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arimbaud18

Dallas,Tx
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  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 23
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  • The Lightning-Struck Heart

  • By: TJ Klune
  • Narrated by: Michael Lesley
  • Length: 19 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,736
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,652
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,646

Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident. Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam's pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the king's wizard, Morgan of Shadows.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely brilliant

  • By Rain on 12-23-15

Saved by the Narrator

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-01-16

I'm honestly not sure how to feel about this book. On the one hand, writing wise, it's objectively awful. While I can appreciate what the author was going for, a sort of Shrek meets Whedon-esque fantasy romance, I think they may have confused spastic and immature for clever and funny. I don't mind that kind of humor, per se, but considering that every other sentence of dialogue is someone saying something like "love you booo!" or "I love your faaace!" or "I wanna have his babies" it get's exhausting real fast. It's sorta like a high schooler's creative writing essay, but stretched out over 10 hours. That said, I ultimately ended up liking it and that pretty much has everything to do with Michael Lesley's narration. Yes, the writing is abysmal, but Lesley really embraces whats happening and just has so much fun with it that I was able to mostly ignore much of the nonsense and even connect with the characters which he makes distinct and believable. It's still about 2 hours too long, but it was still a fun listen and I don't feel cheated for buying it.

7 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Murder in Pastel

  • By: Josh Lanyon
  • Narrated by: Tristan Wright
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 104
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 94
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 93

Ten years ago, Cosmo Bari vanished, taking with him his legendary masterpiece, Virgin in Pastel. Since that day, no one in the seaside art colony of Steeple Hill has heard from the eccentric painter. Surrounded by an extended family of Cosmo's colorful compatriots, mystery writer Kyle Bari believes he has come to terms with being abandoned by his famous father. Then his ex-lover, Adam MacKinnon, arrives with his new partner, the beautiful but poisonous Brett.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Summer Loving & Murder...

  • By Amazon Customer on 02-18-16

An Okay First Attempt

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-16-15

What did you like best about Murder in Pastel? What did you like least?

The best, as always, is just Josh Lanyon's voice. He (or she- you never know with M/M) just has a natural ear for how to narrate and present characters that sound natural and real- a skill many M/M writers lack. As far as the least pleasing aspect of the book, besides the constant use of the word 'lover' (ugh! Just stop, guys! Nobody says that anymore), I would have to say the story itself. It's not bad, per se, it's just it very much feels like a first attempt, a rough draft for a better book. To be fair, I might not have felt that way had I not already read Lanyon's Adrien English series; however, having done so, it was hard to ignore some of the glaring similarities. For instance, both this book and Adrien English feature protagonists that suffer from a heart ailment resulting from a childhood bout with rheumatic fever. Both protagonists are writers with an esoteric knowledge of vintage mystery literature. Both also take digitalis for their heart condition, a medication that features in a poisoning subplot in both story lines. Like I said, I probably wouldn't have cared if I hadn't read Adrien English first, but having done so, seeing this again was distracting and took away from the sense of originality of the story. Also, it just kept reminding me of how much I loved those books while highlighting Murder in Pastel's weakest point, it's chemistry. Lanyon is generally great at creating chemistry between his books' main love interests, but here the relationship between Kyle and Adam falls flat. I just didn't really understand why they would be together or why I should care- it was just boring. In fact, without giving too much away, the way their whole relationship comes together just had me thinking, "Uh, this is a terrible idea, guys." the entire time.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Probably Lanyon's new book that just came out :)

Which character – as performed by Tristan Wright – was your favorite?

I don't know, I never really latched on to any of them.

Only Love audiobook cover art
  • Only Love

  • By: Garrett Leigh
  • Narrated by: Michael Stellman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108

The diagnosis of a chronic stomach condition leaves 32-year-old Sergeant Jed Cooper with little choice but to call time on his Army career. Then on the dusty streets of Kirkuk, an ambush gone tragically wrong decimates his team, and he returns to the US with a shattered leg and the memory of his best friend dying in his arms. Life in his sleepy hometown proves intolerable until he finds solace in a lakeside cabin with vivacious young carpenter, Max O'Dair.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very well written and narrated.

  • By Patrick McDonald on 04-21-15

Doesn't Quite Stick the Landing

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-27-15

What did you like best about Only Love? What did you like least?

The two main characters were probably the best thing about this book. They had great chemistry and unlike a lot of books with similar themes , which have a tendency to be overly melodramatic with characters that are often pathetic, I didn't have a difficult time sympathizing or buying their story. Jed and Max are damaged for sure and struggle with their own individual demons, but they're both sane and self-aware enough that you can actually believe that they would at least be capable of a relationship that wasn't toxic or one-sided.

