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Publisher's Summary

After witnessing a mob hit, surgeon Jack Francisco is put into protective custody to keep him safe until he can testify. A hitman known only as D is blackmailed into killing Jack, but when he tracks him down, his weary conscience won't allow him to murder an innocent man. Finding in each other an unlikely ally, Jack and D are soon on the run from shadowy enemies.

Forced to work together to survive, the two men forge a bond that ripens into unexpected passion. Jack sees the wounded soul beneath D's cold, detached exterior, and D finds in Jack the person who can help him reclaim the man he once was. As the day of Jack's testimony approaches, he and D find themselves not only fighting for their lives...but also fighting for their future. A future together.

©2009 Jane Seville (P)2014 Dreamspinner Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Loved it in print, love the audiobook

This is one of my favorite books of all time and it was wonderful to hear these characters brought to life. It has a 4.6 rating on Goodreads with over 4600 reviews, pretty universally loved in the mm romance genre. The narrator did a fantastic job and the story if first rate. The basic story is D is a hit man with a heart who is tortured by his past. Jack is a witness to a mob hit that D is sent to kill. Romance and adventure ensues. The writing is witty and engaging, I've read this book 3x. The only caution I'd give a listener is that I have been waiting for the sequel for years. The author has some pretty good freebies on her website, but not sure if the sequel will ever happen. That being said, still definitely worth a credit.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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The New Standard for Books w/ Gay Main Characters

Would you listen to Zero at the Bone again? Why?

I instantly fell in love with both of the main characters. Honestly, this book has quite a bit of sex but it isn't sex for the sake of sex. It served a purpose and told a love story. So, absolutely. I would definitely listen to this again.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The most interesting would be the entire premise, which is a hired killer unable to kill his target and then they have to run away together. Honestly, it was a good time. The least is the amount of sex. I'd say there's maybe one or two too many sex scenes. Other than that, I'd say the sex was there for a reason.

What about Alan Smith’s performance did you like?

I absolutely loved Alan Smith as a narrator. He embodied both perspectives with devotion and I was captivated.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I never listen or read a book in one sitting. It's just impossible for me. However, it was a book that I continued to listen to without needing to switch over to a different book for a change.

Any additional comments?

I'm going to say this, because I believe it whole-heartedly. This is THE STANDARD when it comes to books with gay main characters. There has not been one book I've read/listened to before or after that has come close to impact of how this book made me feel for the characters and story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Orlando
  • Murrieta, CA, United States
  • 06-03-14

It sorta fades out.

Many time, I've wanted to know what happens after. Some stories end too soon, and you're left wondering what happened next. This one, suffers the reverse. A brilliant story, well written, expertly performed and a joy to listen to. The plot wraps up, and then it goes on. And on. It would be improved by dropping the last two hours of the book.

All that said, it's more than worth a credit. It's great and I look forward to more from the author.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Catch This Roller-Coaster Ride

What about Alan Smith’s performance did you like?

Smith’s voice is satisfyingly resonate to this genre of book. Over all he does an excellent job and keeps the two main characters voices separate in his performance.

Any additional comments?

