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Love Me Whole

Narrated by: Adam Gold
Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
5 out of 5 stars (234 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Twenty-eight-year-old Oryn Patterson isn't like other people. Being an extremely shy social introvert is only part of the problem. Oryn has dissociative identity disorder. He may look like a normal man on the outside, but spend five minutes with him, and his daily struggles begin to show. 

Oryn shares his life and headspace with five distinctively different alters. Reed, a protective, very straight jock. Cohen, a flamboyantly gay 19-year-old who is a social butterfly. Cove, a self-destructive terror, whose past haunts him. Theo, an asexual man of little emotion, whose focus is on maintaining order. And Rain, a five-year-old child whose only concern is Batman. 

Vaughn Sinclair is stuck in a rut. When his job doesn't offer the same thrill it once did, he decides it's time to mix-up his stagnant, boring routine. Little does he know, the man he meets during an impromptu decision to return to college is anything but ordinary. 

Vaughn's heart defies logic, and he finds himself falling in love with this strange new man. But how can you love someone who isn't always themself? It may not be easy, but Vaughn is determined to try.

©2018 Nicky James (P)2019 Nicky James

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Pieces of a whole

It took me three days to get through this book and despite the length, I would have binged and done it all in one day if I could have. I have listened and raved around Nicky James’ audiobooks before, and this one is one of my favourites. Possibly my new favourite.

As someone with a mental illness, I’ve struggled with loneliness and wondering if someone will ever want to be with me. When I met Oryn Patterson in this book, I ached for him. Twenty-eight years old and has never had a serious relationship – or any relationship – because of his illness. After all, who would want to take on one man with six distinct personalities – alters – and never know who is going to show up.

Vaughn Sinclair, thank God, is that man. He meets Oryn in a night class he’s taking. He’s thirty-five and restless, wanting to go back to school to liven up his life. He’s not expecting to meet a beguiling and hurting man, but he does. Over and over, Oryn warns Vaughn that a relationship won’t work yet over and over Vaughn finds more about Oryn to love. I’ll be honest, there were moments I though Vaughn was the one who needed to check himself. Loving someone with a mental illness is a challenge at the best of times, but when the person is in an active phase of their illness? Phew. My head spun as Oryn cycled through his alters.

I want to take a moment to congratulate Ms. James on such an accurate representation of mental illness. She took on the challenge of someone dying and dealing with the aftermath of that in No Regrets and Abel’s Journey, so I wasn’t surprised she’d take on another really tough subject. Accurate representations of mental illness are rare enough, but taking on an illness that is so misunderstood? Wow. Just…wow. I didn’t know better and recently went to see the movie Glass. The portrayal of the character with this illness was disturbing and horrifically inaccurate. Maybe it was good for storytelling, but it did nothing to increase awareness or understanding of the illness and its underlying causes. For the record, I did not enjoy the movie.

In this book, Oryn points out that most movies do not accurately represent dissociative identity disorder (D.I.D.). He’s right, of course. In daily discourse, multiple personality disorder is not portrayed accurately and those suffering from it are destined for horrific outcomes. Nicky’s book about death was tough, but it was a romance and I knew it was going to have a tragic ending – I was warned about that. I was also promised that the book was about hope and love. It was, so promise kept.

This book is also about hope and love. Once Vaughn decides he’s willing to risk himself and get involved with Oryn, he commits completely. I loved that. There were many very simple moments that were poignant for their normalcy. And then there were dramatic moments where things go sideways where I held my breath. Vaughn freely took on Oryn and his five alters, constantly educating himself. I thought Ms. James did a great job of developing each alter and engaging me as a reader. I always felt each portrayal was authentic and the characters were well-developed. I also felt Vaughn’s fatigue viscerally as he dealt with the changes Oryn underwent.

I got my romance and my happy ending, but wow, did these guys ever have to work for it. I liked that the ending was about living with mental illness and not trying to eradicate it. Many people who have mental illness face life-long struggles and if they are lucky enough to have a partner, that person has to be strong and supportive. That person needs to understand that someone with a mental illness doesn’t choose to be that way and that there are medical reasons for the illness. Vaughn’s open-mindedness and willingness to learn and adapt was commendable.

