Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone....
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When my ex walks into the resort bar with his new husband on his arm, I want nothing more than to prove to him that I've moved on. Thankfully, the sexy stranger sitting next to me....
Would you live a lie to hold onto the one you love? Dean and Jason are best friends, like brothers since boyhood, now architecture students and college roommates....
He promised to never leave me. But when I needed him the most, that was exactly what he did. Wilderness guide Xander Reed has spent fifteen years trying to forget the night....
Cute hipster and interior designer Michael doesn't do love - not after his ex screwed him over. Sex is a different story, though, and the gentle giant who's painting the mural....
Unquestionably talented figure skater Matty Marcus is willing to sacrifice everything for his Olympic dream, but his lack of discipline cost him the gold once before....
The night I rescued presumably straight Ethan Harris, I figured that would be the last time I saw him. However, he keeps finding his way back into my life - and into my bed....
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When Theodore Davenport decides to switch his mundane job for a career, he walks into Holden House Publishing with enthusiasm and determination to succeed....
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Cowboy Danny Boone - a name he made up one drunken night and has regretted ever since - harbors a big past and yearns for a small future....
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Thornwell Shipton is wealthy, uptight, closeted, and an incurable workaholic. A tragic love affair left him terrified of relationships, so he tells himself sex is better scheduled and paid for....
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Four original, unabridged, full-cast productions of Gail Carriger's most beloved fantasy short stories....
Adrian DeSoto spent most of his time in high school being bullied and beaten up, simply because he was perceived as gay. Always slight, effeminate, he was the perfect victim for guys like Martin Cavanaugh, one of the high school jocks. When it all got too much, Adrian was faced with two options, one more devastating than the other. Eleventh grade saw a new Adrian, one who hid his fears and pain behind a mask in a bid to survive.
Eleven years later, and Adrienne is one of the top drag acts in Orlando. She's fierce, funny, and exuberant. A face from the past gives her a shock, and after that there's only one thing on her mind - revenge.
Marty Cavanaugh has a particular kink. He loves it when a drag queen goes down on him. But that's as far as it goes. He won't admit to himself what's under that tight fitting dress. And then he meets Adrienne and his whole world goes into a tailspin...
Warning - Contains men in drag, honey! You have been warned.
Any additional comments?
3.5 - 4 Stars<br/><br/>I liked this story, it's one of forgiveness and growing as a person. Both Adrian and Marty have issues that need to be addressed and both learn a lot from each other, about standing up for who you are and about love. Adrian was severely bullied as a teenager and Marty was a part of it and it certainly left a lasting impression on both men. Adrian has become an incredibly strong person, confident and proud and a total Drag Queen star so imagine his surprise when he discovers Marty in the audience. <br/><br/>Marty doesn't have an easy life, he hides who he really is and lives a very lonely life. He doesn't have friends or even connections to other people. He does have the Drag shows though, but when he gets called out one night it makes him question and re-evaluate who he really wants to be. I really did feel bad for him and his struggles even though I didn't really expect to. I think he really has a good heart, but he thinks his family expectations matter more than what he feels and wants. <br/><br/>I liked the relationship these two build once they sort through their issues, they seem to really bring out the best in each other. They both have felt an attraction to the other since their ill-fated high school days and it's sweet to see it finally work for them. I loved the confidence that seemed to grow in both men as well. I would have liked to see more in the growth of their relationship, I felt like the story did jump ahead a bit, but in the end I was happy with the way it all turned out for them. I think Joel Leslie does a great job bringing this story to life and giving it the right amount of feeling. Overall a great an enjoyable story to listen to!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to See Me again? Why?
Yes, I enjoy the story and the narration.
What did you like best about this story?
I love drag queens! And I enjoy the combination of a KC Wells story with Joel Leslie's voice.
What about Joel Leslie’s performance did you like?
He did a much better job than the narrator of the first 2 books. I never wondered who was speaking, and I thought he did a good job with the regional dialect.
If you could rename See Me, what would you call it?
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I enjoyed the story of Adrian / Adrienne & Marty. From a history in high school, they meet again as adults and it doesn't go well. Adrian becomes determined to make things right between them...
I loved the accents, they really made Marty & especially Adrian come to life. There was great character development & growth. I understood the story well enough as a stand alone with the exception of some confusion for me at the beginning. Overall a great story with excellent narration. Happily recommend.
