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Breaking Out

Narrated by: Alex Alvarez
Length: 7 hrs and 39 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)
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This Story Is Seductive

Publisher's Summary

Thanks to Paul Sturgess, his long-time family friend and benefactor, Mike Sloan has lived a comfortable existence during college as a record-breaking swimmer. He's looking forward to finishing his senior year, followed by graduate school, then a high-powered career. That's what he thinks anyway, before he meets Hank Schechter, the awkward, shy, new-transfer student swimmer. Mike senses a sensitivity to the withdrawn young man, and makes it his personal goal to bring Hank into the fold. While helping Hank to become a member of the team, Mike finds himself falling for the new guy. Mike's dear childhood friend, Rachel Levange, who is running her own private law practice, announces she's ready to become a mother. And she wants Mike to be the baby daddy. Mike may be a gay man, but he too is experiencing a sudden desire to become a father. How will he reconcile it all?

©2015 Denise Barone (P)2016 Denise Barone

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A Mixed Bag

The blurb describing Breaking Out tells us that Olympic hopeful swimmer Mike develops feelings for Hank, a shy and very awkward new team member. Meanwhile, his best friend since childhood decides she wants to have a baby and would like him to be the father. But there is so much more to this book that the description almost seems misleading in its simplicity. Whether that helps or hinders readers’ interest remains to be seen.

Author Angharad Jones’ biography mentions a history with British soap operas, which would definitely help explain the complex twists and turns in Breaking Out. Those expecting a simple MM romance, or perhaps any MM romance, will most likely be disappointed.

Lead character Mike, in his early 20s, is being pressured by Paul, his 50ish benefactor and sugar daddy, who he’s known since he was seven, to marry him. Enter Hank, the fresh-faced new guy on the college swim team, who is not only awkward but sometimes cringingly so. We later find out why, and not only does it help explain Hank’s behavior, but it actually makes this book somewhat groundbreaking. Working hard not to include spoilers.

Enter Mike’s best friend, a “is she or isn’t she” lesbian, who wants a baby from Mike. As it so happens in this world, gay men and maybe-lesbians have sex with each other often, and, well, readers and soap lovers will have already guessed the outcome. Meanwhile, side story with Hank veers off in a completely different and unexpected direction. Add to the mix Mike’s mother, who is in the last stages of cancer, and a last chapter that comes out of left field, Breaking Out may leave readers saying either “WTF” or “Then what happened?”

Breaking Out is almost reminiscent of early Jackie Collins. Like Collins, there is also a good deal of sex in this book—as much MF as MM. The characters can come off as shallow and manipulative, which may not sit well with modern MM romance enthusiasts . But by the end of the tale, and when Mike finally realizes his character’s motivation, it makes the journey worthwhile.

Alex Alvarez’s narration is one of the highlights of this audiobook. He adds distinctive voices for each character without going over the top. His smokey vocals make one sit up and take notice.

***I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.***

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

wow hell I need to to come down!!

After a night with no sleep because of this book!!!! this is my review...( with no spoilers as always) before everything I need to say this book is not for everyone....

this book!!! Oww this freaking book !!!
when I was interested in this book I never imagined I would get this kind of story! this kind of feeling's! this kind of humanity!!!!!
you may think this is a usual gay romance but it's not ...not at all!
it's a story without labels, it's just a story that tell us about humans.... humans with mistakes, humans with false, and humans with feelings. maybe this book is not for everyone, because it sure as hell I was shocked!
it's a book about a man, a young man that is a struggle to finding one thing ...one special thing that we are all looking for. love!
simply love!
Michael is an amazing character. Hank is much more than amazing and sweet, so freaking sweet. the illness was so well described without even telling us the readers What Hank problem is.
and we knew did the problem is serious, we didn't knew he has disabilities.. but we knew that something is wrong. very very, wrong ...
every and each character in this book was in place.
it was amazing how everything collided in an amazing frustratingly good story.
I can't say everyone will love the story. I can't say everyone will say it's a good one.
no people will struggle with this book, this book is very special.
and I thought I knew the famous genre of gay men stories. but I was mistaken so much, and so badly!!!
because when I got this one I have learned the sex is just an act... an act that you can do with a woman and enjoy it with a man and enjoy it and you don't need to label. the feeling that they were looking for is love... yes they were looking for sex (like all humans)
but this book in specific is incredible and frustratingly annoying.
I don't even know how to describe it! and I don't know if everyone would love it. but I couldn't switch off the narrator for one second, I didn't sleep, I couldn't work properly until I finished this specific book.
I was thinking a lot about the score I will give this book, but I can't give anything below 5 stars... because this book made me anxious, made me mad, I felt the sweetness of Hanks disease... I felt the struggle of Mike's life.. I felt in every syllable, in every word, and in every sentence!!! what the author I meant, when he write this book!
the narrator was quite amazing... I didn't knew anything about this narrator and this writer until I heard this book, and I'm sure I will get another book from this writer even though this book was frustratingly annoying and frustratingly good. everything that happened will piss you off, it pissed me off so badly ....but I couldn't stop myself and I couldn't stop wishing that everything will be okay it just was so good I will definitely wait for more books from this author. and I will search another books of this narrator.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story lacking in ending