Finally, I want to give kudos to Adam Gold. Many books have multiple characters of various ages, but the challenge of this book is that six of those characters belong to one body. Mr. Gold’s portrayal of the complexity of Oryn’s character was amazing. I was able to move from each alter without losing the authenticity of the performance. He narrated Ms. James’ other books and they work really well together. I cannot say enough good things about this work and I highly recommend it.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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✫✫ 4.5 Stars ✫✫

This was such a great story. I felt like the subject may not have been completely original but the way the author handled it was. I've listened to other books with this subject and NONE of they come even a little close to this. I would say it was a slow burn but honestly I really didn't feel like that to me. Usually I'm getting annoyed wondering when the slow burn will finally catch fire but with this one I was perfect. The story required it and I never even wanted to push it. These characters were so well written. Vaughn is an amazing guy, from page one I loved him and that love just grew with every chapter. Oryn was such a complex and damaged guy that it was amazing to see his transformation through out this book. I love that this book shows that everyone can find love and not everyone will run when they see your baggage. Beautiful love story. Seriously LISTEN TO THIS BOOK.

The narration was ok. I really enjoyed him for 90% of the characters but I'll be honest the voice he gave Cohen was awful. Cohen was supposed to have a lisp but instead he sounded like a grown man doing baby talk and that is so sad because I know Cohen was meant to make me fall in love too but I just couldn't because the voice annoyed me :( But considering the narrator had to do 6+ male voices, I guess 5 great voices deserves applause!

The issue I has with the Audiobook is the "sound effects" Every time Vaughn was talking in his own head the voice was echoing like he was on the phone or something. It was very very annoying and Yanked me out of the story every time it happened. I guess it wasn't so bad I stopped listening but I did considerate a few times in the beginning.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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review

This book about a very misunderstood and haunting mental disorder is unusual for a love story. However, the author goes above and beyond to delve into the details and complications of Oryn's life and the love that came into his life and managed to stay with him.

It is written in vivid language that does not become entangled in medical lingo and by no means simple.

I hope the author continues to delve into subject matters of this nature.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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An Amazing Story of Hope and Love

I happened to notice a review of this book and decided it might be worth a read/listen. I am so glad I did. This unique story of a young man with Dissociative Identity Disorder and his five other separate identities is really unlike anything I have ever read. You get to know each of the other identities and understand why they are who they are. This is a story which is sometimes a wee bit heartbreaking but is always filled with the unconditional love one man has for another man with DID. I read a lot of books and this is by far one of the best books I have read/listened to in years.
What makes this read perfect is the narrator/performer Adam Gold. He is most certainly one of the best performers in this business and I am amazed at his range of voices. Absolutely spot on. I can not wait to read other books by the author as well as other books performed by this truly gifted narrator/performer.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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This is a different treasure...

Nicky, a difficult subject, and one that is fascinating without doubt. Your development of the story and characters was more than intriguing to me. I found myself bogged down a few times, but it didn't last long. I think your insight into this subject matter is admirable and your effort to convey it in a true light is done very well.

Adam, Bravo Sir. This was a major challenge for anyone and you came up to the plate without question!

Listener, I say go for it. It's different. It's quality writing and narration, but as is true with everything, you just have to see if this one is for you. I liked it. I will find this author again. A different kind of treasure...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Must buy!!!!

I don’t usually write a written review, only give stars but Love Me Whole required my time to let you know what I thought. This is one of the most phenomenal books I’ve ever read! It has all the feels! Adam Gold does a superb job narrating, it feels like you’re listening to a movie his voices and sound effects are so realistic.

The world of DID that Nicky takes you through is fascinating. Even though you know the main character had to of endured unimaginable trauma as a child, she doesn’t go into detail about his past, she focuses on the present and how he can make his whole system work in harmony.

If there is one book worth your hard earned money, it is this one!! Give it a try, I promise you won’t regret it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Beautiful Love Story!

Great listen! The writing was simple and straightforward. I have no clue how accurate the depiction of the mental illness was but it did not matter for me. It was a beautiful story, a beautiful love story. I never got bored, it never lost my interest, and I looked forward to getting into my car everyday to listen. Loved this book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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This book isn't just for M/M listeners

this isn't just a love story, it is a great story that will draw you in from the first minutes. if you have ever had trauma in your life, you will feel close to Oryn. it may hurt but free you to feel there is hope to love and be loved. The narrator was amazing with his ability to give different voices to all the characters. Very few narrators can do more than 2 or 3 but I was happily surprised. I cannot wait to see more by Nicky James.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Best audiobook Ever!!

There are no words to say how good this book was, no words. I absolutely loved it. The narrator did an absolutely amazing job at making these guys come to life and make the story that much more amazing!!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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This is an AMAZING STORY!

I have never had the pleasure of experiencing such an incredible story. This was totally, excellent, perfect, amazing, outstanding to say the least. Oryn,(Reed, Cohen, Cove, Theo, Rain,) story was created in such a wonderful way. The amazing story of Oryn and his alters, we get to experience them all for who they are, and what they mean with regards assistance Oryn to cope with everyday life. But then, here comes Vaughn, and he completes them all. Bringing them his love, understanding, patience, and so much more into all of their lives. Vaughn and Oryn's story is simply BEAUTIFUL. The narration was on POINT! I totally recommend their heart felt story. You will not be disappointed. ENJOY!