*I received a copy of this audio for an honest review.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Really enjoyed this one! I'm a big fan of KC Wells and have read many by her....Joel Leslie really brought these characters to life for me! He is very gifted with his voice acting and this book was no exception!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
STORY: Great job. Interesting story. Loved the MCs. I have not read any of the others in the series, and this intrigued me enough to follow up on the previous ones.<br/> <br/>PERFORMANCE: I had a hard time with the voices at the start of the story, but eventually acclimated to them. I thought the narrator did a fine job. Loved the varying tempo of the dictation. It beautifully portrayed the intensity of the scenes.<br/> <br/>(*I received a copy of the this audiobook in return for a fair & honest review)
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This story is like the full circle from high school crush to adulthood relationship. There is also dealing with past mistakes and coming to understand their effects. We see how realistically we are often blind to what is the truth when we are younger. It also a story of surviving our youth and thing as an adult. And finally it is about forgiveness and being able to move forward in new ways.
See me is a very well written story. It easily could have taken a dark path and turned one of the characters into a villain, but instead, it turned that person into a victim of homophobia.
Adrian was picked on ruthlessly in high school to the point of nearly taking his life. But he decided to take his life back and stops hiding who he is. 10 years later, Adrian works as Adrienne, a snarky drag queen with a hit show. One evening, she meets up with some former students and a teacher from high school, one of whom had befriended him at a low point in his life. Adrian is thrilled to see these people and new friendships are forged. As the weeks go by, she starts to notice a man in the audience who has been coming to the show frequently but always alone. She moves through the audience to get a closer look and is startled by who it is. She later finds out this guy has been hanging out and paying the other girls for BJ's. Some of them say he is a bit creepy. Adrienne ignores him but he begins sending notes asking to see her. Finally, she picks on him during her act, embarrassing him greatly. Her friend Rick tells her that maybe she needs to apologize to the guy. Feeling badly, Adrian decided to do just that, finding out where he lives and going there with trepidation in case he is some kind of psycho....
The story could have taken a brutal turn at that point, but goes in another direction, one of healing and love.
Joel Leslie brings these characters to life with his wonderful range of voices and narration. There could not have been a better narrator for this gem of a novel. As usual, he knows just how to voice the characters and narrate the story giving it nuances one might miss if one had just read the book.
KC Wells is a masterful writer giving new life to what could have been a tired old story of a psycho killer. She is definitely on my TBR!
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
I hate to be the voice of discontent amidst all the good reviews, but I struggled through much of the first half of this audiobook. See Me is the third novella in the Lightning Tales series and while it can be read as a standalone, doing so may leave you slightly lost at first. The opening sequence and chapter is told from the point of view of Ric, a hero from the second book. Though it sets the scene for catching up with Adrian and meeting Adrienne, the rapid entry of four secondary characters who obviously had significant history and ties left me scrambling to connect the dots, particularly because none of those names were mentioned in the blurb. So yes, See Me can be a standalone, but I think it will make for a more cohesive story arc to read this series in order.
Once I got to the chapters with Marty and Adrian interacting, things went a little smoother and the story progressed well. However, I struggled to really empathize with Marty, particularly in the first half of the book. While he undoubtedly matured and left his bullying days behind, I found the way he pursued the queens off-putting, not to mention how he treated and thought of many of them early on. I especially was bothered by his relentless notes to Adrienne despite her repeated brush-offs over an extended period. I couldn’t really get around what I perceived as creepy behavior enough to see Marty as a hero who would be a good fit for Adrian. Despite that, the characters were unique and flushed out enough to keep me listening. What really threw me- and almost led to this ending up in the DNF pile- were the secondary characters’ reactions to Marty’s dogged, unwanted advances toward Adrienne. Ric shamed Adrian for his treatment of Marty at the drag shows, yet completely failed to acknowledge that Marty wouldn’t take no for an answer. When another “friend” of Adrienne’s suggested she just give in and hook up with Marty to get him to stop his pursuit, I balked. Again this reaction was deemed acceptable, and the reader given the impression that Adrienne is the one that is the problem while her discomfort with Marty is swept under the rug. Of course the plan to confront Marty doesn’t go as planned either, and I was left with two anti-heroes to contend with. Luckily, once the two are together, the story turned around a bit and I was able to enjoy their interactions and appreciate the character development.
As far as the narration went, it ended up being an acquired taste. I typically enjoy Mr. Leslie’s narrative style, so I was excited to see he was the narrator for See Me. Unfortunately, his adaptation of the Southern drawl and characterizations were not my favorite. That said, I enjoyed his emotional inflections and pacing and think he matched the storyline well, bringing the scenes and characters to life.
