, slow moments where nothing in particular happened, and I found myself growing a tad impatient in the middle of the book. However, the magic, the romance, the beautiful and careful way that the story was written, all make up for any faults. This was a book that will stay with me for some time.
**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
I haven't, but I loved Brute's voice. The narrator did a wonderful job of portraying him as well as the other characters. I could differentiate between everyone easily, even once Gray's stutter lessened. The pacing, emotion, and character portrayals were all wonderfully done and I'll keep an eye out for more K.C. Kelly narrated books!
I earned the Binge badge, All Nighter badge, Weekend Warrior badge, and Marathon badge, so... yeah.
This was absolutely wonderful. I'm a sucker for Gentle Giant stories, and Brute was no exception. It was done in a way that portrayed how shitty his life was, without you pitying him. He was so matter of fact about everything, you couldn't feel bad for him, per se, because he wasn't a victim. He lived his life as best he could, and took what came. Until an unfortunate accident changed his circumstances for the better.
The slow burn romance was perfect for their circumstances. Brute didn't want to feel as if he were taking advantage of the prisoner, and of course it took him a while to believe that someone could truly be interested in him. My favorite line from Gray portrays Brute so wonderfully, "You’re a giant because an ordinary man’s body is too small for what you are."
The secondary characters at the palace were great as well, in particular Alice and her brother, and I liked that this story wasn't only about the romance. Brute needed friends too. With all Brute's day-to-day goings on, I could see how someone would feel this was slow. But I just enjoyed listening to Brute's voice (audio-version) and his take on the world.
I'll agree with one friend who wrote that the theme of self-sacrificing and love-conquers-all got a bit heavy handed at the end. But who cares? It was sweet and that was really the only way things could go. Also, I'm a bit of a stickler about Epilogues. I hate when they're added if not necessary, or if they don't serve their purpose. In this case, I would have really liked one a year or so down the line.
So all in all, absolutely beautiful story about giants with giant hearts and blind men who see better than the rest of us.
I'm not one to sit, discuss, and breakdown a story. I read to enjoy. To escape. To experience. To learn. I started my day with these characters and ended up finishing my day with them as well.
There was some doubt whether I was going to finish with a heavy heart and tears. But I am pleased to say that these characters will stay with me for a long while. This is a story that I will revisit often. Thank you.
This was a very pleasant surprise. The story is well written and since the storyline also stands out from other M/M books, it is one of the stories I enjoyed the most resently. Brute is a lovable MC and he has been beaten down so many times, that u are really rooting for him. And the narrator is very good
Definitely worth the money or credit.
Not having read the book version I can't comment.
I have to give it to Arik (Brute) and Gray. These two had distinct, memorable voices and were read incredibly well. These are the sort of character voices that stay with you.
No, It a very sweet story, but not for me.
I don't think so.
I would not change one thing. He did a very nice job.
"sweet fairytale-like story with great narrator"
What a beautiful, sweet fairy tale this is. I love the gentle giant Brute (who we get to know under his own name later in the book, but I don’t know how to spell it since I’ve only heard it spoken) and his view of the world. He’s always been mocked for how he looks, but when he ends up in the Palace after saving a prince’s life, he makes some friends, and even more importantly: finds love. His love for the sad prisoner Gray becomes so great that he is ready to sacrifice everything for his lover’s happiness. Brute is a moving character to me, because he’s so unassuming and although he has always been met with contempt and even cruelty, he’s never been anything but kind and gentle.
The story is calmly paced but I didn’t mind that one bit with the excellent narration by KC Kelly. The man has such a lovely deep voice and although his intonation isn’t always perfect, somehow that’s never irritating, I don’t know why. Maybe because he seems to put his heart into the narration. His style is calm. He gives characters different accents. As I loved his Weber in ‘Frog’ I love his Brute here: the calm, easy big man. KC Kelly does Gray’s stutter brilliantly as well.
I think you can’t help loving both Brute and Gray, and I will definitely listen to this audiobook again in the future.
PS I want to give KC Kelly 4.5 stars for narration
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