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  • KR Phoenix @ Books, Tattoos and Tea
  • 03-21-19

Beyond incredible!

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 5+ stars
🔥🔥🔥 Heat Level: 3 (with SO much intimacy, care, and love to melt your heart!)
🎧🎧🎧🎧🎧 Narration: 5

Beyond incredible! So complex and with so much heart!!

This book gave me a book hangover of epic proportions! I’m still hungover! Amazing, complex, with so much heart, care and emotions and so much knowledge and care was taken around Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)…absolutely phenomenal!!

As with all Nicky’s creations you can tell she puts all the love and care into her words. Her writing ebbs and flows with such ease and love you can’t help but fall for her characters and these two are no exception! Oryn and Vaughn are truly wonderful characters and the details around Oryn’s DID and his alters is exceptional. I loved the care that went into each alter and their unique personalities. I loved Vaughn’s care, desire to learn and friendship he has for Oryn and all his alters. I love how Vaughn subconsciously wanted to and tried to help Oryn and every turn and eventually with his Doctors helps Oryn find a better balance with his alters and eventually begins to heal and achieve a better state of co-consciousness. I loved all the alters in their own ways and each was complex and detailed it was easy to differentiate them and their identities in Oryn system. I loved Cohen and his shameless flirting, Reed and his protectiveness and somewhat alpha maleness, Cove and his depressive, self-destructive, misunderstood nature. Nicky did Cove so well, he becomes so relatable and his role in the system is crucial, while scary at times. I loved reading/listening to Cove’s recovery and desire to help from the unspeakable things that had happened to him. Theo and Rain are adorable and I loved the insight into the ‘inner world’ where Rain is Theo’s adoptive son, they would work so well together and Rain is just adorable!!

Adam’s narration of this story is beyond AMAZING! He injects each character with their unique personality and a different voice that reflects that personality. The way he tells the story from each alters the point of view as well as Oryn and Vaughns while finding balance in the overall story is exceptional. I felt like I was listening to a movie with all the different characters. Adam’s talented narration for this story has made him of my favorite narrators and his talent for this story is exceptional!!! I couldn’t have loved it more!!!

All in all, this is a complex story that will touch your heart in so many ways and draw you into a world that is the reality for some DID sufferers and their partners, family, and friends. An incredible creation by Nicky, I couldn’t love it more!!!!!

Thanks for reading!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • nearangel
  • 08-21-19

In this genre, it's my pick of the year

A masterpiece. A great story beautifully told. Expect a thorough serving of entertainment and, particularly, education, on this challenging and difficult topic. Last but not least, some clever writing will almost certainly produce some tears in the reader on this emotion packed rollercoaster. Intense, challenging and a thoroughly rewarding read.

In this genre, it's my pick of the year.

chris

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  • Book addict
  • 05-19-19

4.5 stars

I probably would have rated this 4 stars because it was a little slow at times, but the incredibly unique concept and relationship building drew me in and I got really immersed in the book which pushed the rating up. There are aspects that could be made stronger, but it was still a great listen.

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  • C85
  • 03-24-19

This is a story that I will never forget ♡

I absolutely loved this book. It broke my heart in so many places and I cried buckets. I felt like I was on a rollercoaster, with high highs and low lows pulling every emotion from me. It was one of the most beautiful and moving books I’ve ever listened to. I don’t think I will ever forget it. This is my first book by Nicky James and she is beyond talented. Adam Gold is a new-to-me narrator too and I will definitely listen to him again. He gave each character a distinctive voice and his words moved me to tears. I am going to recommend this book to everyone. It broke me but it put me back together again at the end ♡

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  • jane wilkinson
  • 03-21-19

Superb narration

I loved this book when I first read it, but the narration by Adam Gold, elevates this to an absolutely exceptional level. The level
of emotion and the distinct characters of all the alters is so well voiced you never have any trouble knowing which alter is fronting. It’s a truly remarkable story and such emotive narration. All the stars from me, can’t recommend it highly enough. Will listen to this over and over again.

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  • Allison's Book Corner
  • 03-18-19

Amazing

The concept of this book had me curious.
The writing and narration had me hooked.
This book was so well written and narrated.
The characters are fascinating, and I loved listening to them come to life.
Definitely grab this book.
It is a great, unforgettable listen and read.

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  • Joanne1988
  • 03-16-19

All I can say is WOW!!!

