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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.

What listeners say about Home the Hard Way

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.

10 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people 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.

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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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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    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

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Incredible storyline

This novel presented a well-thought-out storyline that kept the reader engaged. It present more than great sex scenes. Also the scenes we’re people just went through their daily lives managing issues and problems to the best of their ability was written in a way that fully described, and illustrated the evolution of the characters.

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Had to stew on this one

I love Shannon Gunn and he is awesome here as well. His gritty voice adds the story like the background music of a movie.

The story itself is really good. There are aspects that were... disturbing. It could have gone either way in the basement; hobby of leather-working or Silence of the Lambs lol. Everyone in the story is messed up and while it ends with a HEA, there is a whole lot of therapy needed here. But overall, a mystery that held my attention.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Dissapointing Narrator

The narrator wasn't good for this book. He made every character sound like a serial killer. He over acted so much I kept thinking about William Shatner and old movies were everyone was waaaaay over the top in a really bad way. I really didn't like that.

As far as the story goes, it was alright. I may have been inclined to like it more if the narrator had been better. The BDSM felt completely random and while I could infer why the characters would like that based on their pasts, It didn't really fit the story as a whole and felt like it was added simply because the author wanted to check that genre box off the list.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Unique and enjoyable

I really like Shannon Gunn's narration. It can sometimes seem a little over the top until you lose yourself in it, because he puts so much passion or anguish and realistic emotion into the dialog. The story held my interest throughout, though I would have enjoyed an epilogue to see Finn settle further into a loving relationship.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A good story.

I like the history of the men and the town. I like how it all came together in the end. Finn and his complicated relationship with Bill. Then how he and Dare figured things out to be together. I loved the narration.

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  • Michael Wild
  • 02-19-21

I couldn't visualise this

It wasn't real. Maybe it was the exaggerated style of the reader not fitting with the story; maybe it was me.
I rated it as a measure of my enjoyment.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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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.