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Publisher's Summary

Imagine what life would be like if panic ruled your world at the mere thought of going to bed at night. For as long as he can remember, Finnley Hollins has been crippled by his extreme phobia of sleep. Every night is a battle, and every morning isn’t without consequences. The root cause is something he’s ashamed to admit to anyone. It’s his war, and he will fight it alone. 

When an unexpected turn of events lands the stunningly gorgeous Aven Woods at Finnley’s place of business, his life gets turned upside down. 

All it would take is one night together for his secret to be exposed. Finnley wasn’t prepared to fall in love. More so, he wasn’t prepared for his phobia to completely consume his life. Not only is it affecting his job and his relationship, but now it’s affecting his health. What will it take for Finnley to finally admit he needs help?

©2018 Nicole James (P)2019 Nicole James

What listeners say about Owl's Slumber

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

The narrator is really a GOLD!!!

*big sigh* ... OMG! This book was so much better then I thought it would be. I - the lunatic - feared to listen to it, because last year when I read this book, I was exhousted from it. I became Finn while reading, and I thought I'll be sleeping through the book while listening to it. But d**n, I was so wrong! It was SO good i couldn't sleep even if I wanted to. I just wanted to listen to it forever. Adam Gold is really a GOLD in narrating. The things he does with his voice and how he plays the characters... i have no words. No. Words! Perfection.

Finnley and Aven were so awesome together, I fell in love again and again with them. They came alive and everything was perfectly amazing in this audiobook. I loved every scene, but when Ireland was there for the first time I was smiling so hard I think everyone thought I'm crazy - side effect of listening to audiobooks in public.

I highly recommend this book in every format. Plus I highly recommend Nicky James. And Adam Gold. Good God, I recommend Adam Gold!

How good this book was?! Still no words - i'm speechless.

7 people found this helpful

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Raw, gritty and emotional!

This is the first book in the Trials of fear series and can be listened to a standalone.

This book was so much more raw, gritty and relatable in audio.
Adam Gold did an amazing audio delivery and narration.

This book was emotional, angsty and I felt for Finnley.
The characters were real and well fleshed out and the writing style was fluid and gripping.

The author touches upon so sensitive issues and portrays them in a very refreshing and relatable way.

I definitely recommend listening to this one. The narrator did a great job.

3 people found this helpful

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So Amazing

Wow!! Just wow! I loved this book, so when the audio came out, I thought I would give this new-to-me narrator a try. I am SO glad I did! The way that Adam Gold narrated this beautiful story was just amazing. I’ve never felt more immersed in an audiobook - ever. Adam’s narration went above and beyond just character voices and I felt as if I was IN the story. I couldn’t imagine the fear of sleeping, but this narration made me understand that fear that Finnley battles nightly. The way Adam conveyed the sadness and desperation of Finnley when he had hit his exhaustion point just pulled at my heart. I *felt* those feelings from Finnley. I equally loved his portrayal of Aven, whose unwavering support of Finnley certainly choked me up at points. This story was so riveting and kept me finding excuses to pop in my earbuds to finish, even knowing the outcome. This story truly brought out a whole range of emotions in me, and I loved every moment of it. Nicky James certainly knows how to break your heart, and slowly mend it back together like no other. If you’re looking for an audio where you’ll lose yourself in the story, I couldn’t recommend this more!

3 people found this helpful

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I NEED MORE NICKY JAMES W/ ADAM GOLD AUDIOBOOKS

Nicky James is a goddess among authors! Her romances are angsty but hopeful. Adam Gold is a god among narrators. His performance intensifies all those angsty and hopeful feelings of the story. They are the perfect team!!!

3 people found this helpful

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Adam Gold was perfection

Omg this audio was everything! Adam Gold made me fall in love with Finn this time around. I loved this book, but the first time around I didn’t live Finn. I do now. And his voice for Aven gutted me. Just perfect!

