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Just What the Truth Is  By  cover art

Just What the Truth Is

By: Cardeno C.
Narrated by: Alexander Collins
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Publisher's summary

People pleaser Ben Forman has been in the closet so long he has almost convinced himself he is straight, but his denial train gets derailed when hotshot lawyer Micah Trains walks into his life. Micah is brilliant, funny, driven...and he assumes Ben is gay and starts dating him. Finding himself truly happy for the first time, Ben doesn't have the willpower to resist Micah's affection.

When his relationship with Micah heats up, Ben realizes he has a problem: His parents won't tolerate a gay son, and self-confident Micah isn't the type to hide. If Ben wants to maintain his hold on his happiness, he'll have to decide what's important and own up to the truth of who he is. The trouble is figuring out just what that truth is.

©2013 Cardeno C. (P)2015 Cardeno C.
  • Series: Home, Book 5
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about Just What the Truth Is

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

Alexander Collins delivers a wonderful performance

Any additional comments?

This review is for the audio of the second edition of this book, which includes a bonus chapter.

Filled with hotness, heat, and a heavy sprinkling of angst Alexander Collins delivers another wonderful performance.

So I'm not going to lie to you. Ben Forman is arguably my least favorite Home collection character. Because Ben, whom we first met as the meddling brother in Home Again, is a closet case of EPIC proportions. A clue: His daily mantra is "I'm not gay. I'm not gay. I'm NOT gay." He has a string of girlfriends, none of whom outlast a tube of toothpaste, and he had a pretty heavy closet crush on his best friend from high school and college, Clark Lehman, which almost destroyed Clark's happiness with his soul mate.

I understand why, I mean he grew up in a household that casually denigrated gays and created a hostile environment for anyone even thinking about being different. Then there was the fact that Ben tried being the perfect son to make up for the fact his brother, Noah, was a constant source of contention in the family. I understand, but that doesn't make it easier to like the character.

Frankly, if it weren't for how absolutely freaking awesome Micah Trains is this would be a very different review. But we do have Micah, who is strong, funny, open, honest and wonderful. Micah also brings out the very best in Ben. Giving him the strength to finally come out and be the man he always was deep down. To rejoice in their love and relationship. And, finally, to have the family that he always wanted but could never find with anyone else.

It also doesn't hurt that the sexy times are plentiful, hot and full of enough bow-chicka-wow-wow moments to make me need a fan...STAT!

Bottom Line: Collins' narration is spot on and made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Even when I wanted to knee Ben in the balls and punch him in the throat. I laughed, I cried a little, I raged a little, and I rejoiced. I can't ask for more than that from a book.

RECOMMENDED!

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4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

superb love story

love love love this story. for about 30 years ben a struggle with his sexuality, it took meeting Micah, for ben to discover himself. and the love of someone else to show you what life is all about.

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2 people found this helpful

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

Emotional and angsty read.

What did you love best about Just What the Truth Is?

The extra epilogue, it was the perfect bow on the package.

Would you be willing to try another book from Cardeno C.? Why or why not?

Oh hell yes, she is amazing. Everyone has hits and misses.

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

I loved it when the narrator truly connected to the written character and brought them to life. I didn't like it when he lost the tones for the characters that differentiated them when listening.

Who was the most memorable character of Just What the Truth Is and why?

Micah. He was steadfast and unwavering in this love for Ben.

Any additional comments?

3.5/5 stars...

Micah Trains steamrolls into Ben Forman’s life and turns it upside down, then turns Ben inside out. Ben has this track running on a constant loop in his brain… You are straight, you meet a girl, sleep with girl, move on to next girl, you are straight. And he’s managed to maintain this for appearances sake if nothing else. That is, until Micah Trains, the sexy, confident, successful lawyer in his firm takes a liking to Ben.

While this broken record continues to play in Ben’s mind, he manages to recognize his attraction to Micah. But until Ben comes to terms with his own deep seeded issues with his sexuality, works on his rocky relationship with his openly gay brother, and seriously gets over this insane need he has to be this picture perfect person his parent’s envision for him… he will continue to doubt himself and his feelings for Micah.