Ending was a bit brief and not enough closure for important characters story was good up until the end

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Breaking out

Great book - lots of real life issues, heavy stuff and the narration was good!
I was provided a free copy of this book and am leaving an unbiased voluntary review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Real life

I liked the thought of this story. The blurb about it seemed intriguing. However, even though I got the gist of the story, it was not what I was expecting. That's not to say that the book is bad. It's just not my cup of tea. This book should definitely not be considered a romance. It is too real. Mike's character wasn't bad or good. He was just written like a real pperson. It was also difficult for me to listen to as the mother of a child who has Asperger's. The narrator was great but the stuttering of Hank was a bit too much. I have not encountered other children with Aspergers that sound like that. My child doesn't. It was also very painful to listen to the things that Hank may have experienced because of his Aspergers and very real. Plus the fact that he had never been diagnosed begs belief.
As I mentioned before, this book was not bad, it was a look into real life. Which I tend to avoid reading about since we live it everyday. I read to escape. So I tend to go for fantasy type books and escapism.
There was no HEA with this story. More like life goes on.
If you like those type of stories then this book may be for you. If you want straight forward gay romance, this is not the book for that.

I was given this book for free to review.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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I LIKE IT!

I liked this book overall. This story was emotional for me in a way that it dealt with real life issues that are sometimes hard to navigate in life. The narration was good. The author could have done a better job with the character builds and plot, it just didn't seem to flow as easily as it should. This was my first book by this author and I would read another book to make sure this is not the typical writing style. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not a fan

I really didn't care for this story or any of the characters. Mike was a user, plain and simple. He even admits more than once that he is using Paul both financially and sexually. He knows Paul wants to marry him, and that he likely will never say yes, but he is not upfront with Paul, continuing to string him along. That said he has no loyalty to Paul or any of his other sexual partners, which include both Hank and Rachel. I was kind of rooting for Hank as he seemed to grow up a bit, but then he turned out to be like Mike, thinking there was nothing wrong with cheating on his partner, as long as she didn't know about it. There is a lot of unprotected m/f sex, and the result is just what you would expect. Mike spends the entire book talking about how he wants to enter the adult world and contribute, but by the end he hasn't matured a bit. He is still acting like a selfish child.

The narration was okay, although I thought the personification of Hank's speech was a little over-the-top. I have a friend with Asperger Syndrome, and she does not act or talk like that (high-pitched voice).

.I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Different but good

This story was very different many levels of the story. Lots of angles of the characters. I do feel like a lot of details were left up in the air. The beginning was awkward. It seemed to even out but man the turns of story were just a bit much for the small amount of time the book had left. I did like it just needs more hotness:)

This is unbiased review with a credit from audiobookboom

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

One of the most complex and human MM stories

Where do I start with this? It's not exactly a romance, but a story of very different people trying to find love and get through college and life.

Mike is starting his senior year of college and just wants it to be over with and get on with his life. He has been in a relationship with an older man, Paul, who wants to marry him. Mike has feelings for Paul, but it is not love. Mike, a swimmer on his college team, meets Hank, a new student who joins the team. But Hank is a little odd and the other guys tease him. Mike feels a spark there and thinks Hank might be gay. He takes him under his wing and they go on a date, which leads to an awkward night of sex because Hank is a virgin and is a little freaked out by it. Mike decides to let Hank take his time. He finds out that Hank is interested in the Olympics and Mike is too. In fact, Paul is sponsoring Mike and Mike gets Paul to take on Hank, too. Meanwhile, Hank moves into an apartment with a woman from school. She thinks he's kind of hot and seduces him, which starts a relationship.

And Mike's best friend, Rachel, is a lawyer who has decided she wants to have a baby and wants Mike to be the father. Mike is intrigued by the idea of becoming a father. But what about Paul and Hank? Hank, we learn, probably has Aspberger's. And he isn't really sure if he is straight or gay.

Mike, on the other hand, starts sleeping with Rachel. I had a problem with this part of the story. Mike had no qualms about doing it at all, although he is gay. And it was done for pleasure, not to get her pregnant. It just did not seem realistic to me, especially when nothing was said about whether Mike had slept with women before or not.

Mike is a man who thinks he knows what he wants, but he really doesn't. The story was different because it was more like real life - the daily ins and outs, the daily confusion, the daily stress, etc, but in the end no one knew what they really wanted (except maybe Paul).