However, as much as I enjoyed these characters, I felt like the book could have been at least 2 hours shorter. Without divulging too much, there is a rather protracted health scare at the end that seemed to go on forever without ever actually going anywhere. If it had to go on for another couple of hours, I think it could have been achieved in more a interesting way that told you more about the characters and allowed you, and them, to better explore their relationships. For instance, I kind of felt like it was a missed opportunity in which the story could have explored the relationship between Jed and his brother Nick, who's personality seems a bit schizophrenic and nonsensical and is another weakness to this book. Instead we get introduced to a bunch of new characters that feel a little awkwardly placed and who don't really do anything.

If you’ve listened to books by Garrett Leigh before, how does this one compare?

I enjoyed "Only Love" MUCH more than "Road", one of Garrett Leigh's other books. In fact I don't even think I ever finished "Road". So much time was spent on reminding me of how damaged and messed-up the characters were that I both never felt like the story went anywhere and couldn't believe that the characters were sane enough to even be capable of a functioning relationship. Luckily, "Only Love" manages to avoid this trap (for the most part) and creates characters that are both believable and sympathetic.

Do you think Only Love needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Probably not, while it would be nice to learn more about Jed and Nick's relationship, I just don't know if the author has the skill to pull it off.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Last of the Summer Tomatoes

  • By: Sherrie Henry
  • Narrated by: Paul Morey
  • Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 23

Kyle Jackowski, typical sullen emo teen, struggles to find a way to deal with his sexuality and finds himself in trouble with the law... again. But instead of being sent to a juvenile detention center like he expected, he is given a chance to commute his sentence by working on a farm for the summer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An innocent love story at it's best.

  • By Orlando on 01-20-15

Good, Not Great

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-15-15

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Probably not; at least not unless it was deeply discounted. It wasn't that it was a bad story- it pretty much ticks all of the appropriate boxes- but I've read what was pretty much the same story by much better writers.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I'd work on making the characters more believable, especially Kyle. I actually started out liking Kyle, he was very sympathetic and affecting in the beginning. But throughout the book he becomes more and more pathetic and I just stopped believing in him as a character. I mean, I can understand his hesitation to accept gifts from the family, but the offering pay for every single thing that was offered to him, even after they told him, "don't worry about it", became so grating. I think this was an attempt at making him seem vulnerable, but he just came off as stupid and whiny. Also, his naivete about gay people beyond ridiculous. I mean, he's supposed to be a kid from the streets of New York City and he has ZERO idea of what gay people are like?

What three words best describe Paul Morey’s performance?

Sounds too old

What would have made this romance irresistible?

First of all, as I mentioned, the characters could use some work. Between Kyle's naivete and constant apologizing and Sam's comparative worldliness, I had a hard time convincing myself that these two people would actually date each other in real life. If I were Sam, I would have found Kyle to be nice but tiresome and way too immature. However, not only do these guys inexplicably end up dating each other, they practically marry one another about five minutes after meeting. Now, I'm not against love at first sight stories, but the fact that these characters are so different add yet end up together practically right away felt emotionally untrue. Perhaps if they'd worked on it a little more and slowed it down, I could have been convinced. Also, while I appreciate the attempts romance authors take at talking about HIV, I don't like it when it just get's awkwardly dropped in. Yes, gay people talk about HIV, but not in the weird germphobic way it's introduced here. You can have perfectly healthy sex without a doctor's note. Suggesting otherwise, as it seems to be in this novel,is just silly and kind of insulting.

  • Slide

  • Roads, Book 1
  • By: Garrett Leigh
  • Narrated by: Michael Lesley
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 127
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 124

Shy tattoo artist Ash has a troubled past. Years of neglect, drug abuse, and life on the streets have taken their toll, and sometimes it seems the deep, unspoken bond with his lover is the only balm for wounds he doesn't quite understand. Paramedic Pete is warmth, love, and strength - things Ash never knew he could have, and never even knew he wanted until Pete showed him. But fate is a cruel, cruel mistress, and when nightmares collide with the present, their tentatively built world comes crashing down.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wow! So good!!!

  • By Candateshia Pafford on 12-08-14

Nothing Special

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-18-15

What would have made Slide better?

If it would have been about something. I get that it's M/M fiction and the love story is supposed to be the whole point, but this one just isn't strong enough to carry the whole book; it just bored me. I kept losing what was happening because I was so bored and uninterested. There needed to be more drama or conflict or something to make this more than just a mediocre story.

What do you think your next listen will be?

I have no idea, but I definitely need to stop relying on these ratings for M/M fiction. The last 3 times have been sore disappointments.

What does Michael Lesley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He was a serviceable narrator, but nothing special.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boredom

Any additional comments?

I'm at a loss as to why this is so popular. I'm about half way through it (it's not that long) and I couldn't care less about finishing it. I feel a return is in the immediate future.