I read/listened to this book on my Fire tablet three week ago and I am still thinking about the various plots and sub plots leading to resolution of the mystery. This book, at its heart, is about a paid assassin with a conscious, who is being forced to take a job he would normally pass up, because of said conscious. Obviously rather than do the job, at the last minute the assassin refuses to kill the mark, Jack, and become his protector. <br/><br/>Jack is a high value innocent whiteness to a gang murder. The government has been unable to keep his pretrial location secret from D, the assassin, and Jack rightly determines that D is his best hope for survival. <br/><br/>D is a complex mystery that Jack needs to unravel to ensure his survival. In piercing the vails of mystery surrounding D, Jack begins to trust, and then be attracted by the man behind the surface of D. The author does this in a paced human way; not Stockholm syndrome at all. All this poking and prodding by Jack awakens the deadened emotional man in D that he had imprisoned to do his job as an assassin, to the deserving bad guy.<br/><br/>The concept of assassin to the deserving was a very interesting literary concept. A lot of people are repulsed by villains to smart, rich, or powerful to be held accountable for their actions. The idea that one can employ someone to provide the ultimate sanction to a deserving villain is an attractive one. <br/><br/>The clever mystery reader may figure out who is manipulating D to go after Jack, the innocent, but they will have to wait until the end before the why this manipulation occurred is revealed. Along the way there is a subplot of a “Mr. X” that appears to be helping D and a why Mr. X is helping for the reader to figure out. The answer of why turns out to be good karma paying back D for having a conscious in the way he applies his trade. <br/><br/>Solving the mystery of D through Jack is a completely enjoyable experience. It is a great thrill ride of dips and hollows that makes ones stomach drop and twist like a roller-coaster. It is a great literary ride made all the more enjoyable by some of the best believable couples dialog I have read in a while.<br/><br/>The transformation and reclamation of D to recast him as the good guy he has always been deep down, is satisfying esthetically. However, I do not think that this book’s end could have occurred absent a Presidential appointment. This, in my opinion, is the plots one flaw.<br/><br/>When I read / listened to this book I was on vacation at an adult only resort in the Caribbean on the beach. The book holds enough interest so you are not distracted whether you are confronted with trying to figure out if the topless fauna are real or medically augmented or whether the budgie smugglers holds a balled up pair of socks or an anaconda. But hay if you are listening to the book you can solve both mysteries and miss nothing. GRIN<br/>

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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lived this

I absolutely adored this book. the story was well written. the characters were defined, lovable and annoying at times but great just the same. I loved d the most just because he was so delectably honory.

I saw a couple of reviews that talked about the love scenes and personally I think they are full of crap. I'm glad that the author concentrated on the plot characters and making it all seem realistic than making this about smut.

I really do hope there's a sequel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ashton
  • WILLISTON, VT, United States
  • 02-07-15

Highly recommend!!!

Loved this book, I loved that it was not just about the m/m romance but also had a refreshing and interesting storyline.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Reviewed for Prism Book Alliance

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I first read this book back in 2012 and loved it. As a re-read I still really enjoyed it but sadly felt the narrator fell flat and let the story down.<br/><br/>Dr Jack Francisco leads a very ordinary life until he is witness to a murder when leaving work. Feeling obligated to give evidence at the trial of the men responsible he is removed from his life and placed in protective custody. A contract on his life only further complicates matters.<br/><br/>D is a hitman with morals. He is picky about what jobs he takes and killing a man under Police protection whose only crime was witnessing a murder is not something he is willing to do. When he is blackmailed into taking the job to protect his handler he finds his conscience will still not allow it and he ends up protecting the man he was supposed to kill.<br/><br/>Two more different men you will never find....talk about chalk and cheese! D is a completely closed book. He hasn’t had a sexual relationship in 10 years and hasn’t the first clue about friends, feelings or even being human. No one is more surprised than him when Jack, a man he was supposed to kill, gets under his skin and starts making him feel. <br/><br/>Jack is fantastic. Quite literally dragged from his life and having to rely on a man that was sent to kill him I loved that he could still stick up for himself and be a ballsy! He feels compelled to trust D and stands his ground against the cold and scary hitman.<br/><br/>There is plenty of action and adventure along the way as the pair try to stay alive until the trial date. There is also a slow thawing of a man who doesn’t believe he deserves any love. I love that their relationship wasn’t made easy. There was no quick fix, even after the trial, when they both need each other so much it still isn’t easy.<br/><br/>There is a whole sub plot going on behind the scenes and D has to work frantically to find out who is blackmailing him and why they are so intent on getting the job done. This book has thrill, spills and an imperfect love story...perfect for everyone.<br/><br/>Narration<br/>At just under 13 ½ hours this a long book on audio. This was my first book with Alan Smith as the narrator and I just felt it didn’t work. Zero At The Bone is a book filled with emotion, thrills and excitement and the story was lost in a flat narration. There needed to be more pitch in the characters voices to really bring out the story and events. <br/>

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good Story and great Narrator

Would you consider the audio edition of Zero at the Bone to be better than the print version?

