1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $19.95

Buy for $19.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Two dominant males, two worthy adversaries, in a business that takes no prisoners will soon learn that fate refuses to be ignored.

My name is Troy Babilonia, but I'm best known as Babu, a renowned literary critic with my own online column. I'm followed by thousands! I'm a living god in the literary world. I have no filter, and for that my flock of humble followers are forever grateful. If it weren't for me, they wouldn't know what to read. I have zero tolerance for weak-minded attention seekers, nor do I have respect for the self-proclaimed geniuses of the indie world. My advice to all indie authors is to never break the cardinal rule in this cutthroat business. Ever.

My name is L. Blackburn, and I'm an indie author. My extraordinary genius was loved and worshiped throughout the literary world until one egocentric critic tried to obliterate my career. It seems I broke some "cardinal rule", and now I'm paying the price for it. But I don't plan on going down without a fight.

©2015 Smith & LeNoir (P)2016 Smith & LeNoir
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about Black Balled

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    202
  • 4 Stars
    94
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    22
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    248
  • 4 Stars
    61
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    8
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    186
  • 4 Stars
    95
  • 3 Stars
    31
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    23

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great narration - Interesting story

Would you listen to Black Balled again? Why?

Maybe. It was interesting but so much dramatics in the way the two main characters behaved.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The neighbor lady, though I can't remember her name. She had a good sense of humor and kind of calmed the two men down.

What about Joel Leslie’s performance did you like?

He has so many accents and little variations that he creates with his voice that he gives everyone a unique sound.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The bonus stories at the end definitely made me laugh hard.

Any additional comments?

The narration: I have become a big fan of this narrator, Joel Leslie. He creates so many different accents and tones that it seems every character has it’s own voice. I have enjoyed several of his narrations in the past, and would definitely listen to more from him in the future.

The story: I have to admit I had reservations about listening to this book because it is at least partially based on a real life fiasco that occurred on Goodreads. There are a lot of low rated reviews, and plenty of people who shelved it as will never read because of it. The fact that I received a review copy and the need to form my own opinions made me decide to put aside my doubts and check it out for myself.

One of the things that made it easier for me to listen to was that the authors do not just villainize the reviewer but also the author as well. They even make the reviewer’s sycophants look bad. I appreciate that it wasn’t a one-sided blame game.

The story opens up on a review posted by Babu for L.(Larson) Blackburn’s newest book. The reviewer tears the book apart, questions the author’s sexuality, and hints that he hopes it is just a woman writing about things women just don’t write well and urges “her” to stick to romance and chick-lit. Babu’s followers immediately thank him for saving them time. Since many of them are women, I don’t understand how the sexist remarks don’t bother them. They are definitely portrayed as mindless suck-ups that accept the word of a popular reviewer without checking things out for themselves. While Larson appears to be victimized by this reviewer, his thoughts upon reading the review, don’t make him sound like a much better person. Apparently being called a female is the worse thing that could happen to him. Obviously he needs to prove his manhood.

Now I’ve seen drama shared on Facebook and Goodreads, where an author will have problems with a reviewer or sometimes another author. I do my best to stay out of the arguments and side-taking, because it bothers me to see people publicly bashed and to see others take sides without knowing the whole story. It all just leaves a sour taste in my mouth. It was that same feeling I had for a few chapters into this book. Babu and Larson are pretty unlikable characters, but this is not the first book I’ve read where the mc’s are kind of nasty. Though I prefer nicer personalities, the truth is, there are people on this planet that aren’t easy to like and it just makes the story more realistic. Ultimately, I couldn’t stop listening to this drama filled story because, though the subject was sort of scandalous it was also engaging. Reality shows show how addicting people behaving badly can be.

As the story continues, we do learn more about Babu and Larson that sheds light on some of the reasons they act the way they act. The other facets of their personalities begin to redeem them some. Their hateful remarks to each other becomes like foreplay. An anonymous hookup between them, and a case of mistaken identity later lead to a physical fight. But when the smoke clears, the two must admit their attraction to each other. As a pairing, I actually like them. I’d have to say they deserve each other and not all in a bad way.