3 people found this helpful

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Well written and performed but repetitive

Nicky James is actually one of my favorite authors, for her writing style mainly, along with her ability to write actual gay men who aren't just women in male form, but she does tend to write some duds and this is one of them. Owl's Slumber has an intriguing premise but Finn's somniphobia takes up 98% of the book. We can't go five minutes without him having a panic attack and lashing out at Aven, the other character in this ostensible romance.

In fact, I have absolutely no idea why Aven bothers. I'm obviously not saying it's impossible to love someone with a severe anxiety disorder, but if Finn is contributing something worthwhile to the relationship, we're not seeing it here. From almost the very beginning Finn is rude, combative, ungrateful, and just a general pain in the neck and we don't see ANYTHING positive about the two of them together except for the way Aven protects and comforts him. Aven is getting precisely nothing out of it.

And that's not to say that Aven isn't dealing with stresses of his own, not even counting the ones Finn heaps on him. He's dealing with a homophobic sister and a mother who just sort of lets her daughter be homophobic in order to keep the peace, but we hear virtually nothing about them. Finn's phobia steamrolls over every other possible plot point.

I guess it's remotely possible that Finn is mostly a wonderful boyfriend, but we just don't see it because the author chooses not to include it in the book for some reason. Having read a couple other books in this series, I can say it doesn't really improve; in fact, this is one of the better ones.

Adam Gold is good to the point where he's probably my favorite narrator even though he's barely narrated any m/m books. And the writing is fantastic. I hope Nicky James's more recent books (I'm writing this in 2021) get the audiobook treatment, because they're really amazingly good, particularly The Endless Road to Sunshine, The Devil Inside, and The One That Got Away. I'm just not into this, it's 10 1/2 hours of one character having panic attacks and almost nothing else.

2 people found this helpful

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ok

narration good.
frustrating dialog and character development. this writer deals with sensitive topics but sometimes she glosses over real human interactions for subpar storytelling

2 people found this helpful

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Adam

I don't listen to many autobooks. And when I do, it's during a walk or cleaning my home. (Which is why it's taken me a bit to finish the whole thing) But, I do listen to enough to know when a narrator is phenomenal. Now, I've already read this book myself...twice. It's the first book in one of my favorite book series. Listening to it, listening to the amazing Adam Gold bring this story, these characters to life was simply amazing.

It almost felt like it was my first time reading it.

I really love how Adam changed the auto to a slight echo when he was speaking the characters internal thoughts. That's the first time I've heard that done. And it was a brilliant idea.

Fantastic book, fantastic narrator. I think I might search more books done by Mr. Adam Gold.

1 person found this helpful

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Moving, powerful – one of my faves

Phobia: an extreme or irrational fear or an aversion to something

Somniphobia: the fear of going to sleep

I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

How often have I said that phrase in jest? Just a joke, right? Meaning, for me, that if I need to get something done, I can forgo sleep, if only for a little while. Now, I’m someone who needs at least seven if not eight hours to function. On nights when I get less than six, I’m a mess the next day. Everyone is different, of course, but restorative sleep is necessary for human functioning. Several nights with poor sleep can be harmful. Staying awake too long can induce hallucinations. Eventually our bodies will literally shut off our consciousness in its need to get sleep. We cannot survive without it.

So what if you feared it? What if the thought of sleep literally caused panic attacks? What if you knew the fear was irrational and yet it consumed you anyway? Finnley Hollins is someone in this predicament. He fights sleep religiously. He consumes energy drinks, coffee, and uppers like they’re going out of style. He forces himself to stay awake until finally his body shuts down. He spends a day with a hangover-style headache and then goes right back to what he’s doing. Oh, and his job? Mortician and funeral director.

I know, right? Jobs that are absolutely essential in our world but so brutally difficult. My mother had a student whose goal it was to become a mortician. He knew he’d be good at it and he was. It was, for him, a calling. For Finnley? A family obligation passed down to him from a father who neither knew nor cared what his son wanted. A man so obsessed with familial obligation and honor that he literally drove his son into this phobia. I won’t go into details, but the story is beyond tragic and it broke my heart. Yes, our parents have expectations. Good parents recognize when their dreams for their children are just that – their dreams. Mr. Hollins never learned that lesson and Finnley is left to pick up the pieces of the disastrous father/son relationship. As Finn says, “I wasn’t allowed to be afraid because death was nothing to fear.” And since death was just the big sleep, everything would be fine, right? I wanted to kill Finn’s father all over again.

