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Charlie's Rainbow

Rainbow Key, Book 2
Narrated by: Darcy Stark
Series: Rainbow Key , Book 2
Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (39 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Eventually being diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder as a child, "difficult" didn’t even begin to describe the nightmare of Charlie’s life. Escaping the drug-induced limbo he existed in and running from his alcoholic mother and despotic grandfather, he finally finds some peace and a home on Rainbow Key. 

Noah is also running, even if he doesn’t realize it, and the guilt he feels over his brother’s suicide chases him no matter where he goes. When he meets and falls for Charlie, he finally thinks he might have the chance to make a home and a future with the adorable man, except he doesn’t realize the secret that Charlie is hiding is the one thing he fears the most. And not even a chance of mending their future can heal the scars of Charlie’s past.

©2018 Victoria Sue (P)2018 Victoria Sue

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Even imperfect people can have perfect HEA

If any author can make me read a super angsty romance with a MC with serious mental issues, that would be Victoria Sue. 😁 As a principle, I tend to stay away from angsty reads and any kind of illness in the story simply because the world is ugly enough as it is. However, I fell in love with Victoria’s Rainbow Key and it’s imperfectly perfect characters when I was listening the story about Joshua and Daniel (Joshua's Rainbow). ❤️ So I knew I wanted to get the story of Charlie, our shy, scared, distrustful, vulnerable character with tactile sensitivity. And I wasn’t disappointed. 😉


After being unceremoniously left at the alter by his husband-to-be, Noah decided to go ahead and go to Rainbow Key anyway which was originally intended as his honeymoons destination. He needed to escape from everything and everyone and idyllic and secluded Rainbow Key seemed to be the perfect place to wallow alone in misery. Except, he met Charlie, shy, vulnerable, understanding and helpful Charlie who has his own issues. Noah is inexplicably and helplessly attracted to Charlie. But this is a holiday and like all holidays, it must come to an end at some point. Noah might be the first and last man who Charlie wanted badly enough to jump out of his comfort zone to pursue a relationship. But, Charlie is keeping secrets, secrets that could possibly destroy what they lovingly built between them. It’s time Charlie owns his past and confesses Noah about everything before it becomes too late.


This is quite heavy and angsty read comparing with the first book in the series. Charlie exasperated me sometimes but I can’t help falling in love with this imperfect creature. If you are looking for steam though, look elsewhere because this book has almost no smut. 😁 Mind you, it’s sexy with lots of UST and some heated actions but there is no actual love making. (Remember, one MC has tactile sensitivity issue. ☺️) This is a slow-burn, teasing romance with realistic MCs and healthy amount of bittersweet angst. I loved the epilogue because it gives us a very satisfying and lovely closure and a well-deserved HEA. As always, Darcy Stark did such an excellent job performing this story. 👏 I can’t wait for Ben’s story now. Thoroughly enjoyed it. 🥰


4.25 even imperfect people can have perfect HEA stars
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨





Audio rating

Story - 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Narration - 4.5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Performance - 4.5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Overall - 4.25 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A great audiobook from Victoria Sue & Darcy Stark

I read and reviewed Charlie's Rainbow when it was first released in April 2018 and now I've had the opportunity to listen to it, the second story in the Rainbow Key series; once again performed by Darcy Stark. The right narrator/performer can make such a difference in my enjoyment of an audiobook and Darcy Stark has nailed this one just like he did Joshua's Rainbow. Everything about his voice was perfect for this story. He truly brought the characters back to life for me.

I'm not a re-reader of books as there are just too many great books in my TBR list for me to take time to re-read something – even if I loved it. However, listening to a book I've already read is a different story. I'm always eager to see how the narrator interprets the different characters. I thought by listening to a book I'd already read that I would be able to listen with half and ear – and that is the case with some books, but not with this one. Darcy's voice was so compelling I found myself just as engrossed in the story as I was when I first read it.

What follows is my original review of the book when it was first published:

Charlie's Rainbow is the second book in the Rainbow Key series. It can be read as a standalone, but I believe you will enjoy it much more if you read book one, Joshua's Rainbow, first. Characters from that book appear in this one and I think knowing their backstory will really enhance your enjoyment of Charlie's Rainbow.

