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Captive Hearts

Deviant Hearts, Book 1
Narrated by: Dan Calley
Series: Deviant Hearts, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 6 mins
Categories: Romance, LGBT
4.5 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“Too young, too blond, too skinny. Billy Grace was everything my head told me I didn’t want. Too bad my heart had other ideas."

When Dashiell Slater uses his fists to stop a vicious assault, the last thing he expects is to be offered a job as reward for being a Good Samaritan. Out of work and short of cash, all he has to do is chauffeur Billy around. It’s easy money, so saying yes should be a no-brainer. And if the offer’s not quite legal, so what? Dashiell’s smart and savvy and knows how the world works. But there are strings attached, and Dashiell doesn’t want to get entangled. He’s ready to say no and walk away...until he sees the fear, despair, and fathomless sadness in Billy’s jade-green eyes.

“He was everything I wanted, but couldn’t have. What was the use in dreaming when I was already bought and paid for, the property of another man?”

Billy’s life is a daily round of fear and abuse. One wrong word or one wrong look can mean a beating, or worse. Dashiell’s everything Billy’s heart craves - a man who’ll love and protect him and who’ll keep him safe and catch him when he falls. But Billy can’t have what he yearns for, because, to give in to his heart means breaking a promise he’s vowed to keep at all costs.

A soul-searing kiss, a whispered promise, and the chance of a future together is there for the taking. But life is never that simple, and danger surrounds them at every turn. Imprisoned by devotion, duty, and obligation, Billy’s heart is captive, but can falling for Dashiell finally set it free?

Captive Hearts is the first book in the Deviant Hearts series.

©2018 A.E. Ryecart (P)2019 A.E. Ryecart

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

A Great Start Of A Series!

This is the first book in The Deviant Hearts Series. What an delightful book the writing was great. The plot was entertaining and it was steady throughout the book. I found the story and characters intriguing. For me there were a few loose ends and details that I wanted to have in the story but they weren’t critical to the story. I still thought it a great story and read it in one sitting. The characters were well developed and thought out. Billy and Dashiell are the MC’s of this book. There was humor, an attack, abuse, a grandmother, a controlling man, a job, friends, the beach, grief and so much more in this book. I did have a bit of trouble with the narration. At times it was hard to understand what he was saying. His flow was good and there were ups and downs. I was okay I just wish it was easier to know what was said and thus what was going on in the story.

Here is a quote from the book, “I was in the right place at the right time, and I’m glad I could help, but my involvement stops here. Thanks for the drink, and offer, but no. And now, I really am going. Goodnight.” If I expected any of the suits to stop me from walking out, I was wrong. It was Frankie’s next words that did that.”. There is more but you will need to read/listen to the book which I can highly recommend. I voluntarily read an advance copy of this book for an honest review.

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Great beginning of a new series

So, here is the thing: I really enjoyed the plot-line, and it's wonderfully written, with three-dimensional characters (although at times they slide a bit to the side of clichèd) with whom it was easy to empathize and emotionally charged, but I have some issues with a couple of aspects.

First, I couldn't understand why, when the situation was so dire and the risks so high, they both took as many risks as they took. I can, more or less, get why Billie does; he is, after all, used to do what he is told. But Dashiell? He should have been more careful knowing what Billie's situation was.

And second, I would have liked to know more about Dashiell. We know nothing about his background, about his story. A little insight on them could have helped me to understand his decisions.

But the writing is good, the story dark and gritty, and, all in all, is a very entertaining read.

This is not your habitual romance book; it has some dark themes and the setting is... different. But I liked it.

Dan Calley does a good job with the narration.

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Engaging

I found this story heavy but worthwhile. Listening to this story made me feel a whirlwind of emotions - sadness, anger, fear, suspense, hope, and joy.

I liked the narrator's voice, but at times, I had a bit of trouble following the story. Once I got used to his accent I was able to immerse myself in the story.

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No! Stop! Don't Do It!