Though they do become a bit more likable, I can’t say that either of them changes completely. There will always be friction because they will always be stubborn. I felt the story was a telling commentary on the way some people act in the writing and reviewing community. I think constructive criticism can be helpful, but try to stick by the saying “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. I don’t want to discourage people from reading reviews, because I write reviews and enjoy reading others thoughts on books. I do definitely encourage people to form their own opinions on whatever is being reviewed. We are all different and can’t allow others to think for us or speak for us. If I hadn’t ignored the naysayers, I might not have had this enjoyable listening experience.

p.s. The bonus stories from the point of views of the neighbor and her cat were just hilarious. Probably my favorite part of the book because of the humor and lack of drama.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Review is written the Black Balled way

What made the experience of listening to Black Balled the most enjoyable?

A book that I already loved was brought to life.

What other book might you compare Black Balled to and why?

It has no comparison to anything I have ever read before.

Which character – as performed by Joel Leslie – was your favorite?

Larson aka L.Blackburn

If you could rename Black Balled, what would you call it?

I wouldn't rename.

Any additional comments?

Review is written the Black Balled way. Sit back, relax and enjoy, I'm no Babu. (Smiley face inserted here)

Jo&isalovebooks Reviews

June 13, 2016
Title: Black Balled
Author: Andrea Smith & Eva LeNoir
Genre: Gay Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Status: Audio Version
Narrator: Joel Leslie
Jo's grade: 5 stars

The Gospel According to Jo:

Firstly let me begin by saying, high five to the narrator, Joel Leslie. You brought a book that I already loved to life. This was my first experience listening to an audio version and boy has it left me hungry for more. I only hope that my future reads or listening experience is as great as this one. The bar has certainly been set high. So thank you, Joel Leslie for your talents in making each character come to life, your story telling was exceptional and to the point, I found myself blushing and believe me when I say this rarely happens, if ever.

Indie Author's can receive some brutal reviews and all they can do is sit back and ignore. We all know what happens to an Author that comments on a bad review.
This story is about a reviewer, Babu and a writer, L. Blackburn. Babu solely destroys L. Blackburn's career as an author but unfortunately L.Blackburn does not ignore, against the better judgement of his agent, Brent.
It's a highly intense story where two very strong alpha males play a game that can only end in one or both being hurt.

Babu has a huge following and apparently his word is Gospel. You know it never ceases to amaze me that people, ie: readers never just find out for themselves whether they like the book or not. It is impossible for us all to have the same tastes in books, just like fashion and music. So although I loved this particular story, you may not. HA! If you love M/M Romance you most certainly will love this audio version. If you have already read this on ebook or paperback, I am telling you now, you have got to download the audio version. It will blow your socks off.

I have laughed my way through this book with the one liners and crude comments made by both Babu and Larson aka L. Blackburn. When you read a book for the first time and think WOW!! that was just awesome, you start recalling the best bits. In my opinion this was the case with this audio version, there was no best bits, the whole story telling was brilliant. I believe that what originally was a mind blowing book has now become even better, by being more pronounced, so whatever scenario was playing in your mind has become real as you listen to the audio.

When I read the book for the first time, there was a particular scene which I found disturbing, it was something that happen to Babu while he was child, now after listening to it it enhanced all my senses making it more emotional. The writers of this story are phenomenal and knew exactly how to connect with the reader by picking the man who has 100% told it flawlessly.

Imagine what happens when Babu and Larson meet? It's explosive to say the least. First we have lust then Pheromones, followed by anger leading to violence. It is the mother of all disastrously mishandled situations. (really miss using vulgar slang in my review) LOL!! Sometimes we need those swear words to express oneself.

So my review concludes right here with: Think before the next time you write your review. Give your honest opinion while being respectful to the Author. NO Black Balling allowed on Joandisalovebooks.

Quoting Babu below with some ad-libbing (winking face inserted here)

"That's it for this week's review! As always, you are free to voice your comments, criticisms and opinions right here, and don't forget to visit our blog page if you are a member of our following and we can always chat there. We welcome your feedback and opinions, but remember, We reserve the right to tell if you are full of BS or to go away, and if necessary block you but that's the beauty of Joandisalovebooks Reviews."