My heart hurt for Charlie. He had a terrible childhood and the problems he still has don't make life easy. But – Charlie is a survivor! He's been living on Rainbow Key for two years; it's his home and the other residents of the island are his family.

After Noah's fiancé, Michael, left him standing at the alter with a church full of Michael's friends, Noah decides to go on with the honeymoon he planned on Rainbow Key. He is puzzled by Charlie's reaction to him – he won't shake his hand and backs away if they get too close to each other. He suspects that Charlie is homophobic, and/or prejudiced against people of color, but neither of these things is true.

Both of these characters have secrets they are keeping from each other but Charlie's is a doozy and he's sure that it will turn Noah away. Charlie's Rainbow touched my heart on so many levels. Charlie's reactive attachment disorder has made his life difficult and he doesn't think he'll ever find a man that can love him the way he is. While it was hard to read parts of this story (made me very emotional) it was so rewarding to know that these two guys finally get their HEA. I hope we see more bits of them in future stories.

A review copy of this audio book was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author.

***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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My sweet Charlie

I just love the damaged characters; the emotional ups and downs of someone who has been put through traumas. Seeing them overcome obstacles and find true happiness is the best feeling ever. The author is amazing at getting into her character’s heads…the emotions just leap off the page. I feel like I am there, on the island, with this wonderful group of people who have found their home in each other. This is turning into an amazing series, and I cannot wait for the next installment. I do recommend reading the first installment first, if you have not, as it is really not a standalone story. Charlie just really pulls on my heart strings, and I think he will forever have a special place in my heart.
Darcy Stark has a very calm, soothing voice that pulls you into the story, and is quite good at keeping your interest. I really enjoyed his narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Charlie and Noah!

This is the book that had my emotion everywhere. My heart was just breaking for Charlie! This I just a other amazing story by Victoria Sue and having Darcy Stark doing the narration is just perfection. I thought I had my emotion everywhere when I read it but damn listening. Just absolutely amazing. Darcy just brings the emotions to this story to life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Nice overall

Lots of internal dialogue. It tires me out. The story was nice enough to keep me listening. The narrator did a good job. I like the series and will finish it out of curiosity

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OMG Charlie broke my heart!!!

My sweet and caring Charlie!!!
Charlie is such a sweet and hurting person... he can't be touched... any touch causes him pain... imagine living your whole life without the confort of a hug or a kiss...
Noah had planned to spend his honeymoon on Rainbow key hotel... only problem was... there wouldn't be a honeymoon because he was stood up on his own marriage... he decided to go to the hotel anyway... it would be a good way to get over his heartbreak... then he met Charlie... sweet scared Charlie... Now they would have the chance to really find happiness, but for it to happen, they would need to let their fears go and trust in each other... one more awesome book in this great series

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Gay is just another word for love

The former owner of Rainbow Key on Paradise Island was a man named Clive. He spent his life collecting those who had been rejected by those who should have loved them the most. “Broken things” he used to say. More like people broken by others and thrown away. Joshua was one of Clive’s rescues and when the older man died, he took on the responsibility of running the island. He found his happy ending in Book 1 and when I met Charlie, I knew I wanted his book to be his because I had fallen a little bit in love with him.

Charlie was diagnosed with tactile sensitivity as a child and was badly treated by his mother and grandfather. Horribly treated, institutionalized multiple times, and treated like an outcast. A misfit.

There’s a special place in Hell for people like his grandfather and mother. He ran away and found Joshua who brought him to the island and has kept him safe ever since. Charlie has to live things in a very proscribed way. His food has to be a certain way. He cannot tolerate certain touches and absolutely not from a stranger. He chooses clothes that feel a certain way against his skin. Basically he lives in a very established and orderly world. He avoids anything that might disrupt it.

Noah arrives at Rainbow Key minus the groom he was expecting to bring. After having been left at the altar, he bravely decided he’d rather spend a week on an island than deal with the uncoupling of what turned out to be the biggest mistake of his life. Charlie is there to greet him but the young man’s demeanor is very off-putting and Noah assumes it’s because he’s black.

