Regular price: $14.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Cart
How steamy is it? Hot Damn

Publisher's Summary

Never judge a book by its cover.

Michael Campbell can't hold a job for more than a few days. He's lucky his foreman is giving him another chance with the solar panel project at an elementary school in Atlantic City. When he spies a man walking strangely in front of the school, Michael laughs, assuming he's drunk or high. Little does he realize that Joshua Stone, a teaching assistant, has cerebral palsy, and he's having a bad muscle control day. Taking a tumble right in front of the handsome construction worker is just his luck.

When Michael learns the truth, he feels bad for his cruel behavior. He offers to give Joshua - and his tricycle, the Racing Rhonda - a lift. Joshua accepts the help, and suddenly there's a gorgeous man breezing into his life, turning his world upside down. But Michael has more issues than his inability to hold down a job, and neither man is sure if they'll be able to overcome their fears in order to be together.

©2015 Chris T. Kat (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    29
  • 4 Stars
    20
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    36
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Sweet and Sexy Odd-couple romance.

If you could sum up Despite the Odds in three words, what would they be?

Sometimes Opposites Attract

What other book might you compare Despite the Odds to and why?

It didn't really remind me of anything particular. Two very different personalities both with their own personal obstacles find each other. They are an unlikely pair, but complement each other perfectly... but each doesn't think the other could possibly want to take on the challenge so they put obstacles in their own way. One, Michael, is a construction worker with little education and a brusk, blunt (but well-meaning) manner. The other, Joshua, is an introverted, cerebral teaching assistant struggling with cerebral palsy. The characters are well drawn and emphasis is on plot development rather than erotic content. I hope it's a series because I'd really like to know what happens to these guys as they enter the next stage of their relationship.

What about Joel Leslie’s performance did you like?

He's a strong narrator. Good differentiation of characters, wry, fun deliver when needed. I thought it was a very enjoyable listen.

Who was the most memorable character of Despite the Odds and why?

I think Michael is a really interesting character. He has a nice journey and he was really developed well with his relationship with his father, his personal hangups and self-esteem obstacles. He has a great sense of humor, but is kind of like a St Bernard puppy that just walks into a situation and knocks everything over without meaning to.

Any additional comments?

If you're looking for hot and heavy sex on every page, this isn't that sort of novel. There are a few physical scenes but the book is mostly clean and definitely falls in the romance category. If you want erotica...this will disappoint. But for a sweet, feel-good romance with strong characters... this is a great read.

26 of 26 people found this review helpful

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

Very sweet story great narrator

Michael (sort-of) makes fun of Josh, but then finds out he has has Cerebral Palsy, makes up and they begin hanging out which leads to dating.

Michael is super sweet, illiterate and insecure. He can’t believe someone as smart as Josh could really care for someone as “dumb” as him.

Josh’s insecurities lie in his past and in his disability. He has a hard time believing/trusting that someone as good looking and able bodied as Michael would want someone as “flawed” as him.

Though this book could have really worked on being about the deep emotional issues both characters struggled with, it instead focused on the happiness and joy they found together. It mostly skimmed over the angst, though it did address some of the deeper implications and issues. (I think book 2 does a better job of addressing these issues in more depth.)

I enjoyed reading/listening to this, it was short and sweet, thought it was a bit superficial and I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to delve more deeply into these complex MCs. I was also rather disconcerted by how the sex was handled in that it went from zero to sixty and I think that taking some time to really move the couple through their emotions would have made their coming together more poignant.

I give it a 3.5 of 5 stars because the writing was nice, the editing was good and I loved the MCs.


Audio

Joel Leslie does a very nice job with this narration. He gives all the different characters a unique voice and really had a good take on how I’d picture Michael to sound in my head. I enjoyed listening to this very much and highly recommend it.
4.5 of 5 stars overall

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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

Cute couple

While ultimately I did enjoy this story there were times my pleasure waned.

Right off the bat Michael didn’t impress me much or come off as all that original or unbelievable. Supposedly he can’t hold a job for more than a few days and has trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I just didn’t buy this. I know men and women like this exist in the real world but most of them are drug users or alcoholics or just plain lazy. Michael is none of these so I had no idea why he couldn’t get his act together.

Joshua Stone, on the other hand, I adored immediately. He suffers from cerebral palsey and often suffers from embarrassing accidents. When Michael sees Joshua he thinks the guy is drunk and laughs at him. He gets shamed for his behavior by his co-workers. He makes it up to Joshua, however, and their relationship begins.

Brandilyn reviewed both books in the series here and for the most part I agree with her statements. There are two I want to pull out specifically.

Book one is all about overcoming initial impressions. It is about looking past the surface to the man underneath. It is about learning that there is more to someone than their ability to be like everyone else. It is about finding that person who can see past the flaws and make you a better person.

And

There is no pity or empathy for these characters. There is only respect and awe.