PS:
Includes bonus chapters. The pussy talks, hahaha!! Enjoy.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • HZ
  • 06-10-16

1st half Almost DNF, 2nd half couldn't stop!

from Amazon reviews I knew what I was getting into, but still had to FORCE myself through the first half of the book. AND since one of the majors plot points was the negative review of a book that the critic Did Not Finish... I kept going.

Once the MCs finally meet in person (stuck in an elevator while dressed as Cyrano de Bergerac and the Marquis de Sade, w/ George Sand along) things get interesting! By the last 1/3 of the story I couldn't stop listening long enough to do things like eat & sleep...

The story is set in the context of the current publishing industry and there are almost two different books here:

The first has unlikable MCs (one straight the other bi) behaving obnoxiously and insults anything/one feminine or effeminate including the evil ex wife. The narrator uses voices as annoying as the characters. This aspect of the book (mostly found in the first half) 3 stars overall, 2.5 performance, and 2 story.

The second has complex characters who have had MAJOR stuff happen to them. They are learning how to move forward in their lives. They are men wrestling with their baggage, people in their lives & on social media, and with each other. The chemistry between them is Potent and drives them to address/own their sexuality. Even the narration improves. You always know who is speaking and there are more character voices. For this aspect of the book 5 stars overall, 3-4 performance, 4-5 story.

I'm really glad I finished Blackballed, the 2nd half of the book was worth the credit.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

WOW, JUST WOW !!!!

If you could sum up Black Balled in three words, what would they be?

OH MY GOD!!!!

* I received a copy of Black Balled audio for an honest review*

Let me first start by saying that I have passed up on purchasing other audio books in the past as I found the narrator's accent a bit much; however, Joel Leslie was perfect.

I purchased Black Balled ebook a few months back and could not pass up the opportunity to own it once it was out on audio.

So..... I thought Black Balled ebook was hot, boy was I wrong. Black Balled audio had me squirming (and in a good way).

This story is humourous, sexy and entertaining. Did I also mention HOT!!!
I can honestly say that I really enjoyed this book. I loved the banter between the 2 M/Cs. This story is just what every MM novel wants - 2 alpha males. There is a lot of humour and journey to self discovery.

Do yourselves a favour, don't think about it, just buy Black Balled, read and enjoy - you're welcomed :)

For your reading pleasure, Guns Blazing is a spin-off from Black Balled which I also loved..

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

LOVE!

What did you love best about Black Balled?

Great story done up by two amazing authors!! I loved the ebook, the audiobook just adds another layer to that love!

What did you like best about this story?

Great characters and heat!!

What about Joel Leslie’s performance did you like?

I could listen to this book and Joel's voice on repeat and my world would be better!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

WOW!!!

I was given this audible as a gift from Andrea Smith in return for an honest review. I have to say thank you Andrea for the gift. You and Eva LeNoir have done an absolutely excellent job with this story. This is the first time I have listened to an audible book and it was amazing. I love being able to hear the emotion behind the wonderful writing. The narrator did a great job in making this story come to life. I really enjoyed this audible, not just because the story is my absolute favorite, but also because the narrator helped me enjoy it even more. I do not know if I need to mention "spoiler alert" for this bit but the bonus chapters were a great addition. It was an absolute treat hearing from the characters that have such an impact in our two main characters lives.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

LOVED IT

Really good book from start to finish. Very entertaining main characters. Their sexual draw to each other was really hot!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Be prepared to Laugh! Awesome story

Would you listen to Black Balled again? Why?

Yes! Most definetely
Do you lack a sense of humor or is your funny bone broken? If you have any one of these conditions, pick up this book for the cure. This is a parody of epic proportions. If you've ever written or attempted to write a novel, write reviews, blog or promote, reader beware if you have tender feelings because no one comes out unscathed in the funniest way. I laughed and laughed until I basically thought I'd wet the bed. If you've ever interacted with the reading community, you will have most likely been in contact with one or more of these characters. Kudos to Andrea Smith and Eva LeNoir to create these two humorous characters. But wait...they are more than the humor they are. There is a real story in here.

