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.
A little slow at times, especially in the middle, but the characters are incredibly sweet and we'll fleshed out. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Aric “Brute” is a giant of a man living in a place and time where magic is common but uniqueness is often linked with superstition and thus feared. He is orphaned early in life and forced to live with an abusive uncle. He grows and grows until he towers over all the people around him, and his face will never win him any beauty prizes. Forced by fear into a life without education or training, he is goes to work to do the only thing he thinks he can to survive: carry heavy things.
One day the Prince travels through Brute’s town and has an accident. Brute saves him but gets injured in the process. The Prince rewards Brute with a special job and takes him to live with him in the palace.
At the palace Brute is placed in charge of a special prisoner, Gray Leynham. Grey has a terrible and sad story to tell and lives a life full of misery, chained to the walls in the palace, fore-seeing people’s deaths.
Together, Brute and Grey form a fragile alliance that blossoms into something earth shatteringly powerful.
Kim Fielding has written an amazingly beautiful and heart-wrenching story that will have you reaching for your Kleenex with both extreme happiness and sadness.
This has the flavor of an old-time fairy tale, mixed with a smidge of sex – really, just a smidge – to spice things up. It is a deeply touching love story full of hope and forgiveness.
I truly loved this book and look forward to re-reading it time and again.
The audio book:
KC Kelly does a fantastic job of narrating Brute. He does all the voices quite well, and I found myself making comparisons with it and The Princess Bride. (Where the grandpa is reading the his grandson…) The pacing is well done and the stuttering of Grey is just perfect.
I highly recommend the book giving it a 6 out of 5 stars and the audio version a 5 of 5 stars!
Loved the story, the narration , everything. A story of the giant with the tender heart and a prisoner unjustly treated.
Eclectic reader, from YA to adult. Favorites include romance & mystery, but I'll give anything with interesting words a try. Love diversity.
This story packs in a lot of emotion right from the beginning. Watching what one man's life has been like since he was a child and experiencing the hate and disregard given to him touched me deeply. Then to see things start to change and watch a tender-hearted, gentle giant meet people who value him is so touching. It's beautiful to watch him befriend and grow to love another man who's also known so much pain, physically and mentally. It never feels overwhelming or maudlin, just emotional to the perfect degree.
This is my second book narrated by K.C. Kelly, and I continue to be impressed by how wonderfully he brings the characters to life, both in distinct voices and measured delivery.
There were several times when I was wiping away tears because the love and devotion of these characters shines through.
Brute is a favorite of mine, but it's something I'd only read in print. Having an audiobook live up to my high opinion of this story is a treat. Kim Fielding tells a wonderful story and K.C. Kelly does justice to it with his narration.
The book has a naivety feel about it. The story itself is quite simple, the characters are simple, there isn't much complexity in there. The actions and thinking of these characters are pretty much one dimensional so you know what you're going to get because they remain like that for the whole book.
But what I did like about Brute is that even though everything is calculated and measured, you get to have moments that tugs on your heart strings. And that's impossible to ignore. The author knows how to pull it out in the right time but one can take self-flagellation only as much. But like I said, there are moments though that makes you smile and appreciate the main characters for who they are.
Btw the narrator was excellent.
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.
Relistened to this again. KC Kelly is the perfect narrator for this story. I love it to bits. I get carried away with Brute on his life's story, and particularly the love between him and Grey. An absolute favourite of mine.
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