Of course nothing could be farther from the truth. Charlie wants to be a good host, replacing Joshua for just a few days. Noah is no ordinary guest and the attraction is clear. Charlie wants to be ‘normal’ but his disorder prevents him from being like other people. Finally he tells Noah the truth and he expects the same rejection he’s faced his entire life.

Noah isn’t like that. It’s not so much that he sees Charlie as something that’s broken and needs to be fixed, but he sees a man who delights him and he wants to know more about the enigmatic creature.

Bad news in Charlie’s life threatens to send him careening out of control, but Noah is there to help him. Help him, not rescue him. That difference is important. He sees Charlie as an equal.

In the end, both men have to make choices about what they’re willing to risk to find happiness. Although the choices are different, the implications are profound. Keep doing what they’ve always done or take a risk to find happiness.

They took the risk and I was so happy. This is a book about finding a way in a world that doesn’t always understand you. I know that’s why I related to Charlie so deeply and why I was so invested with seeing him get his happy ending.

The narrator, Darcy Stark, performs the entire series and I think he was a great choice. There are many inhabitants of the island as well as plenty of visitors and he has a distinct voice for each of them. He’s a pleasure to listen to. I think it’s a great series and I can’t wait for Book 3.

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Charlie’s Rainbow

Charlie is such a Sweet Soul. His backstory and how he came to be at Rainbow Cove is Heartbreaking. After finding out more about Charlie knowing the struggles he’s gone through and still faces daily you’ll learn just how strong he is and can be when the time calls for it. And then finding out what fuels Noah’s thoughts and feelings and the decisions he ultimately makes.. Man, I was just so worried for Charlie’s heart for a minute there. But these guys figured out how to get past their hurts and initial negative thoughts and feelings and make it work.

I really enjoy Silvia’s writing for all the Rainbow Cove characters. We get some great character interactions and conversations and in depth development. You really feel all their emotions right along with them.

Audio - Colin Darcy is Doing such an amazing job really capturing all these characters voices and making sure they all have their individual voices being heard. I’ve really enjoyed every narration I’ve heard from him so far and can’t wait to hear more.

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Charlie and I are kindred Spirits...

When you know you know. This book struck a cord with me because Charlie has such an internal relationship issue that I feel like I have as well. Maybe not to that extreme but he just needs someone to love him. Amazing story and characters!!

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Lovely book!

I had read the first one of the series and liked it...but I really enjoyed this one and the audio was great! Victoria Sue is a romantic at heart and she believes in HEAs...and we certainly get it in this book! The narrator did a lovely job at bringing these guys to life!

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  • Emma Jane Marie Vago
  • 03-06-19

Another amazing book in this series!

This series is amazing and Emotional. Victoria Sue has done amazing with this series. Love it!

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  • Emma Burbidge
  • 03-04-19

Quiet Man meets Ideal Match

This is the second book in the wonderful Rainbow Key series and while in theory these all could standalone, you'll find a richer appreciation of these quirky and complex characters if you read/listen in order. Darcy Stark truly gives each character their own unique voice which adds a deeper connection to this band of misfits. He's a narrator that I've come to appreciate in that the story comes to life from the moment he starts, bringing me into Victoria Sue's interesting world of Rainbow Key resort and refuge for LGBT teens/young adults. I found Noah to be an interesting addition to this merry band when he arrives for his honeymoon solo after his fiancé leaves him standing at the alter...after licking his wounds for a day or two and a disastrous meet-cute with Charlie on arrival, he finds himself intrigued by the shy, complex young man who has been left in charge while the resort owners Joshua and Daniel are away having a belated honeymoon and tending to other business. Charlie, sweet-sweet Charlie, crushes hard on Noah but struggles with his touch-aversion issues and innate shyness. He slowly comes round to accepting Noah in his personal space...maybe he's not as heart-broken as he seems? It's a heart-warming journey as the two learn to adjust some assumptions and lean on each other in more ways than one. Especially when Charlie's family surfaces and there's a funeral/will reading involved. Noah needs to stay strong or the foundation of their fledgling relationship might crumble. Can two guys with some serious trust issues find their HEA? I highly recommend that you read/listen along for yourself and find out. A must for all true romantics!