What other book might you compare Black Balled to and why?

Any parody lovers dream - especially if you love gay romance

Which scene was your favorite?

The elevator - enuf said

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

When the author and the critic can't stay away

Any additional comments?

This was a first novel for either of these authors and definitely will not be a last. As you can image with any parody, it doesn't lack in its own tales of controversy. Ignore the noise and let the story speak for itself. This is an M/M relationship so if this genre is not for you, then don't pick it up. However, if you are in the mood to read two crazy people find a HEA and LOVE parodies, pick this up. 4.5 stars out of 5

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

ReadLoveReview

Where does Black Balled rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Back when this book first came out it went straight to the top on my favourites list for that year. To this day it remains one of my favourite m/m stories. Now Iv never been an audio book fan. It's simply not my thing, I get frustrated with the speech speed and that the voice isn't what I gave the characters in my head. Queue today and Iv given audio another chance. Why? Because BlackBalled by Eva LeNoir and Andrea Smith was made available on audible. I though if there's going to be any book convert me it'll be this one. And I am floored. At first I was sceptical because it's a 9 and a half hour listening time story. I though wow I'm going to get board. This is not the case. I find myself so eager to get even 5 minutes to listen that I'm sending my wireless headphones flat. Not only that but of the mornings my routine is walk the kids to school, come home grab my water bottle and one of the dogs and go for a walk. I total about 1h40mins, I find myself wanting to go further so I can listen to this incredible story for longer. Nothing like the funny looks from people when I'm walking along laughing out loud at seemingly nothing. The voice behind BlackBalled is Joel Leslie, and he is perfect! The rang for the characters is distinct and consistent, his beautifully smooth voice is so very well matched for this particular story. He nails the sarcasm and ego for the alpha men and the cutesy of Ida.
Now if you love m/m then this book is worth picking up. Two very alpha cocky men virtually battling it out then the inevitable twists come into it. Things get real physical on so many levels you can't help but be left breathless. Their journey of self discovery is intriguing, how the past comes in to play with the present. When all is said and done these two men aren't so different to each other.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Just Amazing

Where does Black Balled rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This one is by far the best!!

What did you like best about this story?

The narrator Joel Leslie, he brought all the characters to life. I already loved this book, but he just made my love of the book that much more.

Have you listened to any of Joel Leslie’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but I will be looking for more of his work.

Any additional comments?

I loved reading the ebook of Black Balled, but hearing the words come to life was an amazing experience. It brought to life all the humor, banter, and the emotions.

6 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Avid Reader
  • Avid Reader
  • 06-20-16

A different, but fun story.

If you could sum up Black Balled in three words, what would they be?

Funny. Damaged MCs

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Troy's letter to his psychiatrist, re. his stepfather's reaction to finding him kissing a boy when he was young, made me teary.

Any additional comments?

I hadn't read the book, so the story was totally unknown to me when I started listening. With Joel Leslie's narration I was quickly drawn in and he kept me hooked to the very end.

Joel is (in my opinion) a gifted voice actor, and he masters a variety of voices both male and female. I've listened to a number of books narrated by Joel, and he has thus far not disappointed me.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this audiobook from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kes Callaway
  • Kes Callaway
  • 06-19-16

Brilliant collaboration!!

What did you like most about Black Balled?

I liked the originality of the storyline. It was intriguing as to how these two fiery and arrogant characters could get through the book without killing each other.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the humourous emailing scenes and further on in the book I loved the fiery passion that developed between the two characters.

What about Joel Leslie’s performance did you like?

Joel's voice was amazing!! Not only did he showcase the arrogance of the two main characters fantastically but the tone of his voice was simply sublime to listen to. I was so glad I got the audio version of this book.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed a lot at the sheer arrogance and connection between the two main characters. Their emails between each other were hilarious.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nina B.
  • Nina B.
  • 08-16-20

Enemies to lovers M/M

Book 1. Some miscommunication leads to some hot business. Some jealousy leads to some hot business. Some self exploration leads to some hot business. I love the characters in this book and their banter. I Absolutely love neighbor Ida and kitty Muffy. Joel Leslie does a fabulous job with narration. I Enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it.