I absolutely loved this book when I read it on my kindle. When I saw it had come out on audio I couldn't wait to listen to it. The emotional story of Oryan and Vaughn is so beautiful. The narrator did a fantastic job bringing the story to life, I laughed and cried and just loved every minute of it.

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  • Cassi
  • 03-16-19

Absolutely amazing!! Best of the Year!

I can not even begin to say how utterly amazing this book is!!!! I read it when it first came out and waited forever for it to come to audio. There are some sound effects but if you don't let those bug you this story is worth all of your credits. Everything about this book is perfect. Its emotional and sweet, touching and romantic. The angst isn't as bad as you might expect from this but it will grip you from beginning to end.
Its perfect and an all time favorite.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-11-19

Narration and story 5++++++ stars

A complimentary audio was provided in exchange for an honest review.

This was such a good story. I don't know that I have the words to adequately express how amazing this story was.

I am going to start with the narration because without it, this book would not have been nearly as captivating or enthralling. I have not listened to anything by Adam Gold before, but that is an oversight I will rectify at the first opportunity. Adam Gold is a rare talent, in my opinion. He has everything you want in a narrator: a good voice, range (multiple characters sound unique), emotion, the ability to integrate sound effects and voice effects. Adam made this story possibly ten times more enjoyable than if I had just read this. Now that I have gushed over the narration, on to the story. :)

I don't recall ever reading a story about multiple personality disorder, now known as disassociative identity disorder (DID). The blurb for this story caught my attention right away and I was just waiting to fit this in to my reading schedule. When the audiobook offer came my way I knew this was the right time. I would guess most people don't think of the life experiences of others. We know our experiences and be they good or bad, I think we as a general rule in society also tend to assume most people live like our experiences teach us. Just as an example of what I mean, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the story, a teenager who is caught drinking or doing drugs gives the automatic justification statement of "all kids/teenagers drink/smoke/do drugs/have sex." We all know this isn't a true statement, but it's an individuals experience that drives them to assume "everybody" does "it."

The reason I bring this up is because of Oryn. Oryn has not had a "typical" life or upbringing. And Vaughn's life experiences in no way teach him that DID is a thing, and while intellectually Vaughn know child abuse exists, it's not something he thinks about (because his life experiences didn't show him this). We don't even know what really happened to Oryn, which is something I am legit upset about. I wanted to know who did what to Oryn (not the nitty gritty, but enough to understand). But regardless, we still know something bad happened to Oryn and it's because of that history that Oryn created multiple identities to handle a past he doesn't remember.

Reed is Oryn's protector.
Cohen is an outgoing, flirty nineteen-year-old who shows up to handle social situations Oryn can't.
Cove is the one who suffered the abuse from their childhood. He is self-destructive and it's unknown what triggers him to push forward, but Oryn's refusal to let Cove have any control is tearing them apart. I think Cove alone knows what happened to Oryn as a child.
Theo is the one who cooks and I think cleans. He is not usually around in social situations and is the most like Oryn in personality but Theo can function better. They get along the best.
Rain. OMG, he stole my heart. Rain is five years old and is innocent. He represents the childhood Oryn was denied. All Rain cares about is playing, having fun, and of course all things Batman.

Each of these characters won me over, even the jerk Reed. :) Reed comes around, but this was literally a group effort. All of Oryn's personalities had to work thru Oryn's history to finally find peace and happiness and balance.

It's thru Vaughn and his love and determination that Oryn finally gets his happily ever after. Vaughn is a special person and is genuinely a kind man who wants to befriend a lonely and shy Oryn. They team up for a class project and things progress to friendship, to love, then lovers. It wasn't easy, far from it. Oryn's DID is a frustrating aspect to getting closer. There were no overly dramatic ups and downs with their relationship, for which I am so grateful. Neither thought they should leave the other to "protect" them. They both knew what they wanted and went after it.

I don't want to spoil the story or the ending so I will say they do have a happy life. (view spoiler) If you love emotional, touching stories about characters that seem so real and genuine, you will love this story. If you are an audio lover, I highly recommend this as opposed to reading.

5 stars all around and I would love it if we get more (even short) stories. Checking in with them would be such a treat.

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  • hussfan
  • 03-10-19

I loved it

I loved this beautiful story. Love me Whole is a captivating book very well written and full of emotional ups and downs. It kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book, it made me smile and made me cry and made me appreciate every tiny details of how both Oryn and Vaughn embraced such an infamous disorder. Narrator did an amazing job, his performance made this great story into an unforgettable listening experience. Highly recommend this audiobook for all romance lovers.

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  • P D
  • 10-27-19

Superb!

This is an amazing story by Nicky James and I learned a lot from this book. The narration by Adam Gold is superb, his interpretation of the characters is so good.
I highly recommend this audiobook.