These are the phrases that we yell at the actors on screen, or in a novel when the MCs are about to make a foolish and deadly mistake.

And, that happens here. You will ache for our protagonists to hold out a little longer. Not to trust the sincere limo driver. And, definitely stay out of the movie theater! You will cheer for them till the bitter end. Okay. Bittersweet end. This story does have an HEA.

Narrator Dan Valley is new to me. I am very pleased overall with the way he portrayed the characters, and narrated the story. Only point I had was a bit of confusion between personal thoughts and vocal speech. I am looking forward to the next installment of Deviant Hearts.

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Amazing!

I love Billy and Dash's story! I was rooting for them throughout this whole book. A.E. Ryecart has a way to make so amazing stories that I just love. Then Dan Calley does such an amazing job in bring everything to life. I couldn't stop listening. Absolutely amazing!

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Dashiell and Billy have captivated my heart!

"A soul-searing kiss, a whispered promise, and the chance of a future together is there for the taking. But life is never that simple and danger surrounds them at every turn. Imprisoned by devotion, duty and obligation, Billy’s heart is captive, but can falling for Dashiell finally set it free?"

Story: Captive Hearts, Deviant Hearts book 1, by A.E. Ryecart, is the not just a m/m romance about boy meets boy, boy saves boy and they live happily ever after, no, Captive Hearts is way more than that and boy did it gut me from start to finish! There is mention of physical/emotional abuse in this story; it's not heavy where it's throughout but we get bits and pieces so it is hard to read/listen but I promise that there's so much more and it's so so worth it.

We meet Dashiell Slater, mid thirties blue collar gay man who's recently been let go from work. He's at a gay pub with friends when he excuses himself to use the toilets before going home, when he suddenly interrupts two thugs, attempting to rape, a young man. Being the good Samaritan that he is (also the sudden rush of emotions from his experience as a young gay man), he chooses to fight the two thugs and help the young man. But when he turns his attention to our young victim in hopes of getting the police involved, all thoughts leave him when Billy Grace opens his mouth to say no. Instead, Dashiell is offered by the cruel, sleezy crime boss, Frank, a grand a week to be the "driver" for Billy, as well as odd jobs in Frank's home, and since something about Billy had captured Dashiell's attention, there was no way he could say no. What seemed to be easy pay, it's not long before Billy captures Dashiell heart and starts to fall for Billy, what he first thought is a "kept boy", that when he slowly discovers Billy and Frank's "deal" with one another, Dashiell promises himself and Billy that he'll do whatever it takes to save Billy.

Performance: This was my first listen from narrator Dan Calley and all I have to say is Oh. My. God! Please let him narrate more! Aside from being a total sl*t for accents, Dan Calley narrated the characters so perfectly, I started picturing real actors for some of the characters; Bob Hoskins as Frank, Jason Statham as Lee, Dan Stevens as Dashiell and Asa Butterfield as Billy..so to say that Dan Calley did amazing narration, isn't enough. He's definitely made my "one click" list of narrators.

Overall: I love discovering new-to-me narrators but I also love discovering new-to-me authors and I'm so glad to have crossed A.E. Ryecart! She's written such a beautiful story about how the power of love and strength and perseverance can not only save one's life but their soul. It's no secret that any type of abuse, whether it's emotional, vocal or physical, is difficult but I believe that Ryecart wrote it in a sensitive manner (to me at least) so that we could have a better understanding what position Billy is in and why he's in that position. I applaud Ryecart, because I've read books with these types of elements to the point where I had to stop and decided as much as I want to finish, I just can't. Ryecart's process was not the kind that was in your face, it was more along the lines of short, slow, minimal but consistent through out and I appreciate that. It proves that the author is sensitive to their viewers and that says a lot. There is not enough stars to give Captive Heart, because Dashiell and Billy's story will have you captivated, rooting for their HEA, until the end, and because Dan Calley is so damn everything with that voice of his that I can't wait for his future narrating projects, so I'll just be content in giving it five beautiful stars. Happy listening all!