The Narrator really made this book come alive

What did you like best about this story?

The suspense

What does Alan Smith bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His passion in reading the story. The way his voice rises when the characters are arguing.

Who was the most memorable character of Zero at the Bone and why?

Jack in the way he gets Dee to open up from his shell.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kimberly
  • CINEBAR, WA, United States
  • 04-24-14

Great Story, Awful Narration!

What would have made Zero at the Bone better?

A professional narrator! Not some kid who sounds like he just got out of high school.

Would you be willing to try another one of Alan Smith’s performances?

NO!

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Out of a few thousand books I read in my lifetime. Zero at the Bone is one of my all time favs. But the audio version was a major disappointment. Actually was very angry that Dreamspinner couldn't cough up the money for a better narrator. I was at least expecting a more masculine voice. Not much difference in voice characterizations and even though there was emotion, it came off as whiny.

Any additional comments?

If you loved the book, Zero at the Bone, hold it close. Cause you'll no doubt feel like your best friend just died after listening to the audio.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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A Bone to Pick

Would you try another book from Jane Seville and/or Alan Smith?

I would like to read the sequel if Ms. Seville writes it. Mr. Smith's narrative skills are not to my taste. He's a bit wooden when emotion is needed an over zealous when things could be toned down. He reads like he was picked on to do it and just wants to get it over with.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

It wrapped up ok. I would like to find out how they dealt with life afterward.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

See above.

What would have made this romance irresistible?

A more skilled narrator.

Any additional comments?

No.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Cazzi-Jane
  • 02-04-16

5 BRILLIANT STARS

Where does Zero at the Bone rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The storyline ranks among the top of my favourites in audio

What was one of the most memorable moments of Zero at the Bone?

I'm fairly new to m/m romance, but love the protective way D was with Jack.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The main characters first encounter

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Hot heartless bad boy!

Any additional comments?

Love this trope, mean moody silent guy falls for the sweet guy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alexander Sutherland
  • 08-27-15

Great book.

What made the experience of listening to Zero at the Bone the most enjoyable?

The story was original/racy, the damaged-character "D" very well explored, and the actual text well written! Super narration!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Glynis
  • 09-16-14

Brilliant listening experience

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

No hesitation! Great story with loads of twists, lovely romantic aspect to the story as well. Alan Smith did a brilliant job of telling the story. Having read the book as well, his voice for D was perfect. All the main characters had a different voice and personality. Really well done Alan!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Zero at the Bone?

When Jack first held D's hand in the garden. The first 'hint' of feelings toward each other.

Which character – as performed by Alan Smith – was your favourite?

Difficult to choose between Jack or D. But... D has the edge. He came across as complex and deep.

Any additional comments?

Recommended read if you like this genre.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Err Wells
  • 05-12-17

Convincing

Convincing tale of two men falling for each other in a hostile environment. Moving and gripping at times.

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  • Becky L
  • 10-11-16

Great story, brilliant narration

Absolutely loved this. I already knew the story having read the print version but Alan Smith's narration was spot on and gave the story a dimension often missing from just reading. It was like watching a film in my head. Although sometimes the audio seemed fast, it worked really well, but the dialogue is where this tale excels. The voices were authentic and individual and so true to the story it was great.

Highly recommended.

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  • William Burkitt
  • 05-15-16

loved every second.

A well written entertaining and thrilling book, I listened in one go, couldn't tear myself away.

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  • Maria
  • 02-25-15

some good action

Zero at Bone was definitely a good read with action and romance but not life changing. The characters are pretty relatable and the plot is consistent although some times slow.

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  • Josie
  • 06-19-14

Bad narration

Really bad narration, I couldn't tell who was who when he was talking and certainly not in character as D. I returned the book. It's a pity but I won't listen to good books ruined by the wrong narrater.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • scott
  • 11-07-15

awesome

really enjoyed it. will find more from the author. thought it was really well written