🎧Audiobook Obsession

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for C M Silver
  • C M Silver
  • 07-13-20

Oh So Hot Gossiper meets his Match

Have you heard the one about the straight guy, the bi guy and his ex-wife......? Well here it is served up impressively with drama and passion. Well crafted, with humour, angst and grit. I would've given it 5 stars for story, but thought the Bonus Chapter about Muffy trivialized an otherwise good clever story with good MCs.

Joel Leslie is very hard to beat as a narrator, doing all the voices perfectly and only fractionly camp in places. A good narrator makes all the differences to pacing and presentation of the story.

Very enjoyable and unusual tale. Book 2 is about Lloyd, so Book 3 here I come.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Wendywoo
  • Wendywoo
  • 05-22-20

Winning

If I’m honest it took me a while to get into this book but once I did I loved it! When they finally got together I love the continuous arguments and the make up sex and of course Ida she’s a hoot can’t wait to hear more from Joel Leslie too narrating on par here’s to the next instalment

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Wide Eyes, Big Ears!
  • Wide Eyes, Big Ears!
  • 04-06-20

Surprised that I love this!

Larson is a self-published author who thinks his latest book doesn’t deserve the scathing review it receives from the sanctimonious and heavy handed book critic, Troy, so these two colossal egos declare war on each other. These guys are fighters first and foremost, and lovers a distant second. Normally I wouldn’t enjoy or care for such repellant main characters but the story was engrossing and I really wanted to see them both get their comeuppance. Magically, though, the authors and narrator brought enough pathos and humour that I also wanted them to find their semblance of happiness and I’ll try the other books in this series. A bonus star for the chapter describing their punch up from Muffy the cat’s POV. Not for delicate sensibilities - men behaving very badly!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Cupcakes1988
  • Cupcakes1988
  • 12-03-19

Overall a great book! Highly recommend!

(Story) While I was slow to listen to the book it had enough plot that I loved the book it had detail and characters that while they are not perfect (meaning having their individual personality flaws) made the book very good to listen to. Bonus chapters at the end were very funny.

(Narrator) I love the way the narrator put feeling and depth into each character with their own accent and speech pattern really made a difference between characters and the situations each of them had.

(over all story) loved the book was well written and well narrated looking forward to book two and more from both the writer and narrator.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Booklover876🇯🇲
  • Booklover876🇯🇲
  • 11-30-19

Muffy and Ida stole the show

I enjoyed the book but I didn't like Troy nor Larson. I hated the way Larson treated Lloyd. I listened to Guns Blazing and I love Lloyd. Troy's critique of Authors books was appalling. There's constructive criticism and there's The gospel according to Babu😞, he was too abrasive. I enjoyed the story however because it shows a lot about what Authors and reviewers go through in the book world. It was a compelling story that delve deeply into that world and I loved how the Authors portray it. I'm a big Joel Leslie fan and he outdid himself with this one, so many accents and emotions. I was given this audiobook by the Author and voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for OCorkyO
  • OCorkyO
  • 10-23-19

Fantastic

I have to say that Joel Leslie is one of my favourite narrator,but a good narrator does not make a good story.... This one though was perfect... I have listen to a lot of books 📚 and this one has it all... I laughed, I I felt sad and I felt anger... I did not want to put it down to sleep... Well I mean stop listening lol I listen to books more than read as I find it difficult so when a good book written by a fantastic author is put with a wonderful narrator .... Well happy ☺ me and I always want more! Thank you I'm going to listen to the net one now 😁






  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Marcelle Ellis
  • Marcelle Ellis
  • 10-06-19

Wow not what I expected

This was a great story that kept me on my toes the whole way. I was laughing and wondering what was going to happen next. This MM romance was came out of the left-field for me. The way these two men meet and how they became lovers was a big surprise for me. I don't want to spoil anything, but the elevator scene was so hot I needed a drink of water after. If you like MM romance this is a must-have in your library.

🎧 AudiobookObsession