I haven’t read book two yet but am looking forward to seeing these two guys together.

Joel Leslie did a fantastic job with these guys. He absolutely nailed Joshua’s embarrassment when his disorder acts up and causes him an embarrassment. The narrator is one of the better ones I’ve listened too lately.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

A love story that blooms, despite the odds.

If you could sum up Despite the Odds in three words, what would they be?

The title works fine... Despite the Odds

What did you like best about this story?

Joshua's strength and perseverance.

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

Michael I think, he was so steadfast and loyal to Josh once they got past the initial hiccup.

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

Yes, the revelation in the book store and the way that played out.

Any additional comments?

Michael Campbell's mission in life is pretty simple... stay with a job for more than a couple of weeks, get drunk and get laid. Everything changes when he meets Joshua, the shy teachers aide with Cerebral Palsy. At first Michael ridicules him, thinking Joshua is drunk in the middle of the day since he can't walk straight. Learning about Joshua's disability makes Michael feel like the south end of a north bound mule and he sets out to make it right.

Joshua has been sneered at, leered at, picked on and put down his entire life because of his disability. The gorgeous electrician laughing at him and calling him a drunk isn't anything he's not used to. The apology, the ride home and the resulting friendship that blooms, that's very different. Neither of them is a stranger to being on their own, to not being wanted because they are different. The question is, can they look past years of self loathing and see what they see in each other?

This story captured my attention from the start and continued to carry its weight from there. This wasn't a story about a guy down on his luck, lived a hard life, finding his prince charming. No, this was a story about two men down on their luck, for different reasons, getting a chance to have the life they've always wanted, but never thought they'd have. It was a little sad to listen to the inner thoughts and self loathing each of them had. Joshua doesn't see himself as attractive or desirable, mostly because of the effect his disability has had on his body, but a worthless step dad and a mother too wrapped up in said step dad to listen when her son told her how the man ridiculed and picked on him. Michael has never learned to read and doesn't see himself as any prize either. Together, they both become more with the confidence that they lend to each other. What I enjoyed most about this story was Michael's devotion and patience with Joshua, it was beautiful and brilliant.

Narrated by Joel Leslie and he is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators. I love how every book I listen to that he voices is distinctly different. By that I mean the tones and nuances he uses in each book is different, rarely are there any two voices the same, that's amazing in my opinion. Definitely a must read for anyone that enjoys the stories with a hard fought happy ever after.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

amazing

Any additional comments?

I wasn’t sure how this was going to go. Not knowing this narrator or this author, but I was intrigued on the base line of the story. And I’m so glad I took that chance.

Michael, kind of a shallow man. He’s hot, sexy, always about him. And until now has been coasting through life on a song and prayer.

Joshua on the other hand was dealt a bum wrap. However, most days he takes it in stride. I’m not sure I would be that amazing.

Michael and Josh do not meet on the best of terms, but Michael doesn’t give up, finally he starts seeing his self worth.

First, I have to say. ppl may take Michael’s initial teasing wrong, I did not and thought the author did a wonderful job making the distinction between being laughed at and laughed at. And Michael totally redeems himself time and time again for this one error. And then asking for help understanding is amazing. Not all of us know.

I also love the slow build between them, which for Michael and his past is a challenge but he gets it, he understands this is different, better. And Josh, with his past mistake, he’s nervous so the build is spot on.

I completely loved the naming of the extra characters. Just a well rounded an amazing tell.

The narrator did a superb job capturing everyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Bad Start

Here are two men who when other see them what they see their weakness. They get off to a bad start and Michael feels bad. Because of this they begin an interaction with each other. As they get to know each other they see the strength in the other. They have potential as a couple but each needs to get a better picture of their own self-worth.

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

Joel Leslie Is outstanding in this Narration

I gave this 31/2 stars for the cliffhanger at the end...
. And how short this book was.
Very sudden cliffhanger ending....

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • MaryD
  • 10-25-18

Sweetly different story

I have mixed feelings about this book. I loved the characters Joshua’s strength and Michael's sweet nature. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough depth to them for me. What I loved was that Joshua and Michael were not the usual type of main characters. Both of them had obstacles they lived with that made their life hard. Both of them dealing with it in their own way. Joshua has cerebral palsy and It reads like Michael has a learning difficulty. My bugbear came from that despite both Joshua and his friend Sarah both working in Education neither of them even suggested an assessment for Michael. In this respect the story felt very shallow and just skimmed along with out touching the issues both main characters had. Another surprise was the abrupt ending. It is happy for now but it just took me by surprise. For all my doubts above it’s not enough to stop me reading the next book to find out what happens next for these two. Just a shame it’s not in audiobook.
One positive aspect was Joel Leslie’s narration. He fleshed out both characters and gave them more of a personality through the distinct voices he gave them. There is a depth of emotion from his narration that just doesn’t come through from reading alone.