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Publisher's Summary

Zachary Blaise is having a weird week - even by his standards. Though he's gay, the radio personality has been dumped via text by a girl named Marian - and he's never even met her. On top of that, he's developed a massive crush on Marcus, the new waiter at his favorite diner. His best friend thinks the whole thing is hilarious.

Marcus' week hasn't been his best either. He's been betrayed by those closest to him, and although he isn't the guilty party, Marcus is the one getting harassed.

Impossibly, things are about to get even weirder. Marian has secrets, and those secrets are going to make some serious ripples in Zach's life. When he discovers that the girl called Marian is actually the man named Marcus, Zach stumbles down a rabbit hole of abusive ex-boyfriends, psychotic relatives, and revelations from his own past. If he can survive the chaos, the journey might prove worth the effort.

©2015 Andi Van (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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Wildly Entertaining!

Any additional comments?

These are the four things you should know before you begin this story:

1. It’s wildly entertaining as hell in a soap opera kind of way. Dramatic, suspenseful, funny, with a touch of hurt/comfort.

2. Zach, Marcus, Jordan, and Zach’s mom are reason enough to listen to this. I loved these characters and the narration brings them to life.

3. Jonathan David brings all the snark, sarcasm, humor, hurt, comfort, and drama of the story out beautifully. Kudos on the narration!

4. Whether you read or listen to this be prepared for some drama.

Recommended!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Such a sweet and funny story

Zachary Blaise is a twenty-something radio personality for a late-night LGBTQ talk show. He’s snarky and funny and self effacing and currently single! He mistakenly intercepts a text meant for someone’s boyfriend who cheated on them with the other person’s sister so Zach assumes it’s a girl and that is supported by the texter’s name – Marian.

Marian and Zach end up texting one another several times a day for a few weeks, becoming friends of a sort. When Zach meets Marcus, a cute new waiter at his local diner, he tells his “friend Marian” about the interaction, spurring Marcus to confess that he’s actually Marian. (I’ll let you listen to the story to see why the confusing name.)

After the big reveal, Marcus and Zach become close friends – neither wants to cross into “boyfriends” being as Marcus is on the rebound and still dealing with a crazy, stalker ex.

When things begin to get really scary with the ex, Zach and Marcus can’t deny their attraction anymore and they begin a relationship. There is a bit more drama and some stuff of Zach’s to deal with before they find their HEA.

**

I was surprised I didn’t remember seeing this come around as a book – it’s SO GOOD! I was psyched to be introduced to it as an audiobook and glad to have been given the chance to experience it!

The writing is crisp, clear and delightful! The dialog absolutely sells this story, both between Zach and Marcus but also between Zach and Jordan, too.

This is a slow burn romance but with a very satisfying ending that I think anyone who enjoys witty dialog and lots of feels will really enjoy. I thought the stalker ex was a bit OTT, especially the “twist” there at the end, but it served it’s purpose of getting our MCs together nicely.

Audio
Jonathan David is a new narrator for me. He does a nice job with the “acting” and modifies his voice for effect, though he didn’t give the individual characters unique voices. He was easy to listen to and overall a good way to enjoy this story.

4.5 of 5 stars

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Sweet listen

I really enjoyed this sweet romance. The blurb really doesn't describe the story completely. Yes Marcus and Zach meet in a weird way, but that is resolved very early on. The real story is their subsequent courtship and the drama brought on by Marcus' ex and family, all who appear to be crazy. Zach and Marcus are great together and I love their chemistry. The story is full of witty, sarcastic banter between them and Zach's best friend Jordan. I love Zach's loving supportive family and friends. Although the story is primarily lighthearted, it takes a dramatic turn when someone tries to kill one of the MCs. I also enjoyed the narrator's performance. He is one of the few narrators that, although he brings very little diversity to the voices, gives a good performance in the emotions of the characters. He has great sarcastic timing and his pacing is generally good; although sometimes he speaks a little too fast. Overall, I think he does a good job.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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a wonderful story

just imagine you find your significant other , why you think you're texting your ex boyfriend number. that how Marcus and Zach found each other or and other words tax each other.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Splendid story with appealing characters and lots of fun

What did you love best about Starting with the Unexpected?

It was frightening to have a relentless stalker/vandal but it was joyous to have lighthearted fun with a cute romance. Excellent characters especially the pairing of the on air personalities.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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New author and narrator for me

The blurb made this book seem like it would be funny. Though it was in places, it also had it's sweet and touching moments. The characters were likable except for Marcus' ex and family. The story was fairly low angst and had a bit of a surprise toward the end. I would be willing to read more from this author. Perhaps she has plans for Brandon to have his own story?
I felt the narration was really good. The characters were all given distinct voices. I think Mr David could have infused a bit more emotion in his voice during the emotional times, but overall, he did well.
I would be willing to listen to other books he's narrated.

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Awesome!

My first from Andi Van and I couldn't have been happier with this story. From the opening line, I laughed and throughout. There wasn't anything about Zack and Marcus' story that I would have changed. Jonathan David's voice was perfect!

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