This title is included in Audible Escape

Home the Hard Way

Narrated by: Shannon Gunn
Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
4 out of 5 stars (190 ratings)
This title is included in Audible Escape

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Publisher's Summary

Dare Buckley has come home - or at least, he's come back to Palladian, the small town he left as a teenager. After a major lapse in judgment forced him to resign from the Seattle PD, Palladian is the only place that'll hire him. There's one benefit to hitting rock bottom, though: the chance to investigate the mystery of his father's suicide.

Dare also gets to reacquaint himself with Finn Fowler, whose childhood hero worship ended in uncomfortable silence when Dare moved away. But Finn isn't the same little kid Dare once protected. He's grown into an attractive, enigmatic stranger who neither wants nor needs what Dare has to offer.

In fact, Dare soon realizes that Finn's keeping secrets - his own and the town's. And he doesn't seem to care that Dare needs answers. The atmosphere in Palladian, like its namesake river, appears placid, but dark currents churn underneath. When danger closes in, Dare must pit his ingenuity against his heart, and find his way home the hard way.

©2014 Z.A. Maxfield (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Frustratingly close to excellent

The narrator is inappropriate for this book. Putting that aside, this book has the feel of a Josh Lanyon mystery, but the potential is vitiated by some niggling things. The first is the premise that these two men have this deep connection from childhood. When you realise that he was only 9 years old when they parted it just doesn't make sense. The second is the BDSM aspect of the book. It is never explained how a small town guy aged just 25 became immersed in kink and apparently a very skilled & experienced Dom. That layer of BDSM also belies the foundations of the relationship. It feels rather like a compromise between two or three books. Very frustrating from such a skilled writer.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I had problems with this one

The characters were engaging, but I had problems with Finn. I think he needs serious therapy before he should ever try to be in a BDSM scene. Although he is portrayed as being a competent dom, his emotional and psychological damage would scare the bejeezus out of me and would definitely never let me trust him. I'm glad there was a seeming HEA to this one, but I'm afraid for Dare. So glad Bill is getting therapy...

A very good story. There were times I wanted to walk away from it because the characters made me just that uncomfortable, but I'm glad I stuck with it.

The narration was a bit confusing at times. It wasn't always clear who was speaking. I don't know if that is completely on the narrator or not, but it seemed to be confusing even to him.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Exhausting

I really struggled to finish this book, it was exhausting, it went on and on when it should have ended long before it did. The BDSM stuff with the horrible cop and Flynn or Finn, I forgot already but it made no sense and it wasn't believable with he was treated. the writing couldn't show us how that came about because I'm sure that magic trick doesn't exist.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

DNF

ZA Maxfield is usually an auto-buy for me, but this was a DNF. I listened to 3 1/2 hours of it, and I didn't really care for either of the main characters. There wasn't really any one big thing that made me stop listening, but a lot of little things that made finally just say enough, I'm not wasting 8 more hours listening to this.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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An interesting journey...

The story of Dare and Finn is an interesting tale. As the story begins to unravel, I was unsure if I was actually going to like it...but as I continued to listen, I was dragged into the characters and their lives...plus the mystery was intriguing. Did not figure it out until it was revealed...I like stories like that. Z.A. Maxfield offers an intriguing tale loaded with some delightful and devilish characters. The narration of Shannon Gunn added to the deliciousness of this tale. Definite recommend!!!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Awful voice quality

I don’t understand hiring a narrator who sounds like they are an octogenarian 2-pack-a-day smoker. Do they not even listen to an audio sample? I can’t listen to this. Especially with headphones.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not what I was expecting

First, though I usually love Shannon Gunn’s narrations, I found the main characters voices too similar and sometimes lost track of who was saying what.

Second, While it was an ok story, I never felt totally engaged. The bdsm seemed to come out of left field though I did appreciate that it wasn’t your typical setup.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narration overdramatized - extreme.

While I generally enjoy this author, this book was one had some domination scenes that caused me to consider not finishing. The final scenes turned it around and redeemed it, mostly. Unfortunately, the “disaster movie” over-the-top narration left me more than a little irritated. Felt like the narrator was making the entire genre.

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Book Review

Z.A. Maxfield has delivered once again. The character development felt as though these were real people I was getting tp know myself. Maxfield made me feel the setting was my hometown, complete with a woods and a river running through it. The author even knew about how the gossip mill operated! The quality of this book is awesome!

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

had promise but fell flat for me

Did the story keep me engaged: reasonably
Were there any parts I found annoying: I like a long book but the pacing in the middle was a bit slow.
Did I feel an emotional connection to the characters: not really
Would I listen to it again: I don't think so

Story comments: Finn's Dom behaviour felt like an alternate personality and didn't really work for me, and despite being 11 hours the end of the "mystery" felt a bit abrupt.

Narrator comments: Narration needs work: for the most part it was OK, but it wasn't always clear which character was speaking and the emphasis in some places was too over the top and harsh.

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  • Mrs. E. J. Curtis
  • 04-29-20

Good story

Well written interesting story with likeable, realistically flawed characters. The narration though was overly dramatic.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary
  • 02-03-19

Great, complex story, good narration

I really enjoyed this story. It was very well plotted and surprisingly, I didn't realize 'whodunnit' until the reveal. Shannon Gunn can be really OTT with his narration, but he kept a measured pace on this book- until the sex scenes which were performed in a super-growly way that was not sexy, but instead made me laugh out loud. Entertaining no matter what, this was a great book.