Alex Alvarez did a good job narrating, although his voice for Hank was a little odd at times. I know he was doing this because of the Aspberger's, but it just made it more of a stuttering guy who didn't know what to say. Not everyone who has Aspberger's speaks oddly like this.

Overall, an interesting story, but it doesn't leave you with a feel good ending, just that life continues and will go on, never being what people want their lives to be.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Could have been great

The storyline was interesting, but the writing left alot of much needed details out. The characters were undeveloped.

I enjoyed listening to the narrator, he did a good job with what he had to work with.

I received this audible free of cost. I freely give my honest review.

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Profile Image for Lily G Blunt
  • Lily G Blunt
  • 01-31-18

I have mixed feelings about this story.

It’s interesting to see this audiobook has currently been classified as Erotica/Fiction. I agreed to review because I thought it was an M/M title and, in many ways it is, but listeners ought to be aware there are M/F relationships and sex scenes within this story.

The first and last parts of the story I found interesting and enjoyable with the interaction and conflict between the three main male characters. There was the potential here for a love triangle and that was where I thought the story was heading, but I didn't think that wasn’t developed sufficiently. I was hoping the story would focus on Mike and Hank’s relationship after they hooked up, but that sort of fizzled out. Paul was generous with his financial support of Mike, but he was not a nice person. It was a two-way street—Mike used him too.

The competitive swimming and training scenes were well written and exciting, and the Olympic dreams of MIke and Hank remain a major part of the story.

But when the story goes along a completely different track quite early on I was bewildered. Mike starts thinking about being a ‘grown up’ and wanting to start a family rather than chasing his Olympic dream. Both Mike and Hank enter relationships with women and are tricked into getting them pregnant. Much of these M/F scenes are conversation heavy and domesticated. The conversation is repetitive and the sex scenes are perfunctory and not erotic in the slightest.

Mike is prepared to sacrifice his sexuality to support Rachel and her baby, and Hank happily considers that he might not be that gay after all! Hank might well have been bisexual, but I don’t think it was ever stated. There were a lot of issues dealt with in this book and not all of them entirely successfully. There were inconsistencies in the characters, as well as the timeline and events. I was left with a lot of unanswered questions at the end.

I enjoyed the sports-themed arc and the MM storyline the most, but was disappointed with how the story developed.

The narrator was new to me and easy to listen to. He matched his voice well to the various characters and he narrated the story at a clear and steady pace.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ginger
  • Ginger
  • 02-22-19

Excellent narration

This story was engaging yet in ways I found Mike Sloan one of the characters to be fickle. He I believe lead his mentor and lover Paul Sturgess on. Yes Paul was older, Paul pressured him for decisions he wasn’t ready to make. Mike was still young in college and wanted to go to law school, also to pursue his dream of going to the Olympics. Yet Mike went behind Paul’s back had relations with a fellow student and his best friend Rachel whom he got pregnant.
It wasn’t till a few controversial pictures where brought to light
during the trials for the Olympic try outs did Mike decide he needed to make some major decisions in his life. This story deals with a controversy that hopefully someday will no longer be. Who you can and cannot love.
I was given this audible book by the author and Audiobook Boom💥 for a fair and honest review. I also want to mention I enjoyed the narration by Alex Alvarez.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Drew
  • Drew
  • 06-02-18

Different, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing

If you like your books on a level and with a basic story line of boy meets boy, then this is not the book for you.

I have to admit, that it took me a while to get into the book. Although it is well written and expertly narrated, I found it a bit difficult to like any of the main characters for the first part of the book.

The story bounces around the relationships between Mike and Paul, Mike and Hank, Mike and Rachel, Hank and I’m sorry I forgot her name. For the most part the narrative works well, but there were little inconsistencies in the story that bugged me at times.

The thing is, I actually found myself getting more into the story as it went on. I found myself wanting to see how the relationships between the characters would pan out and if we would get a sense of closure.

I think the main thing for me was the way the narrator bought the characters to life, his voices were great, especially for Hank, the awkward loner guy who we find out has Aspergers.

All in all, I may not be able to give this book a five star review, however, I did end up really enjoying it. I would reconmend this book to anyone who likes a M/M book, but doesn’t mind a bit of M/F as well.

I was given this review book for a honest appraisal

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jackie Thorogood
  • Jackie Thorogood
  • 11-21-17

Really enjoyed this book

This book is so very good, I've read a lot of mm genre, this is on another level.
Michael Character was wonderfully written,
Hank also another fabulously written character, without going into details, Hank has something serious wrong with him. He a sweet guy.
Once I became invested in the book. I was hooked. Not your average MM book. It's more.
The characters sometimes are frustrating, I wanted to say to Michael for crying out load, on a lot of occasions.
This author is new to me. But I will be looking for more books by them.
Beautifully written, great details to these characters.
I will definitely be listening to this again. Very entertaining p
Highly recommended
I was given this audible for a honest review. Which I can truly say I have.