Aven Woods is the opposite of Finnley. He has his shit together. Often when people come to the funeral home, Finnley is meeting them on one of the worst days of their lives. Aven is not in that predicament – he is being supportive of his mother to alleviate her burden but arranging his step-father’s funeral means very little to him. I guess he also understands familial obligation. He’s instantly taken with Finnley and ensures they have time alone. Blunt man that he is, he asks Finnley out on a date. Once Finn gets over the shock, he accepts.

These two men are great together but it’s clear from the outset that it’s not an egalitarian relationship. Aven has, as I’ve said, got his shit together. Finn is crippled by his fear of sleep. Aven wants to help, Finn wants none of it. Only when there’s a catastrophe does Finn finally agree to getting help. Even then it’s a tough slog with plenty of setbacks. As exasperated as I was with Finn at times, I was also rooting for him. Mental illness is tough, no matter the circumstances. Relationships often fail because of a problem with communication and a fundamental belief if the other person just tried harder that he/she could get better. I loved that Aven supported Finn, but also challenged him. It’s a fine balancing act but he did a great job.

Aven does have issues and they also have to do with family. Them I could have shot also. These were two beautiful men who want to be happy. That they were eventually able to unburden themselves to an extent spoke to their inner strength.

Now, this is a Nicky James book so I knew my heart was going to be strained and my resolve tested. This is also Nicky James romance so I knew I was going to get my happy ending. It’s the first in a series and I’m desperately hoping eventually all the books will come out in audio. I know I’ll be first in line to grab them.

Adam Gold is Nicky’s go-to narrator and I’m glad. He’s just perfect for her books. They are set in Southern Ontario, Canada which has as close to a neutral accent as you can get (I’m from there so I’m allowed to feel this way). Adam’s narration is spot-on with that region and he also differentiates the voices well. Finally, his performance of the female characters is really good and I always appreciate that. This was another wonderful book by Nicky and as with all her other audiobooks, I can highly recommend it. I loved how Finn moved from being the ‘Broken Owl’ to the one who could sleep. I loved how, at the end, his true self could shine through. We could all use an Aven in our lives.

Oh, and you’ll never hear the theme show from Friends again without thinking of this book. Just sayin’.

1 person found this helpful

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highly recommend!!

This book was amazingggg. So many emotions!! I've already listened to it twice. The narration was amazing and he really brought the characters to life. I highly highly recommend this book.

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  • AL
  • 05-05-21

So, so, so amazingly good!

Story: This series is amazing! I did not listen to this story first, but it's definitely a great opener and delivers the same amazing quality as other stories.
Finn and Aven met in very unexpected circumstances, but the instant connection was palpable and the author did a great job showing it. As with all stories in this series, and most in Nicky James' backlist, there is a lot of obstacles ahead of the MCs and the phobia Finn battles is the biggest, but not the only one. The characters are complex and very well created. The descriptions of emotions and mental states are very visceral, but make the reader sink into the story completely. I love that quality about Nicky James' books!
Narration: Great performance by Adam gold! Great voice that was easy to follow and perfectly carried forward all the emotions in the book.

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  • MrsOls
  • 09-04-20

Beautiful story about anxiety

I loved this story about Fin and Avan and their journey together! Nicky James is so good at keeping the balance between the feeling of the horror anxiety is and what it can do to a person but also the people around that person and the romance with true love and HEA.

Adam Gold bring them to life with his deep, calm voice.

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  • Katie townsend
  • 09-04-19

incredible

listening to adam gold bring aven and finnley to life was such a beautiful experience

i felt every moment every word and every emotion

aven and Finnley's storyline is beautiful and emotional at the same time i loved listening to owl's slumber so much and adam gold did a amazing job narrating and bringing their storyline to life perfectly