Despite my issues with some of the plot points and never fully loving Marty, I am glad I ended up sticking with See Me. The latter half of the book sufficiently redeemed Marty, and I appreciated seeing his personality develop as he faced his fears about coming out. I also grew to see this couple as a good match, and I liked seeing how they both supported each other’s growth while being mindful of their pasts. The writing itself was solid and the dialogue flowed well throughout the book, and it’s never a bad thing when a book or character can turn around from your initial perception.
*Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*
As a fan of both the author and narrator, I jumped at the chance to review this book for the Audio Review Tour. As usual with Joel Leslie, the narration felt spot on. The softer tones used for Adrian were great vs. the harder voice of Marty.
The story itself was really good. I was thrown off a bit at the beginning when the pov was from a main character in the previous book and not one of the ones in this book. But it was good to see a glimpse of Adrian from a neutral perspective as he navigated the bullying years of high school. If I had heard it from Adrian himself, it might have been harder to forgive Marty for his actions, or rather, inaction during that time.
The main part of the story starts when the previous couples from the first two books double date at a drag club where they meet Adrian/Adrienne almost a decade after he left town. He is fabulous and fierce and there are barely any traces of the boy he’d been before. He’s kind of new at the club so he is slowly making friends with the other drag queens. After a few weeks a frequent customer comes in that the others all know and warn Adrienne about. All the warnings in the world can’t stop the shock at seeing his old high school crush and bully.
Marty is living a lonely life. His only excitement is going to the drag club, but he still hides who he is and what he really wants. His bullying of Adrian in high school was more watching his friends pick on the smaller guy, not taking any real action himself. He had his own share of problems at home. In an ideal world, he would have stood up for Adrian but we all know peer pressure is a real thing, and parental pressure too. It’s easy to be annoyed with Marty but especially after learning what he was struggling with it’s hard to hate him.
Adrian isn’t feeling the love right away though and through Adrienne he enacts a little bit of revenge. I don’t feel angry that he did it so much as some of the other people in Adrian’s life do at witnessing it. I admit to being a little petty at times. But I’m glad for those characters for making Adrian (and me) see what he did was wrong.
Both men have a few regrets about their actions in the past and the present. And when they get the courage to talk to each other, they manage to work through hard feelings to admit an attraction still exists for them. The story doesn’t really focus on their relationship after as much as it did the obstacles both needed to get past. Family still presents a few problems for Marty but it only feels like the issues were touched on and not completely resolved. That’s probably down to it being a novella vs a full length novel. A few loose ends didn’t feel tied up, but I really came to love Adrian and Marty. They were sweet and totally hot together. There are great side characters also, from the previous MCs to some of Marty’s co workers. I definitely recommend the story and the audio for sure. It was a great author/narrator combo.
This is a fun, well paced story.
That one of our leads is a glamorous drag queen is a pretty unusual slant, and it makes for a better story because of it.
Adrian is bullied, but finds strength in the things other saw as a weakness. He's a pretty inspirational character.
Marty was in the gang of bullies that tormented Adrian in high school, although he mostly just hung out in the background, trying to go unnoticed with his own problems.
Adrian, years later, has reinvented himself as Adrienne, a glamorous and successful drag performer.
Marty is living a life of quiet desperation, whose only release is quickies with Adrienne's fellow drag queens. Marty becomes infatuated with Adrienne without recognizing their shared past, but Adrienne does recognize Marty, and sets out to give him a taste of the humiliation Adrienne felt.
But being a kind and sensitive person, Adrian quickly feels bad for what he does to Marty and out of that a new bond begins forming between them.
I felt like there were a few issues that didn't gel with me emotionally. Adrian was crazy in love with Marty in high school without them ever really spending time together, and their only interactions centered around Marty being part of the crowd that bullied Adrian. I know teenagers's hormones can get a little crazy, but I found it hard to swallow that those feelings lingered for so many years.
My second issue was that the heart of Marty's fear of coming out was his blowhard father, who he spoke to on the phone once a week and saw once a month. His presence in Marty's life was just pretty distant to be such a dominant force in how he lived. The consequences of Marty coming out were a little too easy breezy, but maybe I just like angst too much.
This is a lighthearted feel good romance. The sex is hot and it's a nice subversion that Adrian seems to be more sexually dominant. Marty is turned on by Adrianne including drag in their sex play, which isn't something you see everyday in romance novels.
Joel Leslie's excellent narration enhances the story. I particularly loved the colorful voices he gave to Adrienne's drag friends.