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  • Allison's Book Corner
  • 03-04-19

So Entertaining

This was a really great audiobook.
I loved the story, and the narration was really great.
This series is fantastic to listen to on audio.
I am looking forward to listening to more of this series.

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  • Cassi
  • 03-04-19

My favorite of the series

Charlie's book was the one that I was most eager to get to and I have to admit that I was a little nervous, but over all I loved it! There were a couple flip floppy and abrupt mood changes that I wasn't following along with but for the most part I thought that it was really spot on and I adored both guys. Their story was a bit of a slow burn, but I think that it needed to be, especially considering Charlie's difficulties. Each part of the story worked well, and I loved the ending.

The narration was completely spot on for these guys and I really felt the emotion of their story. A++

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  • Meph666
  • 03-02-19

Lovable characters with an endearing romance

Victoria Sue's Rainbow Key series moves from strength to strength, this time giving Charlie his own story.
Noah is the man visiting the island though not under the happiest of circumstances and the very last thing he expects is to feel such a sudden connection ton another man, one so intriguing yet one he also struggles to figure out.
The time that Noah and Charlie spend together endears them both to us, a chance to understand their history and what they both hope for the future. The way that they connect doesn't feel rushed ever though everything seems to happen so quickly.
Victoria has written Charlie's character and tactile sensitivity very well. It gives the reader and other characters a chance to understand the man and his needs. Noah is delightful in the way he gives himself over to Charlie when he needs him most and the two have a chance to build something that both crave but didn't think they'd get.
There are some brilliant characters alongside the MC's and they just add to the enjoyment level offering support when needed as well as fun to bring enjoyment to all involved in the story.
Darcy has done another fantastic job of narrating this wonderful story. Each character has their personality shine through in the voice he provides, emotions are clearly heard and he keeps up with the array of characters that are involved throughout the book. A great narrator that I look forward to hearing again in book 3
A definite recommendation!

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  • Pixiebell
  • 02-23-19

A Beautiful second instalment to a great series

Charlie and Noah’s story is the second in this series of Rainbow Key, and although it can be read as a stand alone, I would recommend you read book 1 to acquaint yourselves more in depth with the cast of characters who appear in this book, alongside the main characters and the history of Rainbow Key.
For me personally, although I thoroughly enjoyed book 1, I loved Charlie’s story more. I felt much more connected to Charlie and Noah’s problems, having a similar condition to Charlie, though not as severe, I can identify with them in many ways. Having a symptom of Allodynia causes me to have sensitivity to touch too.
I felt Victoria Sue dealt with the physical and psychological elements of dealing with this within a blossoming relationship.
I’m looking forward to the next instalment.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • LittleMissMuppet
  • 01-19-19

Another beautiful story from Victoria Sue

Loved this audiobook - Darcy Stark did a fantastic job of bringing Charlie and Noah's story to life. I was already a big fan of the Rainbow Key series and couldn't wait for Charlie to tell his story. His back story made me want to cry but his strength in finding a way to make his life work for him was amazing, I loved that Noah could see that and love him despite the challenges they faced.
I received a free copy of this audiobook - all comments are my own.

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  • kindleaddict
  • 01-18-19

Love

This series so much. I adored reading Charlie and Noah’s story but Darcy Stark just adds that bit extra to make this a compulsory listen. Victoria Sue has a wonderful cast of flawed characters that calls to the “different” in all of us.

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  • MaryD
  • 01-12-19

Charlie gets his HEA

This is the second book in the Rainbow Keys series. It is a stand-alone story Charlie is in book one and in my opinion you’d miss some background (and a great story). Charlie has had a very hard start in life. Noah on the other hand had a perfect childhood, up to a his brother’s suicide. He now carries the guilt with him. Charlie never thought he could be with anyone. Then they meet and we have that wonderful push pull laden with anxiety that Victoria Sue does so well.
Darcy Stark portrays both Charlie and Noah so well. He has given both Charlie and Noah the perfect tone of voice. I can clearly imagine them through his narration. I look forward to Ben’s story.