So, I had a couple huge issues with this story. First, Ben was very unlikeable for more than half of the story. I could understand and even appreciate his struggle, but I didn’t really connect with his character until he finally had that heart to heart with his parents. From there the story was so good; he was like a completely different person. Perhaps that was CC’s goal, but it made it difficult for me to press play for the first few hours. I will say this, Micah was steadfast and unwavering, even with Ben’s behavior that ping ponged between happy, psychotic and occasionally almost comatose. I have to admit, Micah was his strength and his saving grace. And that ending, the extra epilogue CC went back and wrote when DOMA was overturned. Perfection!

Now, for the narration, at times Collins lost the tones he had given Ben and Micah and the story came through like he was simply reading off the grocery list. When the correct tones and inflections shone through, it was amazing. Those times where the tone of Ben’s voice lined up with the stress or pain, even the joy he was feeling and the same for Micah, that was great listening. Then there were times when Ben would be talking to someone on the phone and suddenly it sounded like I was in a tunnel and there was a guy five miles down, yelling up at me, that was annoying. Sadly, I would just skip past these parts.

An emotional, angsty, figuring out who you are story about a guy that can’t be true to himself, without the support of the one person that loves him unconditionally. Overall it was an enjoyable read, just a couple issues here and there. CC definitely wrapped it up splendidly there at the end.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Listener received this title free

Better than expected

So I wasn't a fan of Ben going into this one and It says something when the author can take you from really disliking them to wanting to shake them, then wanting to hug them and shake them again and to really like them by the end. I really liked how this all played out. Micah might have been a little too good to be true but Eh that's what romances are for. Collins does a good job with the narration.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Listener received this title free

Really enjoyable.

I so enjoyed Ben's story. It was so worth the wait. The narrator was perfect!

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

Great romance between two likable characters

I consider myself a fan of Cardeno C., but sometimes she's a little TOO good at writing unlikable protagonists. Occasionally--it even happens in this very series--a character is so obnoxious or unpleasant that I reach the tipping point where I really don't give a whit whether or not they redeem themselves. Luckily, that didn't happen in this novel, even though I wanted to smack Ben upside the head a couple times and scream "Just TALK to him, for god's sake!" in his face. Despite this, partially because of the likability of the character and partially because of the excellent narration, I eagerly listened to this entire novel so I could see Ben and Micah get their Happily Ever After.

And holy cow, they got it! I don't want to spoil anything, but there are happy endings and there are Happy Endings. This one lasted about a third of the entire length of the book and just kept getting happier. It never felt like too much, though, and I was left feeling entirely satisfied.

Alexander Collins is new to me. Apparently he narrated the Thirds series under a different name, but I've never listened to that series so I was totally unfamiliar with him. And I guess some of the books in this series were released with a different narrator? No matter, Collins is excellent. I could have done without the distortion when a character was talking on the phone or over a microphone, but it wasn't distracting. And something about Collins's voice is extremely pleasant: conversational, friendly, masculine, attractive, wry. He sounds a bit like Teddy Hamilton, one of my favorite audiobook narrators, possibly crossed with Norm MacDonald. He's just really wonderful, and I'm going to seek out other books he has narrated.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Ben and Micha

Holy cow! Ben suffers from a lifetime of misinformation and warped beliefs about what it means to be gay. We've seen his parents in action with his brother Noah in Home Again and this just gives us a closer look into the homophobic nightmare of their childhood. Where Noah was a strong-willed rebel, Ben is a people pleaser desperate for his parent's approval. Meeting Micha has him viewing life through a different lens and seeing how off base his beliefs are. Micha is a siren for Ben's heart but he fights to stay 'normal'. He screws up a couple of times and I was impressed that Micha was so willing to forgive. I loved seeing Ben grow into who he truly is and embrace his relationship with Micha. Micha's family is wonderful, full of love caring. His mother is a hoot! It was wonderful to see them a couple of years down the road living such wonderful lives. The bonus material left me with happy tears.

Audiobook: consistent with voices and even cadence made for an okay narrator.

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loved it

great story about coming out and learning how to deal with your feelings about it. the the conversations always seemed rushed and without emotion. otherwise the narrator gave a good reading to the story. the sex scenes were always hot and the narrator did a good job on them

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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sweetest love story

loved the storyline and the family interactions the over coming of belief's. great love sceens.

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

Great Book

No matter how many times I read the book I always enjoy it. The narrator does a great job.

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