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

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Great

Liked the storyline and the way the story was told. The characters are amazing loved them . Great from start to finish.

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Hot story

I overall really liked the story and recommend listening to it. Sometimes I had a hard time keeping track of who was talking but I think that had to do with the accent. The heat level is high and slightly angsty. Also, trigger warnings!

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Great Story

received a free copy for honest review.

At first I struggled with understanding the language (British English as opposed to American English), with the narrator's accent and the English slang and terms, but once I got accustomed to it I really enjoyed this story.

well written and great characters. Dashel and Billie won me over. I really wanted them to have a happy ending and they did.

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even better hearing it

I loved this story when I read it,now it's even better hearing it. it does contain depictions of domestic violence but the ending is so worth it.

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  • Donna Hirsch
  • 11-12-19

Billy and Dashiell

Billy belongs to Frankie when Billy is assaulted Dashiell comes to His aid. Frankie gives Dash a job as thanks for helping. Billy and Dash start as friends but it soon becomes more. Really enjoyable

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  • MaryD
  • 11-02-19

Gripping story

Two people in an impossible situation. As we find out Billy is beholden to Frankie and can't leave him. Dashiell comes to work for Frankie, who is some type of unsavoury criminal, for Billy’s sake. I liked the pace of the story, it felt natural. There is a forbidden love vibe about it whilst being thrilling. Kept me hooked.
I loved Dan Calley’s narration for the most part. Frankie was wonderfully menacing. There were times I couldn’t quite distinguish whether it was Billy or Dashiell speaking but this was not enough to detract from the excellent story.

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  • AliE
  • 10-29-19

Captivated

I bought and read Captive Hearts when it first came out. I loved it, so the story rating was always going to be 5 stars. I know I will get a satisfying read from this author and have never been let down.

The writing is excellent and the storyline well-crafted and researched. Billy is such a sympathetic character and I was thoroughly invested in his rescue/removal from Frankie. Dashiell is everything I want in a hero...he's so compassionate towards Billy and watching him fall in love is a delight.

The secondary characters weave their ways into and around the main story and are always integral to the plot. I was so pleased with the realistic outcome for Frankie and that Lee got his own story.

Dan Calley is a favourite narrator and he does justice to Captive Hearts. The voices for Billy and Dashiell are spot on, while that of Frankie brings to life all his loathsome characteristics. I particularly like how he softens his voice for females but doesn't parody them.

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  • Pixiebell
  • 10-29-19

Captivating!

Captive Hearts is a fast paced, gritty and thrilling story set in London.
Billy is a young man who is under the control and debt of a deviant, evil businessman/mobster, Frankie.
Dashiell comes to his rescue during an incident at a nightclub which is owned by Frankie and he offers Dashiell a job as Billy’s minder.
Despite the obvious danger a relationship between Billy and Dashiell would bring to them both from Frankie they cannot help their developing feelings and the tension and anxiety it brings them was palpable throughout.
It has been a long time since I have read/listened to a book of this quality in the mm suspense genre and I loved it!
I do hope that the rest of the series is brought to audible with Dan Calley narrating as he is perfect.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lynne
  • 10-27-19

A captive listen!

Not usually a fan of audiobooks but this was excellent, really good storyline plus a great narrator 👍

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kay-Anne
  • 10-26-19

A must read

Loved it, it's refreshing to find a book set in the UK with a narrator that pronounces the UK landmarks correctly. But those points won't save a book. The love and suspenseful elements were a joy to read and listen to.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • PL
  • 10-26-19

Narrator just didn’t work for me

Overall, the story was ok - it was drawn out and anti climatic towards the end.

This was my first audio experience and honestly, the narrator just didn’t do it for me.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ines C.
  • 10-25-19

Great book

I really enjoyed the story itself.
However, I didn’t mesh well with the narrator. I’m not a native speaker so it was a little hard for me to understand the accent.

But I did enjoy the story in the end 👌🏼