Audiobooks are extremely subjective. When you read a book yourself, you have your own idea of how the character sounds, but whe..Show More »n you have an audiobook, the will of the narrator is forced upon you. This can be hit or miss, and I have really visceral reactions to some narrators. A few narrators have made books that might have been mediocre into absolutely fabulous reads. I have also had the opposite experience. This is one of those.
I kept trying to place the age of the narrator of this book as he was reading. I even attempted to look him up online mid-book to see what I could find out about him. I finally guessed his age to be around 65, though I never got confirmation. The narrator has that ever so slightly wobble to his voice and kind of a formal accent that gives his voice an elderly feel. That is not a good nuance for this book. The narrator read this book more like a children's book than an adult M/M romance and I actually cringed at the sex scenes. It felt like watching my grandparents have sex. It really took away from the story for me.
Now, the story itself was cute, if a bit melodramatic. I thought that the romance was sweet and I love a character with a disability. I had some issues with the pacing of the story (it felt very slow, but that might be an issue with the narrator again) and the lack of a story arc. I also had some slight issues with the character of the child, but I am pickier than most on that because I have a daughter about the same age and I know exactly how a kid that age acts. In addition, the way Mark was kind of forgotten about towards the end of the book bothered me (what happened with him??).
Though this book is a big hit with all of my friends, I just wasn't feeling it. I think it had potential, but whether it was the narrator or the content, it just missed the mark.
**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
Dan Harrington is now a rich guy who wants to help kids who didn’t have a good life, kids who were “thrown away” like he was. He adopts a little girl..Show More » and then later a little boy, both with disabilities and converts his house to accommodate their needs. Connor O’Malley, who considers himself a “throw away”, volunteers his handyman/wood working skills at the Children’s Home where Dan’s kids were adopted from. Connor had a crush on Dan when they were teenagers, but Dan moved away before anything could ever come of it. At first Connor sees Dan as a rich guy who is self-important and selfish when he misinterprets an event he witnesses at the Children’s Home, but he soon realizes Dan is anything but selfish. Dan asks Connor to help him renovate his house for the kids partly because he’s the best wood worker in town, and partially because Dan has always had a crush on Connor. There are some brief moments of angst and miscommunication between Dan and Connor, both thinking the other doesn’t like or is too good for the other, but mostly the story is about helping these two forming a relationship and helping to raise two disabled children.
** Andrew Grey is hit or miss for me. I read the first two books in the series, those were about one MC who was blind and the other deaf and it was about them finding love despite their respective issues. In this case the “issue” is really that neither Dan nor Connor feels they “deserve” love because of bad childhood experiences. In Dan’s case, it kind of makes sense. In Connor’s… less so, but I can sort of see it. I’m not sure how to rate this book. The story felt… off. Connor almost felt like a man with a learning disability. He was slow talking, off-putting, reclusive and socially inept. I really have no idea what Dan saw in him. Connor kept isolating himself and making assumptions about Dan that cast Dan in a bad light when Dan was never anything but a sterling guy. The kids really stole the show. Their story was heartbreaking and it was hard reading about and loving Jerry, the boy with Muscular Dystrophy who wouldn’t be alive for more than a handful of pain filled years. I appreciated that Dan had a total collapse due to his controlling ways, but never really saw him lean on Connor and utilize the support that Connor could provide to take some of the burden. I would have loved to see Dan give some of the children’s care to Connor and have them form their relationship as a partnership, taking care of the children and each other. Instead they only connected in the most superficial of ways, sexually. It felt like Connor was always just on the outside, never really belonging to the family Dan had created. I had enjoyed the first two books in the series and I have to say this is the worst of the three I have read. I give the story a 2.5 of 5 stars.
Audio: Max Lehnen did a nice job with the narration. He has a “country” type voice that suits the setting and the characters and I enjoyed his interpretation. He did a good job with separating the voices out and making each unique. The sound quality was good. I give the narration a 3 of 5 stars. Though the narration was fine, it didn’t add enough to really make the story more entertaining, so I am sticking with an overall rating of 2.5 stars, it was okay, not bad, not good. Overall Impression:
I love this series. I already own them on kindle and purchased the first three in audio and was so disappointed that I vowed not to buy the others and..Show More » stick to kindle for them only. When I saw that one of my favorite narrators was involved I actually whopped out loud. I wish he'd go back and do the rest so I could listen to them.